Monday, May 28, 2012

Olympic Records On-Line

Hundreds of historic documents and images relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been made available online by the National Archives in the United Kingdom for the first time.
The new site the Olympic Record includes a timeline feature which enables visitors to track back through time and browse material from every summer olympics, from athens 1896 to beijing in 2008.
The files show the impact the Olympic movement has had in our hsitory in the 116 years since the modern Games were revived. From a brief dispatch in 1896 to the hugh presence today, the records reflect the growth of the Games throughout the 20th century as well as its remarkable survival through two world wars, political turmoil and boycotts.
Highlights from over 180 online records include: records from the London Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948, including arrangements for the first marathonat the now standard distance of 26.22 miles and accommodation and rations for athletes in the aftermath of the Second World War; Foreign Office discussions over Britain's participation in the controversial Nazi-run Berlin olympics in 1936; papers relating to the Greater London Council's plan to host the Olympics in London's docklands in 1984 and 1988 and Manchester's failed bid for the Games in 2000; archived web pages in the UK Government Web Archive from Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The site also provides a gateway to the hundreds of different sporting and cultural activities happening across the country this Olympic northern summer, from celebrations at natioanl and regional venues to local school and community projects.
The National Archives has taken the lead in working with central and local government as wll as sporting, cultural, media and heritage organisations to ensure records relating to London 2012 are preserved for future generations. This will be the prelude to The National Archives taking and making available vast collections of digital records in the future. The National Archives is also helping other organisations to rpeserve and make accessible their Olympic records as a permanent legacy of this extraordinary event.
Photo: Frank Shortland, Cuca Cocoa cycling challenge cup champion.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Medieval Irish Documents Restored

Trinity College Dublin historians have reconstructed invaluable medieval documents destroyed during the bombardment of the Four Courts in 1922. The Four Courts was the home of the Public Record Office, which was catastrophically destroyed when it was bombed in the conflict between pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty forces at the start of the Irish Civil War. It was previously thought that the entire medieval archive had been destroyed, but forty years’ work by a team of researchers at Trinity has led to the reconstruction of more than 20,000 hugely important government documents produced by the medieval chancery of Ireland. The Irish chancery letters are available again in a new publicly accessible and free internet resource known as CIRCLE: A Calendar of Irish Chancery Letters, c.1244–1509.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Genealogy Cruises

Ever thought of going on a genealogy cruise?
Unlock the Past runs regular history and genealogy cruises, which combine the interests of genealogists, history buffs and cruise touring. The genealogy cruise offers added value to researchers who cruise, and a unique conference experience. Cruises include all accommodation, meals and entertainment on board as well as access to over 50 presentations and many other topics on offer in some form throughout the cruise. It will include the general cruise program with various port stops and additional cost shore tours. There are over 50 main presentations by a team of experts, plus more informal special interest groups, workshops and meal table themes on a variety of topics.  Check out the website for prices and further information

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Sunday, May 6, 2012 Launches new AncestryDNA Service has announced the launch the AncestryDNA™ service, a new affordable DNA test that enables purchasers of the DNA test and subscribers of to combine new state-of-the-art DNA science with the world’s largest online family history resource and a broad global database of DNA samples.
The new DNA test analyzes a person’s genome at over 700,000 marker locations, cross referencing an extensive worldwide DNA database with the aim of providing exciting insights into their ethnic backgrounds and helping them find distant cousins who may hold the keys to exciting family history discoveries. By combining these genetic matches with’s 34 million family trees and 9 billion records, AncestryDNA intends to provide a differentiated experience that helps find common ancestors dating back as far as the middle 18th Century.
AncestryDNA will initially be made available by invitation-only to subscribers for $99, with the expectation that the service will be made available to the general public later this year. To learn more about AncestryDNA, or to sign up to be notified once it’s available, please visit

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ancestry Insider

Have you visited the Ancestry Insider yet? The Ancestry Insider is, according to its own website, the unofficial, unauthorized view of and The Ancestry Insider reports on, defends, and constructively criticizes these two websites and associated topics. The author attempts to fairly and evenly support both.
The Ancestry Insider is consistently a top ten and readers’ choice award winner (Although I’m not sure who has voted). He has been an insider at both the two big genealogy organizations, FamilySearch and He was Time Magazine Man of the Year in both 1966 and 2006. And he really is descended from an Indian princess.
Without all the self promotion, it is still a worthwhile blog, reviewing both sites consistently and without favour. So if you hear about any new features, or changes at either of these sites, be sure to check out the review on Ancestry Insider.