Tuesday, August 16, 2011

British Parliamentary Papers

I have just discovered a very useful new resource – the British Parliamentary Papers.  They are available through the eResources on the National Library of Australia web site (www.nla.gov.au) and are available to anyone living in Australia.  You need a library card to access the resource, and can apply for that card for free online.

You might think that British Parliamentary papers would be boring and of no relevance to Genealogy, but you would be wrong.  I found “Accounts of superannuations and retired allowances in public departments” for the years 1857 and 1863, and these gave me information I have been seeking for ages about my g-g-grandfather, Thomas Spiller.  Thomas was an Inland Revenue Office, or Excise Officer, in Ireland.  I knew he must have died before 1864 as there was no death for him in the Civil Registers, but could not pin it down in anyway.  Nor did I have any idea when he was born.

The 1857 return I mentioned contained a list of Superannuation Allowances granted, and among the list for the Inland Revenue dept for 1856 was Thomas Spiller, salary on retirement £100, age 53, period of service 26 years 11 months, cause of retirement “disease of lungs”, yearly allowance granted £53.

The 1863 document contained information about Superannuation Allowances ceased, and in it I found an entry for Thomas Spiller, died 10 Jul 1862.

So now I know he was born about 1803, and died 10 Jul 1862.  What a find.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

UK Railway records on Ancestry

I love Ancestry.com, and it really is worth every cent I spend on my subscription.  The ever-growing list of new resources being added is so useful.

The two most recent additions I have been using are the records of the Post Office employees in the UK, and the records of the UK railway employees 1833-1963 which went up this week.  My husband’s grandfather and great-grandfather both worked for the railways.  Strangely, I couldn’t find any records for his grandfather, but when I entered the great-grandfather’s name (Frederick George Welch), several entries came up.  I clicked on the first on the list, expecting to find something like a list of employees with his name included, but instead a page from a book of retired senior staff came up, which included his photograph!  We had never seen a photo of this man before.  I called my husband (who has no interest in family history) to come quickly (he probably thought I’d seen another spider or something like that), and showed him the photo.

“So this is Grandpa’s father”
“Yes, that’s right”
“Yep.  I can see it.  I can see the resemblance.”

This entry had his dates of birth & death (although I already knew them) & a complete summary of his professional career

Entered the Service of the London & North Western Rly Company as an apprentice clerk at Aylesbury in November 1881.  He was transferred to Camden in 1882 and in March 1903 was appointed Goods Agent at that station.  In March 1912 he received a similar appointment at Broad Street, London, and in November 1914 he was made Assistant District Goods Manager in London.  He was promoted to District Goods Manager at Leeds in June 1920 & held this position until his retirement in June 1925

The moral of this story is to keep checking the list of recent additions to the ancestry site.  You can check this from home, even without a subscription, and then you know whether you need to go to a library that has access to Ancestry.com to further your research.