Thursday, July 30, 2015

Family History Month

Once again August is Family History Month, and events, talks and activities are taking place across the country.  Campaspe Regional Library is again offering a number of Genealogy talks, so I will take this weekend to limber up my vocal chords before the first sessions start Monday at our Tongala Branch.  Bookings are available via the library homepage so please check out what is on offer and book yourself in - all the sessions are free and will be held in Echuca, Kyabram, Rochester and Tongala.  The updated notes from each session will be uploaded to the library homepage shortly.
Topics include :
  • Introduction to online records
  • Organising your Family History research
  • Using Ancestry Library Edition
  • Using FamilySearch
  • Online records at the Public Records Office of Victoria
  • Trove and the National Library of Australia
  • Researching your military ancestors
  • Irish Family History records online
  • History of the Workhouses

Friday, July 24, 2015


Have you checked out the new FreeREG website??  The new upgrade was launched in April - yes, its taken me a while to find out about it.  Better late than never.  The database contains some 35 million records and is constantly growing, as volunteers upload more records.
The website states "Our objective is to provide free Internet searches of baptism, marriage, and burial records, which have been extracted from parish registers and non-conformist church records in the UK. The recording of baptisms, marriages and burials in parish registers began in England in 1538 and is separate and distinct from the civil registration process that began in 1837. (The latter is covered by our companion project FreeBMD) Our aim is to make it easier for researchers, no matter where they are in the world, to locate a specific record relating to their ancestor within a parish register."
While the site does not publish transcriptions, it is a great resource for tracking down where your relevant records are located, and the new interface is clear, concise and easy to use. Well done!  A great resource - I have happily updated my bookmark.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Britain on Film

An array of early ‘home movies’ are among thousands of historic films available to watch through a new British Film Institute service. Launched earlier this month, Britain on Film provides access to a vast archive of films dating back 120 years, giving a vivid insight into family life at the time. Users can search the archive via a map of the British Isles, enabling them to zoom in and find videos relating to the places their ancestors came from. Highlights include the Passmore Family Collection, which includes footage of children playing on a beach in Bognor Regis in 1903 – thought to be the earliest surviving home movie in existence. 
Around 2,500 films including home movies, documentaries and news footage from Victorian times up to the 1980s is now available online.  The films have been digitised thanks to National Lottery money and the aim is to have 10,000 available within three years.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Irish WW1 Exhibit Online

Rare and previously unpublished WW1 material held in the Trinity College Dublin Library is now available to be viewed online thanks to a collaboration between Trinity and Google.
The Great War Revisited Exhibition features 80 exhibits of unique heritage material from Trinity’s rare books and manuscripts collections relating to the Great War, including recruiting posters, letters, diaries, photographs, videos, pamphlets and artworks.
Highlights of the exhibition include:
  • Trinity’s celebrated collection of Irish WWI recruiting posters (one of the largest collection in existence)
  • Previously unpublished photographs of the Allied campaign in Iraq and Turkey
  • Letters and diaries from Irish soldiers serving in France, Iraq and Palestine (previously unpublished)
  • A multitude of political pamphlets, songs and ballads and artworks
Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, said: “The Library of Trinity College Dublin is delighted to be partnering with Google Cultural Institute on the Great War Revisited online exhibition. Showcasing the richness of First World War material held in the Library, the online exhibition forms part of the Library's commitment to opening up its historic collections for global online access.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI

The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has uploaded 390,000 digital images of baptism and marriage registers to a new website, where they can be accessed free of charge.
Covering more than a thousand Catholic parishes, the scanned microfilm pages reveal details of people living across the entire island between the 1740s and 1880s.
While the material has not yet been transcribed, users can find individuals by selecting a county, parish and then browsing through the scans page-by-page.
Due to the destruction of crucial records during the Irish War of Independence, the registers are considered most important source for tracing ancestors in the country prior to the 1901 Census.
Although indexes to the registers have been created in the past, this is the first time the full records have been published on the web. As a result, researchers can consult the original handwritten entries and be more confident they are getting accurate information.
The NLI holds microfilm copies of over 3500 registers from 1086 parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The start dates of the registers vary from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard do not generally begin until the 1850/60s.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ancestry - new and updated in June

New and updated collections on for June:
Remember Ancestry Library Edition is FREE to use via our public computers or wi-fi in all branches of Campaspe Regional Library.  For a complete list of all added/updated collections on Ancestry, go to

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Global Name Translation

The following press release just arrived in my e-mail inbox - many thanks to 
Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage for sending our the information.

MyHeritage Launches Breakthrough Global Name Translation™ Technology to Power Family History Discoveries

New technology eliminates language barriers to enhance family history research and preservation

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah – July 8, 2015: MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, today announced the launch of Global Name Translation™, a new technology to help families break through language barriers in the quest to uncover their past. The technology automatically translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, in very high accuracy, generating all the plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages. In addition, a manual search in one language will also provide results in other languages, translated back to the user's language for convenience. This is a unique innovation not offered elsewhere, useful for anyone interested in discovering their global roots.

There are many immediate benefits for users. For example, people living in the USA with Russian roots previously had to search for their ancestors in Russian to maximize their chances of finding pertinent information. The new technology will now accept searches in English, automatically increase their scope to cover Russian and Ukrainian as well, and conveniently translate all results back to English.

MyHeritage has developed this technology using original research, advanced algorithms and based on its massive multilingual and international database of 6 billion family tree profiles and historical records. The technology covers first names and last names and is able to tackle not only names encountered in the past but also new names it has never encountered before. The technology is generic but also utilizes extensive dictionaries built by MyHeritage to cover synonyms and nicknames. Therefore a search for Alessandro (Alexander in Italian) will also find "Саша" which is the Russian form of Sasha, a popular nickname of Alexander in Russia.

The first version successfully translates names in between English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. The next version currently in development will add Chinese and Japanese, and additional languages will follow.

To take advantage of Global Name Translation™ technology, create a new family tree for free on MyHeritage and enjoy the automatic matches or use MyHeritage's SuperSearch search engine for historical records.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July/August Inside History magazine is out now

Articles in issue 29, the Jul-Aug 2015 edition of Inside History magazine include :
  • The best online history and family history courses from Australia and around the world
  • Bushrangers: deadly criminals or folk heroes? Two expert authors debate the iconic bushranger’s place in Australian history
  • 99 new online genealogy resources to help grow your family tree
  • The man behind 3.26 million lines of corrections on Trove – and how he’s linking them to Ancestry’s online family trees
  • Gaol records: our expert guide
  • What to do when your ancestor disappears off the family tree
  • How the Royal Australian Mint is commemorating the historic Magna Carta
  • Norfolk Island’s secret past
The issue is out now in newsagents, or read electronically via Zinio - FREE with your library membership at Campaspe Regional Library.