Showing posts with label Follow Friday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Follow Friday. Show all posts

Friday, 1 October 2010

Follow Friday: Non-Conformist BMDs

In association with the National Archives, is a site covering Non-Conformist Records and more.  This means that you will be able to find information regarding Methodists, Wesleyans, Baptists, Independents, Protestant Dissenters, Congregationalist, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Quakers (Society of Friends), Dissenters and Russian Orthodox.

This will be very helpful to many genealogists, who start out thinking that their ancestors were straightforward, run-of-the-mill Church (of England) churchgoers, until suddenly a whole branch of their tree disappears.  Instead of thinking that the entire branch were deported to Australia for committing the huge crime of stealing a handkerchief, or emigrated to America in order to follow their dreams - try thinking instead that they had strong religious views of their own and so became Protestant Dissenters, or joined any of the religions mentioned above.

Laws meant that individuals belonging to these religions still had to have their births, marriages and deaths recorded in the mainstream church. Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 then allowed marriages to be not only recorded but also celebrated in non-mainstream churches.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Follow Friday: Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness is based in Nebraska, USA, but is international too.  RAOGK volunteers help out researchers who (for whatever reason) cannot get to the area they are investigating - for instance, maybe you have ancestors who resided in a certain area, but you live hundreds of miles away and have no means of transport; you want a photo of a tombstone and know exactly where it is - you just can't get there!  RAOGK volunteers take photos, look up records, and other things - all in the area they reside in.  They are not workers paid for their time, but you are requested to pay for things like photocopying, postage and so on.

If you need to make a request of a RAOGK volunteer, there are guidelines which state:
You may request one or two items concerning one or two ancestors.
You can not ask a volunteer to do anything outside of their specified location or to do anything for which they have not volunteered.
Volunteers are only obligated to do one look-up per month. If they make more than one request of any one volunteer per month, that volunteer may request a fee. It's up to the volunteer to decide what to charge for this.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Follow Friday: Historical Directories

This is a project run by the University of Leicester, and is located at the Historical Directories website.

This site contains many databases and a powerful search engine.  It says on their site that the project is "a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history."

The directories come from all over England and Wales from the 1850s, 1890s., and 1910.  They are working on directories from pre-1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, and 1900s.  

And my favourite thing about it? It's FREE!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Follow Friday: Online Genealogy Lessons from Pharos

I don't usually like to 'advertise' a pay-for company in my blog, but these people seem to offer courses too enticing to ignore - if only I had the money...  Pharos Tutors offer online courses on English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish genealogy - and a course called Australian Roots and Branches!

From their website: Take a Pharos course and discover:
  • More about the historical background to your ancestors' lives
  • How to search effectively, online and offline
  • Where to find the best free genealogy indexes and fully searchable resources
  • How to make the best use of your time
  • How to save money
I know they are not some scam, because they are partnered with the Society of Genealogists, the Guild of One-Name Studies, and AGRA (The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives).  Among their varied and splendid offerings are courses on wills, writing your family history, DNA genealogy, apprenticeship records, manorial rolls and much, much more.

I am particularly interested in the course on Devon ancestors, and I am especially attracted to the fact that these are online courses.  Maybe I will have to save my pennies, or hope for a generous birthday present later in the year...

Friday, 3 September 2010

Follow Friday: The National Wills Index (UK)

The National Wills Index  is a collaborative project to create a single, dedicated, online resource for pre-1857 probate material for England & Wales.  

These are their objectives, according to their website:
  • bringing together into a single database many disparate indexes to probate documents
  • creating indexes to probate documents where these do not already exist
  • making available hard copies of all the indexed probate documents
  • creating digitised images of the original documents, with online access
  • creating full name and place indexes to probate documents. 
This will be a pay-per-view site unless you have a subscription to the Origins net.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Follow Friday: Reading old handwriting

This is something we have all come up against: you find the precious record you have been searching for for over 30 years - and then you can't read it!  It's not even in Latin, or Anglo-Saxon or anything, and it wasn't scribbled down, but written so beautifully that only someone from a bygone age could decipher it...BYU have put together a series of tutorials on old handwriting.  Their tutorials cover several different countries including Germany, Holland, Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal...and England.

The tutorials are free (my favourite word) and point you in the direction of the National Archives as well.  Here is another set of free tutorials covering palaeontology, or old handwriting.  Both sites don't just offer tutorials, they also offer practices and samples.  With the National Archives, you can even learn beginner's Latin!

But don't forget the main ingredient of reading old handwriting.  No, it's not a magnifying glass, nor years of expertise - it's patience.  Often, you will find that if you move your eyes over another part of the page, you will recognise a letter, so that when you come back to the word you were trying to decipher, all becomes clear.  Try it with a census page.

Two things to remember (that I got caught out on early in my genealogical travels):
1.  Double-s is often written with the 'long s', like this:

(Well, I had seen 'Lord' and 'Prince' as names given to children of poor families, so why not 'Jefe' - which, in Spanish, means 'Chief'?)

2.  Some enumerators were pressed for time and, if there was a family with, say, eight children, they only wrote the surname once, for the father - and the rest were dittoed.  Except they weren't dittoed with ditto marks, but with the word 'Do'.  So John Smith had a wife Mary Do, and children Fred Do, George Do, Sarah Do and so on.  For years, I thought I had a new surname in my family tree!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Follow Friday: The Domesday Book on National Archives

National Archives says: "Domesday Book is a detailed survey of the land held by William the Conqueror and his people, the earliest surviving public record, and a hugely important historical resource."  The National Archives microsite for the Domesday Book has a search facility for you to look for a mention of your own town or village (or where your ancestors came from); information on the Book itself; information on what life was like when the Book was being written; games and quizzes; and resources for teachers and students, including video clips.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Follow Friday: War Memorials on Devon

Devon Heritage is a wonderful site with records relating to people and places in the county of Devon.  As part of its treasure chest (perhaps I should have posted this item on Treasure Chest Thursday? LOL), there are pages devoted to the various war memorials that are scattered all over the county.  War memorials were originally erected to commemorate those who died in the 1914-1918 war (World War I), and almost every city and even small town and village had their own monument with the names of locals who had died.  In a way this was to help assuage the huge upswell of grief that followed the war; almost every family lost someone they loved.  Many of those who died were buried in mass graves, or their bodies were never found.

Most parishes have their own page, which includes a photo of the memorial itself, sometimes a photo of the names thereon, and a transcription of those names as well.  Although most Memorials only contain the name of the soldier and where he died, this site also gives some background on the soldier as well.

An epitaph which is frequently found on War Memorials, often quoted in church services on Remembrance Sunday, is part of the poem by Laurence Binyon:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Follow Friday: Cornish Newspapers

A page contained within the West Penwith Resources site details some of the newspapers that covered Cornwall from 1801 right up to the present day.  Dates of when certain papers were publishing appear, as do links to the British Library Newsplan Project, and even some short extracts.  The newspapers covered are: Cornwall Gazette and Falmouth Packet, Royal Cornwall Gazette, Cornish Guardian, West Briton, Penzance Gazette, Penzance Journal, Cornish Telegraph, Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Gazette, Cornish Evening Tidings, The Cornishman, The Church in the West, St Ives Weekly Summary, Visitors' List and Advertiser, Western Echo, St Ives Times, Penzance and District News and Advertiser, Penzance Shopper, and the Penzance, Hayle and St Ives Leader.

Those already familiar with Cornwall will notice that many of the newspapers mentioned above do concentrate on the western part of the county.  One of the things I have found the most difficult over the years is discovering which papers covered which area I am currently researching - so, now that I know the names, I can search further for some archives.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Follow Friday: Gravestone Photographic Resource

Updated once a week, Gravestone Photographic Resource aims to digitally photograph grave monuments (that are currently legible).  It covers countries worldwide; you can get copies of gravestone photographs, search for surnames on the site, and it is FREE ! (one of my favourite words).

It has as its aims:
  1. to digitally photograph grave monuments worldwide that are currently legible
  2. to extract all legible personal information (name, age, date of birth, date of death, relationship) from each image
  3. to publish all legible personal information on an internet database and make this data freely available
  4. to email copies of any grave monument image free of charge to anyone requesting a copy
  5. to lodge at appropriate public record offices collections of images appropriate to that area
  6. to encourage local groups to maintain, photograph and record grave monuments

Friday, 16 July 2010

Follow Friday: Deceased Online

From Deceased Online's website, we are told: "Deceased Online is the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland -- a unique resource for family history researchers and professional genealogists."  You can search for free, but further records have to be purchased, as with most online sites, and their records include:
  • burial and cremation register entries in computerised form
  • digital scans of register pages
  • scans of book of remembrance pages
  • grave details and other interments in a grave (key to making new family links)
  • pictures of graves and memorials
  • maps showing the exact locations of graves and memorials.
There is nowhere to create a page of remembrance, as in Find-A-Grave, but maybe this is coming.


BTW, I analyzed my writing, from the Analyzer at  "I Write Like...", and guess who I write like?

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Kurt Vonnegut used to write works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction. I have a very dry sense of humour (but I also like the ridiculous!) and love Star Trek. Does that count? rotfl

Friday, 9 July 2010

Follow Friday: OPC Rame Peninsula

I posted about the OPC project a few weeks ago (11 June 2010, to be exact).  To recap: An Online Parish Clerk is not to be confused with the official Parish Council-appointed clerks).  An Online Parish Clerk is a volunteer who gathers all the genealogical data they can about their chosen parish, such as Church register transcripts, land tax assessments, census information and more. 

So here's a website that covers a whole section of the county of Cornwall which features heavily in my family tree: The OPCs for the Rame Peninsula

As you can see from the map (it's from their website, I'm not that clever at drawing!), the site covers St Germans, Sheviock, Antony, Torpoint, St John, Rame, and Maker.  Of these, the parishes that are most useful to my family tree are Antony, Torpoint, Rame, and Maker (with probably a bit of St Germans from time to time).  These parishes were the ones lived in by my ancestors on my father's side of the family.  These are the parishes which saw my shipwrights and sailors.  I will be starting up a new theme for Mondays: Maritime Monday, to remind me to write about my ancestors who had something to do with the sea, since so many of my ancestors fall into that category.  I haven't found any pirates yet, though! *grin* but there were a LOT of coastguards!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Follow Friday: LostCousins

This site - Lost Cousins - is an unusual concept, but a useful one, and basic membership is free (one of my favourite words LOL).  You enter your ancestors from the UK 1841 and/or 1881 census - and now the 1911 census, and the site matches you with other members who have entered the same ancestors - so they are 'cousins'.  It is private in that nobody else can see your tree, and nobody can even see your email address.

Of course, it's not just the England & Wales 1841 and 1881 censuses that they support (which include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) - it is also the 1880 US Census, the 1881 Canadian Census, the 1881 Census of Scotland, and the 1911 Census of Ireland. They chose these because they are readily available online, and some of them can be accessed for free (there's that word again).

Friday, 25 June 2010

Follow Friday: Plymouth Data

This, site - Plymouth Data - presented by Brian Moseley in partnership with the Plymouth Local Studies Library, and the cooperation on the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office, is one of those gems you occasionally find when trawling the Net for your ancestors.  It calls itself the Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History, and it is just that: it has 1,874 pages on subjects as diverse as wharves and piers, convents and workhouses, lord mayors and mechanics.

The information ranges in date from Saxon Plymouth, through the Domesday Book, via the Siege in 1643, World War II and on to today.

U.S. cousins might also be interested in the pages on the Pilgrim Fathers and American Prisoners of War in Plymouth.

If you are trying to build a history around your ancestor-spotting, and some or all of your ancestors came from Plymouth, this site is definitely worth a look and even a bookmark.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Follow Friday: South Hams Resources

This is indeed a wonderful site for those with ancestors in the southern part of Devon: the South Hams Resources.  Ray Osborn of New Zealand has set up a website, and from its description, it is a "...collection of indexes and 1841 census transcripts, plus a free lookup service in other census and church registers of all the parishes in the ANCIENT South Hams area of the County of Devonshire."

Ray defines the area as bounded by Dartmoor, the sea, and the Rivers Erme and Dart.  And he includes a map.

These indexes, transcripts and lookups are all FREE *one of my favourite words*.  They currently cover over 50 parishes, and are a tremendous resource, especially if you have no access to one of the paid-for sites.  The site also includes images, links to other relevant sites (such as museums and local heritage centres), directories, and information about parishes that includes names and websites of Online Parish Clerks (which I wrote about last Follow Friday).

Friday, 11 June 2010

Follow Friday: GenUKI and the Online Parish Clerk (OPC) Scheme

This site is of massive interest to anybody with UK family history.  It describes itself as a "virtual reference library...In the main, the information that is provided in GENUKI relates to primary historical material, rather than material resulting from genealogists' ongoing research, such as GEDCOM files."

It is very different from surname lists etc, where people connect to discover mutual ancestors.  If you ever wanted to know all about a particular parish that your ancestors came from, this is the place for you!  It also contains links to sites that hold information on maps, gazetteers, court records, folklore, almanacs and more.  You will be surprised at the HUGE amount of information (or links to information) that this site contains.

But possibly the most important page of all is the Online Parish Clerks page for your chosen county.  Several counties are participating, and various parishes within them have Online Parish Clerks: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Kent, Somerset, Sussex, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.  (An Online Parish Clerk is not to be confused with the official Parish Council-appointed clerks).  An Online Parish Clerk is a volunteer who gathers all the genealogical data they can about their chosen parish, such as Church register transcripts, land tax assessments, census information and more.  So, if you are looking for an ancestor who (you think) was baptised in 1703 in a certain parish but you can't afford to go there, look at GenUKI to see if there is an Online Parish Clerk for that particular parish, and if they have the transcripts!  Write to them and ask nicely (and always remember to say thank you!) and you might have the information you require.  I have had a LOT of success with requests to OPCs; once, the OPC I contacted did not have the information I was seeking, so she nudged the OPC of the parish next to hers - and lo and behold, there was the information!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Follow Friday: Births, Marriages and Deaths in the UK

If you are researching your family history in the UK, and any of your ancestors were born, married or died from 1837 onwards, you're in luck.

Prior to 1837, births, marriages and deaths were recorded by the church.  After 1 July 1837, these vital statistics were recorded by the government under Civil Registration.  This divides the country up into Registration Districts (so individual towns are not necessarily listed) and quarters of the year (Jan-Feb-March, April-May-June, July-August-Sept, Oct-Nov-Dec).

FreeBMD is a volunteer project to index the Civil Registration and put it on the Web.  The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Tue 18 May 2010 and currently contains 185,134,545 distinct records (236,321,351 total records).  You will find the references that will enable you to order birth, marriage and death certificates.  They will look something like this:
Fred BLOGGS, born June quarter 1853, St Germans, 5c 29

For some, just knowing the year is enough.  If you want further details, like the parents' names, exact date etc, then you will need to order the certificate itself.  But the fact that this reference information is searchable on the web is fantastic!

Check out FreeBMD


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