Mar 242012

There have been a number of additions to the offerings of the major commercial providers this week.  Two that look interesting are British Origins addition of  Middlesex & London Burials 1538-1904 and the UK, Land Tax Redemption, 1798 at



British genealogy blogs I have enjoyed reading this week include:


This week I also read…

Alex Coles’ resource on the One Place Studies site - UK Copyright Considerations for Records of Public Bodies. As a new blogger I have been trying to work out what information and images I can include in my blog.  I have noticed that quite a few bloggers post images of records and certificates, which I have generally avoided, even though they would obviously add interest to the blog. I would be interested to hear comments/advice on this subject from other UK bloggers.


I have posted this week about…

my plans to improve my use of TMG in Getting to grips with The Master Genealogist – Introduction, and as part of my Killing Off My Ancestors project I have been researching wills, but my post on that subject will have to wait until my wills arrive, so this week I also took a look at “In Memoriam” Cards.


If I have missed out any of your favourite UK genealogy blogs this week, let me know below!


Don’t miss my forthcoming post on wills, subscribe to The Genealogy Workshop.


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  7 Responses to “Best of British Genealogy – 24th March 2012”

Comments (7)
  1. Thanks for recommending my site! Did you really read out aloud my transcriptions into you laptop lol? Could you hear the voice of our scribe? Sometimes I think I’m going mad – but I can really hear him!

    • Has to be read aloud for full appreciation!

      I have only recently started thinking about how names and places were pronounced differently in the past, the sources you are sharing are very helpful. No doubt the scribe would think his words being shared in this manner was madness!

    • I think our scribe would think that computers was most certainly the work of the devil and the cry of ‘witchcraft’ would be heard! We’d both be carted off to Colchester gaol!

  2. Thanks for mentioning my article Nicola. Because copyright is a legal issue we ordinary geneafolk are pretty cautious about providing advice or even contributing to discussion on the topic, which is a bit of a shame. With regards to images, it does seem that, legally speaking, census records and civil registration certificates should not be displayed. Many record offices/archives will have as part of their terms and conditions of providing you with images of items from their collections that you will not publish them without permission. I think the two drivers behind this are probably legal cautiousness (some items in their collections will be subject to someone else’s copyright so easier to have a blanket restriction on republishing in the first instance) and economic considerations (part of their income comes from providing us with copies). So that technically rules out using a good proportion of images of genealogical interest on blogs and websites. There are alternatives of course, like asking for permission, or ignoring the issue in the hope your particular case is considered “fair use”. For some things, like census images, you may not need an entire image to illustrate your point. My pragmatic approach is to minimise use and advertise the copyright holder or supplier so others know where they can go to purchase images, thereby ensuring the continuation of access to these great resources. Hopefully then it’s a win-win situation.

    • I really appreciate your comprehensive response.

      I have considered asking permission, but it seems a pain for all concerned for a regular blog.

      I used a couple of partial images to illustrate my first posts, but since then have avoided it, which is a shame because images or the records I talk about would add a lot.

      I think your pragmatic approach, whilst appealing, must still be a breach of copyright? But I agree that by giving the source you are trying to be fair.

      I do see other bloggers post images of certificates and other records, and I suppose I wonder if I’m currently being too careful – does anyone really care?

    • Nicola, I think that record offices do care very much, and so we have to be very cautious of what we post. Essex Record Office found out literally within days of me starting my blog that I was using my own digital images from Great Dunmow’s churchwardens’ accounts and sent me a very snotty email about it. I wasn’t being underhand about publishing my images but I had quite simply forgotten that the form I’d signed two years ago (which allowed me to use my camera) had a clause stating that my own digital images couldn’t be published without their permission.

      Once I’d sorted it out with them, they very quickly granted me permission. They clarified that if I was breaching someone else’s copyright by ‘publishing’ my own images, then they too would be breaching copyright and we would both be liable to persecution. It’s because of their own liability that there is such an issue. However, in my case, there’s a series of clauses in the copyright act which meant that the churchwardens’ accounts are technically not in copyright. Hence my disclaimer that my images appear ‘by courtesy of ERO’ etc. If they were still in copyright, then I’d have had a lot harder job publishing them on my blog.

      Lesson learnt from this was to ask first and the record office will probably give you permission! When you ask state it’s for a hobbyist website and that you don’t make any money from it (otherwise they can charge you). I asked the British Library for permission to use their online images and they replied ‘yes’ within 24 hours! They only stipulated that each image must have their shelf-mark id and the British Library’s copyright notice.

      I’ve certainly found having images on my blog has created a much richer resource for my readers. It also means that a lot of my visitors come to my site via Google’s Image Search where my page rankings are much higher than Google’s normal keyword search.

    • Thanks Narrator, that is really useful and specific info regarding ERO and the British Library. It requires more planning by me, if I want to go down this route. I agree it is well worth it for the types of blog posts you are writing.
      Interesting that ERO found your blog so quickly. I guess ERO are less likely to be accommodating when it comes to parish registers and wills that require a subscription to Essex Ancestors.
      I was also a bit wary of saying it’s a hobby site (which it is), in case I wanted to do anything with it in the future that generated some income – wouldn’t want to change all my images.
      The images on your site look great, I’m glad they are bringing you visitors.
      I can see that I need to spend some time investigating copyright. I’m really glad I raised it here as it has already been very informative.
      If anyone else would like to chip in with their experiences, please do.

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