Monday, September 15, 2014

Hear Names

One of the biggest challenges in genealogy is overcoming the spelling of names. As your family tree goes back in time, spelling becomes more uncertain. Part of the problem lies in known spelling variations for certain names (Smith, Smyth, Smythe, etc.). The main problem, however, is that historically many people did not know how to read and write.
Names that were said out loud were often mistakenly written down in a different format. Knowing the proper pronunciation of an ancestor’s name can therefore be a good starting point in trying to decipher how it may have been written down on an old immigration form, a census record or a parish record. But what happens if your ancestor was from Finland or Croatia and you don’t know how to pronounce names in these languages?

Enter Hear Names. This is a website dedicated to the pronunciation of names from around the world. You can either type in a name and it will tell you how to pronounce it or you can search for names by language. Over 25 different languages are listed on the website. Hearing the proper oral pronunciation of a name is a good starting point for trying to reverse engineer how a name may have appeared in written format on historic documents, such as immigration forms.
Hear Names continues to be built out. The authors have informed us that new names can still be submitted to add to the database.
Thanks to Genealogy In Time for highlighting this website.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Measuring Worth

Have you ever come across an old family will or an old land record that states the value of an estate and you wondered how much it would be worth in today’s dollars? There are many websites on the internet that will convert an historical amount into today’s value, but none do it better than Measuring Worth.
Run by two academics with a deep knowledge of alternate ways to compare the historic worth of things, the website provides several ways to convert an historic price into a modern price.
It also converts across currencies just in case you want to know how much UK £10 in 1810 is in today’s dollars (answer $838 using CPI inflation data). The currencies covered by the website include US dollars, UK pound and the Australian dollar. The dataset goes back into the 1700s.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Irish Records Online

Ireland Genealogy Projects has put online a national list of school teachers for the 1873-1874 school year. The list is organized by region and then alphabetically by the name of the teacher. The list also includes monitors, who were senior students aged 12 to 18 that assisted the teacher. Many monitors later went on to become teachers.

 The Clare County Library has added more school rolls to their collection. The latest addition involves the roll books and school register for Lacken National School, which was located east of Kilmihil village. The records for boys cover the years from 1865 to 1922 and the records for girls cover the years from 1889 to 1922. You can search the registers by either school year or surname. Each record lists the student’s name, year of birth, year entered school, home town and parent’s occupation.

A new website has been launched that contains historic Irish street directories and some historic maps of the country.
Included on this website are a collection of digitized maps of Dublin and Ireland, viewable in Google map format, a revised and improved townland database, scans and extracts from a number of directories, a guide to the important, and unique, system of land divisions of Ireland (townlands etc), and a brief introduction and guide to Irish records. 

All are free to access.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Canadian WW1 Records

The website Canadiana has put online the militia lists of each unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force as of August 1914 (the beginning of World War I). Each record lists the name of each member of the unit, rank, country of birth and date and place of enlistment. Some records also list next of kin and address. Canada was unprepared at the start of World War I. It had only 3,100 men under arms. As volunteers were quickly recruited and organized in Canada, members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force were sent to Europe to help reinforce these newly formed units. Therefore, when looking for ancestors in this collection, be aware that they most likely left Canada under one unit and then were reassigned to a different unit as soon as they arrived in Britain. This collection can be searched by keyword (such as name) and date range. Access is free.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Family History Month

August and Family History Month are now over.  Thanks to all those people who attended my classes in Rochester and Echuca - your enthusiasm has been greatly appreciated.  My apologies to those in Kyabram whose sessions were cancelled while I was ill, I hope to reschedule soon.  During September I will upload the handouts from all my classes onto the Campaspe Regional Library Genealogy page, and will try to keep them updated regularly.  Questions, comments and feedback will be welcomed.
I have always enjoyed running these classes and this year has been no exception.  Not only is it wonderful to see other people's enthusiasm for family history, preparing for and running these classes fires up my own enthusiasm as well.  There is always something new to discover, another hint to track down, another detail to add to my family history.  Not much housework this weekend - I'm going to be researching!
Thanks everyone - I hope to see you in the library again soon!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Naval Records on Ancestry

Ancestry has started a new collection of UK naval officers and ratings (non-commissioned seaman) service records for the period from 1802 to 1919. This encompasses the World War I time period. This collection of some 89,000 records consists primarily of pension applications and supporting service records. Officers and ratings were awarded pensions after 20 years of service in the Royal Navy. Typical information includes the name of the sailor, rank or rating, a list of ships and service dates and remarks. Some records also include muster and pay registers. Please note: no service records are listed past 1912. That means you can’t use this collection to find out what ships your ancestors served on in World War I.  Ancestry is a subscription database, but Ancestry Library Edition is free to use in any Campaspe Regional Library branch.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Change to English Marriage Certificates

David Cameron has announced that mothers’ names will be added to marriage certificates in England and Wales. Speaking to the Relationships Alliance on Tuesday (19 August), the Prime Minister said that the current system of only recording fathers “[did not] reflect modern Britain” and that he has asked the Home Office to address the situation. The announcement signals a victory for a major online campaign on that has been signed by over 70,000 supporters, including family historians.