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Monday, 13 October 2014

Attend Free Family History Workshops

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who most of us know and refer to as "the Mormons", are running a free family history days from 9am to 4pm on 15 November 2014 at Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland and 30A Colinton Road, Edinburgh.

The program for Edinburgh is that registration starts at 9am and orientation at 9.30 am.

Between 10am and 4pm there will be 4 workshops:
How to Use Family Search
How to Use Family Tree
Scottish Research
Irish Research

The program for Sunderland hasn't been finalised but it starts at 12.30 and goes on to 4pm.
There will be a lunch break but you have to provide your own lunch.

Registration is essential for Edinburgh Family History Day and Sunderland Family History Day, which is followed by 2 subsequent emails.

If that date or those locations aren't convenient, there are fairs in other towns and cities and dates planned - search for your family history day location.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Berwick Record Office Needs You !

The Northumberland Archives, including the Berwick  Record Office has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund to find out and make more accessible the archives and information it holds relating to the First World War.

To help them do that, Berwick Record Office is looking for volunteers who want to delve into the archives and find out information about the North Northumberland area and its inhabitants during the World War I.

If you are interested in finding out more about the project and becoming involved, there will be an open meeting in the Berwick Record Office in Wallace Green  on Tuesday 30 September at 2pm.
At the meeting, Linda Bankier will talk about the project and what they hope to achieve.

For further information or if you would like to be involved but can’t attend, please contact Linda Bankier on or telephone (01289) 301865.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Heritage Open Days Weekend, 12 to 14 September

The annual Open Doors weekend takes place in Berwick from 12 to 14 September. Full list of buildings open and events taking place in Northumberland

Some of the following may interest you :

Saturday 13th September : St Oswald’s Way - Enjoy a guided short walk led by Michael Mountney around the Bamburgh area and back via a circular route including part of St Oswald's Way. Going is easy. Distance approximately 5 miles. 10.-00 to 13.00. Meet at the Car Park below Bamburgh Castle.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September : Belford Hall – enjoy a tour of this listed Georgian building. 11.00 to 16.00 each day.
Sunday 14th September : Belford Hidden History Museum Open Day – Find out fascinating stories about the village’s history. This year there is a special focus on World War I. Open 10am to 4pm.

Friday 12th September : Magistrates Court in Church Street, Berwick. You can see around the Court, talk to some of the present JP’s, see a re-enactment of a recent case (11am and 2 pm.) and hear a talk on 19th century crime in Berwick at 3pm. The court is open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 3.45pm.

Friday 12th September : Portraits of Northumberland at Wallace Green Car Park. Come and visit the converted horse wagon and help Julia Barton and Carl von Weiler collect memories of streets, shops and houses in Berwick. Open 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 13th September : Baptist Church in Golden Square. Formerly the Grammar School. Hosting an exhibition on the schools and churches of Golden Square and the Royal Tweed Bridge (the "New Bridge") of 1928, the building of which destroyed the square. Interesting features remain including the Grammar School plaque, the School House plaque, scrolled kneelers on gables and the grooved window sills. Open 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 13th September : Berwick Drill Hall in Ravensdowne. See around the Drill Hall and find out about Berwick in 1914. Open 10am to 1pm.

Saturday 13th September :  Tour of the Council Offices (Old Goal) in Wallace Green. Find out about the history of the building and inspect the cells ! For those not wanting to go on the tour, there will be a small local history exhibition in the foyer of the Council Office building. First tour at 10.30am and then every half hour with last one at 1.30pm.

Saturday 13th September : Ditch to Bastion and Castle Tour  - guided walks led by Jim Herbert. Castle Tour at 09.30 and 13.30, Ditch to Bastion, 11.30 and 15.30. See website for more details.

Saturday 13th September : Portraits of Northumberland at Wallace Green Car Park. See entry for Friday. Open 10.00 – 16.00.

Sunday 14th September : Story of Spittal Guided Walk.  Come and enjoy a guided walk around Spittal and find out more about its history. They start at 11.30 am and 2pm. Meet at the Lifeboat Station at Carr Rock.

Sunday 14th September : Archaeology and Artichokes and Tower Tour – guided walks led by Jim Herbert. Tower Tours at 10.00 and 11.30. Archaeology and Artichokes 13.00;14.30 and 16.00. 

Lowick Sunday 14th September : Lowick Pilgrim Trail. - This walk is organised by Lowick Heritage Group and explores the medieval pilgrim route from Lowick towards Holy Island. It  will follow the pilgrim way from the centre of the village to Hunting Hall. Refreshments  available at Hunting Hall. Starts at Bastle Corner at 2pm. All welcome.

Sunday 14th September : Guided Walk over site of Battle of Homildon Hill. Visitors will be able to take part in a guided walk over the site of the Battle on the date of its 612th anniversary. The walk will last approximately 90 to 120 minutes. Meet at Humbleton at 2pm but check website for details.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Ancestry Canada Offers Free Access until 2 September

To celebrate Canadian Labour Day, Ancestry Canada appears to be offering free access to worldwide family history records and images for a limited period.

Their advert page says the offer ends at midnight on 1 September and assuming that's in the westernmost part of Camada, that's 8am British time.

As with other Ancestry offers, you'll presumably need to log in, so if you haven't already done so, register free and log in.

Search Ancestry Canada.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bygone Borderlands 2014 - 10am to 4pm on 6 and 7 September

I'm sure it'll be fun for both adults and children  - a celebration of Border heritage and history, reflecting on last year’s commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Flodden.

It takes place at The Haining, Selkirk from 10am to 4pm on 6 and 7 September.

There’ll be displays by Berwick Record Office, Borders Family History Society, the Hawick Heritage Hub, Jedburgh Grammar School, primary schools in Hawick, Lilliesleaf and Selkirk; an arts and crafts tent, a storytelling and quill writing tent, and a tent for talks and music. Refreshments will be for sale, too.

Programme of talks and music:

Linda Bankier will be fielding your Northumberland family history queries.

Please note: There’s room only for disabled parking (blue badge holders) at The Haining, so they’re asking people to park at Selkirk High School, TD7 4EW (enter from Hillside Terrace) and there’ll be a free shuttle bus to take visitors to and from the Haining.

Admission is free, so we hope that you’ll all come and see us sometime this weekend.

Download the Bygone Borderlands 2014 brochure.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Hatches, Matches and Dispatches - What Do Certificates Tell Us ?

Northumberland and Durham Family History Society is holding a meeting in the Bell View Resource Centre, 33 West Street, Belford, Northumberland, NE70 7QF at 10am on 20 September titled 'Hatches, Matches and Dispatches - What Do Certificates Tell Us ?'

There are often problems with birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates whether you're looking at English or Scottish family history, so it's worth hearing what the speaker, Anthea Lang has to say.

On Sunday, 31 May next year, Borders Family History Society has a talk with a similar title, 'Hatches, Matches and Dispatches' but it will be given by Marjorie Gavin.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Another Member of John Hamilton Hall's Family Joins the Berwick Guild

My earlier articles about John Hamilton Hall, born in Coldstream on 22nd October 1799 were John Hamilton Hall - Dangerously Assumed to be Unique and John Hamilton Hall's Application to Join the East India Company.

I gave a talk about him in Berwick-upon-Tweed about 6 weeks ago and was asked lots of questions.
By a strange but happy coincidence, Linda Bankier, the archivist at Berwick Record Office informed me a few weeks later that one of John’s great great granddaughters was going to be admitted as a Freeman of Berwick Guild and she suggested that I go along to watch. It turns out that the Admission Ceremony is open for anyone to attend and it’s normal for the applicants’ family and friends to do so.

When I arrived at the Guildhall, I was greeted by the Halberdier dressed in a serge morning-suit; the applicants were having a walk-through of the ceremony so on his instruction I waited in the ante-chamber where the Chairman of the Guild was being enrobed.
The Ceremony is formal but friendly.
We stood. The Sergeant at Mace entered, bearing the Mace and was followed by the female Mayor wearing a suit of the same colour as the Halberdier and an ornate gold chain around her neck. She was accompanied by the Sheriff and the Town Clerk.
There was a speech by the Mayor, each of the 3 applicants stated their claim, the Town Clerk confirmed that the claim had been verified and the applicants' sponsor confirmed the identity of the applicant.
Each of the applicants, in turn claimant, took the Freemen's Oath, to uphold the law, the traditions of the Guild and take care of fellow Freemen's belongings.
The Mayor told the Town Clerk to enter the applicants' names in the Freemen's Roll and the applicants signed the book.
The Mayor and the Sheriff each addressed the meeting and the Chairman of the Guild welcomed the new Freemen, clothing them with the purple robes of a Berwick Freeman.
After the ceremony, there was lots of photography.
If you get the opportunity, it’s worth watching; the next ceremony is on 30th September.

More information on the Berwick Guild and the ceremony.