Friday, 16 November 2012

Latest English record updates of use to Irish research

While pre-occupied over the last week with the bumper crop of new Irish resources, I've failed to report on some new or updated UK resources from Ancestry that could be useful for those with roots in Ireland. Here's a round-up:

Ancestry has updated its collection of Catholic records from Liverpool. One in five of the city's population was Ireland-born in 1851, so this collection clearly has huge potential for Irish genealogy research. It's an 'updated' collection; this being Ancestry, there are no details about the flavour of the update but it looks to me that the number of records now available has grown.

The collection includes:
  • Catholic Confirmations 1813–1920, 80,889 records
  • Catholic Baptisms 1802–1906, 475,547 records
  • Catholic Marriages 1754–1921, 132,996 records
  • Catholic Burials 1813–1988, 618,201 records
Ancestry has also added to its collection of English Electoral Registers. These indexes, Ancestry explains, were created using text recognition software; no human transcriber has intervened. Be warned: search results can be a bit 'at odds' (to put it politely). For example, I searched for my grandad's brother and his wife in Islington, North London, and found them both in the search results for several different years (1930s) at an address they never lived at.

Electoral registers rather fizzle out in usefulness for the majority of researchers the further back in time you go. This is because restrictive property criteria disenfranchised most of the population until the 20th century. Men over the age of 21 were allowed the vote from 1918, as were some women over the age of 30. Ten years later, the franchise was extended to all women over 21.

The only brand-new addition to Ancestry's collection of electoral registers is the Midlands 1832–1955 record set. It consists of 6.2million records for Birmingham and northern parts of Warwickshire. Notes to the collection explain that 'there are some gaps in the records in this database, and they should not be considered a comprehensive collection of voters lists for either Birmingham or Warwickshire for the period.'

 The two updated collections of Electoral Registers are for London 1832–1965, which now holds a whopping 159million records, and Dorset 1839–1922, which holds nearly 1.6million records.

234x60: I’m, your Nan