The Latest news, records & research tips from Ancestry.co.uk| Archived Newsletters
Our millions of occupational records reveal intricate details of your ancestors’ working lives. Now, with our latest collection, you can track down the most prominent tradespeople in London over nearly 250 years.
London Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681–1925, gives details of over two centuries of self-employed workers in the English capital.
Today, you might think of the freedom of the city as a ceremonial honour. But from the 17th to the early 20th century, the award was extremely important to ordinary working people.
For one thing, it meant they enjoyed far more recognition in their chosen trade. Proving that you were a Freeman showed your customers that you were a prominent, respected and trustworthy tradesman.
Often, though, it also gave them certain privileges that were vital for them to carry out their work. Freemen could vote in parliament and in civic elections, and were even exempt from certain tolls. These rights were important to public figures like aldermen or sheriffs, and also more humble stonemasons and merchants.
The status of Freeman was traditionally reserved for members of livery companies and guilds. As time went on, though, individual citizens were granted the honour in recognition of their importance to the city—or because they paid a substantial fee for the privilege.
Our new collection, created from original records at the London Metropolitan Archives, reveals almost 600,000 London citizens. Despite the male-sounding title, it’s important to note that not all Freemen are actually men—women have been among them ever since the 17th century.
Find an ancestor in the records, and you’ll discover their birthplace and date, when they were given the Freedom, and often details of the Master they learned their trade from.
Search our records now
Our Freedom of the City papers are available to Premium and Worldwide members. Upgrade your membership now
Good news this month for millions of people looking for their ancestors’ stories in many of the busiest counties in England. The second part of our 1911 Census transcriptions will be available from 8th December—and you’re the ones to benefit.
We released the first load of transcriptions last month, covering Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. With this latest addition, over half the 1911 Census records will be fully searchable on our site.
The new transcriptions hail from many of the most populated parts of the country. These include the most crowded area of all—London. By 1911, England’s capital was well on its way to becoming the thriving metropolis that it is today, with a population of over 4.5 million. Most of you will have family that lived in London, and even those who don’t may well find ancestors staying at a second home or business premises.
But there’s far more to this release than the capital. It includes records from Yorkshire—a centre of reform in 1911 with the rise of the Labour party; Lancashire—where the suffragette movement was particularly strong; Warwickshire—at the centre of the nation’s travel industry; and several other counties.
Remember, the 1911 Census is the first census where you can view the actual forms your ancestors filled in. That means you can study their handwriting and signatures, and look for any extra comments they may have made. The records also provide extra details not included in previous years, such as how long couples had been married and how many children they’d had.
All the scanned census images are already available at our site. Over the past few months, we’ve been working on the transcriptions that allow you to search for individual names and other details, as you do with most of our other records. We’re continuing to work on the remaining transcriptions—these will be available on our site next year.
Here’s a full list of the areas that are now searchable:
Who Do You Think You Are? Live is the perfect event for anyone who’s interested in family history. Nowhere else offers the same opportunities to meet like-minded people, share your experiences and get expert help with your discoveries.
This annual exhibition is once again just around the corner. Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 takes place at London’s Olympia hall from 24th–26th February. Whether you’re a regular attendee or a show newbie, you can’t afford to miss it.
All family history’s leading lights will be there, revealing their latest products and introducing you to new records. You can also meet local societies from all over the country and get help with more specific questions.
Stars from the latest TV series will talk about their experiences and delve deeper into their stories in the celebrity theatre. Plus, look out for special areas dedicated to military history, DNA and photography.
Of course, at the centre of it all will be Ancestry.co.uk. We’ll have experts on-hand to answer your questions and help you use the site. Plus, we’ll be running free workshops all weekend at the Ancestry Academy. You can save money on your visit to Who Do You Think You
Are? Live, with our exclusive ticket offer. Get 2 tickets for £22 quote ANC2422 to take advantage—offer ends 10th February 2012.
The Ancestry Advent Calendar is back. And this year’s holiday countdown is packed with even more research tips and special prize draws.
The fun started on December 1st, but don’t worry you can still join the party. Just put on a bit of Slade or Wizzard to get you into the festive spirit and head to our Advent Calendar page to open all the windows you’ve missed.
Then make sure you check back each day for all your great gifts. You’ll find top tips to help you make the most of the site and grow your family tree; Christmas challenges to test your skills with our records; and chances to win a variety of great prizes!
By the New Year, you’ll have all kinds of new tricks to try around the site, plus hopefully some exciting goodies to keep you occupied until Spring. That’s got to be better than an orange and some socks!
Start opening your calendar now
Build your family tree at our site, and you have your entire family history available any time you’re sat at a computer. But now you can take that even further. If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, download our new mobile app, and you have constant access to your discoveries, whether you’re visiting a record office, chatting to friends or sat on the bus!
The Ancestry App is free to download. Install it on your phone or iPad, and you have access to your entire Ancestry.co.uk tree—or you can build one from scratch. You can add new family members, edit their information, add life events, attach historical documents, and even add photos. Any changes you make will automatically be applied to your online tree, so it’s completely up-to-date next time you log on.
With the latest version of the app, you even receive Hints to help you make new discoveries. Just like if you were at our site, the Hints tell you that we think we’ve found new information about your ancestors in our records. Simply look for the shaky leaves on your tree.
Press on a Hint, and you can see the entire record we’ve found, and pan and zoom around to check every detail. If you don’t have a membership that includes that record, you can preview it three times, and you then have the option to buy it from within the app.
If you like what you see, you can ask the app to automatically merge any new information—plus any newfamily members—into your tree. You can then go back and view the record any time you like.
The Ancestry App gives you access to your family history wherever and whenever you need it. To download it, just visit the App Store on iTunes or from your device. And if you own an Android phone, keep your eye out—we’ll have a version for you very soon!
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