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Family History Month – Héritage for Canadian Genealogy

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Family History Month Heritage OnGenealogy

 

If you’re doing Canadian family history research, Héritage is a great digital resource.

Héritage is a free database at Canadiana and contains some of Canada’s primary source documents. Héritage searches the archival material of Library and Archives Canada, “Chronicling the country and its people from the 1600s to the mid-1900s, this collection represents a vast and unique resource for Canadian historians, students, and genealogists.”

The free service will search the database for you and return the collections where your ancestor’s name is recorded. Then you will need to go page by page, looking for your ancestor’s name.

In the image below I searched for an ancestor, Jehiel Cass, and Héritage found nine results. With the free service, I would then need to go through each collection, image by image, looking for Jehiel Cass (not knowing if he appears more than once in that collection).

Héritage search returns without a subscription

The subscription service will search the database for you, return the collections where your ancestor is recorded, AND tell you on which page(s)/image(s) your ancestor’s record is located.

In the image below, I used my subscription (I quickly signed up for a $10 Canadian, one month, non-recurring subscription), and now Héritage shows nine search results AND links me to the images where Jehiel Cass’ records are found*.

Héritage search returns with a subscription

You can see he’s found only once in some collections, but twice in others. I wouldn’t know that without the subscription service so imagine the time I would spend looking through all 1000+ pages of a collection. Definitely worth the $10 in my opinion, especially since these images are mainly scans of handwritten records and those are very tedious to read, page by page.

 

Heritage with subscription

 

 

 

You can search the entire database or specifically search their collection of Genealogy records.

In the image below, I found my ancestor, Hannah Wells, living in Longueuil, Ottawa District, Canada, the wife of Abel Waters Wells, requesting a grant of 200 acres of land as the daughter of Joseph P. Cass, a United Empire Loyalist, and her request was recommended.

 

 

Hannah Cass Wells land request

Search Tips from Héritage

  • Searches don’t distinguish between upper and lower case or accents: “Héritage” and “heritage” yield the same results

  • Wildcards

    • ? as a wildcard will replace one character in the middle or at the end of a word (i.e. defen?e will return defense and defence)

    • * as a wildcard will replace any number of characters, including zero (i.e. labo*r will return labour and labor)

  • Use quotation marks to search an exact phrase and you can’t use wildcards within quotation marks (i.e. “Jehiel Cass” will return that exact phrase while Jehiel Cass returns any Jehiel and any Cass, not necessarily both together)

  • Use – to exclude words or phrases (i.e.paris -france)

  • To find alternative terms use a | (i.e.ontario york | toronto returns ontario with either york or toronto)

  • Use ti: in front of a search word to search only document titles, use au: to search only authors/creators and su: to search only subject headings/keywords (i.e. ti:ottawa to find documents with Ottawa in the title)

 

Early Canadian records are hard to come by if you’re not living in Canada, so the searchable collections at Héritage are a lifesaver. Best in your research, whether it’s by fee or free!

*Caveat. I’ve been sent to pages where I can’t see my ancestor named, even though he or she is tagged on that page. I use Ctrl + F to bring up a search window and search for the name I want and then it will search the “tags” and I can see if they really tagged my ancestor, even then, I haven’t always found the person I expected to find. I’ll have to call Héritage and do a follow-up blog on how to really get the most out of my searches.

 

 

October 18, 2017 |

Family History Month Day 18 – General Land Office Records (GLO)

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On Day 18 of Family History Month, visit the US Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records (GLO) and track where your ancestors lived. Where they lived and why they lived there is a good part of your heritage.

General Land Office Records Family History Month

The Bureau of Land Management has digitized records of land grants, survey plats, field notes, land status records, and more. For a more thorough description of the collections available at the BLM, visit this page listing each collection.

 

  • Federal Land Patents

    Here are two examples of land patent records at the Bureau of Land Management. Land patents show the transfer of land from the Federal government to individuals. The first is a land grant for Homestead property, land granted to someone when they met the requirements of the 1862 Homestead Act.

Mathew Mansfield Homestead grant

Here is another example of a land grant near Montgomery, Alabama at the BLM site:

Land Patent records

 

  • Survey plats

    This is a survey of the same piece of land near Montgomery, Alabama. The BLM site allows you to zoom in and out to get a perspective of the surveyed area.

Land Survey

Land Survey closer up

 

  • Field notes

    Field notes are attached to some land surveys (this is a different plot of land)

Survey Field Notes at BLM

 

  • Land Status records

    In this survey map, you can select the “Related Documents” tab and look up the ownership and more information about any section of this surveyed land (look up who is the assigned owner of area “15” for example)

Land Status records

 

  • The Control Document Index

    The CDI “includes BLM documents that affect or have affected the control, limitation, or restriction of public land and resources. …CDI documents have been kept on microfilm since the 1950’s, but are now being scanned and linked to existing data records from BLM’s LR2000 database.”

    Land Classification document

If you can’t find any General Land Office (GLO) records for your ancestors, here’s a map of which states are Public Land States and which states are State-Land states meaning land grants came from the states/colonies themselves and you’ll usually look to individual states for land grant records.

If you find a land grant to one of your ancestors at the BLM site, you’re able to print copies of these land certificates directly from the site for free.

Best in your searches, whether they’re by fee or free!

 

 

 

October 18, 2017 |

Family History Month Day 17 – Visit AfriGeneas

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AfriGeneas OnGenealogy Family History Month

On Day 17 of Family History Month 2017, visit AfriGeneas and see what they have to offer!

AfriGeneas is a free website for anyone with African ancestry to help them find the resources they need for their family history research. Many of the collections are uploaded by volunteers and you’ll need to register with AfriGeneas if you want to volunteer and upload files. AfriGeneas also has message boards/forums for exchanging information.

Some collections you can explore at AfriGeneas include:

AfriGeneas Slave Data

 

AfriGeneas Searchable Surnames

State Resources at AfriGeneas

Country resources at AfriGeneas

And don’t forget to follow AfriGeneas on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Best in your searches whether they’re fee or free!

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October 16, 2017 |

Family History Month – Day 16 Sign up for the Worldwide Indexing Event!

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Get ready for the Worldwide Indexing Event October 20-22!

 

Family History research can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

 

Needle in a haystack Family History Month

 

 

Indexing creates a digital, searchable record of an older historical record, and is like tying a ribbon to that needle in the haystack, allowing it to be found with ease.

Tying a ribbon to a needle is like indexing

 

The Worldwide Indexing Event October 20-22 is a great time to give back to the family history community.

I once heard an indexer explain what motivated him. He was indexing records for children in an asylum.

They were called “inmates.”

Inmates.

He had this visual image of a child behind prison bars, unable to find his or her family. Even if someone knew to look for these children, finding the right record source would be like searching for a needle in a haystack. He realized that every name he indexed was like tying a ribbon to one of these needles.

By donating a bit of time to type old records into computer fields and make them searchable online, we help family find their kin. Images are great, but indexes make searching the images or scans much faster and simpler. How many people will patiently flip through images, like the one below, hoping to see a family name? Diehard researchers will do this but indexing opens family history work to the masses because it simplifies the task.

I’ve been indexing some birth records and I came to one page where a lot of the given names were missing.

Indexing birth records

I saw one set of children was listed as “Twins” but the male twin was unnamed.

Twins

I went to MyHeritage and looked up the female twin, “Helga M. Carlson,” in the census.

 

 

There is no male twin for Helga in the census record so I assume the male twin died. If you went off the census records alone, you wouldn’t know the story of this family included this lost child.

Most people use censuses because they give us a glimpse of the family. But if a child dies before their first census, the family picture we assemble from the census is unwittingly incomplete. Indexing other primary records helps people more thoroughly create a portrait of their families.

 

Worldwide Indexing Event

When we’re indexing, if the records are hard to read (pictured above), we can either select a new project or use the “Project Helps” for clues to guide us. In the batch above, I couldn’t read the writing even after I’d adjusted the contrast and brightness, so I sent this batch back.

In selecting a project, my rules of thumb are:

1) Can I see the writing?

2) Can I read the writing?

3) Can I make educated guesses?

If I can see and read the writing, I scan the whole page to get an idea how the record taker wrote certain letters, so I can make educated guesses where the handwriting slurs. Anything we index will be reviewed by another indexer so we’re not the final arbiter of the spelling of a name, which gives me some peace of mind.

I was doing a batch of records from Michigan (below) and couldn’t decipher the residences. (And I have family from Michigan and know a lot of the place names there.) I could make out “Twp” for Township so I Googled “Townships in Michigan” and found a Wikipedia article with a list of townships. I went to the C’s and then the M’s and found the townships I needed: “Chocolay” and “Michigamme.”

Web Indexing example

 

 

 

To join the Worldwide Indexing Event, go to FamilySearch.org and you can look for an Indexing Project by Country

 

 

Find an indexing project by country

 

 

 

Or by Project Type, Project Name, or Project Language.

 

 

 

 

Find an indexing project by type or language

 

 

One popular project is the Freedmen’s Bureau Project. These are records of “freedmen, slaves, refugees, and others” being assisted by the US Freedmen’s Bureau shortly after the U.S. Civil War. These will be some of the first records ever created for some African Americans and is a vital project to help families find their ancestors.

If you want to get better at searching online records, join the indexing effort. You’ll experience the flip side of the problem and will gain new insights into how to search for an ancestor. Best in your research!

 

 

 

October 15, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – Visit BlackPast.org

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BlackPast Family History Month OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org is the largest free African American history website and includes genealogy resources and links. They have over 4,000 encyclopedia entries, 300 African American speech transcripts, 140 primary text documents, timelines, links to digital archives, museums, research and genealogical sites, and many more resources for African American research.

BlackPast home page OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org has three major divisions: 

“African American History (AAH)
 –All sections in this division focus on the historical experiences of African Americans, that is, persons of African ancestry in the United States.”

African American History in the West (AAW)–This division brings together all of the information on the website related to African Americans who have lived in the nineteen states that straddle or are west of the 100th meridian.  See the map to the right.”

Global African History (GAH)–All sections in this division address the history of people of African ancestry who live outside the United States and its territories.”

“Each division has similar information that appears as a list in the left column of every page (except the opening page).  For example, all have BibliographiesOnline Encyclopedia, Major Speeches, Timelines, and Primary Documents that are relevant to their divisions.  They also have a section called Research Guides and Websites that link to relevant sources off the website. Some features, however, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are specific to AAH and AAW.  The feature called Perspectives allows scholars from around the world to explore topics of interest to the BlackPast.org audience.”

“BlackPast.org also has Special Features found only on the opening page.  They include BlackPast.org By the Numbers101 African American FirstsMajor Black Officeholders Since 1641the Barack Obama Page, and the BlackPast.org Blog Roll.”

BlackPast.org also has a specific Genealogy Page with the following resources/links:

October 15, 2017 |

Family History Month Day 14 – OpenArchives for Netherlands research

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free Open Archives Family History Month OnGenealogy

On Day 14 of Family History Month, check out OpenArchives for Netherlands research.  The Netherlands has an open data policy and most government records are free to access. OpenArchives is a newer company that has built a very user-friendly system for searching Dutch family history records.

OpenArchives Family History Month OnGenealogy

 

 

OpenArchives searches are free and may link to free scans.

OpenArchives also has subscription offerings allowing users to download records as PDF files, GEDCOM files, CSV files, or XLS files. Subscribers also enjoy the benefit of the system’s automatic searches for related family members and children of any primary search you enter.

See the OnGenealogy listing for searchable collections available at OpenArchives.

OpenArchives receives data from the following archives:

  • AlleFriezen

  • AlleGroningers

  • Amsterdam City Archives

  • Archive Delft

  • Brabant Historical Information Centre

  • City archive Breda

  • City archive Deventer

  • City Archives Enschede

  • City Archives Rotterdam

  • Drenthe Archive

  • Dutch Institute for Military History

  • Eemland Archive

  • Gelders Archive

  • Heritage Achterhoek and Liemers

  • Heritage Leiden and environs

  • Historic Centre Leeuwarden

  • Historical Center Overijssel

  • Municipal Archive Borsele

  • Municipal archive Ede

  • Municipal Archive Goes

  • Municipal Archive the Hague

  • Municipal archive Hengelo

  • Municipal Archive Kerkrade

  • Municipal Archive North Beveland

  • Municipal archive Roermond

  • Municipal archive Schiedam

  • Municipal archive Schouwen-Duiveland

  • Municipal Archive Tholen

  • Municipal archive Venray

  • Municipal archive Wassenaar

  • Municipal archive Zaanstad

  • Municipal archive Zeist

  • Municipal archives of Venlo

  • Municipality Lisse

  • Municipality Steenwijkerland

  • National Archives

  • National Archives / Archives South Holland

  • Nieuw Land Heritage

  • North Holland Archives

  • Regional Archive Alkmaar

  • Regional Archive Langstraat Heusden Altena

  • Regional archive of Zutphen

  • Regional Archive Tilburg

  • Regional Archives Dordrecht

  • Regional Archives Nijmegen

  • Regional Archives Rijnlands Midden

  • Regional Archives Rivierenland

  • Regional Historic Center Limburg

  • Regional Historic Centre Eindhoven

  • Regional History Center Vecht and Venen

  • Rijckheyt, center for regional history

  • Tresoar

  • The Utrecht Archives

  • Waterlands Archive

  • West-Brabant Archive

  • Westfries Archief

  • Zeeland Archives

Follow OpenArchives on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for their most recent offerings. OpenArchives is owned by Coret Genealogie and you can check out their other genealogy sites including online tree building and resource guides. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

 

October 14, 2017 |

Family History Month – Rediscover Library and Archives Canada

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On Day 13 of Family History Month, search free databases at Library and Archives Canada.

 

Library and Archives Canada OnGenealogy Family History Month

 

Library and Archives Canada, LAC, is the National Library and National Archive of Canada. The library portion has an amazing collection of Canadian publications because publishers are required by law to deposit a copy of anything published in Canada. The archive portion collects Canadian government records of historical value and also stores government records when a government department no longer needs them.  The archive also accepts private collections of national significance.

Library and Archives Canada free Ancestors Search

 

In case you’re going to skip the rest of this write-up and rush off to the LAC for your research, I’m going to give you my main tip for the LAC right here. When you select any database from the above-menu you’ll be brought to that collection’s guide page. I’m always like a deer in the headlights, frozen, panicked, wondering where the search window is. It’s always on the menu in the upper left-hand corner (see below).

How to Search at LAC

 

Select, “Search: 1851 Census” and you’ll be brought to the Search page (see below).

 

 

1851 Census Search page

All online databases at the LAC are free of charge. There are multiple ways to search at LAC including:

  • SEARCH ALL of Library and Archives Canada

  • ARCHIVE Search searches archival collections (as a body, not by page) OR archival records can be found using ArchivesCanada.ca

  • AVITUS, a Latin word meaning “from ancestors” is the online Library catalog search program where you can “access databases, catalogues and Web sites regarding genealogical resources and collections all over Canada.”

  • AMICUS Search – searches libraries across Canada

  • ANCESTORS Search – shows you genealogical databases you can individually select and search

Canada has rich genealogy records because they’ve had many immigrant populations including English, Irish, Scottish, American (including American Revolutionary War refugees), German, Ukrainian, Icelandic, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants. Canada was often the country immigrants arrived at before they crossed into the United States. There were no Canadian border patrols before 1908, though some United States immigration records may exist for these border crossings.

LAC has many searchable databases and guides for how to search these databases. Be sure to use the guides to understand what the collections will and won’t contain. Many databases are indexed and you can search them by name.

I have Canadian ancestors including immigrants from Ireland and Wales but also some Loyalist refugees (Americans who sided with England during the Revolutionary War and later moved to Canada). My favorite collections at LAC are ones where I’ve found my relatives.

The 1851 Census

free 1851 Census at LAC OnGenealogy

 

 

 

and Upper Canada Land Records

LAC free Land Records OnGenealogy

 

 

 

They’ve added collections since I last searched here. Take a look below and see what you can find in their databases! Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free.

 

Births, Marriages and Deaths

Census and Enumerations

Immigration and Citizenship

Land

Military

People

 

October 13, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – NARA Free Digital Databases

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On Day 12 of Family History Month, check out what you can access online at the US National Archives.

Family History Month NARA OnGenealogy

The US National Archives, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), has online databases, many of which are helpful in family history research. These are listed at the NARA site, Access to Archival Databases (AAD).

The National Archives online databases

 

Here’s an example of one type of record you can find. This is a Prisoner of War record for the famous author, Kurt Vonnegut, who was captured at the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

Kurt Vonnegut POW record

 

Some helpful collections include:

Immigration to America

Russian Immigrants

Irish Immigrants to America

 

German Immigrants to America

 

Italian Immigrants to America

 

 

Military Personnel Records

World War II

 

Korean War

 

Vietnam War

 

Gulf War & War on Terrorism

 

Panama Canal Zone

 

Military Awards

 

US Civil War

 

All the digital records at NARA are free to use and if you’re on site you’ll have free access from NARA computers to these subscription record collections (if you use these links from an off-site computer, you will not have free access):

Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free!

October 12, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 11 – MyCanvas books

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For Day 11 of Family History Month 2017, look at what MyCanvas has to offer. MyCanvas has photobooks, calendars, and poster printables but they also partner with Ancestry.com to create Family History books.

 

Family History Month MyCanvas OnGenealogy

 

If you have a family tree at Ancestry (it can be a free tree or a subscription tree), MyCanvas allows you to upload information from your tree, specifying which person you want to start with, and build an ancestral book or a descendancy book.

MyCanvas OnGenealogy Family History Month

I chose to create a descendancy book for my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. (I’m not showing pages with many family photos, but we have them for every family.)

 

MyCanvas descendancy book

 

IMG_5274

 

IMG_5275

 

IMG_5276

 

 

First, you upload your family tree from Ancestry.com. You can create a free account and build a small tree or use a subscription account but only upload a limited number of generations.

Next, you’ll upload photos from your computer, add titles and headings and voila! You have a beautiful, professional looking book, ready to print.

Things I learned as I assembled this book:

  • Get the information and formatting correct in your tree before you upload to the book. It’s easier to change this information one time in your online tree, than multiple times in the book. I had to change the spelling of the months of the year from the three letter “Sep” or three letter all caps “SEP” to “September,” to make it conform to current standards and look the way I wanted it to in the book.

  • Get all your names and dates imported correctly first, then add photos. The names and dates are the foundation for the book and it’s important to get this correct before you accessorize your book with family photos (even though photos are fun).

  • Friend all your family on Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and any other online site where they might share photos. As important as this project was to me, it obviously didn’t make everyone else’s priority list. I sent requests for names, birthdates, marriage info, and photos. Photos were the last to arrive if they arrived at all. Enter Facebook, Instagram, and Dropbox. I downloaded photos from their accounts on all these sites (slightly freaky to think this is possible).

  • When you send requests to your family for information be sure you know ALL the information you’re going to need. I realized I also needed parents’ names for the grandchildren’s spouses and felt badly sending a second and third request for additional information.

  • Even with my novice missteps the process was easy, and we had a 92 page finished product in under 6 weeks with 6 children, 22 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, and pages for each–no small feat.

You could easily use one of these books to create a professional personal history or family history and there’s an option for professionals to have the “MyCanvas” logo information removed from the book. It’s only on the last page so if you print a couple additional blank white pages you could easily cut out the last page after you receive it, but it doesn’t bother me.

MyCanvas gives you the option of using 4 or 5 generations for a book. There are style options, additional pages you can add or remove, and you see the price of the book change as you make changes. They store your drafts on their site and you can edit at your convenience. And, you can send previews to others (including the option to order one for themselves.) Best in your research! #FamilyHistoryMonth

 

 

October 11, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 10 – Use ArchiveGrid to find Collections

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ArchiveGrid OnGenealogy Family History Month

 

ArchiveGrid is a free, online resource for finding archival materials worldwide, primarily manuscript collections, historical documents, personal papers, and family histories.

 

They have over 5 million records contributed by more than 1,000 libraries and archives. “ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums, and historical societies.”

ArchiveGrid for Genealogy

Useful searches include:

  • surname

  • location

  • topic (genealogies, history, land, deeds, maps, wills, etc.)

Search results will show descriptions of the items and links to similar collections.

If you didn’t inherit the family bible and papers, someone else did. And maybe they donated them to an archive or historical society. It’s worth a shot to check ArchiveGrid. Best in your searches! #FamilyHistoryMonth

 

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October 10, 2017 |

Internet Archive for Genealogy

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Family History Month OnGenealogy Internet Archive

 

On Day 9 of Family History Month, go see what’s new at Internet Archive.

 

Internet Archive (archive.org NOT to be confused with the subscription genealogy site, archives.com) is a great free resource for genealogy and family history. It’s a “non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.”

Internet Archive for Genealogy

The Internet Archive library offers over 10 million fully digitized books and texts. And the OpenLibrary has over 300,000 modern eBooks that can be downloaded. *If you’re going to type in the url instead of hitting a link, remember it’s “archive.ORG”.

  • You can Search by Collection, if you know a particular library, say Brigham Young University Library or the Allen County Public Library, has great genealogical holdings. There are over 4,000 collections so unless you’re going for something specific, you might not want to limit your search this way.

  • They have a specific collection: Genealogy, that pulls resources from several different institutions.

  • You can look at the Microfilm Collection within the Genealogy collection.

  • They have almost 3,000 Compiled histories/Family Genealogies in their Family Genealogy Collection.

  • The Wayback Machine has over 510 billion pages of archive internet websites if you try to find a site that’s down-look up the URL in the Wayback Machine and you might find what you need. Note: some websites specifically prohibit crawling and won’t be archived here.

I like to do repeat searches for county and town histories, genealogies, and surnames at Internet Archive. They are continually growing their collection so it pays to search their site every few months. Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free! Save

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October 9, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 8 – The British Newspaper Archive for UK research

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Family History Month OnGenealogy British Newspaper Archive

For #FamilyHistoryMonth Day 8, check out The British Newspaper Archive for UK research. There are both fee and free options so keep reading and learn how to use it to your advantage for free.

British Newspaper Archive

British Newspaper Archive

“The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and findmypast to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library’s vast collection over the next 10 years.”

It’s free to search and you’ll see snippets from each paper where they find a “hit”. If you want to read the entire article you’ll need a subscription plan. Don’t stop here, I’m going to show you the subscription options, but you don’t have to subscribe to benefit!

You can always do free, unlimited searches. If you decide it’s worth it to see the entire article, choose a subscription plan, including a pay as you go option.

 

British Newspaper Archive subscription plans

British Newspaper Archive subscription plans

 

Now, for how you can benefit from free searches.

I did a quick search for a Welsh ancestor, Sophia Webber, from Monmouthshire. I’ve hit a brick wall tracing her family. I typed “Monmouthshire” into the search window to see what papers they have from that area.

I selected the paper with the most digitized pages, the Monmouthshire Beacon.

Then I searched for “Sophia Webber” and one of the top search returns gave me this snippet: “… St. Woollos church, Newport, the Rev. Edward Hawkins, M.A., Augustus, youngest son of Mr. Webber, proprietor of the Guardian newspaper, Cardiff, to Miss Sophia Lee Bishop, niece Henry Williams, Esq., Victoria-place, Newport. …”

So from the free snippet I learned:

  • Augustus Webber is Sophia’s husband (knew that already)

  • Augustus Webber’s father was the proprietor of the Guardian newspaper

  • Augustus is the youngest son

  • Augustus is from Cardiff

  • Sophia’s full maiden name is Sophia Lee Bishop

  • And I finally know Sophia’s connection to Henry Williams-she’s his niece

Saving a favorite newspaper snippet at BNANext, I created an account (there’s no fee to create an account) and saved my search results.  The benefit of creating a free account is they allow you to save your discoveries.

As you can see in the image on the left, next to each snippet there will be a bookmark with a + symbol inside it.

If you select the + symbol, the bookmark will turn red and BNA will save this article to your “Saved” folder for you to use whenever you need it.

 

 

 

 

 

On any page at British Newspaper Archives (BNA) you’ll see the menu options and next to the “Home” category is the “Saved” category. Select the “Saved” category to find all your bookmarked newspapers. You can create folders in the “Saved” area to organize your finds. (I’ve created a folder and labeled it with the surname I’m researching.)

Saved searches at BNA

Saved searches at BNA

 

All this was free, took less than 5 minutes of my time, and I’m on my way to breaking through a brick wall. Not bad, huh? I’ll do more searches and saves before I opt to pay but I’ll definitely be choosing one of their subscription plans for my UK research.

Best in your research whether it’s fee for free!

 

October 8, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – On Day 7 Discover IntoThePast

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Family History Month IntothePast for European records

IntoThePast is a site in development that was introduced at RootsTech 2017 (the largest genealogy and family history convention in the world).

IntoThePast will specialize in hosting European records, primarily archival handwritten records, that have been digitized and made searchable with their proprietary Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology, SearchInk.

IntoThePast with SearchInk
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“IntoThePast.com is an online meta-search engine that allows users to search for parish records with a focus on European records. IntoThePast.com is powered by the SearchInk Handwritten Text Recognition technology.”

IntoThePast will be the website where archival materials are hosted and presented to the public for searching. SearchInk is the technology that converts handwritten text to searchable content. ARQI is the company that negotiates with archives to digitize their materials. And Qidenus Technologies is the parent company that has developed the patented products for book digitization.

IntoThePast will offer subscription services and it remains to be seen if they’ll offer a level of free service. It’s definitely a site worth watching if you have European ancestry!

IntoThePast join their launch listFollow them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and go to their website and join the launch list to enjoy 6 months of free premium membership.

October 7, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – On Day 6 try Storyboard That

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family history month storyboard that

On Day 6 of #FamilyHistoryMonth try the free version of Storyboard That, a site that allows you to create storyboards and comic strips online.

This would be a fun way to illustrate or tell a personal history.

I’m using it to create comic strip versions of my children’s daily lives. My kids aren’t inclined to journal so I have them draw at least one picture a week of something funny or embarrassing that happened. Now I can take their drawings and put them into digital comic strips that we can enjoy forever.

Here’s one I made from my own daily life:

A Storyboard That at OnGenealogy
I asked my son to get rid of the garbage in his room so he threw out items that were sentimental to me.

Panel 1: “Your room is a wreck. Here are some garbage bags. Throw away anything you don’t care about.”

Panel 2: Two hours later. “I’m done.”

Panel 3: Thrown away: his baby book, all K-6 artwork, anything sentimental.

Storyboard That’s award-winning, browser based Storyboard Creator is the perfect tool to create storyboards, graphic organizers, comics, and powerful visual assets for use in an education, business, or personal setting. The application includes many layouts, and hundreds of characters, scenes, and search items. Once a storyboard is created, the user can present via PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote, or they can email the storyboard, post to social media, or embed on a blog. Storyboards are stored in the users’ account for access anywhere, from any device, no download needed. Storyboard That helps anyone be creative and add a visual component to any and every idea.”

I want to try writing my own personal history through storyboards. I think this will make it more fun for me to write and more enjoyable for others to read someday.

experimenting-with-a-family-recipePanel 1: “Do you want my opinion on the brown sugar on the bottom of the banana bread?”

Panel 2: “Sure!”

Panel 3: “It’s a nightmare. And that’s being generous. I’m going to amputate the bottom.”

 

Storyboard That has several pricing options, including a free option with a watermark on your finished product. Other options include a Personal plan, an Educational plan for schools and teachers, and a Business plan.

I started with the free option, but I liked it so much and didn’t want the watermark on my comics, so I went with their Personal plan. Storyboard That’s Personal plan permits light usage for books and blogs. (It may be necessary to purchase a business plan for serious publishing endeavors-refer to their Terms of Use and Storyboard Copyright). They’re currently offering a sale on their Personal Plan, $19.99/quarter or  $59.99/year. They appear to have very generous terms for month-to-month usage and cancellation. (I’m not affiliated with them; I just love their product.)

Storyboard That has many language options. If you don’t see the language option at the top of the page, scroll to the bottom where you’ll see “Prefer a different language?” in a dark blue header and select the language of your choice.

Check out Storyboard That tutorials on YouTube or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google+ for the latest news and offers. And best in your choices whether they’re fee or free!

 

October 5, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth Day 5 – Free AmericanAncestors Offerings

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family history month americanancestors NEHGS

 

 

On Day 5 of Family History Month, visit the founding genealogical organization in the United States, NEHGS or AmericanAncestors.org, and see what they’ve been up to since 1845.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society offers “family history researchers the most-used genealogical society website in the world. AmericanAncestors.org provides access to more than 1.4 billion records spanning twenty-two countries covering the United States, the British Isles, continental Europe, and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American genealogical records, the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines, and the largest collection of U.S Catholic records online.”

Sign up for a free guest account and you’ll have access to:

 

 

NEHGS Online Learning Resources

With your free guest account, you’ll also be able to access their online learning resources and watch family history webinars or read subject guides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AmericanAncestors free scholarly articlesDon’t want to create a guest account? You can still visit their site and use their scholarly articles and town guides to assist your research.

You’ll also have free access to the first 76 volumes of the New England Historical Genealogical Register, a quarterly publication since 1847 which includes vital records, cemetery records, church records, land records, probate records, tax records, obituaries, and compiled genealogies.

There are also free, online surname and subject indexes for the first 50 volumes of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

 

 

 

NEHGS has multiple membership options and you can follow AmericanAncestors on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+ for news on their latest collections and offers. They often have specials on their membership during the month of February, sometimes in October, and will usually offer free access during the week surrounding the Fourth of July. Best in your research, whether it’s fee or free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 4, 2017 |
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