Tag Archives: education

Irish Catholic Church Records Going Online

Irish National Archives, Dublin

Irish National Archives, Dublin

Tracing your family history in Ireland is to get a lot easier as the National Library of Ireland getrs ready  to give FREE online access to its Catholic Church records collection from this summer (2015) according to IrishCentral.

Genealogy expert John Grenham wrote in The Irish Times that it is “almost impossible to overstate the importance” of what will happen.

The records that will go on line mainly consist of baptismal and marriage records, the earliest of which dates back to the 1700’s and cover the 1,091 parishes in the country.  This will enable the millions of people worldwide to access their Irish roots much easier.  The records are currently available at the National Library of Ireland on microfiche and therefore you need to visit in person or hire a researcher but demand has put a great strain on this service and the cost of hiring a professional researcher has put these records out of many people’s price bracket.

For many years volunteers have been working to make these records ready for digitization and online research.  These records could be the most important records to go online since the 1901 and 1911 census for Ireland at the Irish National Archives.


Should you trust a transcript – a cautionary tale


We research for various reasons – to research our family history; to research a soldier, a battle or a war; to research a building or local area.  Our focus may differ but we have one thing in common – we need material to research.    Too many researchers means only one thing – the original documents get damaged, and many of them were in a delicate state before we started to research.

If the originals become too damaged they could end up being lost for the future and that is not what we want.  As you know family history associations, military groups and local history groups have, over the years been tackling this problem by painstakingly transcribing original documents.   There are many of these associations and groups that take time with their transcripts and have various checking procedures in place, but is still always good practice to have a look at the original document, if at all possible.

With today’s technology at our fingertips, looking at the original could just mean logging on to a couple of websites and viewing a scanned version of the original document to confirm or discard your theories.  As we know the original paperwork on these websites have been transcribed for an index – and these indexes have many flaws. By just looking at the scanned versions an obvious name or place can be seen but totally differs from what has been indexed.

None of us are perfect and we all know that sometimes we see what is not there.  Many years ago I photographed a CWGC memorial for a friend – her relative was commemorated there.  When I sent over the picture she noticed the surname was incorrectly spelt.  After communicating with the CWGC, this was rectified.

I think the following lighthearted snipped about a young monk says it all!

What the young monk found!

A young monk was assigned to help other monks copy out the old canons and laws of the church by hand. On his very first day he noticed that all the monks were copying from copies, not from the original. So, the new monk went to the head abbot to question this. He pointed out that if someone had made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk said ‘We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son’. So he went down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript were held in a locked vault that had not been opened for hundreds of years. Hours went by and nobody saw the old abbot.

Finally, the young monk got worried and went down to look for him. He found the old monk banging his head against the wall and wailing. ‘We missed the ‘R’! We missed the ‘R’! We missed the ‘R’!’

C E L E B   ‘R ‘  A T E 

Take care while transcribing as it could mean a world of difference !!

I’ve moved, come and follow me!

Stay in touch with me on Facebook

I’ve moved, come and follow me!

This evening, while on a Wakefield Family History Sharing road trip, my daughter and I developed a new and more up-to-date Facebook page – drop by and say hello!

My blog will link automatically to the new Wakefield Family History Sharing page.

The Wakefield FHS profile on Facebook will remain, so that you can still visit to see the things I have been up to over the years.  But for up-to-date stuff Wakefield Family History Sharing is the place to go!

Also, come and follow me on Twitter by clicking here.

Guy Victor Baring

It must be nearly 30 years since I started my family tree and it is nearly 15 years since I started my websites, and about 10 years since I started transcribing war memorials, but only 4 years since I started blogging.

During those years of transcribing war memorials I have travelled the country and seem to have gathered thousands.  I have not just photographed the more traditional memorial, but have also gathered into my folder of photographs,  memorials of a more individual nature, you know those to one man or woman, who is remembered not only on a village or town memorial, or a workplace or scholastic memorial but also by either their family or individually by their community.

Winchester Cathedral interior from Wikipedia

Winchester Cathedral interior from Wikipedia

While on a visit to Basingstoke a few years ago to see my daughter and her boyfriend (now fiance) we ventured into Winchester Cathedral (read blog) and while photographing the memorials on the ancient walls, I came across a familiar name – Guy Victor Baring.  A name that is on my extended family tree.

I am not one of those people that say ‘I’ve done my tree’, I am one of those who like the chase, like to see who is connected to who and what kind of life they lead – how did they fair during their years on this earth.  I like to solve a mystery or you could just say I am nosey!

The link to Guy is via my great aunts husband family – it goes back and then comes forward, ending up with Guy Victor Baring.

Some of you may think that the surname is familiar, I did, and then I found out why.  The Baring family are synonymous with banking and commerce, and have been for over two hundred year. But, back to Guy.

The Grange

The Grange

Guy was born on 26th of February 1873 in Piccadilly, London to Leonora Caroline (nee Digby (1844 – 1930)) the wife of Alexander Baring (1835 – 1889).  Alexander Hugh Baring, 4th Baron Ashburton, was a landowner and Conservative politician.  Guy was one of seven children in the household born between 1866 and 1885 and brought up at The Grange.  Guy was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, being commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1893.

in 1899, Guy was sent with his unit to fight in the South African War, and was there during the battle of Belmont, Graspan, Modder River, Magersfontein, including the occupation of magersfonteinBloemfontein. During his time in South Africa he was mentioned in despatches, and received the Queen’s South Africa Medal with three clasps.

A detachment of Coldstream Guards was sent to Australia in 1900 when the Earl of Hopetoun was inaugurated as Governor General of Australia.  The year of 1901 saw him being promoted to Captain and it was during this time that he wa attached to the King’s African Rifles as a special service officer with the CaptureJubaland Expedition against the Ogaden Somalis  for this he was awarded a medal with clasp.

It was after his return, that in the late summer of 1903 that Guy married Olive Alethea Smith, in  London.

His political career started in 1906 when he was elected as Member of Parliament for Winchester in the general election and  was re-elected in the 1910 elections and officially left the regiment in 1913.

6 Hobart Place

6 Hobart Place

Back a few years to 1911 when the census was taken, and you would find the family at 6 Hobart Place, S.W. Guy was recorded as a Member of Parliament and on Staff Pay from the army.  He stated he was born at 82 Piccadilly, London.  Olive, 33, told she had been married to Guy for seven years and bore him four children, but one of them had died. Living at home with their parents was Simon Alexander Vivian aged 5 and Amyas Evelyn Giles aged 1.  Looking after the family in their fourteen room house were seven servants.  Hugh Alexander Vivian born in 1904 had died in Winchester in 1908 aged 3.

Guy and Olive went on to have six children.  One of their children, Amyas Evelyn Giles Baring (1910-1986) known as Giles went on to become a 1st class English cricketer between 1930 – 1946. Aubrey G A Baring, another child, fought in WW2, gaining the rank of Squadren Leader.  He was decorated with the DFC. Later in life he became the Chairman of Twickenham Film Studios. One of their other boys, Esmond Charles Baring, educated at Eton, like his brothers, went on to Trinity College.  He also fought in WW2 and gained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Armoured Corps. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the Legion of Honour and invested as an Officer, Order of the British Empire.

82 Piccadilly, Bath House - interior

82 Piccadilly, Bath House – interior

As we know Guy was born at 82 Piccadilly, known as Bath House, which stood on the western corner of Bolton Street, facing Piccadilly.  This fine building was ranked with the like of Devonshire House, Burlington House, Northumberland House and Lansdowne House, full to bursting with fine artwork, fine furniture and large numbers of staff.   The building had seen seen a few disasters including  a fire in 1873.  A letter from Charlotte Polidori, quoted in another letter to Dante Gabriel Rossetti told about  the damage: “All the pictures except three

8s Piccadilly, Bath House interior

8s Piccadilly, Bath House interior

(Leonardo, Titian, and Rubens) in the Bath House drawing room are destroyed.”  The three paintings referred to were subsequently identified as Christ and the Baptist as children (likely by Bernardino Luini, now lost), Wolf and fox-hunt (Rubens, now in the Metropolitan Museum, from the collection of Lord Ashburton), and A woman with a dish of roasted apples (Pieter de Hooch, in fact destroyed in the fire). Rossetti’s correspondence regarding the losses described two pictures attributed to Giorgione, two attributed to Titian or Paris Bordone, and a Velazquez. Bath house was demolished in the 1960’s.

Coldstream_Guards_WWI_posterAt the outbreak of WW1, Guy rejoined the military and was posted to Windsor where he was in command of a training company until 1915 when he was posted to France.  During this time he was second in command of the 4th (Pioneer) Battalion.  After the Battle of Loos he commanded the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards.

On the 1st of July 1916 the Battle of the Somme started and by November, when winter approached the battle was abandoned there had been  some 420,000 Commonwealth casualties, 200,000 French and 500,000  German – the reward for this had been a movement of 6 mile into German territory – some might ask, was it worth it?

lesboeuf map source coldstream guards bookLess than three months into the Battle of the Somme, Guy’s Battalion, with two other battalions,  were advancing along the Ginchy to Lesboeufs road to attack a German position. This had been the first time that three Coldstream Guard battalions had attacked together, but advancing ‘as steadily as though they were walking down the Mall’  the action took a heavy toll. There were 17 officers and 690 other ranks walked down the road but only 3 officers (one injured) and 221m other ranks lived to walk back.

The Hon. Guy Victor Baring

The Hon. Guy Victor Baring

Lieutenant Colonel, The Hon. Guy Victor Baring was one of the 14 officers who were killed in action that day and he rests in The Citadel New Military Cemetery, nr Fricourt, with 362 other identified casualties and 16 young men whose name is known only unto their God.  Guy was one of 22 Members of Parliament who were Killed in Action during the Great War.

The entry for Guy in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission holdings tell that Olive was now living at Biddesden House.   At the time leading up to WW2 Olive was living, as seen in the 1939 Register, at Empshott Grange, Petersfield. Also in the house were numerous indoor and outdoor staff.  Olive at the time was part of the WVS (note not the WRVS until 1966)

Olive died in 1964 in the Petersfield area.

Biddesden House

Biddesden House


The Baring Archive – is here

Winchester Cathedral – click here 

Military map can be found – here 

Eton Memorials are here 

Lost Heritage – click here

Ancestry, Find My Past, Freebmd, Wikipedia

Guest Blogger

compilation logo in frameIf you don’t want the hassle of running and maintaining your own blog, but you like the idea of informing like minded people. You may be one of the people I am looking for.

Have you an interesting story to tell about a a member of your family.  Tell about the trials and tribulations of family historians or a local history  snippet on people or places; someone involved in WWI, WWII or other conflicts, a man or woman who stayed at home to do ‘war work’ or even a someone who objected to war.

You could tell how to research in a specific place i.e. the National Archives.  It could be an historical event that you would like to tell about – something that happened in your locale.

Do you have first hand experience of research in America, Canada, Australia or Europe and can give advice on where to look, with a few hints and tips that someone with local knowledge has learnt over the years.

Have you any tips on how to store your family history.  Do you have any suggestions for storing photographs or other research materials.

Or have you been on a visit to another country to do some family history ‘stuff’,  to a war cemetery, a battlefield or some other interesting place – let me know.

The blog can be short, long or something in between but it must be your own work.

Contact me at    –    guestblogger@wakefieldfhs.org.uk

Looking forward to hearing from you.

War Resistance in the West Riding of Yorkshire

One of my distant cousins and her family were involved during WW1 in conspiracy after conspiracy, conscientiousness objectors and more……….but that is a different story.

Last week I attended a local family history talk by Cyril Pearce about pockets of resistance within the West Riding – wonderful as I have an interest in WW1 and in ‘conchies’.

Always one for learning some new snippet or piece of information, nobody knows everything, even though some think they do, I listened with interest.  Although, most of the talk was based around the Huddersfield areas, the information fitted in with other places in different counties.

My information has been gathered from around the Derby area, based on my family, but this opened my eyes to the people who were involved and how they were accepted and treated within their communities.  One of my questions at the end of the talk, based on a copy of an Attestation Paper was ‘did all concientious objectors have an army service number’, to my surprise the answer was yes, as they were called up and therefore were allocated a number.  Many refused to sign and had to follow the consequences of this by either doing non-combatant work i.e. being in a reserved profession, by being in an ambulance corps., or doing aid work of sorts.  The Friends Ambulance Corps is one of these groups (Quakers).  But, saying that, many still refused to do any work that would help the nation at this time, even being in a reserved occupation was too much, and they would have been sent to varioius prisons including Wakefield and Dartmoor.

For the first two years of the war over 3,000,000 volunteered (up to 1916 there had been no conscription) but due to such heavy losses it was decided to bring in conscription.  At first it was only single men had the call, then as time went on and 1918 came, married men and men up to 50 were also included. So, after the passing of various Military Service Acts the No-Conscription Fellowship mounted a campaign against the punishment of objectors and in total about 16,000 men refused to fight.  A  large number of these men were pacifists who believed that killing another human being was wrong, either for religious or conscientious reasons.  The No-Conscription Fellowship had support from many public figures of the time  including : Bertrand Russell, Arthur McManus, Alfred Mason to name a few.

The areas of objectors in the West Riding seemed to be mainly from the woollen areas which seemed to be mainly non-conformist, the mining areas, mainly the traditional church seemed to be lightly affected.  You would think that the mining areas would have the same feelings as there were many Socialist and Labour groups involved with the organisation of objector groups.

Over 120 Huddersfield men appeared before a tribunal for their beliefs, one conscientious objector was Arthur Gardiner.  He was a gifted talker and when attending the tribunal likened himself to German workers who he felt he had more in common with than the men in Westminster – he lost his appeal, was sent to France, leaving the station to waving supporters.  One would think that a C.O. would not blend well back into a community after so many families had lost fathers, brothers and sons, but no, Arthur went on to become Mayor of Huddersfield.

What did I learn from Cyril’s talk, well that the C.O’s had various degrees of how much or how little they would do, or how much they would disrupt the every day goings on ‘at home’. I knew  there were many National groups who were organising anti-war feelings, but I did not realise how many small, local groups including Friends Meetings and Sunday Schools were involved.  Also, I knew there were the ambulance and first aid non combatants but I found out that many went to France to dig trenches, give aid and hand out tea.

Further reading





I-Tunes new addition – StreetMuseum Londinium

Free App, yes a free app.

This brand new app combines an ancient map of Rome with today’s modern London map, showing you what the city could have looked like over 2000 years ago.

Did you know The Roman Temple of Mithras stood just moments away from where Bank Tube station is now situated? Or that the Amphitheatre – used for gladiatorial games – was located near St. Paul’s Cathedral?

Unearth hidden artefacts, listen to the hustle and bustle of the city, and step back 2,000 years as augmented reality video presents scenes of Roman London against today’s modern backdrop.

Streetmuseum Londinium is available TODAY for iPhones and iPads and is free to download from the iTunes store – the link on the right hand side will take you directly to the i-tunes store.

Local History at Lunchtime

Earlier I posted about Leeds Central Library hosting a series of lunchtime talks.  Well the good news is that they start tomorrow, the 18th of March from 1pm – 2pm and the first talks is “The Grand: An Entertaining Story” given by Catherine Callinan.

3rd Floor Meeting Room, Leeds Central Library 1pm – 2pm.  If you can manage to get there, please write a comment on this page and let us all know how it went.

Find My Past – what’s new and interesting!

Firstly, I went to the Specialist Records and thought I would have a look there as I normally just visit the 1911 census and some of the military collection.

So here I am, what should I look at ?  The Kelly’s Directory for 1901 seemed as good as any and as I have Baring people in my tree I started with Baring, clicking on Wyndham Baring.  Guess who popped up and caught my eye ? The Rev. Savine, Baring-Gould with a little biography. I tried some of my other names i.e. Siddle, Binns, Officer, Grace and le Carpentier but it only seems the distant in laws are listed – never mind I enjoyed my moochings.

Medical Registers – 1913, now I new here I would find one of mine, James Allan who with a fellow James had St James’s Hospital in Leeds named after them.  He worked at the Union Infirmary Beckett Street, Leeds – a long way from his home village.

Did you know that the Military section has Ireland’s Memorial Records – looked for Donnelly and found a couple but not sure if mine, but still interesting.  Also on the military theme and I use quite a lot when transcribing my collection of war memorials, is the Distinguished Conduct Medal Citations 1914-1920.  They certainly do put a different light on people who served and sometimes died helping others.

The Migration section also has some interesting finds – one of my Younie family worked within the Judicial system in Bengal during WW2, sadly he never came home, but did find information regarding his time in India.

To complete my quick visit to Find My Past, did you know that lots of Family History Societies have uploaded in total millions of entries from their transcription listings.  You may still want to buy the publication from the relevant society once you have found the person you want,  but you can now do that knowing that your relative is there and you may find others who link in later.

To see these and other collections click on the  Find My Past link

Pope and Pearsons, Altofts

Did your family come from Altofts in the West Riding of Yorkshire?

Well, if they did, there is a good chance that they could have attended Pope & Pearsons, West Riding Colliery School.

A few years ago, I was offered the transcriptions done by Eve Kubiak for my website, Wakefield Family History Sharing – well, would you have said NO !  Didn’t think you would.

Eve spent many hours in the local archives taking the names down in longhand and then adding them to a computer programme – when you visit the pages you will see what a task that was for one person.  The entries start in 1875 and continue up to 1914.  The earlier entries are two or three years to a section when in 1893 they are in  individual years.

The information includes for each entry :- ID no. ; Date of admission or re-admission ; Surname followed by Christian name ; Date of birth ; Fathers of Mothers Name ; Address, From where and finally but not always having an entry is the Date of Leaving.  In later years there is a Remarks section with some of the entries being very informative.

For example in the 1877 – 79 section we have Mary Em Shepherd entering on 10 Dec 1877.  She was born on 29 Jan 1870, the daughter of Joseph of 1 Pit Row and was from the infant school.

Or, we have Beatrice Goldsburg born on 25 Jul 1889 who entered school from the Hunslet Board School.  She was the daughter of William of Railway Houses and she enter school on 2 May 1898.  The remarks say that she left on 10 Oct 1902 as she was Wanted at Home ! Her younger brother and sister left school in 1909 and 1906.

The same year, 1898, we have George Buxton, born 18 June 1889. the son of William of 9 Co-operative Terrace who came from the infants school, left on 1 Nov 1900 to go to The Grammar School.

The year of 1902 sees Sarah Thompson born 31 Oct 1891, the daughter of Sarah of 69 Pope Street.  She was admitted to school on 1 July 1902 – she was re-admitted as she had been in Knottingly but on 23 Dec 1904 she was taken out of school due to illness on Doctor’s Orders.

In 1904 the children of William Shaw of the Canal Boat Eardsly of Leeds were attending school, previously been attending Green Lane Pro (?) School.  The family entered on 13 March 1906 and left of 26 March 1906 as they returned to the Knottingley Canal.

If your family are from the area, you will surely find these lists fascinating, especially as you will know the names of families from your research – they could be neighbours, employers or relatives.  On the other hand, with no family connections to Altofts, I am sure you will still find the entries just as interesting.

The school entries for Pope & Pearson, West Riding School can be found here.