Great weekend ahead for genealogy and International Women’s Day
This weekend sees International Womens Day on Sunday March 8th. The Society of Genealogists is encouraging all family historians to focus on our women ancetors who so often get overlooked as we follow back our paternal surname lines. The days when when females were left off pedigrees or relegated to the end of the line after their brothers are thankfully long gone but it's not unusual to find women recorded only in relation to their fathers and husbands e.g. the wife of Mr Smith or the daughter of Mr Jones as can be seen in these birth, death and marriage notices from the Times in 1816. So in celebration of women the Society challenges all family historians to tweet or blog about their sassiest , most fascinating female ancestor. If you have good pictures post them to Twitter or Face Book page with the hashtags #genealogy #IWD2015 and #MakeIt Happen. We are really looking forward to seeing the pictures and find out what you discovered.
To get you on your way SoG partner Findmypast has made its collection of 2 billion records and 10 million newspaper pages, absolutely free to everyone until Midnight on Monday 9th March. Of course findmypast is always free at the library of the Society of Genealogists and our volunteers will help you get started.
Some great datasets for tracing women can be found on Findmypast including recently added records for the Women's Army Auxillary Corp, 1917-1929; Women's Royal Airforce Service Records, 1918-1920; Office Files and Service Registers from the Women's Royal Naval reserve and of course many women are noted in the SoG's collection of Civil Service Evidences of Age which now has an enhanced and corrected index on Findmypast along with images of all the evidence papers themselves.
Containing nearly 65,000 records, the British Civil Service Evidence of Age records were collected by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to establish accurate birth records for their staff, to ensure they were of minimum age or eligible for a pension. This collection spans evidence of birth from 1752 up until the 20th century, although the great majority of births recorded took place in the 19th century. The records are declarations of births by parents or a signed testimony of an individual’s birth date in place of a birth or baptism record. They were provided by the Society of Genealogists, whose indexers have not only transcribed the civil service post-holder or candidate, but also any relatives named in the same document where a date of birth was given for them. There may be very little information recorded about such relatives: typically, an estimated date of birth and their relationship to the main individual. Where these relatives were parents of civil service employees, they may well have been born well before the start of the 19th century. Scanned colour images to the majority of the indexed records are now available for the first time.
Please do tell us what you find out about your female anestors during your findmypast free weekend by tweeting our genealogist @ SoGGenealogist or on the Society of Genealogist Face Book page