Saturday, December 08, 2007

BBC family history

Programming - News - BBC orders more 'Waterloo', 'Who Do?' - Digital Spy

" . . . the BBC has extended its 2008 order for Who Do You Think You Are? from eight to ten hours and booked another eight hours for 2009. It is produced by Wall to Wall which was bought by Shed Media last week.

Shed Media chief executive Eileen Gallagher commented: "Waterloo Road is extremely popular with viewers and ratings have continually been strong, especially with the valuable 16-34 audience.

"Who Do You Think You Are? is an incredibly successful brand, and continues to be BBC One's flagship factual programme, consistently delivering on average over six million viewers per episode."

Friday, December 07, 2007

S&N Genealogy Supplies

S&N Genealogy Supplies - Software, UK Census and Data CDs
I used to get my software updates here each year - until FTM 2008
and their useful glossy 2008 Catalogue dropped through my letter box today

The Genealogist: About Our Online Subscriptions
The largest collection of Census Transcripts covering England and Wales

We have census transcripts for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 as part of our All-Inclusive subscription.

These cover all counties of England and Wales and exclude 1881 as this year is available elsewhere free of charge. The census has linked images so the original pages can be viewed. You can also see the transcript of the household and the family.

Additionally we haved added the majority of the 1901 census and the rest will follow soon.
The Complete 1901 is available as a Pay as You Go subscription.

Many of our existing subscribers have praised our data for accuracy (see feedback). The data is checked by volunteer indexers. These are family historians who have local knowledge of the areas and local names they are checking.

Census transcripts provide information contained in the original census pages as clear, typed text, searchable by forename, surname, age, occupation, relationship to head of household, birth-place.

Genealogy Mailing List

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Monmouthshire Wales

A History of Monmouthshire:
"From the coming of the Normans into Wales down to the present time

by Sir Joseph Alfred Bradney
Originally published in twelve parts between 1904 and the author's death in 1933,

Bradney's monumental survey, extensively illustrated and containing dozens of pedigrees, remains a basic reference work essential for the serious study of local history or genealogy in Monmouthshire.

This facsimile edition consists of nine uniform hardback volumes, containing the entire text of the original edition, including preliminary matter, indexes and illustrations, reduced to about 80 per cent of full size.

The first two volumes listed here are out of print but are included to provide a complete bibliographical record."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Roscommon Ancestors Ireland

Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: "by John Hamrock

A comprehensive guide for those tracing families in County Roscommon, where common family names include Kelly, McDermot, Beirne, Regan Reagan, Flanagan, Connor, McDonagh & Quinn.

This was one of the Irish counties worst affected by the Great Famine of 1845-47, which resulted in emigration of a huge proportion of its population. The new title is filled with information on what the records contain, and how and where they can be accessed. It is well illustrated with maps and with examples of the types of records to be found. It also has an extensive listing of references to estate records, and also to family histories.
There is a full index."

European Library

The European Library Web Exhibition: " features 300 pictures of the National libraries of Europe; it provides many fascinating building details and broad architectural examples of official monuments across Europe."

unfortunately neither Wales nor Scotland are included in this union catalogue

The European Library - v1.6

1911 census of Ireland - The Irish Times - Tue, Dec 04, 2007 - 1911 census details can be accessed online from today: "The digitisation project, which was developed over several years by the National Archives of Ireland in partnership with Libraries and Archives Canada, gives users the chance to search the census by first or family name. . . . .

The site contains the digital equivalent of 4,000 reels of microfilm and 3.5 million images. It currently holds records for Dublin only, but project organisers aim to post forms for the rest of the country - as well as details of the 1901 census - next year.

Some entries are missing, of course. They include those for the suffragettes Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington, Anna Haslam and Louie Bennett, all members of the Irish Women's Franchise League, who decided to boycott the census in protest at not having the vote.

When a policeman interrupted one of their meetings on the night before census day to remind them that it was illegal not to fill out the form, the women told him they had arranged for airplanes and submarines to remove them from the soil of Ireland for the night of April 2nd."

Irish Genealogy: Census returns
Dublin 1911 Census Online goes live at - read more

Closure notice for the media preview - 12-14 December

National Archives of Ireland 1911 census search from

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

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Family Tree Maker software Board Home Page > Message Boards > Topics > Genealogy Software > Family Tree Maker software

GENEALOGE: Family Tree Maker software Board

a new coment by on my old blog :-

This is a follow-up to my Nov. 3, 2007 posting concerning the potential for data loss while transferring information to Family Tree Maker 2008 (FTM2008).

Although efforts to make contact with the management team of FTM2008 were unsuccessful prior to my posting, two days after the posting, David Humphreys initiated contact which resulted in ongoing communication.

For those who are only “scanning” this posting, I will sum up the info below by stating that I now tend to believe there is NO LOSS OF DATA when info is transferred into FTM2008 from external sources.

After establishing contact with the FTM development team, I shared a copy of my database with the team and they repeated the same processes I described that I believed contributed to data loss. They report they could not identify any data loss in the transfer to FTM2008, and explained that the apparent loss of data is due to the fact that FTM16 (the old version) stores data differently in its internal database dependent on whether the data was "entered directly" into FTM16 - or - was “imported” into FTM16 (e.g. from an imported GEDCOM or other file).

I've been advised that the new FTM2008 uses a totally differently schema (data base storage structure/content/semantics) from the older software -- BUT -- does not result in any loss of data.

I have begun checking their explanation with a smaller sub-set of my data, and have so far found their explanation to be true.

The main difference I’ve found (and which led me to believe there was data loss) between FTM2008 and FTM16, is a difference in how some source information appears to the end-user in FTM2008. ALL source information in FTM2008 is a more hidden, and harder to view than it was in FTM16, but in certain situations the source information within FTM2008 for events (i.e., Name, Birth Date, Death Date, Marriage Date, etc.) is more “secreted” than FTM2008’s “norm”.

It appears that when source comments stored in FTM2008 DO NOT reference (or are not linked to) specific records within the Master Source file, these comments appear differently than source comments that ARE directly linked to an entry in the Master Source file - - BUT - - they are stored in the database and appear to the user (and in reports) somewhat differently in FTM2008 than these same comments did in FTM16 (they appeared with the comments but showed “No Master Source”)

Coupled with the fact that FTM16 stores data in different ways (discussed above – ‘direct-entry’ versus ‘import’) the other factor that led me to the conclusion that data had been lost results from how FTM2008 produces a GEDCOM file, as opposed to how FTM16 produces a GEDCOM file. It appears both versions DO produce standardized GEDCOM-compliant files; however, each version uses different rules to produced those compliant GEDCOM files (i.e., FTM2008 appears to take long comments and/or notes, and generates multiple short “CONC” lines within a GEDCOM file (instructions that cause those lines to be later concatenated/linked) - whereas FTM16 takes those same long comments and/or notes, and generates longer lines within a GEDCOM file.

To recap - - - I now tend to believe that the importation of data to FTM2008 will not result in a data loss within the new version’s database. Some of the info may be a bit hard to find, but everything appears to be there.

As far as needed improvements to FTM2008, the management team responsible for FTM2008 development advised me that the ‘just-released’ Service Pack 2 strives to improve the reliability of the application and should improve some performance issues. The new SP2 also added the Ahnentafel & Register reports to the application. They assured me they were “looking hard” at ways to improve the way FTM2008 deals with ‘Sources’ along with other on-going performance-enhancing improvements.

For me personally, I will continue to use FTM16, but will regularly re-evaluate FTM2008 for performance and functionality issues, and will probably upgrade in the future when I can be as comfortable with the new version as I am with the old.

Dan Hunter

The Canadian Who do you think you are

The Canadian Press: Scott Thompson traces roots on CBC show, longs for 'Kids in the Hall' reunion: "TORONTO - Scott Thompson, arguably the most memorable of 'The Kids in the Hall' gang, giggles as he confesses he's always had a strange antipathy towards the Irish.

'I'm a bit of a contrarian and Irish pride is sometimes a bit overwhelming - I just find ethnic pride silly,' Thompson says on the line from his home in L.A. 'And they're the loudest about it. It's like 'Oh please, shut up, there are lots of other people in the world, so going on and on about your ethnicity is nonsense.''

But the CBC celebrity genealogy show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' traced back Thompson's roots on the episode airing this Thursday and discovered that he is, in fact, almost entirely Irish and not, as he'd always thought, a Scot.
'I guess my self-loathing knows no bounds,' he says with a laugh before launching into a typically outrageous riff that's vintage Thompson: 'So I find out I'm Irish and now I'm wearing green and I've got a bottle of Bushmills on the side and I'm beating my youngest and I'm frying up a rat because there's a famine and I'm chewing on grass.'

the controversial Canadian comic says he was fascinated to learn about his ancestors and their unimaginably humble existence - something that came as a shock to his elderly mother.

Thompson, who did a legendary impersonation of Queen Elizabeth during his "Kids in the Hall" days, says he and his siblings have always resembled the Windsors, and suspects his mother had fanciful dreams that the family blood was seriously blue.

"We really do resemble the Windsors - my features align perfectly with some of them," says the 48-year-old Thompson.

"My mother was hoping that they'd find that we were somehow related to the Royal Family and then it would be like: 'Oh my God, you're a lady!' and then they'd bring her back to England and she'd sit in Parliament and live the life of Riley, but apparently no - that's not going to happen."

Quite the contrary, in fact, Thompson points out.

"What the show basically told us is that there's not a hint of poshness, there's no aristocracy, it's just one pauper after another - dirt-poor farmers, sailors, maids. My great-great-great-grandmother was a young widow, she had three boys, she died at 47, 48 of a broken constitution and her occupation was listed as a pauper. That's pretty humble."


Monday, December 03, 2007

Jim Panttaja’s Genealogy Research » Publish your genealogy research -

Jim Panttaja’s Genealogy Research » Publish your genealogy research -

There are a couple of services that let you publish ‘books’. The one that I have the most experience with is Lulu. With this service, I can take a book that I have created using Family Tree Maker, upload it to, and then order printed copies of the book to share with my relatives. I could also choose to allow others to order copies directly either in printed form, or download a PDF file.

The process if fairly simple, and the books are quite inexpensive. I often print copies for myself that are spiral bound. The binding let’s me easily review them, mark them up, or use them for reference on a trip to the library. I often end up giving them away when I visit relatives. For smaller family groups, I have had them printed in booklet form (a staple in the middle like a magazine. I just order the latest revision that I have created of my personal genealogy (356 pages) in ‘perfect bound’, which is sort of like a paperback book.

The perfect bound is about $12/copy for 356 pages.

I usually request one first - take a look at it, make sure that the pages are right (odd numbered pages on the left), and proof it one more time. Then I order several (might be Christmas presents - or maybe some copies for my local library).

One trick you will have to overcome is to make sure that the fonts are all embedded in the .pdf file. I accomplish this by opening the PDF file on my Mac using PDFPen (which also let’s me do some simple editing - Family Tree Maker sneaks in a blank page for me at page 3 on all of my documents. I haven’t figured out how to tweak Family Tree Maker to not do that - so I just remove the page using PDFPen). Having opened the file, I ‘print to PDF’. That gets the fonts embedded, and I am good to go. On a PC, I had to use"

Sunday, December 02, 2007


International Tracing Service Archive: "To learn more about the years-long effort to open the International Tracing Service (ITS), the largest closed Holocaust archive in the world, explore the links on this page."

D.C., Jerusalem Museums Given Huge Nazi Archive -

"The keepers of a Nazi archive have delivered copies of Gestapo papers and concentration camp records to museums in Washington and Jerusalem, providing Holocaust survivors a paper trail of their own persecution.

Six computer hard drives bearing electronic images of 20 million pages arrived late Monday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum here and the Yad Vashem Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem.

Last week, the director of the International Tracing Service, custodian of the unique collection that has been locked away in Germany for a half century, released the files for transfer to the two museums.

But it will be months before the archive can be used to search family histories. Even after it opens to the public, navigating the vast files for specific names will be nearly impossible without a trained guide."

Museum | Press Room | Press Room Archive:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — All 11 countries overseeing the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive located in Bad Arolsen, Germany, have ratified the agreement that officially opens the massive Holocaust archive. This marks the conclusion of a long diplomatic process led by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to open this archive to help survivors and their families obtain information about their loved ones.

The Museum, the American repository for the archive, is in the process of receiving a complete digital copy of the archive and is working to make the documentation accessible in January 2008, so that it can begin responding to survivor requests for information. The archive is being transferred in installments, and the Museum expects to have a complete copy of the material by 2010.

"This is a significant milestone in the long process of helping Holocaust survivors finally learn the fates of their loved ones," says Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. "The Museum undertook this enormous task on behalf of survivors and their families, and we are committed to quickly getting them this long overdue information."

The ITS archive contains more than 100 million images of material relating to the fates of approximately 17.5 million people—both Jews and non-Jews—who perished in the Holocaust or who otherwise fell victim to the Nazi regime. In August 2007, the Museum received the first installment of material, containing 18 million images of arrest, camp, prison, ghetto and transport records, and the Central Name Index (the primary finding aid for the collection) arrived in November. The remainder of the collection, relating to slave labor and displaced persons camps, will be transferred in installments between 2008 and 2010.

The Museum is investing in the hardware, software and personnel to make this mass of electronic documentation—in more than 25 languages, much of it hand-written—accessible. In addition to building new systems to access the collection, Museum staff members have received weeks of intensive training at the ITS facility in Germany to familiarize themselves with the collection.

The Museum will announce through its Web site and the media when it can begin responding to survivor requests for information. Beginning Monday, December 3, survivors can submit requests to the Museum via the Museum's Web site,, or by calling the Benjamin and Vladka Meed Registry of Holocaust Survivors toll-free at 866-912-4385.

Together with ITS, the Museum has created an inventory of the more than 21,000 separate collections of material that are contained in the ITS archive. The inventory provides brief descriptions of the collections at ITS that will help users understand the kinds of records that are—and are not—contained in the archive. It does not list the names of individuals found in the archive, nor can it access individual documents in the collection.

For more information on the ITS collection and its availability, please visit the Museum's Web site,

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was created to inspire leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity and strengthen democracy. Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanence, and donors nationwide make possible its educational activities and global outreach. For more information, visit

Andrew Hollinger (202) 488-6133