Ancestral Atlas a Hidden Mapping Gem

Have you heard of Ancestral Atlas? It is a mapping website. It is free to register and you can upgrade to a subscription for £20.00. When you subscribe you have access to history map layers for England, Wales and Ireland; historical boundary maps for the USA; all new licenced data added to the site; Life Maps functionality and other benefits.

The map is world wide and you add events related to your family history and where they happened. If my Great Great Grandmother was born at 23 York Street in Dublin then I can go to that place on the map and upload the information of her birth. You can decide to keep the information private or share the information. You must register to add your own information.

There is a link for quick help where a box pops up and it has information to help you add a new person, edit an existing person, viewing the location of the people/events in your people list, adding an event when you know the location, and many other options. You have the choice of printing this help page so that it is close at hand when you are entering your information. There is a page of FAQ’s to help you with any questions you may have.

When you look at the map for the place you are interested in you will see little blue balloons and if you click on them then you will get information that someone uploaded regarding a person linked to that place.

You can filter your search by given name, family name, start year and end year.

Visit the website and see what Ancestral Atlas is all about.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have You Checked Out firstworldwar.com Yet?

The website firstworldwar.com bills itself as “a multimedia history of World War One.” There is a wealth of information to be found on this site. The page titles under the heading details are: how it began, battlefield tours, battles, an encyclopedia, source documents, special features, a timeline, war in the air, weaponry and a who’s who. Then you have other headings like multimedia, narratives and site information.

Under the multimedia heading you can find images of battlefields today, maps, propaganda posters, vintage audio and video and vintage photographs. The narratives heading provides links to examples of memoirs and diaries and prose and poetry.

You can read a collection of telegrams between Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II sent in the four days before the start of the war.

There is a story called “A Slow Fuse: Hitler’s Wartime Experience” which looks at how Hitler’s experiences in the First World War shaped the man he became.

If you are looking for more information on the First World War you may find something of interest on the site. The site is a work in progress and is done in the spare time of the sites creator.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Irish Emigration Database – Not just for Ireland

The Irish Emigration Database is a collection passenger lists from ships sailing from the United Kingdom and Ireland to the United States. The information was compiled with the assistance of the Balch Institute Philadelphia, the Ellis Island Restoration Commission and the Battery Conservancy, New York.

You can search the database by surname, first name, gender, age, arrival date range which covers the years 1846 to 1886 and port of arrival. The choices for port of arrival are New York, Boston, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

I used the search term of John Murphy 1846 to 1849 and got 246 results.

The results are sorted by first name, surname, age, sex, occupation, country, Dept. Port, ship, manifest, Arr. Port and Arr. Date.

You can print the full list, an individual passenger or view the ships manifest. When you chose a passenger and then view the ships manifest you get another transcribed list of passengers. The John Murphy I chose came from a ship’s manifest of 315 passengers. They are listed alphabetically.

I was not able to find a more detailed description of the database. The database title of Country I believe is country of origin. Some are listed as England, Ireland, USA and Austria.

This is another resource for passenger lists from the United Kingdom and Ireland. The information is transcribed there are no original images.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Can an Online Archive for a Television Station be a Resource?

A television website might be the last place you would think of looking for information but the BBC Archives Online has some useful recordings that may be able to help you. This is a good resource for finding information that relates to events or times that your family lived through. It provides some good background information.

There is one problem with this resource. You can not view all the offerings as some are restricted to UK viewers only but the ones I mention below are available outside the UK.

If your female ancestors were part of the Suffragettes in the early part of the twentieth century then you may want to check out the Suffragettes Collection. They have interviews with many of the women who were active Suffragettes. Some of the later videos are not available.

You can browse their collections to see if there is anything of interest. I found a collection for Enid Blyton. She was one of my favourite childhood authors. She wrote the Noddy books amongst others. She was voted The UK’s best loved writer beating many well known authors including JK Rowling and Shakespeare.

There is a collection for the Titanic which has interviews with survivors and one called Northern Ireland Snapshots Collection which includes an image gallery of “People and Places in 1940s Northern Ireland.” Unfortunately you can not view the video selections.

Can an online archive for a television station be a resource? Yes.

Happy Hunting!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

A Treasure for Those with Leeds West Yorkshire Ancestors

The West Yorkshire Archive Service has a website called “The Leeds Tithe Map Project.” They have digitized and made searchable the tithe maps of what is now the Leeds Metropolitan District. These maps cover the rural and urban townships from 1838 to 1861. They provide a look at land ownership, land occupancy and land use.

These maps were used by the diocesan and parish officials. Several do have a little damage but they are generally in good condition.

The website says you can compare the tithe maps to other historic maps as well as modern and aerial maps. You can search the database by a persons name and examine the land and its uses. There is an option to download maps using customized search options and print full colour selections from the datasets.

There is a guide to using the “Tithe Map Digital Resource” that you can download as a PDF.

The “Leeds Tithe Map Digital Resource” can be searched by specific township, personal name and postcode. You can browse the maps or search by other options. The last one takes you to a search page where you can search for a particular owner or occupier, use a soundex code search or browse by first letter of the last name.

Other search options include advanced search, plot name search and place search.

When you search by last name you get a transcription of the data that includes: township, parish, plot, landowner(s), occupier(s), plot name, land use, acres, roods, and perches. Then there is a link to the map.

You can save as a spreadsheet, show all on the map or clear the search results and try again.

When you click on the map link you get a digital copy of the map with the plot of land outlined in yellow. The tithe map I looked at was from 1836-51. I had the option to look at the Ordnance Survey (OS) c1890, OS c1910 and a large map. Each time the land in question is outlined in yellow.

On the right hand side you have the details of the plot of land that were found in the search. You can access a modern map, aerial map from 2006 and 1999, OS c1800, OS c1910 and plot details which includes the vicars name to whom the tithes are payable.

Under show more you can show owners on map, show land use on map, township boundaries and plot outlines. The last option is highlighted and this takes you back to your highlighted plot of land. There is the ability to print the view of the map you have found.

I enjoy the ability to view a modern aerial view of the plot of land you are researching. This puts it into a more modern perspective with the historic perspective right next to it.

Other resources on the site include the Tithe to 2009 Trails. These contrast the 19th century area with the modern day area. They are downloadable PDF files with the trail marked on a map and there are pictures and descriptions of the area to learn more as you walk the trail.

They have made the tools on the website available as an outreach program to the community so that everyone from school children to seniors can go out and learn more about the area in which they live.

They went out into the community to run Memory Workshops where they talked to the seniors about their memories of the area to as they say “ensure that the hidden histories of communities across Leeds were uncovered and recorded.” This is something that every community should do to preserve their own community histories and memories.

There is a glossary and FAQ page, copyright guidance and useful links and feedback.

This website is a treasure and it is not only useful to family historians with connections to Leeds but is a wonderful piece of history to hand down to future generations.

If you have ancestors in Leeds then this is an excellent free resource to help you place your ancestors in the area.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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