Saturday, September 12, 2009

UTAH Digital Archives

Digital Archives: "Archives Digital Collections

By providing online access, the Archives participates in what the National Archives calls “Archives without walls.” Online resources provide access worldwide, giving patrons the ability to research any time, anywhere."

. . .The archives include such records as Utah Death Certificate images from 1904-1956; Sanpete County death register, 1898-1904, the Utah Burials Database and Board of Pardons applications from 1892-1949.

and my thanks to Sue Maxwell at Granite Genealogy: Interested in Utah History?


Granite Genealogy: Interested in Utah History?: "The Utah State Archives will observe Utah Archives Month throughout October with weekly events each Wednesday at noon. Classes geared to community and family historians will be offered each week. The statewide theme for 2009 is “Connecting With the Human Experience.”" Blog and FTM 2010 Blog - » Family Tree Maker: Webinar on Sept. 30th: "at 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. In this webinar, you’ll see a demo of the new features in Family Tree Maker 2010. We know it can take time to learn all the details of a rich application like Family Tree Maker. This webinar will hopefully help."

Illumina’s genome app for iPhone

Apple sheds light on Illumina’s genome app | mobihealthnews: "“The iPhone can be an integral part in advancing the fundamental science — the very complexities of biology and understanding of the human genome can be made accessible through tools like the iPhone,” Consumer genomics company Illumina’s CEO and President, Jay Flatley told Apple in a recent interview. “I think it is the convergence of the science and IT technology that today creates a unique possibility to manage our human health in new ways,” Flatley said. “It’s an incredibly exciting time.”

Earlier this year at the inaugural Consumer Genetics Show in Boston, Mobihealthnews reported on and included the first photos of Illumina’s concept for an iPhone application, called myGenome, that included information from a person’s genome. Following that sneak peek, Apple published a brief case study that includes a high level over view of Illumina’s use of iPhones among its sales reps and executives. The article also discusses Illumina’s plans for myGenome. Apple also produced a video with a number of images of the concept iPhone application Illumina is developing. (Our original photos from the event earlier this year can be re-visited here.)"

Friday, September 11, 2009


Presented by Evva Benson, AG, and updated by Dae Powell

In England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, probate records are one of the best sources of direct (and indirect) information about your ancestors prior to civil registration and census records. Probate records supplement and may even pre-date parish registers. This presentation focuses on English and Welsh probate records. The strategies may be applied more broadly.

What is a Probate and how can it help me?

A probate record was typically either a will or an administration. A will was probated when it was taken and “proven” to be valid in a court of probate after the death of the testator. In the case of someone who died without leaving a will (intestate), the next of kin or a creditor would apply to the court for a letter of administration granting them the right to administer the estate of the deceased in accordance with inheritance laws.
You may think only rich people left wills, but that is not the case. People such as butchers, shoemakers, husbandman, and even laborers left wills. In 16th- and 17th-century England and Wales, it has been estimated that as many as 25% of males left wills. Widows and “spinsters” also left wills. By the 19th century this percentage is lower, between 5-10%. It is encouraging to remember that even more people are mentioned WITHIN wills than ever left wills.

Wills can help you directly and indirectly. Perhaps you will find the will of your ancestor who names his wife, all of his children, their spouses, and their children. This will give you direct proof of kinship. You may find a will that disproves a questioned link. For those who are patient, wills are a goldmine of indirect evidence that can circumvent brick walls. Thanks to the Internet, doing a probate search is becoming easier every day. Thanks to the Family History Library, 90-95% of English and Welsh probate records have been filmed and are available through family history centers.

Definitions of probate terms

• Will – The document expressing the wishes of the testator as to the disposition of his/her property after their decease. Technically, real property (land) was devised by a will and personal (moveable) property was bequeathed in a testament. The two together were the “will and testament” shortened to will.

• Testator/Testatrix: The person who made a will.
• Intestate: A person who died without a making a will.
• Executor/Executrix: The person named in a will by a testator who is authorized to administer the terms of the will.
• Codicil: An addition to a will made after the first will was written and signed.
• Administration (Admon): A grant to the next-of-kin (or another) who applied to administer the property of the intestate.
• Act Book: The court’s day-by-day account of the official grants of probate proceedings.
• Inventory: A list of the deceased’s personal and household goods, with their appraised value.

Probate jurisdictions

Prior to 1858, probate matters in England and Wales were handled by any one of over 300 courts, depending on the location of the property of the deceased. Finding the court the ancestor’s will was probated in is usually a matter of discovering in what archdeaconry, diocese, or peculiar jurisdiction the parish they lived in was located.
• If all of the deceased’s property was contained within one archdeaconry, then it would have been probated in that court. This “lowest” court is often referred to as the court of original jurisdiction, but for each court there is a system of superior courts that may also need to be searched. The first superior court is usually the bishop’s (diocesan) court (see next bullet), and then the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). For the eight counties in the Province of York (Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmoreland, and Yorkshire), check the Prerogative Court of York (PCY) before the PCC. There are MANY additions and exceptions to this overly-simplified order of superior courts, which vary county by county.
• If the deceased had property in more than one archdeaconry but within the same diocese, it would go to the bishop’s court (often called the consistory court or the commissary court).
• If the deceased had property in more than one diocese, it would go to the archbishop’s court (Prerogative Court of Canterbury [PCC] or Prerogative Court of York [PCY]).
• If the deceased had property in both archdioceses, or outside of England and Wales, it
would go to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC).

How to find the records

At the time of this writing, there isn’t a complete online reference source for determining the court of original jurisdiction and superior courts for each parish yet. The Web site has guides for Essex and London.

More guides will be coming on FamilySearch or in the future.
In the meantime, refer to the probate handlists that are on FHL microfiche, go to
to find the fiche number appropriate to your county.
Also, you can do a “Place” search in the FHLC for your county and then look under the topics “Probate Records” and “Probate Records—Indexes.”

The author will be “Church of England. Archdeaconry Court of
___________” or “Church of England. Consistory Court of ______________” etc.

Choose the author that best fits the level of jurisdiction you are searching.

1858 to the present

In 1858 probate jurisdiction was switched from the Church of England courts to the Principal
Probate Registry, a government system. The wonderful thing about this is there is just ONE yearly index that covers all of England and Wales.

How to find the records

To find these records in the Family History Library Catalog (at do a “Title” search for the following:

• For the index – Calendar of the grants of probate and letters of administration made in the
Principal Registry : and in the several district registries of Her Majesty's Court of Probate.
• For wills in the Principal registry – Record copy wills, 1858-1925.
• For wills in the District registries – Record copy wills from the District Probate Registries, 1858-1899.

Estate duty/death duty registers

Starting in 1796 there was an inheritance tax payable on any estate with personal property valued
more than £20 and real property of £100. In 1812 the minimum was lowered to any property more than £20, therefore most people whose estates were probated after 1812 will show up in the Estate Duty registers. The Estate Duty registers record the actual disposition of the property—who received what amounts—for both wills and administrations. Sometimes addresses are recorded which can help you track down children and missing relatives. Between 1812-1857 these provide one index to probates in England and Wales and can point you to the court where your ancestor’s will was probated.

A good summary of these records and a useful summary about probates in general can be found at

How to find the records

There are two indexes to these records on the Internet:
• From 1796-1811 there is a free index at under “Search DocumentsOnline” then “Death Duty Registers.”
• Images of the original indexes from 1796-1903 are available at ($) under the “births, marriages & deaths” tab.

Once you have found your ancestor in the index, the Family History Library has the microfilms of
the registers (The FHL also has the indexes, if that is easier for you to search than online.).

Search the FHL Catalog using the “author” search and put in Great Britain Estate Duty Office. Several titles will come up. You can figure out which ones to use depending upon the date, whether the index was for a will or an administration, and whether it was proven in the PCC or a country court (a country court was any court other than the PCC).

Will indices online

Will indices—pre-1858 will indexes for many counties have been put online. Some of these sites
have not only the index but images of the wills themselves. Some are free and some are not. Some
are complete and some are not. Be sure to read any available introductory or explanatory material on the site. There are more sites than these, try using a search engine such as to locate them.

• Berkshire (the database is for Wiltshire but has over 11,000 Berkshire people)
• Buckinghamshire
• Cambridgeshire (small index)
• Cheshire
• Cornwall (1690-1859, small index)
• Cumberland (1748-1858); (small)
• Derbyshire; (1858-1928);
• Devonshire (the database is for Wiltshire, but has over 1,000 Devonshire people); (guide to Devonshire wills)
• Dorset (the database is for Wiltshire but has over 10,000 Devonshire people)
• Durham (coming in 2009)
• Essex (small—enter as a “guest”)
• Gloucestershire—county
• Gloucester-Bristol (1791-1858)
• Hampshire; (the database is for Wiltshire
but has over 900 Hampshire people)
• Herefordshire (index to 42,000 wills not available online but rather by contacting the
individual whose name is found on this page); (small)
• Kent
• Lancashire; (Lancashire north of the river
Ribble 1748-1858)
• Lincolnshire (1701-1800)
• London/Middlesex; (Consistory
Court of London 1621-1630);
(Consistory Court of London 1629-1634); (Archdeaconry Court of London
• Norfolk (1800-1857)
• Northamptonshire and Rutland
• Northumberland (coming in 2009)
• Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Click on “Search Documents Online” then “Wills”
• Suffolk (1847-1857);
• Surrey;
• Sussex
• Westmoreland (1748-1858)
• Wiltshire
• Yorkshire (Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of York Probate Index 1853-1858); (small part only 1748-
1858); (small)
Search.tcl; (York Peculiars Probate Index 1383-1883)


1. Search for the wills of your ancestor and his/her parents.
2. Search for the wills of siblings, in-laws, and other known relatives. (Unmarried siblings
often list more family relationships than the average will.)
3. Search the indexes of the court of original jurisdiction for all entries of the surname over
50-100 years from the date of marriage (or birth) of the earliest ancestor. Read the wills that
come from within 15-20 miles of the last known residence. You may also wish to do this
for the surname(s) of the in-laws of your ancestor.
4. Do a similar but shorter search in all of the superior courts. You may also wish to do this
for the in-law surnames.
5. Consider reading all of the documents for EVERY person from the last known residence,
say from the date of birth to 10-20 years beyond the death of the ancestor. Such a search
depends greatly on the size of the place and the commonness of the name. (See below)
(Adapted from Dr. David Pratt—class syllabus, Brigham Young University)
Dr. Ronald Hill, in his article “Maximizing Probate Research: An Analysis of Potential, Using
English Records from Cornwall” (National Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 84, no. 4,
(December 1996), 261-274) discusses the above methodologies in much detail. He conducted an
even more comprehensive study, reading all of the probate records for thirty-two parishes. He

"For every probate case existing for a surname in this study, there are on average two to
three relevant other-name probates in the same or adjoining parishes. . . even if no
probates are found for a given surname in a parish. . . there are on average two to three
other-name probates that mention the family of interest." (emphasis in original)

Steps for an “every probate case in the parish” study:

1. Obtain an index to the probate records in the court or county of interest.
2. Most indexes have a “place index” as well as the usual index by surname. If you're working
in an online index just fill in the parish of interest and leave the rest of the form blank.
3. Enter the index data onto a spreadsheet or table of some kind. Create separate columns for
surname, given name, place, occupation, date, volume and page, and type of probate
document (will, admon, inventory, etc.)
4. Sort the spreadsheet by the volume or year so that you can go and copy all of the relevant
probates on any given film at once.
5. Read (and if you wish photocopy) every will that you found in the index, looking for
connections to your family. You may wish to have some scrap paper handy to diagram
family relationships in each will

Suggested reading

• Dr. Ronald Hill, “Maximizing Probate Research: An Analysis of Potential, Using English
Records from Cornwall,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 84 no. 4, (December
1996): 261-274.
• ____________, “Death Duty Records: The Will of Mary Thomas of St. Winnow in
Cornwall,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 95 (March 2007): 55-58.

Hey cousins!

They reset the Worldwide Top Sites for Genealogy again. If you click on the following link,, you can vote for, my free web site. Just click on the underlined link on the window that appears.

I'd greatly appreciate it, and it will help keep ShoeString in the top ten, thus enabling more people to visit and perhaps better research THEIR family history.

Thank you!
Happy Dae·

new to blog page

from my email:-

You are my first blog read for England. Last week I met a lady from Birmingham and told her I had visited the library there, better than any I had seen in New Jersey! In 1985 after graduation from Rutgers U. library school I visited England to meet 4th cousins of both parents. Prosser family of Coleshill, and Thorne of Sherbourne in Dorset. Benjamin Thorne went to Ontario ca 1820.
My grandfather came from Coleshill, William Prosser. My mother often talked about him and I wanted to visit and bring back memories and pictures for her. I imagined a little country church in Coleshill and was overwhelmed by the size and history of the Anglican church in Coleshill, Eleventh century and beautiful. Ran out of Prossers before 1725, the name being very popular in Wales, just got 2 books on the subject.

I visited the Birmingham library and was very impressed, and delighted to see the archives on the top floor, up the spiral staircase. Was directed to LDS films and a printer, fed it silver for records which, had I done my work at home first, could have brought with me..... Saw my ancestors wedding record, church no longer in Birmingham.

Your librarians were so kind I wanted to stay for a lifetime. One odd thing, whenever I entered the library the guard would check my book bag, but never on leaving, so I asked him why on my last day of the week there, he replied, "Bombs, madam." Now that we have had our 9/11, I am more nervous about large crowds in public places, and did not visit NYC for a few years.

Met Don Steel in 1978 on his Canadian genealogy lecture tour and he helped arrange my England visit in 1985. I was using one of his books - teaching family history in school - as my own model, and was amazed to meet him at the conference dinner. His daughter came over one summer to help with my children. He and his wife came to spend a week with me in Paris about 12 years ago. Sorry he is no longer with us.

What a difference the Internet has brought to family searching! Now to find some Prosser cousins, ideas welcome,

Ellen Prosser Thorne Morris

the best way to find more cousins is to publicise and share your data using rootsweb lists and boards
and especially WorldConnect

and after privatizing your gedcom Genesreunited

good hunting

Hugh W

Bristol Doors Open Day 2009

Bristol Doors Open Day 2009 / home: "Bristol Doors Open Day 2009 -12th September.

Bristol Doors Open Day – now in its sixteenth year – is the day when many of Bristol’s significant contemporary and historic buildings open their doors to the general public."

from usenet mail:-

Once again many places in Bristol will be opening their doors to visitors
.... including Arnos Vale Cemetery where my colleagues and I will be taking 1 hour heritage tours around the cemetery for a £1 donation to funds.


Dave Napier

Ryerson Index

Ryerson Index: "is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries.

Because the Index was originally created by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, its strength lies in notices from NSW papers - including in excess of one million notices from the Sydney Morning Herald alone. However, the representation from papers from other states continues to grow, with additional papers being regularly added, so that the Index can now truly be considered an Australian index.

Indexing is being continuously carried out by a team of volunteers, too numerous to mention individually, who give freely of their time to ensure the site continues to grow. Site updates occur every couple of weeks, and more often in periods of high activity.

The index itself cannot by definition be considered a primary source of data, but is purely a research aid to direct the researcher to the original source of a notice.

As well as the main index, there is a supplementary index containing historical data which does not fit into the main index. This comprises RSVP notices from the Sydney Morning Herald for the period 13 Oct 1998 to 19 Jun 2005."

New Family Search barcode

Grandma's Scraps: New Family Search: "I input the information on Luzetta O'Neal, the wife of Warren Strickland I found at the genealogy yesterday and printed out my first bar code submission on New Family Search. Finally I know how to do it. And it's really easy once you understand what you are doing. I was even able to figure out Roots Magic but I didn't want to do anything because I'm afraid I'm logged in as Darell and my work will go under his name. So I'll wait on that until I get my own number. Right now I'm working under Darell and he helps me. I am just so excited. It will be so much easier submitting my names. I took a picture of what it looks like. I want to always remember when I was able to do this. I think this is a monumental program we are launching here."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 Enhanced Image Viewer » Installing the Enhanced Image Viewer application on Windows 7 (x64): "The Basic Image Viewer seems to work OK but the very existence of an “enhanced” viewer suggests that there is something there that I’m missing (and this is a subscription website after all)!

So, here’s what I tried that didn’t work:

1. Enabling the ActiveX control using Internet Explorer to manage add-ins (it wasn’t there to enable).
2. Manually downloading and installing the Enhanced Image viewer (failed to register).
3. Manually uninstalling the Enhanced Viewer (it was not there as it never successfully installed).

In the end, I broke all good security practices by logging on as administrator (instead of running the installer as an administrator), and turning off UAC, after which the viewer installed as it should. Clearly this application was very badly developed (it seems not to follow any modern application development standards) but at least I got it installed!"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Archives for London

Archives for London » Home:

"CONFERENCE 2009 - ‘Revolting London’

Booking form and notice available here

’I am inspired by the launch of Archives for London. AfL offers new opportunities for growth and development by bringing together those who use the incredibly rich archival sources available in London with those who care for and make them accessible.’ Professor Lisa Jardine, Queen Mary College, University of London

For the first time London has a single organisation to provide an independent voice for the Capital’s archive practitioners and users. AfL is a voluntary organisation sustained by subscriptions. AfL provides training, support and networking opportunities to its members.
AfL is a forum to exchange information and expertise on London archive issues. Explore our website and find out more about AfL membership, news and events."

Genealogy in Scotland

Genealogy Scottish family birth records census ancestry Scotland uk - ScotlandsPeople

Online publisher brightsolid wins new deal to manage ScotlandsPeople online family history service

Online publisher brightsolid has won a three-year deal to manage the
hugely-successful family history site,

The site, with almost one million registered users and growing currently
by more than 10,000 per month, is run in partnership with the General
Register Office for Scotland (GROS). The contract, awarded by competitive tender, will run for three years from September 2010.

brightsolid is among the major online publishers specialising in family
history and genealogy sites. It has operated the
site since 2002 and also owns the genealogy site Last
month brightsolid completed the acquisition of FriendsReunited,
including GenesReunited, from ITV plc (subject to approval by the
competition authorities).

"This new contract to manage in partnership with GROS is a significant one for brightsolid," commented brightsolid chief executive Chris van der Kuyl.

"We have developed an unparalleled expertise in processing, managing and presenting information for online audiences as well as providing hosting and customer service support.

"ScotlandsPeople is a world-leading web site that has built a real community of users worldwide, with that number rapidly approaching one million people.

"We look forward to continuing to build on that success with GROS with this new contract. We will continue to invest in providing enhanced services to the site, in partnership with GROS."

The site contains more than 50 million records dating back to when
national records of births, deaths and marriages began in Scotland in
It also includes parish records, dating back as far as 1533, as
well as other data including wills and testaments.

Mr Paul Parr, Deputy Registrar General of the General Register Office of Scotland, commented: "We are very proud of It is one of the leading sites of its kind worldwide, and has helped bolster the interest of the Scottish diaspora in the history of their country or the country of their ancestors, as well as providing a popular service for the Scottish public.

"This contract has been awarded after a keenly competitive tenders process and we look forward to continuing the site's progress and further development in partnership with brightsolid."

brightsolid - Google Search: "brightsolid began life in 1995 as Scotland Online and is a leading UK independent provider of IT business services to large public and private sector ..."

Chris van der Kuyl - Google Search: "CEO brightsolid, Chairman 4J Studios, sometime gamer, musician, geek and entrepreneur. Education zealot !"

University of Dundee: GC Magazine 2000: "Chris van der Kuyl's meteoric career in the billion dollar global electronic games industry almost mirrors one of his successful products, H.E.D.Z. or Earthworm Jim - rising to a new level of game play at least every year.

Today's wunderkind and the darling of New Labour - dressed in jeans and checked shirt he addressed the Labour Party Conference at Bournemouth last year - is best remembered in the department of applied computing as one of the first students to own a mobile phone. In fact, by taking calls in the silence of the university library he claims to have initiated pioneering instances of 'mobile phone rage'. Remember we're talking the late 1980s here, a time when such gadgets were the mark of media hotshots and business tycoons.

Now he's definitely joined the ranks of the latter. His three year target is to grow his company VIS Interactive from its valuation of £20 million in late 1999 to £500 million, and 240 staff, within three years. But joining ranks is not the right phrase for van der Kuyl whose business style is famously unorthodox. 'Rules are for fools' he says. 'All successful entrepreneurs have broken the rules of their business - they've done something to differentiate themselves.'

Meanwhile at the company's headquarters in Dunfermline staff work the hours that suit them, they wear what they like and there's a tuckshop at reception. It has all the hallmarks of a student scene. 'It's not about rules it's about results,' van der Kuyl has explained to many a business audience on the speaking circuit he regularly tours.
'When people work and what they wear doesn't really matter. All we're interested in is people who can make the best computer games.'
Good communication and creative skills are the qualities he looks for in recruits. Note the non-nerd approach. He draws staff from a range backgrounds - from film and TV, universities and art schools. He's taken on lawyers, architects and management graduates as well as artists musicians and mathematicians.
Some 90% are graduates, half of them with PhDs. His links with the university remain strong, perhaps particularly so with the school of TV and imaging where he sponsors the degree show in animation each year. 'At VIS we call ourselves The University You Get Paid For,' is his line.

At the end of last year the first signs of VIS's expanding vision became very apparent with a branching out from games into educational software. Maybe it was something to do with turning 30, whatever, van der Kuyl announced the creation of VIS Kids in Glasgow to produce 'edutainment' videogames for children."

University of Dundee: GC Magazine 2000: "Credits - Web pages maintained by Press Office. GC Magazine is written and produced by the University Press Office in association with the Graduates' Council."

Monday, September 07, 2009

ProQuest - Digital Microfilm

ProQuest - Digital Microfilm:

"The ProQuest Digital Microfilm™ solution features cover-to-cover full-image microfilmed editions from the 2008 volume year forward for a rapidly expanding selection of newspapers:

* Akron Beacon Journal New!
* American Banker
* Arizona Republic New!
* Baltimore Sun
* Barron’s
* Chicago Tribune
* Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) New!
* Detroit Free Press New!
* Hartford Courant
* Honolulu Advertiser New!
* Houston Chronicle New!
* Los Angeles Times (Library Edition)
* Los Angeles Times (Record Edition)
* Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
* Minneapolis Star Tribune
* Sacramento Bee
* San Francisco Chronicle New!
* St. Louis Post Dispatch
* The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
* The New York Times
* The Orange County Register
* The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition)
* The Washington Post"

Cambridge Information Group: "(CIG) is a family owned management and investment firm, primarily focused on education, research and information services companies. CIG provides strategic direction, financial planning and oversight of these operating units. CIG is led by a world-class executive team with a proven track record. Under this leadership

* CIG has made over 20 acquisitions in the last five years including the $222 million acquisition of ProQuest Information and Learning in February 2007, and the acquisition of Dialog from Thomson Reuters in July 2008."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

conned by or just another BOZO who did not read what they signed?

conned by - Forums:

"Must admit I found ancestry to be very honest and helpful. Joined for a year on a special offer. Found after a week of using that they really don't have the Scottish Birth records etc, phoned, contract cancelled and money repaid to card, no arguments only apoligies"

Baedeker maps

Baedeker's Old Guide Books - Great Britain. 1910: "Great Britain 1910
Handbook for Travelers by Karl Baedeker. With 28 maps, 65 plans, and a panorama.
Seventh Edition, Revised and Augmented. Published 1910.

All the town plans and some of the maps have been enlarged, some re-scanned, so they can be viewed easier."

Browse the maps by Country and County