Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dae Powell, designer and operator of ShoeString Genealogy.

ShoeString Genealogy: "ShoeString Genealogy provides Family Historians with information about how to research their ancestors both on the Internet and in libraries and other repositories. Besides how, it indicates where—locations for information and the relative value of each."

GENTREK: DOCUMENTATION -- the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
by Dae Powell []
presented by Jayne McCormick []
Isn't it wonderful when other researchers document their sources? Yet what a pain it is to document our own, right? Although essential to genealogical research, documentation requirements trip up most beginning researchers. Documentation speeds further research and lack of it assures failure. Beginning family historians complain that documentation, "cramps my style," "shouldn't be so important," and "slows down the fun."
Those old enough to look back and say, "I can remember when it took two years to do what you can do in a few hours today," have difficulty accepting these statements. A generation-gap seems to be developing between researchers. Those who have been involved in the family history pursuit for years revel in the convenience of the computer, the speed of the searches, and the newly acquired data sources that help correct errors in earlier research. However, the new generation of researchers take these aids for granted and are feeling the pressures of our frenzied society. They want results, and they want them now!
Still, today's technology has the potential to narrow the generation gap. For example, citing a source is hard enough to do once, but to have to enter the same source two or three times is enough to challenge even a seasoned researcher. Why are we entering our sources more than once? Four major reasons are:
1. There is no universally accepted documentation format.
2. Documentation varies according to the writing medium
(e.g. pen, typewriter, or computer).
3. Documentation requirements vary depending on whether the
information is to be published in an article, book, or electronic database.
4. What we start out doing, is often NOT what we end up doing.
Information prepared for one purpose, is regularly needed
in another medium or publication format.
No Universal Standard
The lack of standardization is evident even with common data sources. The following examples show how entries for three common family history documents: a birth certificate, a census record, and an item from a periodical would appear using four different documentation methods.
In the following examples, Lackey refers to the guidelines published by
Richard S. Lackey who wrote Cite Your Sources - A Manual for Documenting Family Histories and Genealogical Records in 1980. These guidelines became the standard of the Board for Certification of Genealogists and were the most accepted guide for documenting genealogy sources for many years, but the many newer electronic sources were not addressed.
NGS refers to the documentation method used in the publications of the National Genealogical Society.
Mills refers to the researcher's citation method I use. It is from Elizabeth Shown Mills' book, EVIDENCE EXPLAINED, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, released in 2007. This method aids the researcher by insuring that all aspects of documentation are covered and organises them for efficient searching. Mrs. Mills is a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, of whom there can be only 50 living. She is well-respected and her books are encyclopædic.
These three documentation formats are not the only guidelines available, but they illustrate the lack of a universal source document standard for genealogists. (We call these formats guidelines instead of standards, because by definition, a standard should be standardized.)
Standards for documentation in every field are constantly evolving. In the field of genealogy, new publishing processes, preservation methods, and retrieval methods have changed the way we record information. Not only is the validity of our past research supported by our source citations, but our ability to effectively continue that research depends on it. Therefore, although citing our sources is less tedious than it used to be, current research techniques demand that documentation be even more exacting than in the past.
Three Different Citation Methods
STYLE Sample Citation for the Same Birth Certificate
Lackey Birth Certificate for John Doe, 10 Jun 1920, File Nº 6837-20,
Mississippi State Board of Health, P.O. Box 1700, Jackson, Miss.
39205. Certified copy in possession of writer.
NGS John Doe, birth certificate no. 6837-20, 10 June 1920, Mississippi
State Board of Health, P.O. Box 1700, Jackson, Mississippi.
Mills Jackson County, Mississippi, birth certificate, File Nº 6837-20,
(issued 10 June 1920), John Doe, citing the 1920 registration in
“Book 7, page 61D, Birth Records of Jackson County”; County
Clerk's Office, Jackson County, Mississippi. Located 1-Apr-2006.
STYLE Sample Citation for the Same Federal Census Entry
Lackey 1880 U.S. Census, Winona Co., Minn.; Enumeration District 289,
Supervisor District 1, sheet 19, dwelling 172, family 182; National
Archives Microfilm M-408, Roll 315.
NGS Mortimer Edwards entry, U.S. census, 1880 population schedule,
Winona County, Minnesota, Winona Post Office, Enumeration District
289, Supervisor District 1, sheet 19, dwelling 72, family 182.
Mills 1880 U.S. census, Winona Post Office, Winona County, Minnesota,
population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 289, p. 19 (stamped),
p. 21 (penned), dwelling 72, family 182, Mortimer Edwards;
NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 717. Located 1-Mar-2006.
STYLE Sample Citation for the Same Source Periodical
Lackey Joan B. Grady, "English Genealogy, 1848-1856,"
The Everton Genealogical Helper, 43 (July-August 1989), 5-8.
NGS Joan B. Grady, "English Genealogy, 1848-1856,"
The Everton Genealogical Helper, 43 (July-August 1989), 5-8.
Mills Joan B. Grady, "English Genealogy, 1848-1856,"
The Everton Genealogical Helper, 43 (July-August 1989), 5-8.
Why Do We Document As We Do?
In the past, the high cost of producing, duplicating, and distributing published research restricted the use of long source citations, document transcriptions, and copies of original documents. Furthermore, interrupting the flow of a story with lengthy citations was considered tedious and unnecessary. With electronic publishing these considerations are much less important.
It is clear that each citation must contain enough information to lead someone back to the original source materials, but sometimes we just don't know how to describe a source. Today, technological advances give genealogists access to many unorthodox sources including graphic representations of documents.
In other fields, bibliographic entries, which are far more abbreviated than reference notes, are sufficient for reports because these entries are not meant to show exactly where in the reference a specific item could be found. Genealogy reference citations, however, must provide full detail on the location of each source needed to prove a relationship, date, location, or event. A reference citation may also be created to explain an interpretation of the record.
Documentation Varies According to the "Writing" Medium
If the family historian is typing each page with a typewriter, the output will look different from the same information entered into a database. Does the entry mechanism require a "fill-in-the-blank" approach or are long narrative explanations required? Are sources linked to each vital event or do they flow chronologically after each person? After all, although a citation is good, an actual transcription, abstraction, and interpretation of the documents being used to prove a point is even better. Computers allow the space to record, and the ability to search, all these clues.
Students taking my adult education genealogy classes don't plan to write a book on their family and yet many of them end up producing a wonderful history book. They find it easy to do, because I encouraged them from the first moment they entered their family at the computer to also enter the sources for their information. Throughout the sessions, I ask them, "How do you know that?" or ''Where did you get that information?" Their answers are then entered as documentation. To make the process easier in the beginning genealogy classes, I provided a form to guide them.
Documentation Varies According to the Final Published Outcome
If we knew we were going to produce a CD-ROM history for our family with video-clips, photographs, and family oral histories linked to scanned documents and nicely portrayed family group records and pedigree charts, our citations would differ from those we'd use to submit an article to The New England Historical Genealogical Register. Yet, who can predict how many ways the research one does today will be published in the future?
The beginning genealogist is often surprised to find that a citation is not enough to document a family history. In electronic formats, the space limitations are not nearly as restrictive. We are not only able to cite sources but to transcribe or abstract text, keep track of sources searched, and include individual skill, knowledge, and experience in a personal interpretation of the materials within our documentation. All this should be entered in a format which would keep all three parts of the reference distinct: the citation, the document itself (in whatever format it is recorded), and the researcher's evaluation. Transcripts, abstracts, and interpretations of the record should also be part of documentation as well as the citation. Abstracting, extracting, transcribing, or copying the record cited provides a valuable service for the reader. Fortunately guidelines have also been provided for avoiding pitfalls when entering this second aspect of a complete documentation reference. For example, when extracting, only extraneous, redundant words are removed while all the essential Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How elements remain. If something unusual is encountered, it is recorded as it was found. Names, dates, signatures, and punctuation are NEVER corrected and any needed explanatory remarks are included in brackets.
Entries are recorded in chronological order, not necessarily in the order recorded in the original document (starting with the year for easy reference) to reconstruct a historical timeline. If the document is torn, difficult to read, missing parts, or in some way different from others in the same series, that should be noted as well.
Ellipses (three dots, with spaces between) should be used to indicate that part of the original text is not being cited. Using ellipses will indicate that you are leaving out non-essential information such as legal verbiage or redundant sentences. Brackets [ ] are used to signify that material not found in the original is being added, such as a point of clarification or an alternative transcription of a hard-to-read word.
Not only will these citations and abstracts help others, once they are listed in their entirety, they will guide the researcher to other sources and lead to additional clues. As sources are constantly coming to light with imaging and online databases, heightened public awareness of genealogy, involvement by businesses in disseminating information, and faster and more efficient preservation methods, many of these sources require new citation guidelines. Elizabeth Shown Mills cites several references not covered in Lackey including electronic mail, tombstone transcriptions, photographs, CD searches, GEDCOM transfers, and secondary book references.
But improved formats for recording citations is still only part of the solution. This third part of reference is also the most neglected step in the entire research process. The evaluation of the document, in light of the objective, or goal, for using that particular document is to prove a point. Good genealogical documentation requires that the interpretation of data be placed in either a separate report or at least separated from the citation to prevent confusion with the original document. The original document, as well as the evaluation, is used by others who will rely on the work. Social customs and word definitions have changed and a proper explanation can be helpful. By consulting authoritative sources such as Black's Law Dictionary [] or historical references of the time to understand how the meaning of phrases has shifted over time, or referencing unabridged dictionaries for multiple definitions relationships can be verified.
A colon should follow the end of the citation. At this point, leave a blank line to separate the citation from the actual transcribed, abstracted or extracted information alluded to in that citation. If the researcher added an interpretation of the document or insights about the document itself, these statements were placed within brackets [].
If a long interpretation, historical background, or a list of searched sources surrounding a particular document or research problem was necessary, these items were set off in their own paragraph with their own headings. Various rules were put into place to keep the information succinct yet inclusive of all pertinent information, for example:
1. Place documentation in chronological order based on the date of the information contained within each transcript, abstract or extract, not the date of publication. For example, if a marriage certificate indicated a person was born in 1847, start the citation with the year of birth, not the year of the marriage certificate, if the purpose for entry was to prove documentation for the birth year.
2. Give each event a one word event title (if possible) to quickly pinpoint what events are included and what events have yet to be found (e.g., those not having a title). Again, this word should describe the event, not the source from which it originated.
Next, list the geographical location in this order: the country, state (if in the U.S.A., two-letter postal abbreviation since these can be changed automatically by the computer later to full state names), county or shire, and town/parish/township, post office or river courses, or other geographical designations. In other words, go from the largest jurisdiction down to the smallest. Again, the purpose of this is for ease in interpreting chronological life events of an individual. The examples below (which include only part of the citation portion of a complete three-part documentation) demonstrate the ease with which a researcher may see both the years and the movement from state to state or from country to country.
Example 1 lists the available collected notes on one individual who moved from Ohio, to Kentucky, and finally Indiana. Example 2 portrays the movement of another individual from England to Utah from the collected notes of that person.
1847 BIRTH: OH, Hamilton Co., Cincinnati, California Twp.
1850 CENSUS: KY, Jefferson Co., Louisville, District 2.
1860 CENSUS: IN, Vanderburg Co., Evansville, Evansville P.O.
1835 BIRTH: England, Wiltshire, Salisbury
1862 MARRIAGE: England, Wiltshire, Salisbury
1863 BIRTH OF SON: UT, Great Salt Lake Co., Parley's Canyon
1914 DEATH: UT, Salt Lake Co., Mill Creek
Below, Example 2 is used to demonstrate how a quick glance can suggest to a researcher other, unused, easy-to-acquire, missing resources which should be searched to contribute evidence regarding children, dates of immigration and naturalization, previous marriages, etc. Sources in bold type are those to be looked up and are only for illustration of ease in using this system. [I am not suggesting these to be entered in their appropriate place until they have actually been looked up.]
1835 BIRTH: England, Wiltshire, Salisbury
1841 CENSUS: England
1851 CENSUS: England
1861 CENSUS: England
1862 MARRIAGE: England, Wiltshire, Salisbury
1863 BIRTH OF SON: UT, Great Salt Lake Co., Parley's Canyon
1914 DEATH: UT, Salt Lake Co., Mill Creek
3. List the major parts of the citation in one of the guideline formats (such as Lackey, NGS, Mills' method, etc. In the table "Items Covered in Documentation," the various segments of the citation are described. Each one attempts to answer who (the author, compiler, etc.), what (description of the source which may be a title for a book, a description of a collection, or an index to other records), when (a specific date, a span of time for this record collection, but not the event year), where (the places covered by this book, collection, or item which may be inclusive of the one location stated in our examples just previously given, as well as the actual repository for the item being used), and how (book, film, fiche, electronic media, etc.). The why questions will be dealt with later.
To learn this system, the form "Documentation Guidelines for Computer Entry" was used. A sample form can be found at my web site,, under Charts. The information can be hand-entered onto this form and then practiced by several times whilst learning to enter data into their documentation. After you become accustomed to the method, the forms can be abandoned.
Questions Description of items covered
WHO? The author, compiler, publisher, and provider of the information.
WHAT? Description of the source such as: title of the book, description of
the collection, or an index to other records.
WHEN? A specific date or span of time covered by this record collection,
book, film, or fiche. Example Wills: 1834-1910
WHERE? The places covered by this book, collection, item, etc., and
addresses of publisher, person providing information, or a
repository when necessary.
HOW? Format of the collection, book, or item (e.g. book, film, fiche,
electronic media).
WHY? The researcher's evaluation, historical background, societal
customs which may provide the evidence to prove a point, etc.
4. As you enter your documentation, do it in three steps. First the citation, then the actual document, and finally the evaluation or interpretation of the information.
5. The actual document may be entered using a variety of formats determined by the document itself or your own purposes. These include transcripts, abbreviated extracts, abstracts, actual scanned copies of the document, or a reference to a photocopy or original document somewhere else. If a 17th century document is scanned into the computer certainly a transcript of the information should be provided as few people will be able to read such early handwriting.
6. Jimmy Parker, Director of the Family History Library, once stressed "evaluation is the most neglected aspect of the research process." Therefore, evaluation of the document in light of the Objective, or goal, for the use of that document is included in the data entry process. Although an evaluation statement is not necessary with every item of data entered (a marriage document obviously gives the marriage date, for example), there are others which will need an explanation.
7. Once again rules apply for entering information in a free-form field.
Different handicaps are apparent in various genealogy software programs. For example, most programs do not allow for titles to be italicized or underlined. Therefore, many users enter titles all in caps. I find it useful to surround the title with an underscore at each end. Later the caps will need to be converted to standard formats (possible with search and replace program tools but awkward if any dashes or symbols, such as 1723-1834, exist in the title source if the search program will not recognize symbols).
Does Today's Genealogy Software Help?
Researchers expect better solutions to our problems, and often look to technology to handle the mundane aspects of our work. While very cognizant of past methodology, we wonder if new avenues have been explored for improving upon the system. A long-range solution is to have computers take the drudgery and confusion out of documentation by dividing each reference into three parts:
a the citation
a the document abstract, extract, transcript and/or image
a the researchers evaluation of the document
The Citation
Citations are now fielded and linked to databases so that sources don't have to be entered more than once. (Hurrah for that!) Since there are standard elements used in all source citations, computer programmers have developed source modules to make data entry easier. Once entered, these essential elements can be automatically rearranged or even reformatted to match any of the publication guidelines using a user's preference setup.
The Document
Documents that are scanned, transcribed, abstracted, or extracted with the capability of keyword searching (scanned items which can be OCRed could be searched) such as is currently available in the Personal Ancestral File™ feature known as Focus and Design and in the Family Tree Maker™ versions since version 8. These robust features are why many researchers like these two programs not only to keep track of TO DO lists, but also to find elusive clues embedded in their notes. It you are entirely serious about documentation, there is none better than The Master Genealogist™ from Wholly-Genes Software.
The Researcher's Evaluation
The evaluation format should also be free-form and should provide keyword searching capabilities as indicated in the previous paragraph.
These suggestions not only make it easier to document research and provide a solution to some of the tedious aspects of our work, but they provide a protection against misguided and incorrect research.
Lest we think incorrect research is a small problem, consider an article written by Dan Leeson, CG, who confided "When I began to look for my roots, I was absolutely convinced that my family's file was out there somewhere, that it contained all of my history in all branches, and all I had to do was find out where it was located; that is, genealogy was the finding and digesting of a complete, already-created file that was all about my family." This amusing, yet true, tale of how he searched from library to library for this lost volume, sent out hundreds of letters, and talked to countless people until one day someone took the time to explain to him that it wasn't a matter of finding the file, it was a matter of creating it himself.
The reality is that millions of people, most of them hobbyists, now, and in the future, have access to the Internet and will be looking for their "file," or buying hundreds of thousands of genealogy computer programs, downloading names, and lining up created families.
Several of these on-line hobbyists have recently signed up for some of my genealogy classes. They honestly do not understand why documentation is necessary. "After all, isn't this just for fun? And isn't everything on a CD already verified?" Imagine what these replies do to a mid-life genealogist with decades of experience! I tell myself to be calm, that this person truly does not understand, and that this too shall pass. But I still want to do whatever is necessary to inform the developers of genealogy computer programs, not only to include warnings and safeguards against undocumented data, but to help us prevent errors in the beginning. It is no accident that GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) was one of the first sayings created by the computer generation.
When asking some of these hobbyists where they found the source for the link to their 2nd great-grandfather, they respond, "I found him on the Internet," which generated visions of 200 year old ancestors roaming the electronic airwaves. Computerized sharing of data often occurs without the built-in safeguards associated with paper publishing, such as pre-publication screening, proofreading, editors, reworked drafts, galley previews, and post-publication reviews by impartial readers. Much of electronic publishing is actually only working papers. Therefore we need to exercise even greater care with documentation.
Again, since most of us don't know when we start our genealogy research what we are going to ultimately do with our data, wouldn't it be marvelous if program developers could use a general citation form and then give several options for printing the citation information?
It is very evident that new software is replacing professionals who have training and experience. We have word processing programs which help us become our own editors and financial programs which balance our own checkbooks. In the future, computers with intelligent systems may help us do genealogy research, but we must be wise in our use of this technology. There are still important standards to be maintained and techniques to learn if automated research tools are to produce accurate family histories. Documentation is one of those standards that must be learned, and our computer tools should help maintain that standard.
The purpose of this presentation was to bring together the combined thought processes behind the development of several types of documentation methods. By doing so, the genealogy community could share its concerns with the software industry in hopes that a standardized method might evolve. The advantages of standardization are obvious if we as genealogists wish to avail ourselves of greater technological advancements without being overwhelmed by the tedious aspects of our work. The easier the process is and the more accurate the results, the more people who will engage in this activity.
Isn't it comforting to know that even though the universal standard hasn't as yet been developed, enough guidance is available to sufficiently document your sources to produce worthy family histories? In the meantime, we will wait (rather impatiently) for technology to catch up.

from another site:-

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: "The following should be read with a question mark and a smile. Full documentation is a very tedious and time consuming process and impossible in many cases. Nothing is made up but much of my information comes form legends, ancient manuscripts and historically questionable sources."


Who Do You Think You Are? Live - Show/Event - Exhibitor List: "exhibitors are listed alphabetically"

Normal on door ticket price £20, all activities at the show included in this price.
Children aged 6-15yrs £5 in advance and under 5yrs are free.
Calls charged at national call rate 0871 230 1091.
Tickets must be bought in advance of the show.
* £1.95 transaction fee applies. Offer ends 1st May 2008.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live - 2008: "Take advantage of the discounted advanced ticket rates by booking today."

The Society of Genealogists

Stand No. 263

Anglo-German Family History Society

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Anglo-Italian Family History Society

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Bedfordshire FHS

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Berkshire Family History Society

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Bristol & Avon FHS

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Buckinghamshire FHS
Over 30 years of transcribing and indexing Bucks records. Our searchable databases will be available at the show as well as our published parish register, census and other transcripts and many other bookstall items.

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Cambridgeshire Family History Society

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Cornwall FHS

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East Surrey FHS

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Essex Society for Family History

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Families In British India Society (FIBIS)

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FHS of Cheshire

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Glamorgan FHS
A lively, thriving Society with an enviable transcripton catalogue of parish registers, census returns and other relevant material. Knowledgeable and friendly volunteers to help you.

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Guild of One-Name Studies
Guild members are surname historians - they register and research one name, in a 'one name study'. They gather considerable information and this can be of great value to fellow family historians. Visit our bookstall, browse our surname books and consult our Register to see if we have your name!

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Gwent FHS

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Hampshire Genealogical Society

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Hastings and Rother Family History Society

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Irish Family History Foundation
The Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF) and its cross-border network of local centres is the largest provider of professional family history research services in Ireland. The IFHF operates on an all-island basis and believes that genealogy can only be properly dealt with on this basis. The IFHF is the largest provider of professional family history research services in Ireland. Each county centre has a local computer database comprising various church records of baptisms, marriages & deaths; civil records of births, deaths & marriages; Griffith’s Valuation; Tithe Applotment Books; the 1901 & 1911 census records; gravestone inscriptions. Now that the bulk of the computerization of genealogical material has been completed by the county based genealogy centres, to further bring together the 40 million+ records as a searchable database online is a remarkable proposition. Having created a searchable database of the information contained within the original sources it is now possible to offer the ability to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world, to access and search for information on their ancestors across all the main Irish genealogical sources and to retire the original sources from general use.

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Kent FHS

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Lincolnshire Family History Society
Lincolnshire FHS, founded in 1990, embraces the ancient county of Lincolnshire, and offers a wide range of publications. Our Research Centre in Lincoln offers free research facilities. The eight LFHS Branches, including one in London, arrange regular lectures on a variety of topics.

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London Group of Yorkshire FHS
The London Group was formed so that members of Yorkshire Family History Societies, as well as any Yorkshire folk with FH interests living in the south, could attend family history talks in London on Yorkshire topics. The June 21st meeting at the Society of Genealogists’ premises is on “Resources in the Borthwick Institute” by Philippa Hoskin. Our contact’s link, Ian Taylor, is on the web site below. At this fair our volunteers hope to display publications for sale from all our parent societies and our sponsor the Halsted Trust.

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London Westminster & Middlesex FHS

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Norfolk Family History Society
In 2008 The Society celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Society’s library in Kirby Hall is open four days a week. Included in the libraries many holdings are parish transcripts and the family trees. Have a look at our website for contact details.

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North West Kent FHS

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Northamptonshire FHS
If you are researching in Northamptonshire then we can help. With regular meetings at 4 locations, a quarterly journal, bookstall and search services, we have much to offer. Come and visit our stall to find out more!

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Nottingham Family History Society

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Oxfordshire FHS
Covering Oxfordshire and old North Berkshire, we have parish register transcript CDs, indexed census CD sets and local history books. We'll carry out searches in our databases for your ancestors.

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Scottish Genealogy Society

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Shetland FHS

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Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

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Suffolk FHS

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Sussex Family History Group
Established over 35 years ago, the Group, a registered charity with over 4000 members, won Federation awards in 2007 for its website (1st) and its magazine (3rd equals). It has 6 meeting centres around the County, each meeting monthly, publishes data on CD and organises an annual AGM and conference.

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The East of London Family History Society

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The Huguenot Society of GB & Ireland
Learned society set up in 1885.Genealogical dimension: - historical background and genealogical information on the Huguenots; surname lookup service; sale of publications, CD Rom and Huguenot crosses.

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The Scottish Genealogy Society

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Ulster Historical Foundation
We offer extensive knowledge on sources available for tracing Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors, through online databases of over 2 million records, genealogy and history books, and bespoke family history research.

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West Middlesex FHS

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West Surrey FHS
We have over thirty years experience transcribing and indexing Surrey records and offer a vast range of CDs, Microfiche and Books including some for those with Middlesex and London interests. Check the website for details – Meet us at the Show.

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Wiltshire Family History Society

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The Society of Genealogists
Category: Family History Products and Services
Stand No. 263

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday today

UKChat Genealogy

idae, 18-Apr-08, GENTREK presents Documentation: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Isn't it wonderful when other researchers document their sources? And what a pain it is to document our own, right? Although essential to genealogical research, documentation requirement trip up most beginning researchers. We'll take a look at what documentation is and ISN'T and help you with it. Join us at 4 pm EDT, or 9 pm British, in the AOL Genealogy Chatroom—UK.

you need AOL software or AIM
an AOL mail account is a freebie these days

go to
Free Email, News & Weather, Sport, Shopping and celebrity gossip on AOL UK and just sign up

PAF news

PAF Insight - Essential tools for the PAF User

PAF Insight - Essential tools for the PAF User: "This page contains genealogy software programs that are either freeware or shareware that we thought might be useful for some of our customers. Ohana Software did not develop these programs. We do not provide any support for these programs. For support or any questions you should contact the developer of the program."

PAF Insight - Essential tools for the PAF User: "These are not Family History programs, but you should know about them anyway. You won't find a long list here, because I am very careful about what I recommend to others. In fact, at this point there are only three programs that I think stand out so well that I would recommend them above all of their competitors.
I hope you find them as helpful as I have.
John Vilburn"
Ohana Software - Google Search

"John Vilburn" - Google Search
My Ancestors Found:
"John Vilburn is the founder and owner of Ohana Software. He is the developer of PAF Insight and FamilyInsight. John graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in computer science and has been working in the software development field for over 25 years. He has been developing genealogy software for the last 5 years and loves every minute of it. He loves family history and enjoys sharing the excitement of genealogy with others."

usie FamilyInsight, the successor to PAF Insight, to synchronize your PAF and other genealogy files with the New FamilySearch.

Hidden Problems (What you don't know CAN hurt you)
This class will discuss the hidden problems found in personal genealogy databases. We will look at the impact of various problems, how to detect them, and how to fix them.

My Ancestors Found: "We Can Help with Your Family History!"

Ancestral Quest family tree software/genealogy software: "Ancestral Quest (AQ) family tree software is the easiest to use and most versatile genealogy program for Windows on the market. Its format is perfect for the beginner and yet powerful enough for the most advanced genealogist. Easy data entry, keyboard shortcuts, scrapbooking, and excellent sourcing capabilities are just some of this genealogy software program's wonderful award-winning features."

PAF-LUG BLOG: The Future of PAF: "Ancestral Quest's product looks and feels just like you are using PAF 5 (they were the original developers of PAF for the Church), so PAF users won't need to change the way they do things."


PAF-LUG BLOG: The Future of PAF: "Today, users of New FamilySearch will definitely need to continue using Personal Ancestral File or one of its competitors. NFS isn't set up to handle the living people in your file.

It doesn't allow multimedia content.
It doesn't allow export.
It doesn't allow private content or temporary-working data.

The system for inputting and saving sources needs to be overhauled and in my opinion there's a risk that any work you do with sources now may have to be redone in the future."

For most of us our trees are a work in progress containing assumptions to be proved or disproved,
and my LAPHAM One-Name study retains known errors as a method of disambiguation.

My own newbie work has no sources because I knew neither how to enter them nor their importance.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


NewspaperDirect Inc. is a digital newspaper distribution and publishing operator with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada and offices in New York, London, Vienna and Düsseldorf.

In 2005, NewspaperDirect introduced its two digital platforms, (an online newspaper kiosk) and SmartEdition (a universal publishing platform for ePapers).


NewspaperDirect's Print-On-Demand solution enables out-of-market newspapers to be printed in different types of locations around the globe. Print-On-Demand is powered by the ND PrintStation, which consists of a standard digital printer and a PC with NewspaperDirect’s subscription and printing management software. When connected to the Internet, the PrintStation downloads and prints a single or multiple copies of the newspapers available on the NewspaperDirect network. PrintStations are located at the offices of NewspaperDirect distributors, on cruise ships, in hotels, retail shops, libraries, corporate offices, yachts, marinas and conference centers and at major international events such as the G8 Summit, World Cup and the Olympic Games.

ProQuest NewspaperDirect Content Update - April 2008

NewspaperDirect offers over 500 newspapers in 37 languages from 70 countries. Newspapers can be instantly accessed in full-image electronic format through PressDisplay or in print with Print-on-Demand or ND Press.

In February, over 20 new titles were added to the NewspaperDirect offering.

WDYTYA Live Volunteers

from my email:-

The Society of Genealogists still needs volunteers to help run the SoG's annual
Family History Show, within the larger Who do you think you are?
Live! show at Olympia 2-4 May. Please note the show has been moved to
the larger Grand Hall this year.

We are in particular need of people to give general advice to the
public in the ask the experts area. We ask you to contribute 4 hours
of your time (probably in two two-hour sessions) in return for a free
ticket to the show.

To volunteer, please contact me by email or telephone, listed below.

Thank You

Lori Weinstein
Society of Genealogists
Events Co-ordinator
Tel: 020 7553 3290

Ancestral Author

Ancestral Author: Convert GEDCOM to Hyperlinked PDF: "Ancestral Author is a Windows program that constructs hyperlinked Adobe Acrobat PDF files from GEDCOM files, text files, images, and other user inputs. It is very simple to use, and creates high quality documents that can be printed, emailed, published on the internet, or sent to a service bureau for conversion into a bound book.

Ancestral Author guides you through the process of creating fully hyperlinked documents, with title page, table of contents, name index, source citations, outline view, chapter and section headings. It extracts NEHGS style register reports automatically from GEDCOM files, producing genealogical reports that can be viewed on any computer - MACs, PCs, Linux machines, etc."

download sample pdf

Catholic Family History Society

Catholic Family History Society Homepage:


This is a very good resource. The Catholic Familiy History Society has deposited many transcripts of Mission Registers there.

Mission Registers - Catholic Family History - Catholic National Library - Theological Library - Christian Library:
"NB. This list refers to the typescripts, and a few other printed books, on loan from the Catholic Family History Society.
See Catholic missions and registers 1700-1880 (6 volumes, 1993) for details of other register transcripts, many of which are in the Library. We regret that the Library is not able to accept requests to undertake research of these registers."

Catholic missions and registers 1700-1880 (6 volumes, 1993) - Google Search

The Library is in the process of moving its premises from London to St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough."

This is an index of approximately 14,000 nuns who were in the English Province of their Order. It is arranged alphabetically by the surname of each nun and usually gives date of birth, names of parents, religious name, dates of profession, date and place of death and name of Or

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The Next Big (Church) genealogy - LDS Technology Forums: "the removal of all duplicates in the (750 million name) New Family Search system."

What is LDS TECH?
With the global reach of the Church, members from around the world are curious about the type of technical work we do. This web site is designed to give you a glimpse into that work and how you can get involved.

LDSTech Web Site - LDS Technology Site: "In creating the new LDSTech web site, we had a few technical objectives that we wanted to meet. They were.

1. Demonstrate our use of open source software.
2. Create a site that was community friendly and encouraged participation.
3. Limit the amount of resources that the Church would need to spend in maintaining and supporting the web site.

This web site uses the following technologies:-

* Apache 2.0 - Web server
* MySQL - Database server
* PHP - Server side scripting language
* Joomla - Content management system.
* vBulletin - Forum software.

The site sits on a SuSE Linux server. "

Joomla!: "is one of the most powerful Open Source Content Management Systems on the planet. It is used all over the world for everything from simple websites to complex corporate applications. Joomla! is easy to install, simple to manage, and reliable."

irish records

WorldVitalRecords Blog » Eneclann Partners With, Inc.: "Eneclann, Ireland’s leading historical electronic publishing company, recently partnered with, Inc. to add the Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858: Records at the National Archives of Ireland and The 1851 Dublin City Census to’s online genealogy collection.

“We have been heavily involved in Irish genealogy, history, and heritage for the past ten years,” said Brian Donovan, CEO, Eneclann. “We are excited to continue to preserve the wealth of Ireland’s heritage and further our reach by partnering with, Inc.”

The 1851 Dublin City Census index was compiled by Dr. D.A. Chart in the early 20th century from the original census records, which were destroyed in the 1922 Public Record Office fire. Chart’s index contains the names and addresses of 60,000 heads of household from 21 civil parishes. The index also includes scanned images from the original 1847 Ordnance Survey Town Plans to help users identify specific addresses. Since the 10th Irish Census was destroyed, Chart’s 1851 Census of Ireland has emerged as a useful substitute."

For the period before 1864, parish registers recording details of baptisms, marriages and burials provide the only source of information relating to births, marriages and deaths. Prior to making use of these records, it is of course necessary to be aware of an ancestor's religious affiliation and often the name of the parish in which the baptism, marriage or burial occurred.

Roman Catholic parish registers are normally still held by the parish priest, but there are microfilm copies of most of them for the period up to 1880 in the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 (Website: ) In some instances, the written permission of the parish priest must be obtained before the microfilm s can be seen.

Church of Ireland parish registers for the period up to 1870 are public records. Registers are available for about one third of the parishes. Most are still held by the local clergy, although some are in the

Irish National Archives, Bishop Street , Dublin 8. (Website: )

The General Register Office in Dublin "(Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) is the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Republic of Ireland . It is concerned with civil registration matters only,"

The General Register Office Dublin Ireland - History: "The civil registration system of Ireland began in 1845, when legislation came into force which provided for the registration of civil marriages here and for the regulation of all non-Catholic marriages. The Act also created the Office of the Registrar-General who remains to this day responsible for the collation and custody of all birth, death and marriage records.

Further legislation which became operative in 1864 provided for the inclusion of Catholic marriages, together with all births and deaths, at which stage a comprehensive registration system was in place."

FamilySearch Indexing: Preserving Our Heritage - Current Projects: "being administered by FamilySearch Indexing and participating genealogical and historical societies"

French-Canadian records

Genealogy website offers centuries of French-Canadian records: "A Canadian family history website has launched what it says is the largest collection of French-Canadian and Quebec vital records, spanning 346 years of history. said Tuesday
its searchable collection of baptism, marriage and burial records extends from the year 1621 to 1967. is an online database of family and social history in Canada with 400 million names pulled from collections such as the 1851, 1901, 1906 and 1911 censuses of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia, vital records from as early as 1813 and U.S./Canada border crossings from 1895 to 1956."

The Drouin Collection - "One man's passion created the world's
largest French-Canadian resource.

Joseph Drouin founded the Drouin Genealogical Institute in 1899 and began publishing family books based on the vital records he gathered over centuries. Eventually his son Gabriel took over for him.

The Drouin Collection represents the largest and most valuable French-Canadian family history resources available, including an impressive collection of Quebec vital records. The collection includes neary 15 million records, marking the history of Quebec families over three centuries."

must buy this

Gotisk skrift af Georg Simon - køb bogen hos
"Pris: DKK 160,00
Levering: 3-10 hverdage
Sprog: Dansk
Skjul produktdetaljer (sideantal, udgivelsesdato, udgave, ISBN m.v.)

Sideantal: 175
Indbinding: Hæftet
Forlag: Danmarks Biblioteksskole C.A. Reitzel
Udgivet: 01-12-1998
Udgave: 2
Udgave/oplag: 2. udgave, 2. oplag

Serie: Danmarks Biblioteksskoles skrifter (nr. 18 i serien)
ISBN-10: 8774217496
ISBN-13: 9788774217497"

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Familysearch

The Chart Chick: The To Do Chart: "Each of the symbols above the check boxes denotes something that needs to be done: are the vital statistics there, have you checked the sources, have you entered your information and sources on this person into the database, are there merge issues, do you know who both parents are, etc."

just renewed a great book

"Albert Gnudtzmann
Stor-København : Skildringer og Billeder af Byen og dens Liv i vore dage /
af Alb. Gnudtzmann og Helmer Lind

. - Gyldendal, 1907. - 2 bind : ill."
Albert Gnudtzmann - Google Search

Bad Web Design

Four Bad Web Designs (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox):
Bad content, bad links, bad navigation, bad category pages... which is worst for business?

In these examples, bad content takes the prize for costing the company the most money."

Windows XP finished?

Passionate Windows XP fans rebel - Technology - "Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently
. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews."

Peter Higginbotham, - The Workhouse Web Site: "I offer talks on various aspects of the workhouse e.g.:

* Gruelling Experiences - three centuries of the workhouse [tailored to your location]
* Chocolate, Cheese Cake, and Nettles - the story of workhouse food.
* Workhouse Waifs - children and the poor law
* Bastiles and Pauper Palaces - the architecture of the workhouse
* Down and Out in Victorian and Edwardian Britain - spikes, sit-ups and doss-houses
* The Poorhouses of Scotland"

April 15th, 7.30pmNewport Pagnell Historical Society, Chandos Hall Silver Street Newport Pagnell.
April 17th, 10.45amProbus Club, Witney Leisure Centre.
April 29th, 7.15 for 7.45pmBerkshire Family History Society, United Reformed Church, William Street, Windsor.
October 23rd, 1.10pmMuseum in Docklands, West India Quay, London E14 4AL .V

Attention Local/Family History and other groups in YORKSHIRE!
I'm shortly moving to Leeds/Ilkley area and am now taking bookings for talks for Autumn 2008 onwards. For more information:

"Peter Higginbotham" - Google Search

Monday, April 14, 2008

Scottish ministers

Internet Archive Search: Fasti: "Fasti ecclesiæ scoticanæ; the succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the reformation - Scott, Hew, 1791-1872"

War Grave and Memorial Photographs

War Grave and Memorial Photographs supplied by The War Graves Photographic Project: "The aim of The War Graves Photographic Project is to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, MoD grave, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day and make these available within a searchable database.

Now working as a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, this will enable families, scholars and researchers to obtain, via the CWGC or TWGPP websites, a copy of the photograph of a grave or memorial which for many is impossible to visit due to the location."

Sunday, April 13, 2008


CensusTools - FREE Genealogy Spreadsheets for Census, Cemetery and Passenger Manifest Data!:


Genealogy is about sharing. When I first offered my spreadsheet I thought I'd get 10-20 requests. The response was overwhelming and it quickly became obvious that the spreadsheet was badly needed by other researchers as fed up as me over piles of unorganized census data. I am making my current and future spreadsheets available free. Since I had to purchase my own webhosting service to handle the demand and make my spreadsheets widely available...and since this has become a second full-time job, I am asking happy users to please consider making a $10 donation to help support this website."

CensusTools - FREE Genealogy Spreadsheets for Census, Cemetery and Passenger Manifest Data!:

"State Census

Often overlooked as a genealogical resource, many individual states conducted their own census operations, usually at 10 year intervals between federal enumerations. Of particular interest are records from 1885 and 1895 which can help bridge the 1880-1900 federal gap caused by the loss of most of the 1890 records. CensusTools currently offers state spreadsheets for Iowa 1836-1925, Kansas 1865-1925, Massachusetts 1855-1865, Minnesota 1849-1895, New Jersey 1855-1915, New York 1825-1925, Rhode Island 1865-1935 and Wisconsin 1836-1905. Each set collection features the main spreadsheet as well as a Tracker and Checklist.

International Census

CensusTools went international with the release of spreadsheets for Canada 1851-1901, England 1841-1901, Ireland 1821-1911 and Scotland 1841-1891, all similar to the U.S. Federal in design."