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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Essex Ancestors-unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills. London Metropolitan Archives to lose BMD Indexes. Domesday Reloaded- BBC Doomsday Project. Crystal Palace Campaign.

Essex Ancestors-unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills. 

Many of us with ancestors in Kent have found that at some time someone in the family went to or came from or lived in  Essex.

So the news that the Essex Record Office is planning to launch a new online service giving unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills might be welcomed by many.  The date has been delayed a few times but it is stating that the 24th October 2011 will see the service up and running.

The Essex Record Office site is not part of any other site such as Ancestry.com or findmypast. Access to the records will be free at in the search room but there will be a charge for accessing the records via the Internet.

The cost is still to be confirmed but early indications are that a subscription for a chosen period ranging from one day to one year will be available. Though not confirmed it is believed that the following costs for subscriptions will apply:

1 day £5.00; 1 week £15.00; 1 month £25.00; 6 months £50.00; 1 year £75.00. These rates will give unlimited access to the Parish Registers and Wills for the time period purchased.  Essex Record Office-SEAX

London Metropolitan Archives to loose BMD Indexes.

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) provides free public access to the index of events for birth, marriage, death, civil partnership, adoption and overseas records. This information is made available at a number of libraries and record offices across England and Wales.

The list of centres acting as host sites for the complete set of the GRO indexes is being extended from 14 November will include Newcastle City Library.  However, from the 28 October, the indexes will no longer be available at the London Metropolitan Archives. Whilst the inclusion of Newcastle City Library is to be welcomed and is long over due not everyone can understand the decision to withdraw the index from the LMA. There are two location where it will still be available in London, The British Library and City of Westminster Archives Centre.
From November the Indexes will be available at:

Birmingham Central Library
Bridgend Local and Family History Centre
City of Westminster Archives Centre
Manchester City Library
Newcastle City Library
Plymouth Central Library
The British Library.

Domesday Reloaded.

In 1986 the BBC published the Domesday Project. One of the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Some one million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country. 

They were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.  Due to advances in technology there were fears that the discs would become unreadable. Now the project has been made available to all on the Internet and is in the process of being updated by  re-photographing the images today and updating text entries.

The story of how this project was rescued and again made available freely to all is an example of what can be done. In 2004  Adrian Pearce succeeded in making the data available to any Windows PC and published the data online. However, following his death in 2008 the website was taken off line. In  2003 Andy Finney a producer on the original project and now working on behalf of the UK National Archives, arranged for  digital copies of the Domesday videodisc master tapes to be made. This provided the photographs and maps used on the Domesday Reloaded website.

George Auckland of the BBC and his Innovations Team,  have now completed a full extraction of the community disc and this material has been published online as the centrepiece of the BBC “Domesday Reloaded” website.

If you wish to contribute and update photographs and information you have until October 31st 2011. The site can be found at BBC Doomsday Reloaded

Crystal Palace Campaign.

This site is worthwhile exploring if your ancestors were involved with the Crystal Palace, the exhibition, its move to the location at Sydenham, Kent

The Crystal Palace Campaign is a popular movement which has successfully prevented a 20-cinema multiplex from being built on the historic, Grade II* listed site in Crystal Palace Park where the rebuilt (Sydenham) Crystal Palace used to stand. What the site also provides is the history of the Crystal Palace, it builders and  illustrations and photographs. It takes a bit of navigating but can be worth the effort if you have links to the Crystal Palace.  Crystal Palace

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