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Friday, 2 October 2015

Free Access Weekend to Ancestry UK

It seems doubtful that Ancestry have announced their free weekend just for the Berwick 900 Family History Festival but let's make good use of it.

Free access is until midnight British Summer Time.

I'm puzzled that the Ancestry page says "UK Records Free Access" but lists only immigration and emigration records.

The records include

  • 19th-Century Emigration from Kreis Simmern (Hunsrueck), Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany to Brazil, England, Russian Poland, and USA
  • A List of Emigrants from England to America, 1682-1692 and 1718-1759
  • American Migrations 1765-1799
  • An Alphabetical Index to Ulster Emigration to Philadelphia, 1803-1850
Please note you'll need to login (and register if you haven't logged in before.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Berwick 900 Family History Festival, 11am to 4pm, 3 to 4 October, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

The Family History Festival runs from 11am to 4pm in Berwick Town Hall, Marygate, Berwick-Upon-Tweed,TD15 1BN and admission is free. Map.

will be there to help you research and understand your family history and record your family stories.

There’s an interesting programme of talks throughout both days:

There’ll be an opportunity to ask questions after each talk.

Look at the displays on local families, the last 2 Scottish governors of Berwick Castle, cross-Border marriages, the former Peel Hospital near Galashiels and the Eyemouth fishing disaster.

There is a giant family tree associated with the Greenses starting with John Burgon who was married to Catherine Whillis (both were born in 1730) and their descendants to the present day. Can you help us add to this tree, please ?

We’re also trying to find stories and information on people who lived in the Greenses and Ravensdowne.  Come and see what we have already and add to it.  We need your stories and help. 

There will be activities for children: colouring in and upstairs in the old prison area on Saturday, there’ll be workshops for all to help create sections of a 900 metre-long sculptural rope that will be woven around the town at the end of October. 

While we’re keen to hear or receive more family stories of people associated with Berwick, we’re even keener to help you start your family history, help you solve a family mystery or suggest how you can get more information. Therefore we’re offering one-to-one family history 20 minute sessions with local experts in English and Scottish family history between 11.30 am and 3pm each day.
Booking is essential in advance for a family history session.

To book,send an email and tell us whether you need help with English or Scottish family history.
 There are still some slots which can be booked.

If you are interested in family history or just want to know how to get started, come along and meet people who will be able to help you.

Free Concert Tickets, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Saturday 3 October

Join Berwick 900 to celebrate the wonderful musical heritage of Berwick-upon-Tweed in a free concert featuring some of the region’s finest musicians. 

The concert takes place on Saturday 3 October, 4pm at Holy Trinity Church, The Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed and is expected to go on until 6.30 pm. 
There will be an interval.

The programme includes new arrangements of traditional folk songs and rediscovered compositions found in the archive of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers Regiment arranged just for this concert by Samuel Reed, Anthony Walker and Eleanor Walker. 

The concert will also feature new compositions inspired by Berwick 900 specially commissioned for the occasion by Alistair Anderson, Ailie Robertson, Bob Wilkinson, Samuel Reed and Dominique Le Gendre. 

Performances by Berwick Concert Band, The Golden Square Singers, Tweed Music Centre, The Thursday Singers, Holy Trinity Church Choir, The Small Hall Band, The Northumbrian Ranters, Berwick Arts Choir, The Earl Grey Saxophone Quartet, The Pilot Inn Pub Ceilidh Band, The Palace Green Quartet, Alice Burn and Arthur Cross.

 Tickets are free but booking is essential through the Maltings Box Office: 01289 330999 or book online at the Maltings Theatre.

If you're coming to the concert, make a day of it and come to the Berwick 900 Family History Festival on the same day from 11am to 4pm at Berwick Town Hall.

Friday, 18 September 2015

A Photo of Ann Davy, wife of William Turnbull

From Alan Turnbull, USA

I'm fairly certain that this photo is of Ann Davy, born Wooler, Northumberland,
wife of William Turnbull, my great grandfather. 
It would date from about 1870.

No picture of William survives.
He was struck and killed by a Northwestern Railway passenger train in Highwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, USA, in 1859.

A Turnbull Emigrant Family in USA

From Alan Turnbull, USA:

My great grandfather, William Turnbull, (born around 1813) emigrated in 1834, sailing from Berwick to Canada, accompanied by his wife, Ann Davy, of Wooler, and his slightly older brother, Thomas.

William is said to have been born in Yetholm, Roxburghshire, and in US census records he reports his birthplace as “Scotland”, while Thomas claimed Chillingham, England.

Both boys attended school together, perhaps in Chillingham, or somewhere nearby.  Some of their school exercise books have survived, and doodles on the inside cover show several place names, Chillingham being the most prominent.  I am trying to establish who the brothers’ parents were.  The trio did not stay in Canada, but moved on, ending up in Illinois. William died in 1859.

I’m aware of one ship that sailed from Berwick to Quebec in 1834 -The Good Czar, but I have not found a passenger list.

About the Davy family of Wooler, I know quite a lot, but the Turnbulls have been elusive.

Are you related to this family ?

Do you know which ship, William sailed on ?

If you do, please tell us in the comments below.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Mysterious Berwick Lady on the Poster for the Berwick Family History Festival on 3 and 4 October

People have been asking if we know who the enigmatic lady on our poster is or if we know her name.

She's Ellen McKay known as Nellie, aged 25, born about 1878 in Ireland.

Descending under her chin, there are 4 other photos:

A family photo taken in Easter 1902 - see The McKay Family of Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

We think the other photos are of
  • Constance (Connie ) McKay
  • Nellie and Maud McKay in a group of females
  • Nellie McKay and Winnie McKay
and are described on More Berwick-Upon-Tweed McKay Pictures.

Did you know the family ?

Are you related to them ?

If you can help us in any way to help track down descendants, please do get in touch on 01289 301865 or leave a comment below.  

Bookings for our family history surgeries are trickling in.

The surgery sessions are on Saturday 3 October and Sunday 4 October at 11.30 am, 12 noon, 12.30, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm and 3pm each day with local experts, to help you start your family history, identify records for you to look at, help you scale that brick wall or solve a knotty family history problem.

We have only 16 sessions on offer, and already two are taken.

Booking for these surgery slots is essential (first come, first served), please email us at the address below stating which day and time you prefer and if possible, whether your query is about Scottish or English family history.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Use FindMyPast for Free this Weekend

From 12pm BST on Friday, 18 September  to 12pm BST on Monday, 21 September, you can access lots of family history records and historic newspaper pages at FindMyPast for free.

Access includes:
  • Ireland census records from 1821, 1831, 1841, 1851 and 1911
  • Poverty relief loan records that give an insight into the darkest days of Irish history
  • Military records from conflicts such as the Battle of Waterloo, Crimean War and World War 1
  • Travel and migration records
  • 7 million historical Irish newspaper articles
  • Over 11 million British newspaper pages from 1710 onwards

Extend your family history with FindMyPast's free weekend offer.