Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Website: Family Legends - can they be trusted?

Often one hears of a story or a legend that has been handed down through the generations about a ancestor and unless you take the time to investigate how true it is, you could continue to pass this same story down and just assume it is correct.

With this particular website, Family Legends, the individual was told this particular story:

"One of our ancestors was an aide-de-camp of Governor Macquarie. He left his Will in a tree, and when he was speared by the natives his widow was given a grant of land. His son was asked by the Governor what trade he wanted to follow, and he decided to be a shipwright."

As the descendant started working backwards through death and marriage certificates, there were conflicts withing the collected data but she kept researching. She ended up researching the wrong Green family at first but met up with a cousin and together through diligent research came up with the correct version of the above statement that had been passed down for over 160 years:

"One of our ancestors, Thomas Green, an ex-convict constable, while returning from the Bathurst Plains in Governor Macquarie's party, disappeared with a group of natives. His widow Catherine was given a cow, £5, and possibly a block of land in payment for Thomas's services in helping to build the first road over the Blue Mountains. His son William became a shipwright after an apprenticeship at the Government Dockyards, possibly through Governor Macquarie's intervention."

This author has also put together a presentation where she takes a family legend and shows through research how the story was very much altered from the truth to perhaps bring in a bit of romance to this couple's story.

If you have a family legend that has been handed down through the generations, working your way through the legend will help you sort the truth from the fiction. Our current culture places very little trust in oral history and prefers to believe in the written words. There usually is some truth to the legend and always worth the research to determine what is correct.

This site reminds us that we need to check all of these things as we build our family trees and gather information from other family members.

Enjoy this and many other websites already discussed in past blog articles.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 2, 2016

Website: Geneanet

Back in the 1600s the French headed out to settle Canada, 99% of my ancestry comes from this endeavor on their part. Those original settlements were rough and brought in the "King's Daughters" to help settle the area with those men who had ventured forth into this new territory. 

According to various records, about 800 young French women immigrated to "New France" 1663-1673 at the expense of the King, hence, they were known as the "King's Daughters". Many of my ancestors stem from the families created by these women and those men who had braved a new wild and very difficult frontier.

Geneanet began back in 1996 and is the first "French" genealogy website with a combination of free and paid access, the choice is yours. They offer every kind of genealogy record published by researchers, genealogy societies, commercial companies, etc. It is up to the contributor whether they charge for the records provided online.

From their website they list the following to be available for free and for a fee:
  • Members are sharing more than 400 million individuals in their online trees
  • Hundreds of thousands of free digitized records which includes registers
  • Some free indexes and some for pay
  • Hundreds of digitized books, post cards, family pictures, a wiki, a blog and a wonderful genealogy community

Once you upload your tree through a "Gedcom", you can have anyone in your tree born within a 100 years blocked out completely or have just their names shared to protect their identity. Once this is complete, you can see if others match any of your family as well as check out their digitized records.

They show a chart on their collection of indexes:

When you hover over an area/number, it tells you the name of the location. They do have registers from surrounding countries, click here to see their list.

They have a number of projects that allows individuals to upload additional record sets to aid all, this is a great way to collaborate. Some of these records are actual scanned records which provide proof of an event in your ancestor's life.

Searching this site will take some time, the cost to become a "Premium" member is $45 a year which is reasonable when you consider all you are able to access and the relatives you can connect to.

This is a great site for anyone with French/Canadian ancestors!

Enjoy this and many other websites already discussed in past blog articles.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Website: The Library of Congress

At first glance, the Library of Congress website does not look like a great resource for genealogists and yet it is a great resource.

Just the title of the website can steer individuals away, however, the resources available are only a few clicks away. Type in "Family History" in the search box at the top:

The very first entry is clearing where genealogists want to be:

One can easily see some of the valuable resources available from their first screen, but once you start checking out the various links, one quickly finds many great resources to help ancestral research efforts.

When clicking "The Collections" you are informed under "Books" that "they have more than 50,000 genealogies and 100,000 local histories. The collections are especially strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources. Their international strengths are further supported and enriched by the Library's incomparable royalty, nobility and heraldry collection."

Under "Vertical File" you are informed that it contains "miscellaneous materials relating to specific family names, to the states, towns, and cities of the U.S. and to genealogical research in general" The description goes on and is worth looking into as they also have newspaper clippings and genealogical charts and so much more. Here are links to their Vertical File Subject Index and Family and Regional Newsletters.

They have a vast array of subscription services to those who visit their library, here is a link to that section which lists all of their subscription databases. They have a large selections guides and aids, here is a link to that section. 

The last section this blog will cover is the "American Memory Project":

It is worth noting the large selection of topics available and this does not include the millions of photographs available that represent our history.

"Cities and Towns" provides access to over 5.5 million historical maps, 80,000 atlases and much more. Their military section has 7 different collections including recordings of individuals and leaders regarding historical events.

Each section provides additional helps for the genealogical researcher. Lastly, there are orientation tours that one can view before going to the library.

As well as some rules and regulations:

Adding this library to your future travels will be well worth the effort. Preparing ahead of time will assure you'll be able to make the most of your time. In closing, here is a link to some of their online collections.

Enjoy this and many other websites already discussed in past blog articles.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 15, 2016

Website: Indiana State Library

For those who have family and ancestors from Indiana, you have a great resource in the Indiana State Library.

They have a whole area dedicated to 'Genealogy':

They state they have "one of the largest collections of family history information in the Midwest" and that it includes more than 40,000 print items combined with their one on one assistance and their 'online collections', they are able to help those who have family in Indiana and the bordering states, as well as eastern and southern states. One can check their site to have those one on one helps with their staff.

In addition to their subscription sites, they have a vast collection of online records. To view a list click here. Some of these collections lead you to a transcription and others are the actual scanned records. There are also collections by the counties. For this blog, lets go to "Howard County" and view their online resources.

The last section has over 20 different choices to help you with your ancestral research. Choosing "General Vital Records" and then "Marriage Records" provides access to records with indexes and scanned images beginning in 1844.

The above is their first recorded marriage license issued August 26, 1844 to Samuel Bates and Philinda Hinkley. It goes on to stay they were 'joined together in the holy bans of matrimony on the 29th day of August 1844. Its signed by John Love, Minister of the Gospel.

The indexes are provided along with the scanned images. This is a great resource to any one with ancestors in this area and in other counties in Indiana.

To all who have family in this great state, enjoy the access to these records online and to their great in person collection. Their staff will aid all those conducting research and they can be reached through "Ask-A-Librarian" online or calling in to their number set up for their "Genealogy Collection" at 317-232-3689.

What a great asset to all those who need this awesome resource!

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Website: DeathIndexes.com

Unfortunately, death is part of life and something we all have to deal with at some point. The recent unexpected death of a close cousin reminded me of how we never know when it will happen, we simply know it will happen.

As genealogists, we search through vast collections of records to find names, dates and places of ancestors and are amazed at the unexpected stories we may find in these ancestral pursuits.

DeathIndexes.com provides a list of searchable death indexes and records by state and is maintained by Joe Beine who maintains multiple sites to help all those who are researching their ancestors as well as having a blog site of his own called Genealogy Roots Blog. When you click on his profile you find out he is a genealogist from Denver, Colorado.

This site was started back in 2003 and I'm sure has become even more useful over time as more and more sites are added. The various links lead to online death indexes, death records, death notices, obituaries, wills, probate records and cemetery burials. Pick a location from the list:

For this blog, I'll click my home state of Rhode Island and view the results:

The results are well worth my time and energies in checking each link out. The RI Historical Cemeteries Transcription Project has been going on for years, it started when I was a Family History Director there back in the 1990s. It has come a long way from its origins and founder John Sterling and Deby Nunes who are dear colleagues. According to the site, there are over 458,000 inscriptions in this one database!

In addition there are listings by county, Catholic burials and newspaper obituaries. One can definitely make use of this great resource when doing their US research!

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 24, 2016

Website: David Rumsey Map Collection

When it comes to researching one's ancestors, old maps of the area become very important in trying to locate where they were living and where those records may be located today. The David Rumsey collection started over 30 years ago and has more than 150,000 maps. 

From their site they state, "The collection focuses on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania." To learn more about their collection click here.

Most people know of at least one location that has changed its name and its boundaries. Over time as various countries grew they would create a new counties and move towns and cities into those new counties causing boundary changes as new lands were acquired over time. There are detailed maps for each state along with regions like New England, MountainWest, Pacific, etc.

When a boundary changes it has the ripple effect of where vital events are recorded for those new areas and what happens to the older records that were recorded for those areas before the changes?

This author has seen these records handled a variety of ways while researching various individuals. Some places take over the books and so the records stay with the new county or town or city and other times the records are moved to another location completely, either way, a researcher will have to ask and locate whatever records needed for their client. 

Their "Georeferencer" tool allows and individual to overlay historic maps on modern maps or other historical maps, a great feature to help you understand boundary changes as well as other changes over time. Their short video will show you how this works.

To locate a map, you launch their "Luna Browser" and use the search box in the upper left hand corner to type in the place you are researching. The response from this site will be what they have on that location. Once you locate the one you wish to view, simply click the map and it will open up into its own browser where you can enlarge it and move it around as necessary. For example here is a map from 25 March 1776:

This is one of the best map sites for locating old maps and being able to manipulate them for viewing purposes. By creating an account on this site it saves your searches for future reference, there is no charge for registering. An interesting and helpful fact is when one looks up a specific place, you are told how many maps for that area are available as well as those surrounding that location. For example, if you are searching for an early map of Colorado, you learn that there are 305 maps for this area beginning in 1861. On the left are totals of the number of maps for the surronding states, Utah, New Mexio and Arizona.

Take advantage of this wonderful resource when needing maps for your research.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 10, 2016

Google News Archive

When researching one's ancestors newspapers can add a lot of information to your family tree and yet access can sometimes be a problem. The one problem that seems to stop most individuals is access to those valuable newspapers.

Over the years various groups are working hard at putting these valuable resources online but also many have been microfilmed along the way by libraries across the world in order to preserve these valuable records.

Enter Google News Archive, this began back in 2006 and was "originally PaperofRecord.com created by Robert J. Huggins along with his team at Cold North Wind, Inc." according to the Wikipedia article about Google News Archive. (1)

While there are many newspapers across the world, this is one place worth investigating to see if there are any archived newspapers from where your ancestors lived.

A few samples of coverage are:

The Rochester Sentinel:1858-2005
The Patterson Press: 1863-1915
The Montreal Gazette: 1878-2006
The Newfoundland Express: 1851-1855
The Spokane Review: 1891-1994
Calhoun Times: 1924-1922

The list available is immense and one needs to review it for themselves.

There are other newspaper sites available also so don't limit yourself to this one, check with a public library or a university and one may be surprised to find just the collection they are looking for.

(1) Google News Archive. (2016, May 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:17, June 10, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Google_News_Archive&oldid=722572131

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 27, 2016

Website: Ireland Genealogy

It's no secret that researching Irish Ancestors can be difficult and sometimes it even seems impossible. To date many websites, tutorials, and helps to aid this situation have come along to try and help with this serious situation.

One of the many sites that is helping is called Ireland Genealogy and it acts as a go between to other websites that also have additional information or ancestral information.

As you can see from the main first page it begins with some categories but also has all of the various counties listed if you are fortunate enough to know this information.

Even on the first page there is a list of some databases to aid you beginning with "A List of Deported Convicts and Vagabonds c1737-1743" which is indexed by county. A valuable database to look at in the Irish Flax Growers, 1796, it contains nearly 60,000 individuals in 1796. According to the site, "individuals were awarded spinning wheels based on the number of acres planted. People who planted one acre were awarded 4 spinning wheels and those growing 5 acres or more were awarded a loom."  These kinds of lists remind us of what life was like for our ancestors during this time period.

There is another list of "Irish Convicts to NSW 1788-1849", which provides details of convicts who were transported to New South Wales during this time period. The database contains:
  • Irish State prisoners,
  • convicts who were tried in Ireland,
  • convicts who were tried outside Ireland whose native place was in Ireland,
  • Irish military men who were tried inside or outside Ireland whose native place was in Ireland, and
  • a few non-Irish convicts arriving on Irish convict transport ships.
Another interesing site is one from my home state, and the city I grew up in, Pawtucket. "Some Baptisms and Burials from the Centenary History of Old St. Mary's Church, Pawtucket, RI". Bob Ryan was the individual who transcribed this and of course all of us are appreciative when these things are done to help all who are seeking out their Irish ancestors.

This website is full of surprises as you click to the large collection of links, a great aid to all who are searching their Irish ancestors!

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


 (c) 2005-2016, Timeless Genealogies, All Rights Reserved