Author name: Ruth Blair

Ruth’s Recommendations

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

Stardust ‘n’ Roots has a post called “Location! Location! Location! — A Question Answered.” This post looks at the importance of knowing where your family actually lived and not just a country or county where they might have lived.

Stardust ‘n’ Roots had another post called “Sometimes Less is More” where he looks at how he went through his family database and actually deleted people to make it very much smaller. He kept a back up of the old file but is now working with the newer leaner family tree. This could be just the thing to help us focus our research.

Mick at the British & Irish Genealogy blog had a post called “Family & Local History Quiz Book Launch” which announces the launch of his new book. This would make a great Christmas gift for the family historian.

Chris Paton at the British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog had a post called “The last convict ship down under” where he talks about his tour of the ship called the Edwin Fox. You will find pictures and a video diary.

Chris also had a post on British GENES called “Locating London launches” where he looks at the new website called Locating London which “allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results on to a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque’s 1746 map.” Go and read more about this new resource.

Untold Lives the blog from the British Library had a post called “The Spy who Came in from the Heat” which looks at the British surveillance of Johannes Emil Schwarz Von Berk during the Second World War and the India Office Records relating to the surveillance that are held in the British Library.

Free Genealogy Resources has a post called “7 Mistakes that Are Holding Your Genealogy Back.” These are mistakes that we all need to regularly remind ourselves not to do.

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

Advent Calendar – Charitable/Volunteer Work

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Our church had White Sunday where parcels were wrapped in white paper and brought to the church. When my mother was a child these parcels were gifts for children. You had to write the gender and age of the child on the outside. Sometime in my childhood they changed it to imperishable food stuffs. They were then disbursed throughout the community to people in need.

My mother and I were involved in church Christmas Bazaars which made money for local charities and families in need. One year a family was adopted by the church and all money raised helped them to have a warm and happy Christmas.

In my family the Salvation Army, or Sally Anne as we call them, has always been a Christmas charity. We always leave donations in the collection pots and send donations at the beginning of December.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Advent Calendar – Other Traditions

Geneabloggers Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

My father told me that his Scottish family never really celebrated Christmas until the twentieth century. Hogmanay or New Year Day was their big celebration.

My Grandmother would go all out for Hogmanay. The house had to be cleaned from top to bottom so that you had a clean house for the New Year. I still hold to this tradition.

I remember many New Year Day parties. There was a buffet and in the early years a poached salmon was the centre piece of the table. Grandpa had a special taste for smoked oysters so they were included as well. These parties started out large and included friends and family. When my Grandpa retired the parties became a smaller family gathering.

My Grandmother would meet the first visitor to the house in the New Year at the door. The first person over the doorstep in the New Year had to be a gentleman who had dark hair but before he could come in he would be handed a piece of coal, a potato and an oatcake. These were handed back to my Grandmother when he entered the house. The dark hair gentleman brought good luck, the coal warmth, the potato and oatcake food and abundance. I can remember people standing on the door step waiting for a dark haired gentleman so that we could go in the house. It was a strict rule.

In the 1940s my Grandmother’s father visited at New Year and brought them a piece of coal. This was the piece of coal that was handed to the first male entering the house for over 50 Hogmanay celebrations. When my Grandmother left her home in the late 1990s to move in with my Aunt she was insistent that the piece of coal go with her and not be packed up in a box.

This was originally published in December 2010

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved