366 Days of Genealogy

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

366 Days of Genealogy – July

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

July 1

Happy Canada Day! Do you have Canadian ancestors? Have you checked the Genealogy and Family History section of the Library and Archives Canada website?

July 2

Did you notice on the Library and Archives Canada website that you can access a large number of databases for free? Some of these databases are also offered on pay per view websites.

July 3

LAC has a list of research aids to assist you with your research.

July 4

Don’t forget to check out the virtual exhibits on the LAC website. You never know what you may find.

July 5

LAC has put several microfilms online that you can browse.

July 6

Each province and territory in Canada is responsible for their own vital statistics. You can find contact information and more on the LAC website.

July 7

If you are looking for someone who lived in Canada circa 1940 then see if you can access a copy of their 1940 National Registration. You will need an address or location of where they lived, proof of death which could be a copy of an obituary and the fee is about $50 CDN. It will take about three months to get the information.

July 8

AMICUS is a good resource to see what might be available at LAC. You can search it for books and newspapers. You can find local histories, church and cemetery indexes, family histories and other items that may help you with your search.

July 9

If you are searching for a First World War ancestor you can search the attestation papers on the LAC website for free. If you find a relevant file then you can order a copy of the military file online as well. You will have several choices of the format of the document. It can be printed, digital or on CD.

July 10

When looking for information on your First World War ancestors don’t forget to check out the War Diaries that are digitized and online.

July 11

If your ancestor died in the Second World War then you can search a database on the LAC website to see if you can find more information.

July 12

You can find a list of websites that relate to War Graves on the LAC website.

July 13

If you had an ancestor who died in a war then check the Books of Remembrance link at Veteran Affairs Canada. You will find links to digital images to the books and they are separated into conflicts except for those who served from Newfoundland. They have their own book.

July 14

Did you know that you can search the Alberta Homestead Records at Internet Archive? These are microfilms that you can browse to find more information.

July 15

On the University of Victoria website they have the British Colonist Newspaper (1858-1910) available online to search.

July 16

The Winnipeg Free Press has put their archive online. The date ranges are 1874 to 2011.

July 17

The New Brunswick archives have a database called “The New Brunswick Irish Portal.”

July 18

The Cape Breton University Digital Collections has the Nova Scotia Historical Newspaper Project.

July 19

Memorial University in Newfoundland has the Digital Archives Initiative. You can browse some newspapers and there are links to other newspaper sources.

July 20

Memorial University has a collection of digital maps.

July 21

If your people were living in Newfoundland on 1 April 1949 then they were there when Newfoundland entered Confederation. There is an audio recording of the broadcast from St. John’s and Ottawa on that day.

July 22

The University of Prince Edward Island has a website called Island Archives which provides a wealth of information relating to the history of the Island and its people.

July 23

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec has a digital collection of historic newspapers.

July 24

If your ancestors hail from Saskatchewan the Regina Public Library has the Prairie History Collection. They list the resources available at the library.

July 25

Have you seen the Ontario Time Machine Really Old Ontario Books? It is run by the public libraries in Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston Frontenac and the government of Ontario.

July 26

The Hudson Bay Archives have Biographical Sheets with regards to employment but it may also provide additional information.

July 27

A good beginner’s guide for Canadian research is “Finding Your Canadian Ancestors A Beginner’s Guide” by Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee.

July 28

If you have Loyalists in your family then the best book to help you with the research is “United Empire Loyalists: A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada” by Brenda Dougall Merriman.

July 29

Brenda Dougall Merriman also wrote an excellent book for Ontario research called “Genealogy in Ontario Searching the Records” revised third edition.

July 30

A gazetteer is a must for doing genealogical research. One for Canada is “Lovell’s Gazetteer of British North America 1873”

July 31

Attending conferences helps you learn more and find out what is new in the area of your research. The Ontario Genealogical Society has a conference every year and it is the largest in Canada.

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

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved