Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

 

 

Merry Christmas from the Passionate Genealogist!

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

Thank you. Lest we forget. Oh Valiant Hearts.

Ottawa War Memorial - First World War Side

Ottawa War Memorial – First World War Side

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

On November 7th I will be speaking at the Waterdown-East Flamborough Heritage Society 25th Annual Book Fair in Waterdown. I will be presenting two lectures “Beginning Your Genealogy” and “Researching Your Halton and Wentworth County Ancestors.”

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Book Fair Seminar Poster LL_0

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin
National Library of Ireland

National Library of Ireland

As you know from previous blog posts I am going to Ireland in the Fall and have been busy preparing my research plans for the trip. My plans for PRONI are complete and I have just finished the plans for the repositories in Dublin.

National Archives of Ireland

I have a relatively small list of items to check here. Unfortunately they don’t have a complete online catalogue. It starts about 1980 and is only updated with the new items that are donated to the archives. They do have a long list of wills and testaments but I researched most of those in 2003 but have one or two to check on this visit. There are some parish registers on microfilm that need to be checked. When I go to the Archives I will see what they can suggest for further research.

A written synopsis on the person of interest has been prepared. This will help me focus on the subject and will help the archivist/genealogist to understand what I am trying to achieve.

They have a free service for researchers. There are professional genealogists who will provide you with suggestions for your research.

National Library of Ireland

There is a long list of items for this repository. There are quite a few newspapers I want to check and they have a good selection on microfilm. There are some online but unfortunately not the ones/years I am interested in researching.

There are a few manuscripts and books that also need to be checked.

Dublin City Libraries and Archive

Here I will be searching parish registers, newspapers, a few books and manuscripts. I did a search in their online catalogue and came up with a few interesting hits so they need further research.

Valuation Office

The Valuation Office is a stop on this research trip. There are properties in Dublin and Tipperary I want to check. Fortunately these appear to be digitized and available for the public to view in their offices. I have checked and copies from this office could be expensive, especially with the current exchange rate, so I will have to be choosy about my copies.

General Register Office

There are a few birth, marriage and death records that I need to get. I already have my index references so it should be a relatively quick visit to get the copies. The office is located on Werburgh Street and is near St. Werburgh’s Church which I would like to see so I can do both at the same time hopefully.

Representative Church Body Library – Church of Ireland

I am going to the RCBL to search some parish registers. I have done research here several times and always find something I wasn’t expecting. They have online lists for some records that they hold.

So that is my plan for my research trip to Ireland. It is about 25 pages long and has addresses, opening hours, email, phone numbers, catalogue listings and any other pertinent information listed on it. I will be going through it several more times before I leave. Cleaning it up, adding more information that may be relevant. I always add a little extra so that if I have time it would be nice to find out more.

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin
Photo Courtesy of Heritage Mississagua

Photo Courtesy of Heritage Mississagua

On October 3rd I will be doing a First World War workshop at Mississauga Heritage. The two lectures are “In Search of the Men and Women who served in the First World War” and “You Won’t Find it all in the Military File.”

If you are interested in joining us you can contact Jane Watt at 905-828-8411 Extension 0 or email info@heritagemississauga.org

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

On September 23rd and 30th I will be speaking at the Oakville Public Library, Central Branch. The topics are: “Scottish Research from a Far” and “Scottish Research beyond the Census & Civil Registration.”

If you are interested in attending this lectures you can sign up through the Oakville Public Library website.

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

IMG_1871

 

Lately I have been reading “A Curious Mind The Secret to a Bigger Life” by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman. You may recognize the name Brian Grazer. He is a movie producer and business partners with Ron Howard. Together they have made memorable movies from “Splash” to “A Beautiful Mind.”

In this book he discusses his lifelong devotion to curiosity. He has “curiosity conversations” with well-known people from varying backgrounds. He is at heart a story teller. Brian Grazer says: “Curiosity motivates us to explore and discover. Storytelling allows us to share the knowledge and excitement of what we’ve figured out. And that storytelling in turn inspires curiosity in the people to whom we’re talking.” [Page 82]

This got me thinking about family historians. The main reason we get involved in researching our family history is curiosity. We are curious about our past, our family, the unknowns that are directly connected to who we are. If you don’t have curiosity I don’t think you would ever start on the path of researching your family history.

Many family historians take this a step further. We find a person who has no connection to us but our curiosity pushes us to learn more about them. We find a piece of ephemera, a newspaper article, a lonely tombstone and we want to learn more. Curiosity pushes us to tell the story of these apparently lonely items and the people attached to them. We can take it a step further and try to reunite found items with living family members.

Brian Grazer says: “The vividness of someone’s personality and energy really only comes alive when you shake hands and look them in the eye. When you hear them tell a story. That has a real emotional power for me, and a real staying power. It’s learning without being taught, it’s learning through storytelling.” [Page 90]

This is another part of family history. We interview and connect with the generations before us. They could be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins, no matter how distant. We meet with them, connect with them, we look in their eyes and see a part of our own story. They may have parts of the story that we are unfamiliar with and the sharing of the story connects us.

He also says: “…the curiosity is all about the story. What’s the story of your life, and how are you hoping that money or a new hairstyle will help you shape that story and help you share it.” [Page 94] Now as family historians we are not worried too much about a new hairstyle. We may worry about money so that we can pay for the documentation to help us further our research.

Isn’t family history all about the story, our story? Isn’t it the goal of family historians to write our family story? We want to share that story with other family members. Our aim is to have our ancestors honoured and remembered by future generations.

The curiosity of family history usually starts with one person and one link to the past but it is shared with multiple generations with the hope that they can learn something from those that came before.

Wouldn’t you love to have a “curiosity conversation” with one of your ancestors?

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

 

 

 

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin
National Library of Ireland

National Library of Ireland

Lately I have become a little jealous of the people in Ireland doing genealogy. They have the most remarkable resources available to them and most of them are free. I wish they were available to genealogists outside of Ireland.

What am I talking about? Lectures, usually free, being held at the National Library, PRONI and other venues. Almost daily I get new reports of what is coming up in the way of topics and speakers. I would dearly love to attend some of these lectures but it is hard to do when you don’t live in Ireland.

Unfortunately, when I am in Belfast the lecture PRONI is giving would take time out of my research. The good thing with PRONI is that they sometimes record their lectures and put them on YouTube, so I can sit at home and watch them at my leisure.

The National Library of Ireland have been holding lunch time lectures all summer and they have announced their September line up. It would be wonderful if these were put on YouTube or a podcast.

I have been listening to the National Archives of England podcasts for years and they are very informative. Yes, a podcast is a little less enjoyable than a webinar when slides are involved but you still get the main idea of the lecture and can learn something new.

It would be a boost to the Irish genealogy community, and their link to the genealogy community outside of Ireland, to start making these lectures available to people who can’t be there in person. Since the majority of the lectures are being offered to the general public for free then that should be the same for the viewing/listening audience.

Wouldn’t you love to learn more about “Mapping Ireland’s Industrial Past” or “Using maps for thinking about history: An Illustrated talk”?

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin
©2015 - Blair Archival Research

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

 

As mentioned in a previous blog post I am preparing to go to Ireland to do research this Fall. Since my first stop will be Belfast my main focus at the moment has been on the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland – PRONI.

They have a great website and an e-catalogue that I have been searching. The other online catalogue being searched is Sources at the National Library of Ireland because they have some information in that database that can be found in PRONI.

When you do research in Ireland you need to research in Dublin, Belfast, England and sometimes Scotland for your Irish ancestors. They may not have lived in all those places but records pertaining to them may be found in the repositories of these countries.

Sources is the online version of the Hayes Manuscripts. In the early 1940s Richard Hayes started an indexing and cataloguing project that would encompass 30 countries. He was going to source all the documents that related to Ireland and have a single place to search for them. You can read more about it here.

Thanks to Richard Hayes we have a wonderful resource to search for records relating to Ireland and her people. The records could be found in repositories around the world including PRONI. A search of several surnames provided links to documents I want to examine at PRONI.

Now I only have one full day and several hours to do research at PRONI. There is no way to get a readers ticket prior to my visit. Therefore there is no way to pre-order documents I want to examine before I actually get there.

When I get to PRONI I will be researching with military precision so that I can access all the information I need. Just to double check I emailed PRONI and they confirmed that there was no way to pre-order copies before my visit. Copies can be ordered and mailed to me but there is a £15.50 search fee plus copy charges for every document I want copied. Since the exchange rate is not very good at the moment this option is financially unfeasible.

In the reading room five documents can be ordered at a time and it takes 20 minutes to get the documents. Reading the website I have learned that a photocopy order form will have to be filled out for each document. Once the copies are ordered the next five documents can be requested. Since there is 20 minutes to wait for the orders to arrive the forms can be filled out while I’m waiting.

To date I have about 27 documents to view and about 10 microfilms to search. The documents are almost certainly related to my family. This can be deduced from the catalogue reference description. The microfilms are church records and finding something is less certain.

So my research plan for PRONI is almost complete. All that is left is to tidy up the cutting and pasting I have been doing from the online catalogues. This is a great way to make sure you have all the right information to order the documents.

Next are the research plans for the Dublin repositories!

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

My RootsTech trip in February came up rather quickly so I didn’t have time to get a full research plan done. Thankfully, every time I find something that I want to check I put it into my To Do List in RootsMagic. So when this trip came about I printed everything off that was under the repository name Family History Library.

 

2014-02-17 15.11.07

This helped me gather my research plan together quickly and I was able to find a few other items to check while there. At the end of my visit I usually end up checking out sources that weren’t on my list. This inevitably leads to a new find just before I leave but with no time to go further in the search. So when I get home it gets added to my To Do List in RootsMagic for the next trip.

I am preparing to go to Belfast and Dublin this Fall and have already started working on my research plan. Over the next few months I am going to create a series of blog posts and share with you how I am preparing for this trip. There are a few items that I really want to find out more about. One was found at the Family History Library in February. It was a Finding Aid for a manuscript held in Trinity College Library in Dublin.

My inquiries have shown that there are a few restrictions to use the Trinity Library to do research and I thought this was the perfect time to hire a professional. I have sent out my query and will see what the costs and timeline may be.

Why a hire a professional to do this instead of doing it on my own? Well they have the reading cards for the library and would go there on a regular basis. They know the library and how to locate documents. They will get this research item completed far faster than I would in the short time I have during my visit. The professional will hopefully find the document I am looking for and then I can see what information it has and may add a new item to my research plan before I go.

I am also in the process of contacting the repositories I want to visit to make sure they have the documents I’m interested in and to learn what would be the best way to access them. It may be best to order them in advance so that they are waiting for me when I arrive. Or that might not be an option. These are things I am going to find out before I go.

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

 

 

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

« Older entries § Newer entries »