Our group meetings are held every third Monday afternoon at 2pm- our next one is Monday 17th June – at The Community Room, Tesco Store, Brookfield Centre [next to the Bakery section]. Beginners and advanced researchers welcome. Even if you have no one to ask in your family we can help with the use of the computer, just turn up with any family certificates or documents you might have along with pencil and paper and we’ll do our best to help you get started or break down your problematic brick wall!
The Family History Fair held at Alexandra Palace on 26th and 27th April was a huge success and will probably be repeated there again next year. Many hundreds of people attended and enjoyed browsing over 160 stalls with vast collections of family history books relating to ancestors from all over the country. Also available was various group workshops and lectures by family history professionals, especially on the “new” family history record – DNA! For those who travelled by train the convenience of a free shuttle bus at Wood Green and Alexandra Palace railway stations was a bonus and for those who braved the busy roads by car, they were rewarded with free car parking.
Question: Assuming you are reading a reference book and you want to know if what you are looking for is listed in the book, what do you do? Answer: You simply consult the index! Well the same applies to family history, although not all indexes are available online just yet. The Civil Registration index of all births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales [GRO Index] started in 1837 and is one, if not the most, significant resource for genealogical research. Unfortunately the index is no longer available in book form and can only be consulted online. However, luckily for family historians the transcribing of the GRO index is an ongoing project currently being carried out by teams of volunteers and consulting the GRO Index for the period 1837-1992 is now freely available. This means that everyone is able to check out the index for entries relating to their family at www.Freebmd.org.uk completely free of charge! Unbelievably, on 3rd August 2018 the website reported that transcribers had completed over 344,760,247 entries, so your relations are bound to be listed! If this has whetted your appetite, why not come along to our group meeting and find out more.
Another bit of good news for family historians is that the General Registrar Office online at ...... www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates, are extending their pilot scheme of issuing pdf [portable document format] copies at the cheaper rate of £6. The Indexes of births 1837-1917 [now show the mothers maiden name] and deaths 1837-1957 [now show the age at death] making it easier to order the right persons certificate, so if you have a few of these to buy now is the time to apply. They will however require the Volume and Page numbers of each individual certificate applied for and free online access to the Indexes of BMD providing this information, can be found at www.freebmd.org.uk. Many are unaware of this very useful free website, ie: the listing of GRO Indexes to all England and Wales births, marriages and deaths, the latest update on 15 March.... BMD indexes currently contains 266,897,565 distinct records (341,875,379 total records). With that amount currently available, it is very unlikely the person you are looking for does not appear in the national indexes. So come along to the meeting and have another go at finding your ancestors, there are heaps of websites out there and multiplying year by year!
Please speak to the Group Leader, Rena King, at the Cheshunt U3A Monthly Meeting or contact Rena via our "Contacts" page - Enquiries on Groups.