Posted by on 24 September 2010 in General, Record Collections

Have you got engineering ancestors?  If so, then the engineers’ records at the mechanical, electrical and civil engineering institutes in London are well worth a visit.

Engineering professions expanded massively in the 19th century and people applied for membership and then took examinations, which were set by the Institutes.  The directories and ledgers held at the Institutes show the professional careers of engineers both before and after they joined up, who they worked for and what they did, both within the UK and overseas.  The records have also helped memorialize Institute members who fought in the World Wars and tragically lost their lives.

I would definitely recommend to anyone who has an engineering ancestor to pay a visit to the Institutes and look through their directories and ledgers.  And even if you don’t find an ancestor, they are tremendously rich records, which provide a real insight into what life was like for engineers during the golden age of Victorian engineering and beyond.



as this blog is not bizzy and i know it will not be missed here so sorry of subject but this needs reporting concerning the data base for

London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906

the last update it seems has wiped out the dates and boroughs information that was present BEFORE the update!

when will they be returned

have also sent email to Ann Mitchel at .com

30 September 2010 at 9:39 pm

it seems that also the following has missing fields as above

London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980

30 September 2010 at 11:17 pm

Good Grief! The LMA (London) Baptisms and Burials databases are now useless.

Surely it’s a glitch — they can’t have deliberately wiped out the dates and parishes from their results as some sort of improvement … er, can they?

An acknowledgement from Ancestry stating that there’s a problem would be nice, but from past experience Ancestry doesn’t “do” apologies. I hope I’m proved wrong this time.

Judy (above), please let us know if you get any response from Ann.

1 October 2010 at 6:36 am
Annabel Bernhardt 

Thank you all for your comments – we are taking this very seriously and are in the process of looking into the reasons behind the issues raised. We will feedback to you as soon as we have an update. In the meantime, if you would like to speak to anyone directly please call our Member Services number on 0800 404 97 23.

1 October 2010 at 11:11 am

yes i have had contact from ann asking for more info i sent some screen shots for her. both kenny and ann normally respond to any emails so i knew tat posting here and to ann WOULD GET A RESPONSE TO THIS URGENT PROBLEM even if we dont see a result quickly. sure hope the dates at least are back soon. now all we need is the gro death index for 1916 – 2006 to have the missing age of death along with estimated yearthat don’t show on some of the records to be added .


1 October 2010 at 4:34 pm

#5 Judy, it’s good to hear that Ann Mitchell has got back to you. Let’s hope these LMA databases are fixed very, very quickly …

… not, as you point out, like their dreadfully implemented GRO Deaths Index 1916-2006. It is extremely frustrating searching on a common name for someone who died before 1969 (the year dates of birth were included on the deaths index). Ancestry put that index online *TEN MONTHS* ago, and we’re still waiting.

By the way, what county does the registration district of Sglos belong to? If you select Gloucestershire from the dropdown menu, 21,805 people who died in Sglos between 1984-2005 don’t even appear in the index!

And then there’s the Devon/Devonshire mixup …

2 October 2010 at 10:51 am
Web Operations 

Hi Chagoi, if you do a no-name search in the 1916-2005 death index with the location as ‘sglos’, you will get 21,805 returns.

Are you able to provide a little more detail regarding the Devon/Devonshire mixup?

4 October 2010 at 2:44 pm

the point being made i believe is there is no where in England called


if as i suspect this is meant to be

‘south Gloucestershire’

then why has the records been entered under


and as to Devon/ Devonshire

although i have not personal seen this problem i think what is being pointed out is that Devon is referred to as just that not as Devonshire!

so if there are records with Devonshire in the transcript then they have been wrongly transcribed.

and LASTLY a reminder that some of the LMA records when they were transcribed were listed under the wrong county for example

Lambeth is not in the county of Middlesex as stated in the LMA records but in the county of surrey. the errors in the transcriptions of the LMA in regard to the incorrect counties allotted were reported when the records were placed on line and still they are not corrected.

those of us from the UK know of course the fact that there is no place / county such as ‘sglos’ and that Lambeth is not in Middlesex but in surrey. but a large number of people who use ancestry DO NOT come from the UK and would just assume that the county is correct letting them assume this is very wrong and it does not appear very professional to your UK users or those out with the UK who do know their geography

4 October 2010 at 5:10 pm

LOL Judy, you beat me to it! Well I typed all this out so might as well post it.

Yes, that is correct, 21,805 people died in the district of Sglos. Choose the first name on that list:

Leslie Aaronson who died there in Oct 2000.

Now, delete Sglos and leave district box blank.
Choose Gloucestershire from the dropdown County menu and search for the same Leslie Aaronson.

There are no results, because you have omitted the county name from the “Inferred County” field, therefore he/she didn’t die there. (I am presuming that Sglos is meant to be the registration district of South Gloucestershire, created in 2003 or so.)

Deaths registered before 1984 have an “Inferred County” of Devonshire. However, on your dropdown county menu, I can only choose Devon, which cuts out all the people who died in Devonshire.

A no-name search for all the (dropdown) DEVON deaths gives 337,949 results.
A no-name search for DEVONSHIRE entered in the keyword box gives 774,220 results.
This gives a total of 1,112,169.

A no name search with only DEVON* entered in the keyword box gives 1,114,503 results (but 3212 of those are people whose name begins with Devon*).

4 October 2010 at 5:13 pm

this is a positive confirmation of the usefullness of the engineering institute mentioned above ,
the mechanical engineering institue on bird cage walk london hold archive material on engineers applications and some memorials of those of note,
i was lucky recently to contact them via email as cannot get to lindon,they where very helpful and did a search for me for a small fee i got copies of a few documents ,
my ancester being sydney smith the inventor and engineer.

lynn harris

6 October 2010 at 9:36 pm