Posts Tagged ‘family history’

Proceedings of the Old Bailey

August 24, 2009

The Central Criminal Court in the U.K is popularly known as The Old Bailey. It deals with major criminal cases from Greater London and, in exceptional cases, from other parts of Britain. It stands on the site of the medieval Newgate Gaol, on Old Bailey, a road which follows the line of the City of London’s fortified wall (or bailey), and gives the court its popular name.

In an exciting new project the Proceedings of the Old Bailey have been published online in a fully searchable database. It covers trials from 1674 to 1913 and is the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

This is a particularly valuable resources for people researching their family history. TOTD was able to locate two ancestors in the proceedings, both of which were witnesses (rather than criminals) in trials. It’s amazing to be able to read your ancestor’s actually words. Even if you can’t find a relative reading the transcripts are fascinating and the punishments sobering in there severity.

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/

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Who Doth Thee Thinketh Thou Art?

July 22, 2009

Although this is Moon Anniversary Week on Thing of the Day, we thought it we’d spend today having a look at what’s going on back on Planet Earth. Yesterday a database went online where you can search for soldiers who fought in Medieval Times. This initiative, which is a joint venture from the Universities of Reading and Southampton, also includes details of those present at the Battle of Agincourt:

http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/

Names and archives and all…

July 7, 2009

Following on from the visit to the National Archives at Kew last week, TOTD was ‘filing’ info on a newly ‘discovered’ great-great-great grandfather only to notice a certificate of baptism from 25 years ago this very day.  To mark the occasion (in a Nigerian river as it happened), here are some websites sent in by someone inspired by last week’s visit to the Archives:

Etymology of Christian names:
http://www.behindthename.com/nm/l3.php

Surnames:
http://surnames.behindthename.com/

History, ethnicity, ranking UK names:
http://www.nationaltrustnames.org.uk/