Twelve Months of Genealogy – September

September is the month when students return to school so let’s look at records for education.

The first week of September we will examine resources that are available to help you with your research in England. The National Archives website has a section on the History of Education. You will find a list of information held at the archives.

On the right hand side of the webpage you will find a list of guides to help you with researching elementary, secondary, special services, teachers and technical and further education. You will find a section with useful links and relevant repositories. At the end of the page is a bibliography of further reading.

The Family History Library Catalogue (FHLC) is another place to look for information. Using the place search and the term England you get ten options for schools but none for education.

Colin R Chapman and Pauline M Litton wrote a book called “Using Education Records” in 1999 that may provide some assistance in researching English education records.

The second week we will look at the education records for Scotland. The National Archives of Scotland has a guide to explain education records and where to find them. They provide further reading suggestions.

The place search for Scotland in the FHLC has three options for schools.

Let’s examine Irish school records in the third week of September. The National Archives of Ireland provide a guide to sources on National Education. These records range from 1832 to 1924.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland provides a brief outline of the types of records they hold with regards to education. The description suggests it is a very large record source.

Under the “Local History Series” leaflets you can download a PDF called “No. 5 – National School Records” which describes what is available.

The FHLC place search for Ireland has seven options for schools. You can order a microfilm called “Index of teachers qualifying at training college giving subjects in which qualified, 1893-1907 and of teachers competent to teach Irish, 1895-1912.”

When researching Irish school records do not forget about the Hedge Schools, there is a book written by Patrick John Dowling called “The hedge schools of Ireland” that may be able to help. You can find out more about them here.

The last week of September we will look at resources that are available to help you with your search in Canada. In Canada each province and territory is responsible for the education of their citizens.

Library and Archives Canada has a brief description of what is available there and they provide links to provinces and territories for more information.

Marian Press has written a book entitled “Education and Ontario Family History” that examines the records available for teachers and students in the Province of Ontario. The records range from 1785 to the early twentieth century. Marian looks at records available in both traditional and electronic repositories.

The FHLC has three options under Canada relating to schools.

Now that the kids are going back to school take a little time for yourself and research the education records of your ancestors.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

GeneaPopPop at Stardust ‘n’ Roots wrote a post this week called “Sears Catalogue of Genealogists” where he takes a humourous look at some of the different models of genealogists. Which one are you? Or can you choose just one?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings had a post entitled “How do I catch up to 13 years of genealogy sloth?” He returns to a spreadsheet he created in 1998 and had added handwritten notes to the print out. He did not have the electronic file on his computer but he kept backups elsewhere and was able to find it and open the file. Now he has thirteen years to add to this document before he leaves on a research trip. The moral of his story “get better organized.”

The Ancestry Insider has a post called “Beyond the Walls of Your FHC.” They refer to a session given by Art Johnson at the 2011 BYU Family History Conference. It looks at the different places you can find the Family Search community.

Greta’s Genealogy Blog had a posting called “What I Learned Wednesday: Sometimes You Just Need to Clean House” where she describes how she spent the last week really doing a good clear out and cleaning. I always find clearing out the clutter to be a very freeing process and it seems Greta did as well. One big perk is all the extra free space you now have in the house.

Brenda Dougall Merriman had a post this week called “The GREAT BIG FAT WORLD TREE.” I am not going to describe the post here this is one you need to read for yourself.

Randy Seaver’s post called “Serendipity strikes again…and genealogy fun ensues” reminds us of how taking a little time out to just play and have fun while researching online can result in success.

Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon had a posting entitled “What To Do With a 547-Page Probate File.” She talks about finding an extremely large probate file and the frustrations of being able to get access to it in the Court House. She then looks at the problems of copying it and how inspiration can come in an instant. She will certainly have fun going through this file in the years to come. Congratulations on the new job Kerry!

Are there any postings in the last week that you think need to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

In Search of Military Ancestors – Military Archives and Remembrance Projects

These websites are actively remembering the efforts and recording the stories of military personnel involved in the conflicts of the 20th century. If your ancestor did not participate in the project you may find someone who served along side and learn something about their experiences during active service.


Captive Memories is a website that is home to an oral history project involving the 50,000 British servicemen who became Far East Prisoners of War in the Second World War. The dates they cover are December 1941 through March 1942. This is a database that you can search for interviews that were done of 62 FEPOWs. There are sections that provide links and other information.

There is the First World War Poetry Digital Archive which consists of collections of major poets of the time period, multimedia artifacts from the Imperial War Museum and an archive of over 6,500 items which were contributed to the project by the general public.

The Great War Archive not only has items relating to England but also some from Germany. Here you can find links to the Great War Archive Flickr Group, Europeana and Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.

The Imperial War Museum is a wealth of information for anyone doing research into the British military.

The Imperial War Museum has a Sound Archive that covers a broad range of experiences from the Boer War through the two World Wars and more modern conflicts. The recordings themselves are not available online but the catalogue will give you an idea of what is available at the Imperial War Museum.

There is a website in England dedicated to British Military Nurses and it provides information and links to help you with your research. She also has a blog called “This Intrepid Band” where she provides more information.


Dominion Institute and Canadian Heritage have a website called “The Memory Project” whose aim is to “explore over 90 years of military oral history, with firsthand accounts from the First World War through to the present day conflict in Afghanistan.” The website states that the stories were collected between 2003 and 2006. They have just received funding to start the Memory Project: Stories of the Korean War.

The Canadian Military Heritage Project provides links to websites to help with your research and it covers many different conflicts through the ages

United States

The Library of Congress in the United States has a similar project entitled “Experiencing War” from the Veterans History Project. There is an alphabetical listing of the participants.

Have you come across other websites that provide similar information? If so please leave a comment below.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Using the Auckland City Libraries to Find Images Relating to Canada

If you are researching images relating to Canada have you tried the Auckland City Libraries?

They have an online database called “Heritage Images” and when using the search criteria of Canada you find there are seventy images to view.

You can choose the type of images you want to view: News & Newspapers; Research papers; Images; Reference sources; Books, and Magazines. Most of the images are late 19th and early 20th century.

There is an image for a grave marker for Samuel Morrin who was born 12 August 1842 in County of Two Mountains, Canada and died in Remuera Auckland on 15 April 1886. The County of Two Mountains is located in Quebec.

You can find an image for St. Paul’s church with the location being Ontario Canada.

There is a Canada Street in Auckland so you get a few images of the street in the search results.

Some references do not have images and this could be because they have not yet been digitized or for other reasons. You can find information on using and ordering images from the database here.

You never know where you might find information on your family. I wonder if someone is researching the Morrin family and do not know where Samuel ended up? If they find the Auckland City Libraries Heritage Images online he would not be a brick wall any more.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

Free Genealogy Resources had a very good post this past week entitled “Tuesday’s Tip: Act Like You’re Moving.” When you move you usually go through everything and sort it and during this process you may discover a few surprises you had forgotten about. They suggest doing this with your genealogy files to see what treasures you have that may have been forgotten.

Family Search’s Tech Tips had three posts that were of interest this past week.

James Tanner wrote “Online Geographic Resources for Genealogists” where he describes using the Family History Library Catalog to search for records relating to a place. Other websites are examined to see how they can help you with the geography side of genealogy.

He also wrote “A Further Look at Restoring Damaged Photographs” where he takes you through the process of restoring an old photograph.

Denise Barrett Olson wrote “Digital Publishing: The Living Book of the Dead” where she looks at family histories that have already been written and incorporating them into the updated family history that you want to write. She looks at the importance of respecting the work that has previously been done while working with modern research methods and today’s technology. You do not have to write a book there are many other ways to document your family’s story.

This week the Ancestry Insider looked at the Family History Library Catalog with a post called “The FHLC is No More.” The Family History Library Catalog has been renamed “the FamilySearch Catalog.” They have brought the new catalog up to date with the old one. They will eventually be updating the new catalog nightly. There are problems with how the search returns are viewed in the new catalog. Read this post to find out more.

Kerry Scott of Clue Wagon wrote a piece called “In Which I Say “Geni” and “Crap,” But Not In The Way You Think” which gives an important perspective into the recent changes at She looks at the real issues which are that not everything needs to go on the internet, you need to be very careful about what you put the internet and most importantly you need to be careful about using what you find on the internet. No Kerry, you are not the only one who gets hives at the thought of a Great Big World Tree.

Are there any postings in the last week that you think need to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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