366 Days of Genealogy – February

Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and February’s was maps. You will get bonus posts relating to the theme but only on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page these will not be posted on the monthly blog review.

February 1

Do you have a file containing maps for each family group representing each place the family lived? Write down the place names where your family lived. Include the parishes, civil districts, ecclesiastical districts, town, townland, township, city, county, province, state, and country.

February 2

Draw a map for each jurisdiction found in the area where your family lived. You can draw the maps on a single page and use different coloured pencils to differentiate the jurisdictions. On the side create an index to show the jurisdiction each colour represents.

February 3

You have created a map for a specific place where your ancestors have lived. Now write a list of the names for jurisdictions surrounding the place where your ancestors lived.

February 4

Draw a map for the surrounding jurisdictions that relate to the place where your ancestors lived.

February 5

You have created two maps to be used as a resource to help you with your research. Now go and see what records are available for each jurisdiction and look at each level.

February 6

Add your maps and record lists to your research plan as references to help you while you are doing research.

February 7

Do you have printed maps of the areas in which your ancestors lived? Buying an old map can be a useful tool in your research since the boundaries could have changed over the years.

February 8

Look at the areas where your ancestors lived on a modern day map. Google maps are a good resource for this as you can see what the area looks like today. Don’t forget that some road names and house numbers could have changed over the years.

February 9

If you have English ancestors then check out the England Jurisdictions 1851 map at FamilySearch. You can narrow the search down to a town or parish. You can take the search further to see the different jurisdictions related to a parish. Then you can see if there are any church records available through the Family History Library.

February 10

Have you tried Ancestral Atlas? You can sign up for free and can upgrade to a subscription for £20.00. Users add family history events to the map. You can attach your family information to a place where it happened and decide to share it or keep it private. If you find a pin in an area of interest then click on it to see who else has added information. This covers the world and you never know what you may find.

February 11

If you have Irish ancestors then check out Ordnance Survey Ireland. You can browse their maps or look at a PDF version of Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary. There are two series of maps which date from 1837-1842 and 1888-1913. You can browse the maps online or you can purchase them.

February 12

You can find Irish County Maps at the London Ancestor website. They also have maps for London, England, Scotland and Wales.

February 13

Looking for maps of Scotland? Then check out The National Library of Scotland website. They have maps ranging from 1538 through to the modern day.

February 14

There is a Gazetteer for Scotland online and you can find details of towns and villages throughout Scotland.

February 15

If you have ancestors that are from Canada or some who passed through you can find some maps at The Atlas of Canada website. There is a link to historical maps.

February 16

The National Archives of England have a website called Labs where you will find links to the Valuation Office Map Finder and the Doomsday map which allows you to search for some of the places mentioned in the Doomsday book.

February 17

If you are looking for maps of the United States of America there is a site called Atlas of Historical County Boundaries that could be useful.

February 18

Another source for maps for the United States is the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. They have a collection of maps that are available online.

February 19

A resource for world maps is The Map as History website.

February 20

Maps are a great resource to help you figure out the migration pattern of your ancestors. The New World Encyclopedia has a section on Human Migration that is interesting.

February 21

If you have connections to Australia the National Library of Australia has an online digitized map collection.

February 22

Those with New Zealand connections may want to check out the digitized map collection at Christchurch City Libraries.

February 23

Christchurch City Libraries also have an online collection of digitized maps from around the world.

February 24

For those who have a military ancestor and are interested in find out more about where they fought then a battlefield map would be the place to start. You can find a World War II Military Situation Map for Western Europe at the Library of Congress American Memory Project website.

February 25

Do you have an ANZAC in your family? Then check out the Mapping Gallipoli page on the Australian War Memorial website.

February 26

Firstworldwar.com has a collection of battlefield maps and others that cover all the countries affected by the First World War. It is a good site to find out more about the First World War.

February 27

To learn about reading maps you can read the about.com guide to map reading or download a PDF file of “Map Reading Guide: How to Use Topographical Maps.” I recommend downloading the PDF file as it is easy to understand and covers most points.

February 28

You can find a broad range of historic maps at the British Library website.

February 29

For more links check out Cyndi’s List “Maps & Geography.”

To get a new tip each day all you have to do is “Like” Blair Archival Research.

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366 Days of Genealogy – January

Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and January’s was organization. You will get bonus posts relating to the theme but only on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page these will not be posted on the monthly blog review.

To get a new tip each day all you have to do is “Like” the Blair Archival Research page.

January 1

Start the year by updating your database. Add information that might be missing from the database but that is in your files.

January 2

Are you finding that your organizational method is not working for you? Check out the Family Roots Organizer to see if they can help.

January 3

Go through your family history files and see what is in there. When was the last time you did this? You never know what you may find. There might be a bit of information in there that is the key to something you have been researching.

January 4

Only have five minutes to spare today then check out FamilySearch. They have a webinar called “5 Minute Genealogy Episode 14: Organize Your Records.”

January 5

Do you have a pile of paper that needs to go into your family files or be scanned into your computer? Spend the day sorting it into piles that relate to your filing system of choice. This might be surnames, place names, or family groups.

January 6

Today let’s file those papers that you started to organize yesterday.

January 7

How is your filing system set up on your computer? Are you finding the files easily? Are there files you are not using or maybe some that are so full you can’t find anything? Take one of those files and organize them today.

January 8

Have you got loose photographs floating around in the albums? Then organize them in the album and don’t forget to label them.

January 9

Do you have a box of pictures that are of unknown souls? Pick one picture and spend the day trying to find out who it is.

January 10

If you weren’t able to find out much about your unknown family photograph see if Dead Fred can help.

January 11

Still having difficulty with that photograph then see what Cyndi’s List has to offer under Photographs & Memories.

January 12

Have you got those digital files backed up? Is a duplicate copy held off site? Spend today backing up your digital files and sending a copy to a family member for safe keeping.

January 13

Did you know that in a fire a wooden file cabinet has a better chance of preserving your family history than a metal one? The metal file cabinet absorbs the heat and while it may still be standing the paper inside is ash. A wooden one takes longer to burn so there is a better chance of the files surviving.

January 14

Are you using archival materials to preserve your family treasures? Spend today looking for a local supplier of archival material to preserve your items. Shop around for a price that suits your budget.

Some sources are: Genealogy Store and Global Genealogy.

January 15

While protecting your family treasures why not write a note to go with them so that your family knows where the item came from and the family to which it is connected.

January 16

Take a digital photograph of the family heirloom. Create a book of family treasures which includes the photograph and the history of the item. This could be a lovely gift to give family members.

January 17

We talked about organizing your family history database on January 1st now lets create your research plan for the coming year. Go through your database and see where the blanks are found. Write a list of the records you need to find and a list of where you might find them. Your family history program may have a section that will help you collect all this information in one place.

January 18

While you are going through your database to create your research plan make a note of the places where your source citations need improving.

January 19

Take the time today to improve the source citations in your database.

January 20

Do you have a long list of genealogy bookmarks? See if the categories need to be expanded upon or maybe you can consolidate them. The Tech Tips FamilySearch blog has a post about Diigo. Would this work for you?

January 21

While you are organizing your bookmarks don’t forget to click on each link to make sure it is still valid.

January 22

Sometimes when you save a link to your bookmarks the title is not very descriptive. Edit the titles on your bookmarks so that it makes it easier to find websites.

January 23

Do you have a library of books that relate to your family history research? Go through your library and check to see if the books are still in good condition. Is there a note or page corner turned down with something you were once going back to check? Make a note and add it to your research plan.

January 24

Have you got duplicate books? Donate them to a local library, genealogy society or historical society.

January 25

Are there books or other related items that are on your wish list? Create the list and take it with you to conferences.

January 26

Have you ever used Library Thing? Why not add your library to this online catalogue. If you are away and find a book but are not sure if you already have it you can check the catalogue at the nearest online computer. You can add 200 books for free or as many as you like for a year ($10) or life ($25).

January 27

Have you searched Google Books or Internet Archive to see if any of the books you are looking for are available for free digitally? You can create a catalogue in your bookmarks for books you have found online. You can also keep a written catalogue in a word processing program.

January 28

How many CDs and DVDs do you have in your library? How are they stored? You can store them in a container specifically for CDs. Do you know what is on them? If not then go in and see what they contain and create an index for the CDs in your library. If the CD is not of use then donate it. If it doesn’t work on your system anymore then destroy it.

January 29

Create a catalogue for your CDs and DVDs in a word processing program. You can add it to the same catalogue you created for your books or keep the two separate.

January 30

Do you know what is on all your thumb drives? Label each drive with a letter or number and then create an index in a word processing program. If there is nothing on the drive that is useful then clean the drive off and have it ready for your next research adventure.

January 31

Looking for more tips on organizing your family history? Check out Cyndi’s List Organizing Your Research.

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