The Passionate Genealogist is 3 years old today!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Today is The Passionate Genealogist’s blogiversary. I started this blog three years ago and my first post was “Family History: Hobby, passion or obsession?” It was definitely all three for me.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet many other genealogy bloggers at conferences in the States and Canada. It has been fun to share stories and our passion for genealogy. I have started interviewing some of the bloggers that I meet and it has been interesting to hear how they got started with family history.

Other Geneabloggers who are celebrating a blogiversary today are:

Genedocs: Family Research and Legacy Preservation – celebrating their second blogiversary

All Roads Led to London – celebrating their first blogiversary

Happy Birthday Everyone!

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

366 Days of Genealogy – December

Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and December’s was census records. This is the last post for the 366 Days of Genealogy.

In 2013 on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page we are doing 52 Weeks of Genealogy. Each Friday I post a tip and suggestions that follow a monthly theme.

December 1

The topic for December is census records. When people think about doing census research one of the first places they look is Ancestry where you can find census records for many countries.

December 2

For English census records check out Findmypast

December 3

In the United States there is FamilySearch which also has census records from other countries.

December 4

Cyndi’s List has a list of census records for the United States.

December 5

A Genealogy Research Guide has a list of free US census sources.

December 6

When you are researching US census records don’t forget to see if there are any state or territorial censuses taken between the federal census years.

December 7

You can find US census records on Worldvitalrecords.

December 8

The Census Finder will help you find free census resources for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Native American, Norway and Sweden.

December 9

The Library and Archives Canada website have a list of all the places you can find Canadian census records online. Just remember that some of these records may not be complete yet.

December 10

Automated Genealogy is a good place to look if you can’t find someone in a census database somewhere else. This is a free website and the index is good. Right now you can look at the 1901, 1911 Canada census and the 1906 Northwestern Census, the 1851 census for New Brunswick and the 1852 for Canada East and West.

December 11

The 1851 Canada census had some difficulty getting started so some of it was taken in the first part of 1852.

December 12

Did you know that some areas of Canada including Ontario have census records earlier than 1851? They are usually head of household and may need to be viewed either locally or the Archives of Ontario. Some are available online.

December 13

Did you know that the 1871 Canada census has a mortality schedule and it lists the people who died in the previous twelve months?

December 14

You can also find out the lot and concession number for the land on which your ancestors lived in Ontario by looking at Schedule #4 of the 1871 census. You need to know the page and line number on the personal census to cross reference it. Each section of the census has mortality and Schedule #4 starting at the end of the personal census.

December 15

The 1901 and 1911 Irish census is available to search online for free. Don’t forget to check all the pages of the census that relate to your family. You might be surprised by what you find.

December 16

The Irish census records prior to 1901 were destroyed but some fragments still survive. Check out John Grenham or James G Ryan’s books for the county you are researching to see if any survive for that area.

December 17

For Scotland the first place to check for census records is Scotlandspeople.

December 18

If you want to save a little money in your search then Ancestry and FamilySearch have the indexes for the Scottish censuses online. You can check them out and if you find them then you have the reference you need to find them on ScotlandsPeople fairly quickly.

December 19

In the 1841 Scottish census they do not provide relationships or household connections on the census. The place of birth is either inside or outside the county where the census was taken.

December 20

Do you have family on censuses in Canada, the United Kingdom, United States or Ireland? Then you might consider using Lost Cousins. Read the instructions carefully as they use a specific format. It is free to upload your information but you pay a fee to contact a link. Sometimes they offer free access periods. The newsletter is full of useful information.

December 21

In a lot of early census records the ages might have been rounded up or down to the nearest five for adults. Keep this in mind when you are calculating ages.

December 22

Information found on the census can be questionable but it is a good place to start. Remember that the person providing the information might have guessed at ages and places of birth. If a father was giving ages for a long list of children he may have gotten a few wrong.

December 23

When you are doing census research find out the dates of enumeration. This can be important if you are looking for a family but they are not found. It could be they weren’t in the area yet or had recently moved on to a new place.

December 24

Try and think about what your family may have been doing during the time of the census. The 1901 Irish census was taken on 31 March 1901. My Great Grandmother was not found with her family because she married on March 12th.

December 25

I found one Irish ancestor who normally lived in Tipperary in the English census in 1901 because she was visiting her Aunt in Derby.

December 26

Don’t forget to check the FamilySearch Wiki for information on census records for all countries.

December 27

Did you know that there was an index for the 1841 New South Wales Australia census? You can search it online for free but if you want a copy it costs $15 AUS plus postage.

December 28

If you are searching for census records in New Zealand the pre 1966 records have been destroyed.

December 29

Familiarize yourself with the details and background as to how and why the census was taken. This will help you with your research.

December 30

Don’t just think of a country wide census. In Ireland the local churches often took censuses of their parish. I found one for 1831 which listed the head of the house and then the rest of the household were listed as: number of males, number of females, number of male servants, number of female servants. It also provided the townland where he lived. I have found church censuses in other countries as well.

December 31

Next time you fill out your census forms please remember the family members who may be searching for information on you in the next 100 years. In Canada this means ticking the little box that says you allow this information to be released otherwise it will never be released to the public.

To follow the new 52 Weeks of Genealogy all you have to do is “Like” Blair Archival Research.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

John Reid of the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog had two posts of interest this week. The first is called “Meeting Challenges of the Future: From Reflection to Action.” This post is about a document of the same name posted on Library and Archives Canada’s website.

The other post at Anglo-Celtic Connections is “James Turk on the future of archives and archivists in Canada.” John attended a panel discussion at the Eastern Ontario Chapter Archives Association of Ontario and the topic was “What We Have Lost: What We Stand to Lose The Future of Archives and Archivists in Canada.” This post is John’s synopsis of the discussion.

Dear Myrtle’s Genealogy Blog had a post called “The pinball approach to genealogical research.” This post is an examination of what Dear Myrtle learned during the recent Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy study week. She attended the “Advanced Genealogical Methods” course with Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG. Her experiences and revelations are something that we all need to think about and incorporate into our own research.

The National Archives blog had a post called “It’s not the document, it’s the information” by Audrey Collins. This post relates well to Dear Myrtle’s post. Audrey examines several record groups that are available at TNA and has links to research guides to help you understand the records.

The last post for this week is from the NLI Blog where Ciara Kerrigan of Research Services at the National Library of Ireland has written a post called “Family History Research.” She talks about the people from around the world who visit the library to find out more about their Irish ancestors and introduces us to a new user guide that is available online. The guide is called “Family History Research: Sources at the National Library of Ireland.” This is available to download and I would suggest everyone add it to their digital library for Irish research.

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

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

Chris Paton of British GENES has a post called “Scotsman Digital Archive relaunched” which is really good news. This is a wonderful resource for Scottish researchers and their subscription rates are reasonable.

FamilySearch blog had three posts this week. The first was “New Research Lessons Added to – January 2013.” FamilySearch has a fantastic selection of online classes that you can watch on a cold or wet afternoon.

The next post was called “Moving County Boundaries” which looks at the changing landscape of the county borders and how important it is to know about these changes when you are doing your research.

The last post was part three of James Tanner’s series on photograph restoration. The post is called “What do I Need to Restore Damaged Photos? Part Three.”

The Irish Genealogy News blog had lots of news to share with Irish researchers this past week. The first post is called “TNA beginners: Start Here” which looks at the new section on the National Archives of England website. It explains what information is available at the archives and how to navigate the new website.

Then there was “Monaghan parish records: hope springs eternal” which looks at the new rumblings about the release of these parish registers on the Irish Genealogy database.

The next post is called “Irish Civil Registration records live on” FindMyPast has digitized the Irish Civil Registration indexes. You can find out the names of the other people on the page to see if you can figure out the name of the spouse. This is wonderful news.

The last post is “Handy map of Irish Civil Registration boundaries.” This map is a great tool for Irish researchers.

There was some sad news from the Genealogy Canada blog. It seems that because of the addition of higher rental fees, changes in policy and new fee charges at Library and Archives Canada that Gene-O-Rama is cancelled for this year.

Last and certainly not least The Ancestry Insider and their post called “ Incremental Improvements.” This posts looks at the improvements to the search criteria at FamilySearch and some other developments.

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

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

1 2