Monday, November 15, 2010

Remembrance Day: Where they fell

Thousands gathered all over the UK and abroad to mark and pay their respects on Remembrance Day for the men and women who have lost their lives in conflict since World War I.

Many interesting and articles have been written about personal experiences and what remembrance means to them however one shouldn't overlook that since the World Wars, Britain has been involved in several conflicts and we have a duty to both remember those who fell and to help veterans of war.

Here are a few of those articles in the press marking Remembrance Day:
A timeline has been produced Remembrance Day: Where they fell
Ypres, Belgium: Pete Waterman remembers 'that infernal battle'
The unknown soldier's journey from trench to tomb has several Rolls of Honour in commemoration of those who fought in these conflicts. Read more

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 Social Networking features NEW improvements

We are improving our Social Networking features

As many of you are aware was one of the first to introduce social networking specifically designed for both amateur and professional genealogists.

As part of our ongoing commitment to you and in order to enhance and develop the website we will be making a number of changes in the coming months.

We will be making it easier to invite family and friends, add photos, add important dates to your calendar which you may choose to share, we are also developing the home page to make it more informative and allow you to keep in touch with family as well as all the usual features which you have come to love and use.

As the profile side has grown beyond our expectation we need to add capacity to allow additional profiles. As we make these changes we will let you know so that you can make a note of these. We are very excited by these upcoming changes and hope that you will find them useful as an additional tool to tracking down those illusive ancestors.

The collection is part of over 650 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription of only £30.00 or US$50.00 or €35 at has added the following new records

• Corps of Royal Marines 1826 NEW
• Navy List 1847 December - 1848 March NEW
• Navy List 1848 December - 1849 March NEW
• Navy List 1882 June & December NEW
• Navy List 1913 January NEW
• Navy List 1915 January NEW
• Navy List 1918 January NEW
• Navy List 1925 January NEW
• Navy List 1929 October NEW
• Navy List 1934 January NEW
• Navy List 1938 May NEW
• Navy List 1938 August NEW
• Navy List 1939 February NEW
• Navy List 1939 August NEW
• Navy List 1940 May NEW
• Navy List 1940 August NEW
• Navy List 1941 June NEW
• Navy List 1943 December NEW
• Navy List 1943 July NEW
• Navy List 1945 July Volume II NEW
• Navy List 1945 June Volume III NEW
• Navy List of Retired Officers July 1947 NEW
• Navy List Vol.1-3 Jan 1952 NEW
• Royal Naval College Dartmouth May 1930 NEW
• Royal Navy Dartmouth September 1933 NEW
• His Majesty's Minesweepers 1943 NEW
• Whitaker's Naval and Military Directory 1898 NEW

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 release 2,000,000 New Navy Records is proud to announce the addition of 2,000,000 New Navy Records spanning over 160 years.
The records of commissioned officers of the Royal Navy dating back 163 years have been published online for the first time by is pleased to release the most comprehensive online collection of Royal Navy Lists from 1847 to 1945. More than 2 million names are included in the Lists which date from the mid – 19th Century (or the Eleventh Period in Navy History) when Britain was involved in a number of conflicts.

The Royal Navy has played a central role in Britain ’s history for centuries. It is the oldest of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and is the Senior of the three Services. Founded by Henry VIII a professional and national naval force was in existence when King Charles II came to the throne in 1660. At the time he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships and it was the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

British ships and sailors were symbols of the nation’s dominance until the 20th Century but this dominance was driven not only by great naval supremacy and naval leaders but by Britain ’s industrial advance and technology which helped to shape the future of warfare.

From the beginning of the 19th century until well into the 20th century it was the most powerful navy in the world at a time when Great Britain was the world’s only superpower.

The Royal Navy not only protected Britain from attack by its enemies in times of war but projected its power around the world. The Royal Navy along with a smaller number of Trading Company warships controlled the sea lanes enabling trade to precede the flag.

With the establishment of Naval Stations and bunkering points at strategic locations across the globe the British Empire grew to become the dominant world power from 1815 until the Second World War. But the Royal Navy also participated in voyages of discovery and exploration and names such as James Cook, John Franklin, Scott of the Antarctic and Shackleton resound throughout history.

In modern times the Royal Navy, its officers and men fought tenaciously to defend shipping in both World Wars against the threat of blockade and attrition by Britain’s enemies and although there were huge losses there were even more successes with Britain and its allies emerging victorious.

The List runs like a catalogue of history – The Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the occupation of Beijing and Egypt all of which involved the supply of troops and the protection of troop transports and much later conflicts such as the Boer War and the forcing of the Dardanelles in the First World War.

The Navy Lists contain the details of all Royal Navy and Royal Marine commissioned officers on the Active List of those serving at the time of publication. It was said that every Captain in the Navy had a copy of the list as he was always anxious to know the exact status and seniority of other officers he met.

The information covers every aspect of both Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers whether Active, Retired or on the Reserve Lists, from the date they entered the Service. The List of appointments range from navy and marine cadets to Admirals of the Fleet. Masters and Commanders are featured alongside Physicians, Paymasters and even wounded officers. There is even a section on officers dress regulations, awards and decorations.

An important part of the records is the Lists of Ships in the Navy with their Commanders and Officers names as well as Commissioned Packet Ships and Revenue Vessels, together with captured prize ships and their bounties.
For example the 1934 List of Ships and Vessels includes Submarines of the Royal Navy, also the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy arranged in their various classes, their Officers and present Stations. The lists also include RAF Units for Naval Cooperation which was extensive at the time.

The following detailed information is also disclosed; the type of ship and where deployed, the Displacement Tonnage, the indicated horse power or shaft horse power and the main armament. This excludes field guns and machine guns used by the navy as an auxiliary land force as in the siege of Ladysmith. The Name and first names of Officers is shown with an initial denoting his qualification for duties i.e. G for Gunnery duties, T for Torpedo duties, N for Navigating duties, S for Signalling Duties, W/T for Wireless Telegraphy duties, or I paid as an Interpreter. The dates shown are the dates of first appointment to a ship and where two dates are shown for a Marine Officer, the date in brackets indicates when his current sea time commenced.

Who was the Combustible Commodore?
An interesting name and character in the Lists shows a George Robert Lambert the “Combustible Commodore” who was despatched by Lord Dalhousie to Burma over a number of minor issues but eventually and deliberately provoked a naval confrontation in extremely questionable circumstances by blockading the port of Rangoon and thus started the Second Anglo-Burmese War his actions led to a Bureaucratic cover up at the time. Navy records date back to 1660 during the time of Charles II earlier mentions of the Navy Royal can be found in the Oxford National Biography which includes details of great Naval Leaders such as Sir Francis Drake, James Cook and Robert Blake.

Recent records include those of the First and Second World Wars and later lists include the Naval Forces of the Colonies and the Dominion Naval Forces (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa), Naval Colleges, Yards, Depots with the names of the Principal and other Officers in charge.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 invites you to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Victory in Europe on May 8th - V.E. Day

This Saturday, May 8th will mark Victory in Europe exactly 65 Years ago - At the time Winston Churchill, broadcasting from the Cabinet Room at Number 10 announced the end of the War with Nazi Germany. An unconditional ceasefire had been signed in Rheims, France the day before. Vast crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace and cheered the Royal Family - including the King, Queen and both Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret and Winston Churchill. Above is how the Daily Mail reported it 65 Years ago.

Across the Atlantic , the United States President Harry Truman dedicated the victory to Franklin D Roosevelt who had died only a month earlier. Again vast crowds congregated in New York's Times Square as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and other cities across the United States , to celebrate the end of the conflict which had become one of costliest wars in terms of human sacrifice. Although figures vary greatly, it is generally thought that in excess of 50 million people died.

As part of our ongoing efforts to make information more widely available and also to commemorate the 65th Anniversary of Victory in Europe we have released for the first time on a wide range of records from both World War I and also World War II. has one of the most comprehensive Military collections available online with over 12 million individual records.

At we are continually adding a large number of records to our already broad and diverse range, from the Peninsular War Rolls of the Duke of Wellington when Napoleon was driven from Portugal and Spain in 1814 through to the Korean War (1950-1953).

Our expanding records include in excess of 10 million military records related to World War II. You can search for those who died in the conflict from all three British services of the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force.

As part of the collection we include 9 million soldiers who enlisted in the US Army with records of US Prisoners of war as well as sources from other countries including the Indian Army, Australian and New Zealand Army (ANZAC) etc.

Graphic accounts surrounding events at the time of the Great War are released online on for the very first time. These record sets provide a fascinating insight into life in the trenches, as well as soldiers at war. An extract from the "British People go to War" which is available now online at gives a flavour of the mood of the times.

"Six years earlier Britain entered a new era, the transition from war to peace was dramatic, the country had put on uniform, the sky over the cities was dotted with balloons, everywhere people were digging trenches and filling sandbags, gas masks were being given out, there was a rush for black paper and cloth to screen windows and skylights. There was in the air a feeling of change, complete, inevitable, tremendous war had begun."

The unique release of "Mr Punch's History of the Great War" dotted with narrative references and poems of the goings on at home and abroad, Mr Punch's great wit and unbiased account of current affairs provides an unusual backdrop to the more serious events of the day.

A few statistics garnered from the website in a quick search of the British Army Lists shows that between 1939 and 1945 the Army Officer Corps alone suffered the loss of:-
9 Major Generals
31 Colonels
365 Majors
764 Captains
1630 Lieutenants

A spokesman for added "We are very pleased to be adding these new military records to our existing collection, these will certainly allow family historians and military historians make good progress with their military research."
The records are free to search but you will need to subscribe to view the original images. Click here for subscription information The collection is only a part of more than 650 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription for just £30 or €35 / US$50 at

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Battle of Britain diaries to be tweeted in real time

The diaries of pilots who flew in the Battle of Britain are to be transmitted in real time via Twitter to mark the 70th anniversary of the campaign.

The Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambs., will transmit Twitter entries from heroes who defended Britain against Nazi bombers. More>>

For Royal Air Force records and Military records visit our Military collection online at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 release 5 million Parish records online

Go back nearly 500 years and research your family ancestors is pleased to announce the release of 5 million Parish records online. The database is a collection of historical parish and probate registers from many Counties of England and Wales dating from the early 1500s to the middle to late 19th Century.

Parish registers which are still kept today have been in existence ever since Henry VIII’s Chief Minister Thomas Cromwell, the 1st Earl of Essex ordered that each parish priest should keep a book to record the date of each wedding, baptism and burial, together with the names of those baptized, married or buried.

New Search Technology
The records are available for viewing online and using new search technology, it allows leading genealogy website to provide 5 million parish records which document baptisms, marriages and burials dating from 1538 to be searched more easily.

The Parish Registers are the Church’s official records of local baptisms, marriages and burials. The Registers date from Tudor times when a law of Henry VIII ordered all clergy to record this information in a register in church.
Centralised Civil Registration was introduced in 1837 to provide one location covering all the parishes in the area, however the parish church registers provide the original source data to this day.

How Parish records can help you?
If you have reached a dead end and want to search further back than 1837 then the Parish registers are ideal as they cover more than 300 years of family history and events. References are made to the causes of death including the plague in 1563 and the Plague of London in 1665. Valuable information for your research may include the names of parents, dates, occupation, parish or place name.

Thanks to these registers, history comes alive when you discover records relating to William Shakespeare and his children in The Registers of Stratford-on-Avon (Warwickshire) for Baptisms 1558-1652

William Shakespeare Baptised 26 April 1564 Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere

And his children
Susanna Baptised 26 May, 1583 Susanna daughter to William Shakspere
Hamnet and Judith Baptised 2 February, 1585 Hamnet & Judeth son and daughter to William Shakspere.
(Naturally Latin was in use at the time)

Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of England is mentioned in the London Marriage Licences as the guardian who consented to his sister Mary Walpole’s marriage in May 1684.

Ancestors who lived in the same Parish for more than a few generations, provide a wealth of continuous information. Unfortunately some of the actual Parish records have been lost or destroyed, while some have been copied and stored in County Record Offices. Now researchers have the thrilling prospect of quick, powerful results, and the possibility of finding an original register entry that recorded an event in their ancestors’ lives. now gives easy access to important local records, from churches in Cheshire to burials in Berkshire. Family historians can research their ancestors’ records as contemporaries of famous individuals during the times of Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell or Captain Cook.

Due to the age of the Parish registers they have been scanned and the images of the original printed pages have been made word searchable using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is the recognition of printed or written text characters by a computer to enable the data to be made available on your PC.
See How to search these Documents includes New Search features

The collection is only a part of more than 650 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription of just £30.00 or US$50.00 at

The learn more about these new records and how they can help you with your research please click here