Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The Ancestry Insider had a two part blog post on called “IGI Q and A” scroll down to see part one.

The National Archives blog had several posts this week that caught my eye. The first was called “James Bond, the Cold War diaries and spying in Kew” which looks at records that are available in case you have a James Bond in your family tree. The other is called “Swan Song” which talks about the young swans living in the grounds of the TNA. It is nice to know they have grown up and are getting ready to fly to new pastures.

The last post was “To keep or not to keep? Records appraisal and moving house.” This is a great post and makes you think about appraising the value of your household contents. This post makes me want to go through my family archives and appraise my documentation. Maybe I can create some space for new treasures.

John Reid of the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog announced he will be giving a presentation at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show in London 22-24 February 2013.

If you are thinking about attending and have Irish research that needs to be done then you might like to join my genealogy tourism group “Touring the Research Trail in Dublin” which starts right after the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show.

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

Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

366 Days of Genealogy – September

Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and September’s was England. 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.

September 1

September’s topic is England. One of the first books in my genealogy library on English research was by Don Steel called “Discovering your Family History.” It was published by the BBC in 1980 and was based on a program broadcast in 1979.

September 2

“English Genealogy” by Anthony Wagner was first published in 1960. I have the 1983 edition that was published by Phillmore. This book is more than just how to research. It covers history, migration, settlers and one section called “The Study and Literature of Genealogy.”

September 3

Let’s look at some more modern genealogy books. “Tracing your Ancestors in the National Archives The Website and Beyond” by Amanda Bevan is a great resource for anyone doing research in England.

September 4

“Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History” by Mark D. Herber is another good resource.

September 5

The “Family and Local History Handbook: The Genealogical Services Directory” edited and compiled by Robert Blatchford has a new edition released every year.

September 6

If you are researching Army Records in England then “Army Records for Family Historians” by Simon Fowler and William Spencer is a great resource. It is Public Record Office Reader’s Guide No 2 and is published by the National Archives of England.

September 7

A good gazetteer is a must to have in your library. “A Genealogical Gazetteer of England” is a great resource. It was compiled by Frank Smith and published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.

September 8

I am never without “Parishes & Registration Districts in England & Wales” by Dr. Penelope Christensen published by Heritage Productions. It helps you locate registration districts in the counties where your ancestors lived so that you can order certificates. It has a list of parishes to be found in that registration district which makes finding records before 1837 a little bit easier.

September 9

Blogs are a great resource for information on English records. British GENES (Genealogy News and EventS) by Chris Paton is one I would recommend.

September 10

Another blog I recommend is “British and Irish Genealogy” by Mick Southwick.

September 11

Audrey Collins has a blog called “The Family Recorder.” Audrey works for TNA.

September 12

If you are doing English research then a good place to start is Discovery which is part of the National Archives website. It costs money to access the documents. It is replacing Documents Online and is still under development.

September 13

Findmypast is a great resource as well especially if you have ancestors that may have arrived in the last century. The outbound passenger lists are great. They have parish registers dating from 1538. This is a pay per view website.

September 14

If you are searching the civil registration indexes for England the first stop is FreeBMD. This is a free volunteer run website. Check the Information section to see what has been transcribed as it is not quite complete yet.

September 15

FreeBMD also have FreeCEN which is census data and FreeREG which is parish registers. You can access them from the FreeBMD site.

September 16

Do you have London ancestors? Then check out the British Library’s London: A Life in Maps.

September 17

Looking for information on burials then Deceased Online may be able to help. New records are being added on a regular basis. This is a pay per view website.

September 18

If you are ordering certificates from England the General Register Office offers the service of ordering certificates online. You register once and use a credit card. I use this quite often and have had no difficulties. When I didn’t get a certificate when it was expected I emailed them and they sent a new one out immediately.

September 19

Looking for information on court proceedings? The Old Bailey is online, fully searchable and free to access. The records date from 1674 to 1913.

September 20

If you are looking for information on Newgate then the Newgate Calendar is online to search. It is in digital book form and there is no index. You can view it online or download it.

September 21

If you have ancestors from England with a connection to India then the Families in British India Society is worth joining. They have a free database to search online but by joining you help to support the society and their efforts.

September 22

The British Newspaper Archive is a good online resource. It is pay per view.

September 23

Do you have ancestors who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar? There is a website dedicated to the HMS Victory.

September 24

On GENUKI you can find the Trafalgar Roll that lists the names of the 1640 officers and men who served on ships during the Battle of Trafalgar.

September 25

Hearth Tax Online has various lists relating to householders in the late 17th century. The project is limited in its scope. It is free to search.

September 26

Looking for some sources on British History? Then check out Connectedhistories which lists sources from 1500-1900. It will take you to a list of places you can find the information. Sometimes it is at a site that is pay per view.

September 27

The Colonial Film Catalogue has over 6000 films showing life in the British Empire but only 150 are available to view online.

September 28

Do you have a Congregational Minister in your family? Charles Surman created a biographical card index and it was given to Dr. William’s Library. You can search and view the card index online for free.

September 29

Looking for historical directories? You can search them online for free at the Historical Directories database created by the University of Leicester.

September 30

You can search the Gazettes for London, Edinburgh and Belfast online for free.

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

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

366 Days of Genealogy – August

Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and August’s was background research. 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.

August 1

Background research is important when you are doing your research and when you are ready to write your family history. Knowing the history behind the records may help you break down a few brick walls. Comprehending the world in which your ancestors lived may help you understand their life experience.

August 2

“Bringing Your Family History to Live through social history” by Katherine Scott Sturdevant is a good place to start to learn about how your ancestors may have lived. I am not sure if you can still purchase this book but you may be able to borrow it from a library.

August 3

Another useful book is “Forensic Genealogy” by Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD.

August 4

Understanding the local history of an area is important. There is a book called “Local History A Handbook for Beginners” by Philip Riden which is very useful. This is based on English local history but you can apply the principles to any location.

August 5

A fun book that looks at the everyday life of your ancestors is “A Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England From 1811-1901” by Kristine Hughes. You can find books like this for most time periods in England and the States.

August 6

Finding out more about the religious denomination of your family will help with your research. “My Ancestors were Quakers How can I find out more about them?” by Edward H. Milligan and Malcolm J. Thomas is a good book for those starting Quaker research.

August 7

Wikipedia is a resource to learn more about your ancestor’s lives but remember to fact check the information before adding it to your research.

August 8

The Encyclopedia of Canada is a place to find more information on the times your ancestors lived.

August 9

Memorial University in Newfoundland has a collection called ICH – Oral Traditions and Expressions which is a collection of stories and looks at the different ways information was passed through the generations. If you have people from Newfoundland then these may add some flavour to your family history.

August 10

The Memorial University DAI has a collection called Centre for Newfoundland Studies – Newfoundland Images.

August 11

The Ontario Time Machine has a section called The Books: Settlement. You will find resources that may help you with the background information of your Ontario settler.

August 12

Was your ancestor a member of a brotherhood? Were they a Freemason? Researching the history of these groups will help you understand the types of activities your ancestor participated in, the type of people they associated with and other information about your ancestor. “My Ancestor Was A Freemason” by Pat Lewis is a good place to start.

August 13

Join the local historical society where your ancestors lived. They usually put out publications a few times a year which will help you understand the area. You may even find information on your ancestor at the historical society.

August 14

Local museums can be helpful in providing more information on where your ancestors lived. It may not be a museum about the local area of your ancestor but it could relate to their occupation or another part of their life.

August 15

The Irish Famine is usually foremost in the minds of many people doing Irish research. Did you know there was a National Famine Museum in Ireland? There is a joint project between students in Strokestown and Quebec researching the people that left Strokestown and arrived in Quebec during the famine.

August 16

There is a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Digital Library online with links to several items that would be very useful to your research.

August 17

Blogs are a useful place to look for more information. There is a blog attached to Active History which looks at various aspects of Canada’s history.

August 18

Do you have Irish ancestors who were involved in the Theatre? Maybe they were part of productions at the famous Abbey Theatre? Did you know the Irish Theatre Institute had a website?

August 19

Do you listen to podcasts? The National Archives UK has a great selection of podcasts on various subjects. You can also find them on ITunes. I don’t have music on my IPod just podcasts.

August 20

Don’t forget about video to help you find out more. In Australia you can find Australian Screen which has historical footage to show you exactly what your ancestors might have gone through. There is one on the Australian Flying Corps in France, England and Palestine in 1919.

August 21

A lot of archives and other institutions are putting their images on Flickr. There is a Flickr group called Churches of Ireland where people have uploaded images of churches throughout Ireland. You could find the church where your ancestor’s worshiped in the mid-1800s.

August 22

The Orkney Library and Archive have a Photographic Archive online. It is a group of images mostly from the last century but they can still provide you with an idea of how things were for your ancestor.

August 23

You might be able to find business records relating to your ancestor. If not business records then maybe a guild or trade union that could provide you with some background information.

August 24

Don’t forget the women in your family. Did you have any suffragettes? Did your female ancestors serve in the military?

August 25

Many women were the only doctor their family may have had available to them. Do you know what potions and ointments your ancestor might have used? Do you know what the cause of death was for your ancestor?

August 26

How about your ancestor’s occupation? Do you know what the reference actually meant on the marriage certificate or census record?

August 27

Do you know the name of the vessel your ancestor travelled on to North America? Have you ever seen a picture? See if you can find it here.

August 28

Do you know what those symbols mean on your ancestor’s grave marker?

August 29

Do you know the buying power of the money your ancestor left in their will? The National Archives have a currency converter.

August 30

Have you been searching for your Irish ancestor on all the passenger lists out of Ireland and can’t find them? Did you know that some Irish went to Liverpool or Glasgow to get to North America? Some who ended up in the United States came through Canada because it was sometimes cheaper. Do some background research to find out what port your ancestors may have actually left from on their journey to the New World.

August 31

Do you have a brick wall in your research? Do some background research on the available records and see what new information may be found. While doing this research you may come across another record group you had not known about.

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

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

FGS Conference in Birmingham Alabama

The FGS conference was held from August 29th to September 1st in Birmingham Alabama. I arrived in Birmingham on Tuesday August 28th just in time for the FamilySearch Bloggers Dinner. I always have a good time at this dinner and enjoy meeting old and new friends.

FamilySearch announced some new projects such as free research assistance, U.S. Immigration & Naturalization community project which takes over from the now completed 1940 U.S. Census community project and the Italian Civil Registration indexing project.

They are looking for volunteers to help index the Italian and Immigration and Naturalization records as quickly as they did the 1940 U.S. Census records.

FamilySearch are looking to make the online records easier to use, and to have alternate spelling and other user index correction capabilities. They have captured 3.1 billion images and have been collecting since 1938 in 202 different countries. This being said only 23% of the images have been digitized. This is a huge project and will take time.

There are 201 camera crews, one third of who are senior volunteers, in 48 different countries who are digitizing images. They go from the click of the digital camera to being able to browse them online in 2 to 4 weeks. FamilySearch are adding 80-100 million images per year.

FamilySearch presented a map that showed the record coverage priority which is about 90% of the demand.

On the 29th we did a little sightseeing. Birmingham is a government town and there weren’t many shops or restaurants around. There is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and it is a must see exhibit. The volunteers are friendly and are there to share a story or provide more information on an exhibit. It made the exhibit come alive for me. It is across the street from the historic 16th Street Baptist Church.

16th St. Baptist Church

We then went to the Jazz museum and the art gallery. The Jazz museum had a family tree called “Highlights of the Jazz Story in USA”

I did double duty at the conference. I was able to attend the lectures but also helped out in the marketplace at the booth for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Helping out at the booth allows me to meet so many new people and hear their stories. A genealogy conference is a place where everyone can share a story and no one gets that glazed over look on their eyes.

The market place was not very busy. We did have a late night opening but they had a lot of door prizes being drawn that night and the people followed the organizers as they went from booth to booth announcing the winners so we didn’t have many customers.

The lectures were great. I had a lot to choose from and as is usually the case sometimes had two at the same time. This is where you check to see if one or the other are being recorded and then you can purchase the recording of one and attend the other. I purchased ten recordings and this time ordered the mp3 versions. Now I just have to figure out how to get them on my IPod.

There were a lot of lectures on many different kinds of publishing for the genealogist and I found this particularly interesting. Lisa Alzo and I attended all of these lectures together. She was particularly excited to get back home and start working on her new Apple computer after examples of using the Apple publishing programs.

I love a genealogy conference. It is more than just lectures. There is the market place where you can find all sorts of new items and technology related to genealogy. I will say I am sad to see that there aren’t as many books in a market place because I still love to use them in my research and sometimes find them faster to use. There is the networking and meeting new people. Seeing new places and learning something new.

The next conference is NGS in Las Vegas and I am already saving up for that one. The Ontario Genealogical Society conference is at the end of May and I am speaking at that conference which provides a different conference experience.

Check out the conferences that will be happening next year and start saving your pennies so that you can attend at least one. They are something not to be missed.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from the past several weeks.

The Library and Archives Canada Blog had a post called “How to Find Digitized Publications – Part II” They provide a list of Canada-wide and regional resources to help you find digitized publications. They have a link to part one of the post.

The FamilySearch Blog had a post called “New Digital Family History Books – July 2012 Report” which provides a list of new additions, over 700 of them, to the free Family History Books database. They even have a breakdown of books in a PDF document with hyperlinks: British Isles Books; Compiled Genealogy Books; International Books; and United States and Canada Books.

The National Archives announced the release of a Victorian Britain resource. The article is entitled “The National Archives and the V&A launch resource on Victorian Britain” It is to help teach primary school children about the Victorian era but we might find something new as well.

The Genealogy Canada blog had a post called “Talk Notes” about the availability of notes from talks presented to the Alberta Family History Society.

The British GENES blog has a post called “Concrete map of Scotland listed.” This is something I hadn’t heard of before and I find it very interesting. I am glad they decided to list it so that it isn’t lost.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter has a post called “TLC Network Reported to Be in Talks to Pick Up “Who Do You Think You Are?” TV Show.” It is not definite yet but this is good news. Keep your fingers crossed a deal happens quickly and “Who Do You Think You Are?” is back on the air very soon.

The Inside History magazine blog has two posts of interest and they are both from the Q&A the magazine held on their Facebook page. They are: “Expert Q&A: Today’s toolkit for the digital historian” and “Expert Q&A: Using Trove for research.” They each provide quick tips, links and a transcript.

Brenda Dougall Merriman’s blog has a post called “No Surnames” where she helps you to work through the issue of lack of surnames in some areas of Europe.

John Reid of the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog as a post called “Canadian genealogy survey and “Canadians and their Past” which provides a brief synopsis of the BIFHSGO September meeting where they had Leighann Neilson from the Carleton University Sprott School of Business presenting some initial results from the Canadian Genealogy Survey that was taken last autumn. I can’t want to hear more about this survey.

This one isn’t from a blog. The Genealogy Society of Ireland posted this link on Facebook and I just had to share it. The Irish Times had an article entitled “Library seeks help to digitise collection.” The National Library of Ireland is hiring a company to digitise their collection of newspapers, parish records and other documents relating to genealogy. They are considering using a pay per view website to share the information. Let’s hope this happens quickly.

The National Archives of England blog has two posts. The first is “260 years of double-dating” which looks at the change over from the Gregorian to the Julian calendar in the 16th century. The other post is called “One Year On: leading the archives sector” which recognizes the first anniversary of when the National Archives took over the leadership roll from the former Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. It looks at all the changes that have taken place.

The ActiveHistory blog had a post called “The Day the Music Died: Remembering Same the Record Man.” This post recognizes the invaluable contribution of Sam Sniderman to the Canadian music industry. I used to go to the Sam the Record Man shop on Yonge Street. I would get the latest CHUM chart and then decide which ones to purchase. It brought back some lovely memories.

Marian’s Roots and Rambles had a post entitled “The Demise of Books?” In this post she looks at the possible demise of books due to the new technology. Schools are turning to eBooks for their textbooks instead of the actual book. This could be a good thing as it would be easier to keep the textbooks up to date. I am not so sure that all books are going that way yet. I love to be able to go to a book on my library shelf when I am doing research. I find it easier to search a hard copy book than an electronic one as the search capabilities are not always reliable in electronic books.

The Irish Genealogy News Blog has several posts relating to the Back to the Past show at the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Dublin. They are called “Back To Our Past gets underway in Dublin,” “Day Two at the Back To Our Past show” and “Back To Our Past 2012: Ancestry.” These are great posts and provide some wonderful new information on the release of records relating to Ireland. One day I hope to attend this show.

The National Archives of England blog has a post called “Toy stories: Peter Rabbit and friends.” It looks at the different toy registered designs that the archives hold. I love the picture of the stuffed Peter Rabbit that is first on the list.

The NLI Blog has a post called “YouTube It!” which talks about the National Library of Ireland video guides available on YouTube.

What were your favourite blog posts?

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

Jana’s Genealogy and Family History Blog

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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