October 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2011.

Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to do research? Wish you had someone who could travel with you and assist you? I will be taking a group to Dublin Ireland to do their family history research from February 29 to March 9, 2012. Please download the brochure for more information.

There is a website called South Dublin Images. It has been created by South Dublin Libraries as part of their Local Studies Collection. The collection includes: photographs, postcards, slides, prints, illustrations, maps and digital material. The database content has been developed by the Local Studies Section at the County Library in Tallaght.

You can search images of particular areas of Dublin and some other counties by using the location option or you can search by keyword.

I searched by the location name Donnybrook and got three images all of which were maps. The date was 1837. You click on view to see a larger image of the map. Below the image is the source citation and location of the document.

You can download and reproduce the images for your personal use. You require permission to publish the images. There is an option to purchase a laser print of image, a copy on floppy disc or on CD-ROM and by email free of charge.

I tried the keyword search with the term “Dodder” this is a river that ran through Dublin and part of it passed behind my Grandparents home in Donnybrook. My Grandmother would walk her dogs along the tow path on a regular basis. As a small child this is where I learned the importance of the dock leaf when you touch nettles. If you touch nettles against your skin they sting you. Dock leaves always grow near nettles and if you pick one and rub the spot where the nettles touched it will numb the area.

There was a small sweet shop at the end of the path in Clonskeagh where we would sometimes stop. The shop was so tiny you could only fit a couple of people inside. The elderly lady behind the counter always greeted us with a smile. There were rows of sweet jars behind the counter with the weight scale and small white bags to put your purchase in. We would go in and get a quarter pound of jelly babies or licorice babies.

If you have Irish ancestors particularly from the Dublin area why not go in and see what you can find.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The British Library has a new blog called Untold Lives Sharing Stories from the Past. They are presenting stories that have been researched from the sources available in the British Library. They had a post called “Credit Crunch leads to Murder” about a bookbinder who committed murder when he had difficulty collecting a debt from a customer in 1832.

Create your Life Story blog had a post called “Reporting Your Family History” where they suggest you try writing your family history as a journalist would write it.

Family history across the seas had a post called “25 years of Family History: reflection and celebration.” There are two parts of this post so make sure you read both. She looks at how researching your family history has changed in the 25 years since she started.

Marian’s Roots and Rambles had a post entitled “A Funny Thing Happened in the Cemetery…” where she describes talking to her ancestors in the cemetery. Go on, you know we all do it.

Irish Genealogy News had a post called “Back To Our Past – what an opening!” where she looks at the first day of the Back To Our Past show being held in Ireland at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS). There are two parts to the highlights so make sure you read both of them.

Chris Paton of British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) also attended the Back to the Past show and has reported his highlights in a post called “Back to Our Past – report.”

Nancy Anderson of the Fur Trade Family History blog announced that her book “The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson’s Journeys in the West” has gone to the printer for the first proofs. Congratulations Nancy!

This is not a blog but the Lost Cousins website puts out a member newsletter. There is a very interesting article about sharing information online called “Controversy over online trees.” Lost Cousins: Putting Relatives In Touch is a website where you upload the census data for your family and see if you can find “lost cousins” looking for the same family. It is free to sign up and enter your census data but you are charged a fee to contact matches. They occasionally have free member weekends. You can enter census data from 1841, 1881 and 1911 for England & Wales, 1881 for Scotland, 1911 for Ireland, 1881 for Canada and 1880 for the United States.

Brenda Dougall Merriman had a posted called “Loyalists: “O Give Me Land, Lotsa Land…” where she examines the ways in which Loyalists were able to obtain land in what is now known as Canada. She wrote “United Empire Loyalists: A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada.” A copy of this book is in my reference library and I recommend it if you have Loyalists ancestors.

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

This Documentary One podcast looks at the life of children in Irish workhouses in the 19th century. It describes how the workhouses came into being, how they worked or did not work and they look at some of the history of poverty in Ireland.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

On Thursday night I attended a book launch for “Halton’s Heritage: William Halton and Halton County” that was written by John McDonald. This is a book about the life of William Halton after whom Halton County is named. John has also written a brief history of the towns and villages in the county.

The launch was held at the Halton Region Museum in Kelso Conservation Area near Milton, Ontario. The event started at 7 pm and continued until 9 pm.

John was autographing copies of his book for people and the crowd was much larger than they expected.

There were many dignitaries there including Halton Provincial Member of Parliament Ted Chudleigh and Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz. Gordon Krantz was representing Gary Carr the Halton Regional Chair who was not able to attend the event.

John discovered during his research that there was another coat of arms for Halton County. The current one was granted on 16 June 1976. John presented Halton Region with an artists rendering of the original coat of arms. Gordon Krantz accepted the gift on behalf of Gary Carr.

Two special guests were at the book launch. Harry Andrews, the great great nephew of William Halton, and Christine Taylor, William’s great great great niece. Christine had travelled from Brisbane Australia to attend the book launch. William died without issue and Harry and Christine are descendent from William’s sister Mary.

They had many copies of the book for sale in both hard and soft covers. They also had John’s previous publication “Halton Sketches Revisited: Historical Tales of People and Events in North Halton” available to purchase.

This book will end up under many Christmas trees this holiday season.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Have you ever wanted to travel to Dublin to do family history research? Do you wish you had someone who could travel with you and assist you with the research?

I will be taking a group of researchers to Dublin Ireland from February 29 – March 8, 2012. We will visit the National Archives of Ireland, National Library of Ireland and other repositories. The group will stay in Buswell’s Hotel on Molesworth Street which is right across from the National Library of Ireland.

This trip is for the researcher who knows where their family is from in Ireland. You will need to know the county at least but a townland or parish is recommended.

Not sure how to prepare for a trip like this? You will be assisted in preparing your research plan so that when you arrive in Dublin you know exactly where you will need to go to start your research.

Space is limited! If you are interested please email me and I will provide you with the details and costs of the trip. My email address is info (at) familyhistorysearches (dot) com

You might decide to travel before the group meets in Dublin. If so I would recommend a stop in London England. The weekend before we meet in Dublin is the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show. It is being held at the Olympia in London on February 24-26, 2012. They bill it as “the biggest family history event in the world”. Last year there were over 13,000 visitors to this three day event.

Act now so you won’t be disappointed!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The National Library of Scotland has a website called “Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration.” There are six stories of Scottish emigration that range from the 1770s to the 1930s.

You can choose to read or listen to extracts from letters. There are image thumbnails which you can click on to view larger images.

There are tabs that relate to:

Preparing to go” which looks at why they left Scotland, where they went and other resources to help you with your research.

Arriving and settling in” looks at the transportation taken to the new world, what occupations they undertook and how they settled into their new way of life.

Building communities” examines how the emigrants rebuilt their lives in their new homes. They look at basic necessities, spiritual needs and Scottish and local customs among other topics.

Keeping identity” looks at how the Scots kept their cultural traditions in their new homes. They tended to idealize their homeland and some returned home.

The last section is “Resources” which provides printed and online resources to help you continue your research.

This is a website you may want to check when researching the reasons behind your Scottish ancestor’s emigration and how they created a life in their new home.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Here are my favourite blog posts from this past week.

The blog for the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society had a post written by Mike More called “Volunteering Outside the Box” which laments the lack of volunteers to help run local genealogy societies. This is something which I think all organizations that rely on volunteers to run them are facing at this time.

The NLI Blog has a posted called “The Spectre of Blood” written by Abigail Rieley. It looks at crime reporting in newspapers, in particular murder. The National Library of Ireland has a large collection of newspapers on microfilm. Newspapers are a wonderful wealth of information. I have researched the newspapers on microfilm in the NLI for a murder relating to my Toppin family. You can read more about it here.

TheWildGeese.com…Irish Genealogy and Family History Blog had a post this week called “Irish Custer Writer Discovers 7th Calvary Ancestor!” which is about Robert Doyle’s research into soldiers of Irish origins who fought in Custer’s Last Stand. Imagine his surprise when he found a collateral family link to this very event.

Paula Stuart-Warren of Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica blog had a post entitled “Budget Choices in Life and in Family History” where she looks at how we all have to budget our finances but there are still ways to accomplish some of our research goals without breaking the bank.

There is a new blog called The Paperless Genealogist. His tag line on the blog is “Join me on my quest to reclaim my office and save some trees as I attempt to eliminate as much genealogy paper clutter as I can from my office.” I will be following this blog with interest.

Chris Paton on his British GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) blog had a post called “How many Scottish church denominations?” This is something that everyone who does research in Scotland needs to know. Many people have told me they can’t find their ancestors in the registers of the Church of Scotland. They are not aware of the other denominations to be found in Scotland or of the secessions from the Established Church. “Burleigh’s chart of Scottish Churches” is another useful document to have in your Scottish research file.

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

Last year I found out that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and thought it would be a great idea for someone who is trying to write their family history stories.

The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to write a 50,000 word novel from scratch in a month’s time. Writing a novel is not something many of us are looking to do at the moment but writing family history stories is something that we want to accomplish.

NaNoWriMo could be the impetus we need to get started writing those stories. The idea of writing 50,000 words might be a little daunting but you could make that number 10,000 words. You could start writing your outlines and ideas down now so that you have a starting point for the first of November.

I am working on a local history project that would fit in beautifully with this idea. So that is going to be my focus for the month of November. I am going to write my local history project and get a rough draft done by the end of the month. The idea is not to have a book completed and ready for publishing by the end of the month it is to get the project started.

Writing your family history stories is a great way to find any gaps in your research. You think you have it all done and when you go to write it up you realize that there is some missing information.

I am putting a challenge out there to everyone who wants to write their family history. Use the month of November and NaNoWriMo to get you started. Let me know how you are getting along with the project. I will post updates on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page to let you know how I am getting along.

Now let’s get writing!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

The RTÉ Radio 1 program “Documentary One” has two podcasts relating to the 1916 Easter Rising.

The Week to Come” is the story of the 1916 Easter Rising as told by those who took part. The documentary is made from archive recordings. The archive recordings were made by Proinsias Mac Aonghusa in the 1960s and first broadcast in 1966 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Rising. The documentary was first broadcast in 2006.

In “The 1916 Room with Garrett Fitzgerald” four people are gathered to discuss how the 1916 Easter Rising affected them and where they were in 1966 during the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. The guests are Garrett Fitzgerald – his father was in the General Post Office during the Rising, Tommy McKearney – whose family were active in the IRB and were still active in the IRA, Richard English – author of “Armed Struggle: The History of the IRA” and Eilean Ni Chuilleanain – her family were involved in the events of 1922 and she grew up hearing the stories of 1916.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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