Heritage Open Days 2017

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Heritage Open Days 2017 will be taking place between the 7th and the 10th September this year.

As usual many Catholic churches are opening their doors giving people the opportunity to explore buildings usually kept locked while not in use. Please consider making use of this opportunity to support these sites.

For more information consult the Heritage Open Days website www.heritageopendays.org.uk

NORTH WEST

Lancashire

Hurst Cross, St Christopher RC Church

Sefton Park, Liverpool St Clare’s RC Church

Liverpool, St Francis Xavier’s RC Church

Old Swan, Liverpool, St Oswald’s RC Church

Wallasey, Ss Peter & Paul’s RC Church (The Dome of Home)

St Helen’s, Holy Cross & St Helen RC Church

Darwen, Sacred Heart & St Edward RC Church

Over Darwen, St Joseph RC Church

Cheshire

Stockport, Our Lady & the Apostles RC Church

 

NORTH EAST & YORKSHIRE

County Durham

Old Elvet, St Cuthbert’s RC Church

Old Esh, St Michael’s RC Church

Yorkshire

Hull, St Vincent’s RC Church

Hull, St Charles Borromeo RC Church

Northumberland

Old Gate, St Robert of Newminster RC Church

Tyne and Wear

Gateshead, St Patrick’s RC Church

Sunderland, St Ignatius the Martyr RC Church

Wallsend, Our Lady & St Columba RC Church

Blaydon on Tyne, St Mary & St Thomas RC Church

 

SOUTH WEST

Cornwall

Launceston, St Cuthbert Mayne RC Church

Somerset

Bath, Eyre Chapel

 Wiltshire

Calne, St Edmund’s RC Church

 

SOUTH EAST & HOME COUNTIES

Berkshire

Reading, St James RC Church

Reading, Sacred Heart RC Church

Essex

Colchester, St James the Less & St Helen’s RC Church

Hertfordshire

Bishop’s Stortford, St Joseph’s RC Church

Kent

Folkstone, St Peter’s RC Church

Surrey

Effingham, Our Lady of Sorrows RC Church

Effingham, St Teresa’s RC School

Woking, Holy Cross Chapel

 

WEST MIDLANDS

Gloucestershire

Gloucester, St Peter’s RC Church

 Staffordshire

Newcastle under Lyme, Holy Trinity RC Church

Burslem, St Joseph’s RC Church

Stoke on Trent, Sacred Heart RC Church

Warwickshire

Birmingham, St Chad’s Cathedral

Birmingham, The Oratory

 

 EAST MIDLANDS

Lincolnshire

Grimsby, St Mary on the Sea RC Church

Family History Fair in Basingstoke

Hampshire Genealogical Society Family History Open Day and Fair

on Sunday 8 October 2017, 10 am to 4 pm

at Everest Community Academy, Oxford Way, BASINGSTOKE RG24 9FP

free entry – free parking – light refreshments – disabled access

three free talks – numerous family history stalls and exhibitors

(the theme of the event will be World War Two – Britain at Home)

 

What happened to the United Kingdom Great War Service Records?

With the centenary of the Great War in full swing, interest from genealogists in the role played by their ancestors in the conflict has never been higher, and one of the questions I am frequently asked by people is whether I can help them find their ancestors military service record.

Sadly, the answer is often ‘no’, due to the fact that only a percentage of military files from this period are available, and the reason is quite complicated.

Historically, the British Civil Service was renowned for it’s record keeping; files were created and kept on every aspect of administration of the British Empire, and the military was no different, every soldier who served from around 1900, had a personnel file created about them. This file contained their attestation papers, medical reports and records, disciplinary records, conduct reports, as well as miscellanea of other items relevant to the soldier in question.

By 1914, the regular and reserve army in Britain numbered about three quarters of a million men, however by the end of the war, more than seven million were thought to have served.

Following the conclusion of the war, the records were retained in the War Office Records Store, located in Arnside Street, London. The building was however hit by a high explosive bomb in September 1940 during the London Blitz, and although the initial explosion did not destroy the records, the subsequent fire would do. About 60% of the service records were completely destroyed that day, those that remain fit into the following categories

                                                                                                                                                        

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One of the ‘Burnt Records’

 The Burnt Collection

About one third of the records were retrieved from the ruins, and put in storage, extensive work later took place to preserve and restore these remaining records, they are about 2 million in number, and are available on microfilm at the National Archives, or by subscription on Ancestry, originals are not permitted to be accessed due to their fragility.

The Un-burnt Collection

About 750,000 records escaped destruction being stored as they were in a different building.

 

Therefore unfortunately most people will find that they are unable to locate their family record of military service. If you can, you are lucky.

Records for personnel who served after the war and in WW2 are still restricted and will not be completely open access for many more years.

New CD of Baptisms

The Manchester and Lancashire Family History have released their latest CD of Catholic baptisms, this volume contains the following Manchester Catholic registers:

  • Corpus Christi, Miles Platting: 1890-1908
  • St. Edward, Rusholme: 1862-1908
  • St John, Chorlton-cum-Hardy: 1893-1931
  • St. Mary, Levenshulme: 1853-1920
  • St. Michael, Ancoats: 1877-1917

It is available for the very reasonable price of £4.25 from their Online Bookshop

Newspapers Online

Local newspapers are a valuable source for any family historian, but as any genealogist will   know, sitting at a microfilm reader scrolling through page after page of grainy images to search for relevant information is a long and arduous process.

The British Library have therefore been working for a couple of years on digitising their collections of local newspapers, undertaking OCR (character recognition) and releasing fully searchable copies on to a specially designed website

British Newspaper Archive

For a relatively small monthly subscription (£12.95), you get complete access to more than 700 titles, and nearly 18 million pages, this increases each week as more scanning is completed.

Through this project you can read how newspapers across the county reported on key events from the past 200 years, and can also track down ancestors (particularly if they have had a suitably notorious past to catch the attention of the press).

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