“The Descendants” and Family History

Last week I had the privilege of promoting of the DVD/Blu-Ray release of “The Descendants” starring George Clooney. It is a movie that has a thread of family history that connects the ancestors of the past with the future descendants of the King family. There is another story that brings it all together. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

My promotional tour began with an interview by Matthew Wright of the National Post. On Monday morning it was Sun News Network with Alex Mihailovich. On Wednesday I was at CHCH television in Hamilton with Bob Cowan and on Friday it was Rogers TV Daytime Peel series with Brigitte Truong and Jason Marshall.

The process was fun and it was great to see how many people were interested in their family history.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The findmypast.ie blog had a post called “The Quagmire of Administrative Districts – Part 2” which looks at Irish Poor Law Unions, Dispensary districts and Registrars’ Districts.

The Family Recorder blog had a post called “Tuesday’s tip – using the London Gazette” which reminds us of the usefulness of this free resource.

The Irish Genealogy News blog has been very busy this week. They wrote a post called “Monumental Roadshow for grass-roots heritage” which is about the Historic Graves Roadshow providing educational workshops to local communities to help preserve the grave markers in local cemeteries. I think something like that would be a wonderful resource to any community in the world.

They also looked at “Ireland Inspires campaign launched” which is a project of the Federation of Irish Societies in the UK. It is “an umbrella organization for Irish groups in the UK.” This campaign is being launched in conjunction with the Olympics and it is promoting Irish culture.

The Irish Genealogy News blog has another post called “How to kill off goodwill, in one easy lesson.” This refers to the changes at RootsIreland regarding their fee structure and the new charges for search results. Chris Paton of British GENES also has a post regarding this issued called “Adding to the RootsIreland chorus.”

The ActiveHistory.ca blog has a post entitled “Illusionary Order: Cautionary Notes for Online Newspapers” which provides very important information regarding index searches in online newspaper databases. I would recommend reading this post before you do your next online newspaper database search.

The last blog post is a wonderful reminder from Library and Archives Canada called “1921 Census countdown!” The 1921 Canadian census will be given to LAC on 1 June 2013 and it is their intention to put it online as they have other census records. This will probably take a couple of years but at least it is closer. This was the first census taken after the First World War.

What were your favourite blog posts this past week?

Let me know in the comments below.

Other bloggers that write their own lists are:

Genea-Musings – Best of the Genea-Blogs

British & Irish Genealogy

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have You Visited FamilySearch Lately?

FamilySearch is more than an online database of records. You can find information on almost anything to do with genealogy. When you arrive on the FamilySearch home page you are greeted with a search form and along the right side of the page are links that might be of interest. At the time of writing this post these included the 1940 US Federal Census and Black History Month. You will find a link to “Go to the previous site” which takes you back to the old FamilySearch website. At the top of the items on the right hand side of the website is What’s New? This takes you to the FamilySearch blog.

Across the top of the home page of FamilySearch are three tabs: Records, Trees, Catalog and Books. When you click on Records you stay on the home page. Trees take you to the page to contribute your family tree to the FamilySearch community. Catalog takes you to the Family History Library Catalog. This takes you to the new version of the catalog which is still in beta and they provide a link to the old version of the catalog.

The final tab is Books which takes you to Family History Books a digitized collection of books that relate to family histories, local histories, how-to books, magazines, periodicals, medieval books and gazetteers. The books come from the genealogical collections of seven different libraries. The site is still in beta.

You might think this was all you could find at FamilySearch but higher still on the home page are a few more tabs. If you click on Learn it will take you to a wonderful world of information. Here you will find links to the Wiki, Research Courses and Discussion Forums.

I have looked at the FamilySearch Wiki in a previous post so will not cover it again here but what I will say is if you have a question about research and records available I would search the Wiki.

When you click on Research Courses you are taken to the Learning Centre. Here you will find videos of varying lengths that provide a look at the records and what you will find in them. The levels go from beginner to advanced and you can find something for 21 different countries or areas such as Latin America. The formats are audio, interactive slides, video and slides, and video. Some of the lessons are offered in thirteen different languages. If you have 6 or 60 minutes you will find something here to help you with your research. I have looked at the courses in a previous post.

The last item under Learn is Discussion Forums. Here you can ask questions about your research, records, locations or anything else related to your genealogy. If you need help with the FamilySearch websites this is the place to go to ask your questions. You need to sign up for an account but that is an easy process.

Not sure where the local Family History Centre is in your area? Then you can search their database to find the one nearest you.

Want to help by indexing some of the records? You can find out more at Worldwide Indexing. They have a two minute test drive to show you how easy it is to index the records.

If you go to the very bottom of the FamilySearch homepage and under the title General you will find a link to Labs. Here you will find a showcase of technologies that the FamilySearch team are working on but are not ready to put into “prime time” as they say. They list current projects and past projects.

One of their current projects is a very useful item if you are doing English research. It is the England Jurisdictions 1851 map. I have looked at this resource in a previous post.

Another useful find under Current Projects is TechTips. This is a wonderful resource for tips to help you with the quickly changing and evolving technology. It is worth having it on your RSS feed.

Standard Finder “provides access to standardized information for names, locations and dates.” FamilySearch is beginning the process of standardizing all these items in their databases and across their website.

They have a new current project called Fresh to help those who have never done family history research. More information is expected in the next few days.

If you thought FamilySearch was used only to search databases think again. Why not go in this weekend and have some fun? You never know what you might learn.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Join us in 2013 Touring the Research Trail in Dublin!

Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to research your Irish family history?

Wish you had someone who could help you prepare and go with you to the local repositories?

I will be taking a group of researchers to Dublin Ireland to do their family history research from February 26 to March 6, 2013.

Space is limited to 7 so sign up now to avoid disappointment!

Please download the brochure for more information.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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