366 Days of Genealogy

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Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and December’s was census records. This is the last post for the 366 Days of Genealogy.

In 2013 on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page we are doing 52 Weeks of Genealogy. Each Friday I post a tip and suggestions that follow a monthly theme.

December 1

The topic for December is census records. When people think about doing census research one of the first places they look is Ancestry where you can find census records for many countries.

December 2

For English census records check out Findmypast

December 3

In the United States there is FamilySearch which also has census records from other countries.

December 4

Cyndi’s List has a list of census records for the United States.

December 5

A Genealogy Research Guide has a list of free US census sources.

December 6

When you are researching US census records don’t forget to see if there are any state or territorial censuses taken between the federal census years.

December 7

You can find US census records on Worldvitalrecords.

December 8

The Census Finder will help you find free census resources for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Native American, Norway and Sweden.

December 9

The Library and Archives Canada website have a list of all the places you can find Canadian census records online. Just remember that some of these records may not be complete yet.

December 10

Automated Genealogy is a good place to look if you can’t find someone in a census database somewhere else. This is a free website and the index is good. Right now you can look at the 1901, 1911 Canada census and the 1906 Northwestern Census, the 1851 census for New Brunswick and the 1852 for Canada East and West.

December 11

The 1851 Canada census had some difficulty getting started so some of it was taken in the first part of 1852.

December 12

Did you know that some areas of Canada including Ontario have census records earlier than 1851? They are usually head of household and may need to be viewed either locally or the Archives of Ontario. Some are available online.

December 13

Did you know that the 1871 Canada census has a mortality schedule and it lists the people who died in the previous twelve months?

December 14

You can also find out the lot and concession number for the land on which your ancestors lived in Ontario by looking at Schedule #4 of the 1871 census. You need to know the page and line number on the personal census to cross reference it. Each section of the census has mortality and Schedule #4 starting at the end of the personal census.

December 15

The 1901 and 1911 Irish census is available to search online for free. Don’t forget to check all the pages of the census that relate to your family. You might be surprised by what you find.

December 16

The Irish census records prior to 1901 were destroyed but some fragments still survive. Check out John Grenham or James G Ryan’s books for the county you are researching to see if any survive for that area.

December 17

For Scotland the first place to check for census records is Scotlandspeople.

December 18

If you want to save a little money in your search then Ancestry and FamilySearch have the indexes for the Scottish censuses online. You can check them out and if you find them then you have the reference you need to find them on ScotlandsPeople fairly quickly.

December 19

In the 1841 Scottish census they do not provide relationships or household connections on the census. The place of birth is either inside or outside the county where the census was taken.

December 20

Do you have family on censuses in Canada, the United Kingdom, United States or Ireland? Then you might consider using Lost Cousins. Read the instructions carefully as they use a specific format. It is free to upload your information but you pay a fee to contact a link. Sometimes they offer free access periods. The newsletter is full of useful information.

December 21

In a lot of early census records the ages might have been rounded up or down to the nearest five for adults. Keep this in mind when you are calculating ages.

December 22

Information found on the census can be questionable but it is a good place to start. Remember that the person providing the information might have guessed at ages and places of birth. If a father was giving ages for a long list of children he may have gotten a few wrong.

December 23

When you are doing census research find out the dates of enumeration. This can be important if you are looking for a family but they are not found. It could be they weren’t in the area yet or had recently moved on to a new place.

December 24

Try and think about what your family may have been doing during the time of the census. The 1901 Irish census was taken on 31 March 1901. My Great Grandmother was not found with her family because she married on March 12th.

December 25

I found one Irish ancestor who normally lived in Tipperary in the English census in 1901 because she was visiting her Aunt in Derby.

December 26

Don’t forget to check the FamilySearch Wiki for information on census records for all countries.

December 27

Did you know that there was an index for the 1841 New South Wales Australia census? You can search it online for free but if you want a copy it costs $15 AUS plus postage.

December 28

If you are searching for census records in New Zealand the pre 1966 records have been destroyed.

December 29

Familiarize yourself with the details and background as to how and why the census was taken. This will help you with your research.

December 30

Don’t just think of a country wide census. In Ireland the local churches often took censuses of their parish. I found one for 1831 which listed the head of the house and then the rest of the household were listed as: number of males, number of females, number of male servants, number of female servants. It also provided the townland where he lived. I have found church censuses in other countries as well.

December 31

Next time you fill out your census forms please remember the family members who may be searching for information on you in the next 100 years. In Canada this means ticking the little box that says you allow this information to be released otherwise it will never be released to the public.

To follow the new 52 Weeks of Genealogy all you have to do is “Like” Blair Archival Research.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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

November 1

The topic for November is Scotland. Scotland has a lot of information available online. The first place for anyone researching Scotland to check is ScotlandsPeople. You will need to register to search the indexes and purchase credits to view the images.

November 2

ScotlandsPeople not only have online databases they have helpful resources to aid you in your research.

November 3

ScotlandsPeople is a pay per view website but you get the images of the records which is almost as good as seeing them in person. Sometimes there are mix ups but in my experience they have always been quick to fix them and offer assistance.

November 4

You find census records, civil registration, OPRs and Catholic baptism registers at ScotlandsPeople but you will also find Wills and Testaments from 1513-1925.

November 5

The National Library of Scotland has an online database of maps.

November 6

The NLS also has an online database of Post Office Directories.

November 7

The NLS have many choices in their digital gallery to help you learn something new about Scotland and your ancestors. It is a great place to fill in some of that background for your family history.

November 8

Did you know that there are settlements of Scots in Argentina? You can find out more at “The Scots in Argentina (including Argentine and Chilean Patagonia) 1800-1950.”

November 9

You can find more Scottish Directories at Internet Archive.

November 10

The National Library of Scotland has a page called “Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration” where you can find out more about the experiences of Scottish emigration.

November 11

The Scottish National War Memorial honours nearly 150,000 Scottish casualties from the First and Second World Wars and other campaigns after 1945.

November 12

The University of Aberdeen has a Scottish Emigration Database which has records of 21,000 passengers from 1923 and 1890 to 1960. They left from Greenock and Glasgow to non-European ports.

November 13

The National Archives of Scotland have a list of guides to help you with very specific records.

November 14

A rather obscure database is “Historic Hospital Admission Records Project (HHARP)” which has a database of records for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow and it covers the period from 1883 to 1903. You can search admission records by name and year of birth.

November 15

Trying to find a place where a specific record might be held? The Scottish Archive Network is an online catalogue for 52 archives around Scotland.

November 16

The Scottish Archive Network has a great Research Tools section.

November 17

You can find digital images of the “Glasgow Herald” at Google News.

November 18

If you are looking for information on burials in Scotland then try Deceased Online. They cover most of the United Kingdom and the list of cemeteries in Scotland is growing daily. This is a pay per view website. You can click on Database Coverage to see what cemeteries are included.

November 19

Don’t forget to join the local family history society for the town or county where your ancestors came from in Scotland. They are a wealth of information and not everything is found online. The Glasgow & West of Scotland Family History Society is a good choice.

November 20

The National Museums of Scotland have the Scottish Life Archive. Their aim is to collect and preserve items relating to Scotland’s “material culture and social history.”

November 21

The Statistical Accounts of Scotland (1791-1845) is a good resource for Scottish research.

November 22

Electric Scotland is a place to find some reference material. They have books, history, gazetteers and many other items. The site is rather full visually and sometimes you get pop ups but don’t let those put you off because you may find something really interesting.

November 23

If you have Orkney ancestors then check out Find Your Orkney Ancestors.

November 24

One gem I found in my research was “The Diary of Thomas Scott of Dalkeith his voyage to Australia on the ship “Skelton” from 13th June to 27th November 1820.” I have collateral lines that went to South Australia in 1825 and 1830. This gives me a small idea of the kinds of things they went thorugh on their way to Australia.

November 25

“Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry” Third Edition by Kathleen B. Cory Revised & Updated by Leslie Hodgson is a good book to help with your Scottish research.

November 26

Another good book is “In Search of Scottish Ancestry” by Gerald Hamilton-Edwards. Both yesterday’s book and today’s are older books but they are good resources to help you find out about the different Scottish records.

November 27

Chris Paton has a book called “Discover Scottish Church Records” which should be in everyone’s library.

November 28

Another of Chris’ books is “Researching Scottish Family History.”

November 29

I like Dave Moody’s “Scottish Local History An Introductory Guide” it helps with the background research to your Scottish family history.

November 30

As I have said with other countries you always need a good gazetteer. I use “The Gazetteer of Scotland 1882” by Rev. John Wilson.

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

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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

October 1

This month we are going to look at tips that will help you with your church research. The first thing to remember is that your family may have practiced a particular religion but when it came to baptism, marriage and burial it may have been a case of the closest church available, particularly if they lived a fair distance from their church of choice.

October 2

When researching the parish of your ancestors remember to search the surrounding parishes in case they may have decided to frequent the churches in those parishes. You never know they may have had a falling out with their church and started worshiping in another.

October 3

Ancestry.ca has the Drouin Collection (1747-1967) an index of Catholic Church records in Quebec and Ontario.

October 4

Did you know that in the very early days of settlement in Ontario if a couple wanted to get married and there was no church within 20 miles of their home that they would put a notice up on a tree in the town to announce their intention to marry. If they got no objections they were married. This must have happened in other places as well.

October 5

Did you know that the United Church of Canada began in 1925 and was created from congregations that were Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist? If you can’t find your people in the archives for those churches try the United Church.

October 6

The Public Archives and Record Office of Prince Edward Island have a Baptismal Index that spans roughly from 1777 to 1923.

October 7

There is an indexed called Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Register for the Province of Ontario.

October 8

A great book for Irish church records is “Irish Church Records” By James G. Ryan published by Flyleaf Press.

October 9

There is a free searchable database at Ancestry.com’s ProGenealogists website called “Church of Ireland Parish Registers and Vestry Minutes at the RCBL in Dublin” RCBL is Representative Church Body Library.

October 10

Irish Genealogy which is part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has a searchable database for church records. This is a work in progress and more are being added each month. These records refer to both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Ireland. You will find some Presbyterian records for Dublin.

October 11

Are you looking for Diocese and Parishes for the Church of Ireland? You can search their webpage to find current information. You will find the current minister and contact information. You may also find a website that could provide you with more information.

October 12

Want to get really confused about the history of the Scottish church? A copy of “Burleigh’s Chart of Scottish Churches” is a must in any genealogist’s library. You can find a reproduction in Kathleen B. Cory’s book “Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry.”

October 13

In Scotland sometimes a couple just had to announce their intentions to marry to people in their town and they were considered married. No record in a church or civil registration had to be made. This is one variation of an Irregular Marriage.

October 14

The ScotlandsPeople website has church registers for the Church of Scotland (Old Parish Registers OPRs) and the Roman Catholic births and baptisms.

October 15

Trying to find a parish in England? See if the Parish Locator can help. You can even find the distance between two parishes to see if your ancestors may have traveled to another parish to worship.

October 16

Another free resource is Online Parish Clerks (Genealogy) which is still a work in progress and covers only a few counties. They are looking for volunteers so if you can help I am sure they will appreciate it.

October 17

Ancestry.com has some location and date specific church records for England: London, West Yorkshire, Dorset, Warwickshire and Liverpool to name a few.

October 18

Ancestry.com also has some location and date specific church records for the United States. It appears to centre on the eastern states.

October 19
FamilySearch has a long list of christenings and burials in their catalogue for the United States.

October 20

FamilySearch has a database called “Canada Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959” and one called “Canada Deaths and Burials, 1664-1955” these are general databases but the births and baptisms is a much larger database. Some of the information may be from the old International Genealogical Index.

October 21

FamilySearch has a database called “New Brunswick Births and Baptisms, 1819-1899” with over 22,000 records. There are Catholic records for Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia on FamilySearch.

October 22

If you are looking for Irish Catholic registers that are available to the public then check the online catalogue listing at the National Library of Ireland. They are working on digitizing this collection and putting it online.

October 23

FamilySearch has a database called “Ireland Birth and Baptisms, 1620-1881” which contains nearly 5,300,000 records. This is based on the International Genealogical Index.

October 24

The FamilySearch Wiki has a section called “England Church Records.”

October 25

They also have one called “Ireland Church Records.” They also get specific with Irish church records with pages for Church of Ireland, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Church History and Quaker.

October 26

Don’t assume that because you found a couple in a marriage index for Ireland that they married there.

October 27

The FamilySearch Wiki has a page on “United States Church Records.”

October 28

You will find a page for “Scotland Church Records” on the FamilySearch Wiki.

October 29

They have one on “Australian Church Records.”

October 30

And they have one on “New Zealand Church Records.”

October 31

Remember that church records are subject to the whims of the people taking care of them. Sometimes you will find them in the attic or basement of the family of one of the ministers of the church. They took them with them when they left/retired. They are also subject to natural disasters and the ravages of time.

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

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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

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

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.

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Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and June’s was writing and documenting your family history. 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.

June 1

Since we did oral history last month we are going to look at writing and documenting your family history this month. Writing our family history is something we all put off. Remember one thing – the research will never be finished so start writing today.

June 2

There are several useful books on the subject. The first is “Writing and Publishing Your Family History” by John Titford. This is a publication from England.

June 3

Another one is “You Can Write Your Family History” by Sharon Carmack

June 4

“Writing Family History and Memoirs” by Kirk Polking will help with both your family history and when you start to write your own stories.

June 5

Don’t forget about adding more than names and dates to your family history. “Bringing Your Family History to Life through social history” by Katherine Scott Sturdevant provides guidance to help you find out more about the time in which your ancestors lived.

June 6

“Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century A Guide to Register Style and More” was edited by Michael J. Leclerc and Henry B. Hoff and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

June 7

Don’t forget about citing your sources. “Evidence Explained” by Elizabeth Shown Mills is the main reference for this.

June 8

Are you afraid of the blank page? Don’t be. My Aunt, an author and teacher, always told me that the writing process starts with the editing. Start putting the words on paper and the rest will follow.

June 9

There are blogs that will help guide you through the writing process. The first is “Create your Life Story helping you record a lifetime of stories.”

June 10

You might also want to check out the blog Family History Writing.

June 11

I think the name of this blog says it all.

June 12

Are you thinking of writing your own memoirs? This blog might help.

June 13

The Heart and Craft of Life Writing is an interesting blog.

June 14

Writing your family history can take many forms. A lot of people write their family history in the form of a blog. It is usually free to start up and you can write something as long or as short as you want. The good thing about this is that it is not as daunting as a book. It is a story and each time it can be different. Write enough stories and you will have your book.

June 15

Some people like to keep family up to date with their research and family history stories via a newsletter. Stark County District Library in Ohio has a guideline for doing this online. They provide a bibliography of books to help you with the process.

June 16

One book that I like is “Start Your Own Newsletter from Scratch” by Jim Terhune. It was published in 1996.

June 17

If you share your newsletter with extended family you never know what new information may come from it. A story you write or documenting some research you have done might jog their memories.

June 18

If writing the history of your whole family is too daunting then why not start with you? You know your own history better than anyone and have most of the documentation and memorabilia that relates to your life. The first rule in genealogy is start with you!

June 19

You can write your own life story with the help of websites who will guide you through the process.

June 20

Writing your family history doesn’t always have to mean writing a book. You could scrapbook your family history and write journal entries. Again you can start with you and your family, and then move on to other generations. Martha Stewart has several ideas.

June 21

You might decide to do a digital scrapbook. You can find a guide on PDF here.

June 22

Does your family have a lot of recipes that have been handed down through the generations? Writing a family history cookbook could be another way of documenting your family history.

Gena Philibert-Ortega has just written a book called “From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes

June 23

If you are going to produce a family history cookbook you could make every recipe you want to include in the book and take a photograph of it. Write down the memories and stories that are associated with the recipe. Then write a small biography of the ancestor who originated this recipe. If you don’t know the original ancestor then the ancestor who is most associated with the recipe.

June 24

A good book on the subject of creating a family history cookbook is: “Meals and Memories: How to Create Keepsake Cookbooks” by Kathy Steligo. This was published in 1999.

June 25

You could start writing your history by picking the ancestor you feel the strongest connection to and write their story first.

June 26

Is there an ancestor who accomplished a lot during their life time? Start to write their story.

June 27

Write the story of an ancestor who was involved in major world events such as war, natural disaster, economic downturn, a mass exodus or something different like winning a sporting event.

June 28

If you have a black sheep in your family you could start writing their story. Remember that if there are people still alive who might be adversely affected by this story to keep it private to spare their feelings.

June 29

Do you have an ancestor who led an everyday normal life like the rest of us and you don’t know where to start? Augusts’ 366 Days of Genealogy might be able to help.

June 30

The important thing to remember is to start now and not put off writing your family history until tomorrow.

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May 1

May’s topic is oral history and interviews. It is important to talk to those family members who remember farther back than you do. They may know something you don’t and during a chat may reveal a tidbit that only they know.

May 2

Don’t push the person you are interviewing to answer a question. Sometimes there might be a secret that they don’t want to divulge. It might be something that you don’t see as scandalous but they do.

May 3

A book that I have found useful is “How to Tape Instant Oral Biographies Recording Your Family’s Life Story in Sound and Sight” by Bill Zimmerman. It was published for the first time in 1979 and I have a reprint from 1992. They talk about using camcorders and audio tapes but you can update those to digital audio recorders, pocket camcorders and smart phones.

May 4

You can find an online step-by-step guide to oral history here.

May 5

Make a list of family members that you would like to interview and the reason why you want to interview them. While compiling this list you may come up with the names of others you would like to interview.

May 6

Create a list of open ended questions that will help you discover more about your family history. Don’t be too specific with your questions. Sometimes a more general question can bring forth more information.

May 7

You may have to do the interview over several visits. You might have to spread them out and not do them on consecutive days.

May 8

It is always nice to bring a little something as a thank you. When I did interviews on the history of Trafalgar Township I brought everyone a small bag of homemade shortbread. It was something that didn’t take much time and was appreciated. You are showing you appreciate them taking time to talk to you.

May 9

If you have pictures or other memorabilia relating to the family bring it along to help the conversation. Sometimes a picture can jog a memory and then the conversation can go in a different direction and provide you with information you didn’t know about.

May 10

When you confirm the date of the interview you can mention some of the topics that you are interested in learning more about so that they can think about it before you arrive.

May 11

Texas A&M have a web page called “Oral History: Techniques and Questions” which provides a starting point.

May 12

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage has an interviewing guide in PDF that you can download.

May 13

Discover Nikkei “Japanese Migrants and their Descendants” has a web page that provides a guide to doing your own oral history interview. It starts with the equipment and there are videos to help you along. On the right hand side of the page are some interviews you might find interesting.

May 14

When you have finished the interview make a transcription of the audio. It will make it easier to reference in the future.

May 15

Remember to make extra copies of the interview and store them in different places.

May 16

Ask the interviewee if they would like you to give copies of the interview to their children. They might appreciate it.

May 17

Don’t put the interview online without the express permission of the interviewee. They may not want their interview made public.

May 18

Tell the person you are interviewing what you want to do with the information they share with you.

May 19

You may find they will talk to you but do not want to be recorded in any way. You will have to do it the old fashioned way and take notes.

May 20

You may want to ask the person you interviewed if they would permit you to share their interview with the local history society in the place where they grew up. This is the sort of thing that local history societies love to have in their collections as it provides first hand accounts of life in their town.

May 21

When you are researching your family history think about sourcing oral histories to help you with background research.

May 22

The local historical society may have recorded or have transcriptions of interviews with life time residents of the town where your family lived. They may mention your ancestor and will provide wonderful background information you can use in your family history.

May 23

Oral history recordings of war veterans provide you with an idea of what your ancestor might have gone through during war time, especially if it was someone who was fighting on the same battlefield.

May 24

Don’t just think about the oral histories of war veterans that fought on the side of your ancestor also think about those who fought on the other side. This could provide a new dimension to your family history.

May 25

Oral history is not only something that you can do with regards to your own personal family history. You could interview war veterans and share the interview with people on the many websites where you can listen to war veteran interviews. Library and Archives Canada have audio interviews with First World War veterans on their website.

May 26

You could volunteer at your local historical society to interview people who have spent a life time in your town. It might not have any connection to your family history but you will learn something new about where you currently live.

May 27

While you are thinking about gathering oral histories from other people please don’t forget about your own oral history. What a wonderful legacy to leave your family.

May 28

Creating your own oral history is easy as you know what questions you will answer and you can create a script before you start the camera or digital recorder. You could use pictures and memorabilia on screen or scan them and create a multi media presentation.

May 29

If you want to take it further there are Oral History Associations you can join to learn more.

May 30

If you do not want to do it yourself there are people who do it professionally. The Association of Personal Historians can provide you with more information.

May 31

Are there people you want to interview in your family? Don’t put it off, start today.

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April 1

This month we are looking at Libraries and Archives. So lets start with the one I visit the most the Archives of Ontario. Unfortunately you will not find any records online at this archive. You can search their online database and they have some online exhibits that are useful. They also have online guides to some of the records you can find there.

April 2

Library and Archives Canada have many databases to search for free and you can find them through the Genealogy and Family History section.

April 3

The United Church of Canada Archives can help you find what church records are available for your research location. Don’t forget they hold some Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian records. The United Church of Canada wasn’t formed until 1925.

April 4

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick have many digital records online.

April 5

The British Columbia Archives have searchable indexes online.

April 6

Check out the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive.

April 7

What can you find at the Dublin City Library and Archives?

April 8

Learn about archives in Ireland

April 9

Go down memory lane with the Mitchell Library in Glasgow Scotland.

April 10

What can you find in the Scottish Screen Archive?

April 11

Can you find anything in A2A (Access 2 Archives) relating to your family?

April 12

Were your ancestors involved with the Scouting movement in Great Britain?

April 13

What can you find in the World Digital Library?

April 14

Have you searched the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) at the National Archives in the United States?

April 15

What can you find at the Allen County Public Library?

April 16

What can you find at the Family History Library? Try searching beyond the catalogue to see what is new at FamilySearch.

April 17

Looking for an image of Australia? Try the National Library of Australia’s Picture Australia which is now hosted by Trove.

April 18

The National Archives of Australia can help you learn more about researching your family in Australia.

April 19

Project Gutenberg Australia is “a treasure-trove of literature” and you will find many free books under the topic of Australiana.

April 20

When you check out the library website don’t just look at family history check to see what local history has to offer. The Auckland City Libraries in New Zealand have some interesting information.

April 21

The National Library of Wales has quite a few online databases for you to search.

April 22

The Archives of Wales don’t have any online databases but they have a very good how to section for Welsh family history.

April 23

Internet Archive is a great online library to help you with your research and they offer a lot more than books.

April 24

Can’t find a book in your local library? Have you tried WorldCat? Maybe you can get it through inter-library loan.

April 25

Project Gutenberg covers many countries. See what you can find here.

April 26

Check out the blogs on offer through the British Library.

April 27

The National Library of Ireland has a blog.

April 28

Check out the different digital collections you can find at the Library of Congress.

April 29

Using the National Library and/or Archives websites can provide access to some free databases to help you with your research.

April 30

Always go to the website of the National Library and Archives for the country you are researching. They may have a page or PDF dedicated to helping people who are researching their family history and digital databases that may help you.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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

March 1

Do you have Irish ancestors? Have you mapped out where they lived in Ireland? Check out my 366 Days of Family History posts for February 1-4 and create your maps.

March 2

A great book for mapping your Irish Ancestors is “A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland” by Brian Mitchell.

March 3

You must have a good gazetteer in your library. I use “Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland” which is dated 1851.

March 4

Two books that are invaluable to the Irish researcher are: “Irish Record Sources for Family and Local History” by James Ryan and “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” (all three editions) by John Grenham. John Grenham is about to release the fourth edition of “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors.”

March 5

Researching church records? Then I would recommend “Irish Church Records” by James G Ryan.

March 6

Are you just beginning your Irish research or have you been doing it for a while? Either way it is a good idea to attend conferences and lectures on the topic. If you can’t attend conferences then FamilySearch has an online learning centre with free webinars relating to Ireland.

March 7

Another great resource at FamilySearch is the Wiki. They have informative pages relating to Irish research on their Wiki. If there is a record group you are interested in learning more about you can find out more on the Wiki. There are pages that relate to counties, history and many others.

March 8

If you are not familiar with Irish history then it is a good idea to read up on the subject. The history of Ireland affected its record keeping and it is important to know how and when events happened.

Robert Kee has written “Ireland A History” and the three volume set called the Green Flag series. F.S.L. Lyons is the author of “Ireland Since the Famine” which will give you a good overview of the time period.

March 9

Read as much as possible about Ireland’s history, people and keep up to date with the availability of records. A good way to do this is to read blogs. I like The Irish Story blog for information on history. To keep up with record availability try the British & Irish Genealogy blog and Irish Genealogy News. Don’t forget to follow The Passionate Genealogist.

March 10

If your ancestors worked for a large estate in Ireland you may find them in the estate records. A good book on the subject is “The Big Houses and Landed Estates of Ireland” by Terrance Dooley.

March 11

H.V. Morton wrote a book called “In Search of Ireland” which was published in 1930. The book chronicles his first trip through Ireland. It is an interesting read.

March 12

Have you ever browsed the Eneclann website? They are a Dublin based company and they digitize records and items relating to Ireland. Some of their information can be found on Origins and FindMyPast Ireland. They have digitized journals such as The Irish Ancestor and The Irish Genealogist.

March 13

A useful book is “A Visitors’ Guide Irish Libraries Archives, Museums & Genealogical Centres” by Robert K. O’Neill. It lists institutions found in the 32 counties and provides information under the headings: contact information, hours, access and services, contact, description, holdings and location. You may find a small museum that can help you break down that brick wall.

March 14

Do you belong to a genealogical society in Ireland? I highly recommend joining one to help you keep up to date with new information and to learn more about researching in Ireland. You never know you might find a new cousin.

March 15

Are you looking for Irish maps? A good online source is Past Homes. They have a searchable database of Irish Townland maps that were surveyed between 1829 and 1843. They are in colour and show houses, churches, shops, woodlands and other things. It costs $25.00 US to subscribe for one year and then to download or order other forms of the maps costs extra.

March 16

A real treasure for the Irish researcher is Hayes Manuscript which has been available in large university libraries but is now online and searchable for free. The National Library of Ireland has put this publication online, including all the supplements. You can search by name, place and subject.

March 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have an ancestor who worked for Guinness? You can read more about the history of Guinness and their archives on their website. There is a section called genealogy where you can fill out a form to search their employee database. It is a transcription with basic details and provides descriptions of what your ancestor did for a living at Guinness.

March 18

Have you visited the Irish government website called Irish Genealogy? You can search transcriptions of parish registers for Dublin City, Carlow, Cork and Kerry. These records include Roman Catholic parish registers. They will soon be putting Roman Catholic records for County Monaghan (Diocese of Clogher) online.

March 19

The 1901 and 1911 Irish census records have been available since the 1960s. A few years ago the National Archives of Ireland, with the help of Library and Archives Canada, digitized and indexed the census records and put them online for free.

March 20

Have you ever visited the Library and Archives Canada website “The Shamrock and the Maple Leaf?” It provides online access to essays, music and a gallery relating to the “Irish-Canadian documentary heritage held by Library and Archives Canada.” They provide a list of published resources to help you with further research.

March 21

You can find more Irish-Canadian resources at Early Canadiana Online.

March 22

The IreAtlas Townland Database can help you find out more about the townland where your ancestors lived. It will provide you with the townland, what other name it might be known as, acreage, county, barony, civil parish, poor law union and province.

March 23

You can search Griffith’s Valuation online for free at Ask about Ireland.

March 24

The Registry of Deeds project is a work in progress. You can browse by many different categories to see if you can find information on your ancestors land holdings. Remember it is an ongoing project so if you don’t find something go back later. You can help by contributing to the project.

March 25

Findmypast Ireland has been in operation for about a year and they have many unique records on their website. They are a pay per view website. One year costs €59.95 and you can also purchase Pay as you go credits. The rumour is that some time this year you will be able to buy a world package from Findmypast similar to Ancestry.

March 26

Ireland Genealogical Project has been putting free information online. They are organized by county and provide links to many useful websites.

March 27

The Irish Genealogical Project Archives are listed by county and have listings of records available to search. These records are put online by volunteers so some might only have one record in the record source. It is still worth going in and seeing what you can find.

March 28

In the Irish Genealogical Project Archives there is a section called cemetery records. Here you will find a transcript of the monument inscriptions in the cemetery. These are still a work in progress. You can also find pictures of some of the grave stones under the title headstones.

March 29

Don’t forget to check out the Ireland GenWeb Project to see what new information they have.

March 30

Do you have Quakers in your Irish ancestry? Then check out Quakers in Ireland and learn more about their beliefs and their history in Ireland.

March 31

Are you planning a genealogical research trip to Ireland? Then my book “Planning a Genealogical Research Trip to Ireland: The Research Trail in Dublin” can help you prepare for your journey and provides some tips on using the repositories in Dublin. You can purchase a copy at the Genealogy Store. You can also sign up for my research trip to Ireland. There is only space for 7 and you can stop at Who Do You Think You Are? Live on the way to Dublin.

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