Friday, July 14, 2006

IHGS Announcement

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies is seeking a professional genealogist with strong administrative ability to work at its office in Northgate, Canterbury, Kent on either a full or part-time basis. The job will involve undertaking research as well as assisting with planning and publicity of events, courses and other projects.

The candidate will ideally be highly organised, computer literate, able to work unsupervised, meet deadlines and have excellent written and oral communication skills. The salary is negotiable depending upon hours, ability and experience.

For further details of the position, please send a CV with a stamped addressed envelope to – IHGS, 79-82 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1BA.

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies was founded in Canterbury in 1961 to promote the study of the history and structure of the family and of subjects generally auxiliary to historical application.
Aided by its commercial supporting company Achievements Ltd, the Institute provides education in family history at a variety of levels for beginners to advanced students.

The Institute also runs a bookshop stocking a very comprehensive range of titles of interest to family historians, including those produced and published by the Institute and its founder Cecil R. Humphery-Smith.
Please click here for more information on Institute publications. The Institute also produces a quarterly journal Family History containing transcripts and editions of original family histories, genealogical and heraldic documents and articles, guides to research, reviews, illustrations and facsimilies of documents. Please click here for more information on Family History.

see also Happy Memories by C. H. R-S.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

working with wills from 1858 to date

- Government News Network: "Lord Chancellor''s Department Press Office

"Michael Wills opened the Probate Record Centre, 65 Egerton Road, Erdington, Birmingham

I got my will copies from:-
Birmingham District Probate Registry
The Priory Courts
33, Bull Street
B4 6DU
Tel: 0121 681 3400/3414

I am using the National Wills Index 1858-1972 at the Central Library
see more at
Birmingham Metropolitan District Council

Now I have four out of the six wills
one wrong John Jones to reapply for
but they may have mixed up the papers more than 100 years ago
two telephone calls later and it should be ready

Today at Probate Record Centre,
Iron Mountain (UK) Ltd
65 Egerton Road,
Erdington B24 0RR

and my grandfather's will is ready to be collected
The files are all at Erdington since 4th February 2002

Ancestry advertise Historic UK and Ireland Parish and Probate Records ranging from 1538 to 1837 but they are not yet very complete

English Probate Jurisdiction Maps now have Search at

A complete collection of maps and guides outlining pre-1858 English Probate Jurisdictions (EPJ) will be available online through FamilySearch. The probate records of England are among the best genealogical sources for direct evidence of relationships. They are also among the most neglected sources because of the many variations in jurisdictions which governed the probating of wills prior to 1858.

The EPJ maps and guides provide a wealth of useful information.

Until now, these valuable resources were only available in printed form. The EPJ maps and guides include tips, tables, and color maps. Starting with Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, and London, FamilySearch will release the entire collection of maps or guides over the course of the coming months.

To be automatically notified as maps are released, register with If you are already registered, please visit the My Info section to ensure that your e-mail address is current.
Click here to view available English Probate Jurisdiction Maps, Guides, and Search (pre-1858).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


LOCATING HISPANIC ANCESTORS -- and any other foreign names - even welsh places

Spelling errors for Hispanic names occur for various reasons:

-- Unfamiliarity with Hispanic names and their spelling on the part of a census enumerator, tax collector, or other recorder.
-- Transcription errors on the part of an indexer/transcriber of handwritten records.
-- Use of abbreviations or phonetic substitutions on the part of the original recorder or the transcriber as a "shortcut."
-- Inadvertently reversing two letters when writing or transcribing information.

Spelling errors occur not only when transcribing handwritten names into typed lists but also when creating typed indexes (e.g., Texas Birth Index, Texas Death Index).

Use some the following tricks to locate Hispanic ancestors whose names may be misspelled in various types of records:

-- Reverse the "ua" with "au" (e.g., Gaudalupe for Guadalupe or Jaun for Juan).
-- Truncate online searches after the first syllable using a wildcard (e.g., Ben* retrieves Ben, Benito, Bengamin, Benjamin, Benancio, Bennie, Benny).
-- Replace ending vowels that indicate gender with single character wildcard (e.g., Fideli? retrieves Fidelio and Fidelia).
-- Try "anglicized" forms of the name (e.g., Richard or Richardo for Ricardo, Charlie or Charles for Carlos, Joe for Jose, Albert for Alberto, Mary or Marie for Maria, Rosie for Rosa, Louis for Luis, Pete or Peter for Pedro, William or Willie for Guillermo, Alfred or Fred for Alfredo, Nick or Nicholas for Nicolas, Alex or Alexander for Alejandro or Alexandro).
-- Replace single vowels with the single character wildcard (e.g., Guad?lupe retrieves Guadalupe and Guadelupe).
-- Try abbreviated forms of the name (e.g., Franca for Francisca, Franco for Francisco).
-- Try diminutive forms of the name (e.g., Lupita for Lupe or Guadalupe).
-- Replace diminutive endings with the wildcard symbol (e.g., Guadalup* retrieves Guadalupe, Guadalupita, Guadalupito).
-- Try nickname forms (e.g., Lupe for Guadalupe).
-- Try replacing consonants with other consonants that are phonetically similar (e.g., Birginia for Virginia, Venancio for Benancio, Dionisio for Dionicio, Felan for Phelan, Ozuna for Osuna,
Lopes for Lopez).
-- Try replacing vowels with other vowels (e.g., Erma for Irma, Deonicio for Dionicio, Ygnacia for Ignacia, Elaria for Ilaria, Dalfina for Delfina).
-- Replace "ll" with "y" and vice versa (e.g., Aguallo for Aguayo).
-- At the beginning of names, try substituting "G" or "L" for the letter "S" (e.g., Salinas may have been transcribed as Galinas or Lalinas because of unclear handwriting).
-- Be creative. Use phonetic spellings (e.g., "Monwell" or "Manwell" for "Manuel," Morralles for Morales).
-- Try "tion" at the end of names that normally end in "cion" or "sion" (e.g., Conception for Concepcion).

This list is not comprehensive but may get you thinking about alternate spellings (or misspellings) that appear in various types of records. Create a list of all the misspellings that you've found for future reference and routinely search using these misspelled forms of
the name.

Where possible, compare spellings provided by indexers/transcribers to original handwritten versions of records. You may immediately recognize a spelling error that was introduced by an indexer versus a spelling error on the part of the person who handwrote the record (e.g., the census enumerator or tax collector).

You can help yourself and others in the future by submitting corrections to databases. As you find misspellings, use the Comments and Corrections feature where it is available to submit corrections or alternate spellings.

Irma (Salinas) Holtkamp

I would add - think about initial capital letters in copperplate - for example T for F or S

AWJ EDITOR'S NOTE: To learn more about the Comments and Corrections feature at, see


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Monday, July 10, 2006

blogging MacBook Pro

my latest blog is My own MacBook Pro which is about learning to use my new mac-on-intel machine

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Western Canada 1870 - 1930

Western Canada Land Grants (1870-1930) is a searchable and free resource
for locating settlers and their land grants in Canada's western
provinces -- produced by Library and Archives Canada. Locate those who
stayed in the West and find those who acquired land grants in the West,
but ended up moving on to other opportunities.
RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
5 July 2006, Vol. 9, No. 27
(c) 1998-2006, Inc.
* * *
Editor: Myra Vanderpool Gormley, Certified Genealogist

database of USA deaths from about 1962 to May 2006

SSDI Updated. RootsWeb offers access to the Social Security Death
Index (SSDI), which currently includes deaths records through May 2006.

This free database contains several important bits of information on the
more 77,584,245 persons whose deaths are on file with the U.S.'s Social
Security Administration (SSA), including: social security number, date
of issuance, state of issuance, date of birth, date of death, and last
address of record.

The SSDI is created from the SSA's Death Master File. It is a database
of people whose deaths were reported to the SSA beginning about 1962.
The SSA Death Master File and SSDI are used by leading U.S. government,
financial, investigative, credit-reporting organization, medical
research, and other industries to verify identity as well as to prevent
fraud -- and to comply with the U.S. Patriot Act.