Archive for December 2010

Re-activate your expired credits at ScotlandsPeople

Category: General

ScotlandsPeople are offering all customers who have existing credits in their account the opportunity to re-activate and use the credits at no cost through the use of a voucher code. They are doing this to allow customers who have expired credits to take the opportunity to use them without making a purchase.

All customers who have existing credits can now use the free voucher code festive which will re-set the credit expiry to 90 days in their account. Customers may use this voucher any time until 1.00 pm. on Wednesday 5th January 2011. The voucher may only be used once in each account.

For information on how to use the voucher, click here.

Ancestry.co.uk launches the 1911 census summary books

Category: General

A while ago Ancestry.co.uk reached an agreement with The National Archives to acquire and publish online the 1911 England and Wales Census. Because it's such a large collection they're putting it up in stages, starting with the Summary Books which have just been launched.

The complete set of 1911 Census record images will launch online in early 2011, followed by the indexes, which will be made available in sections throughout the remainder of 2011.

Thrifty Thursday: PCC and other wills at TheGenealogist.co.uk

Category: General

Did you know TheGenealogist.co.uk include several databases of wills in their subscriptions? These are partial indexes offering online access to images of the original pages. Included are...
  • Bristol Wills Index 1572 - 1792.
  • Edinburgh Wills Index 1601 - 1700.
  • Irish Wills Index 1536 - 1810.
  • Leicestershire Wills Index 1495 - 1750.
  • Northampton Wills Index 1510 - 1652.
  • Yorkshire Wills Index 1389 - 1652.
  • Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers Covering dates 1384-1858. Contains over 776,000 records.
When I contacted TheGenealogist.co.uk about 4 months ago they advised me that their main coverage for the PCC wills so far was 1616, 1647-1650 and 1706-1857.

If you want to look up a lot of wills then a 6 month subscription to TheGenealogist.co.uk might prove cheaper than individually downloading them from the National Archives at 3.50 per will.

[Why Thrifty Thursday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

New parish records for Dorset now added to FindMyPast.co.uk

Category: General

22,989 new Dorset parish records have been published on findmypast.co.uk consisting of 1,533 baptisms, 8,084 marriages and 13,372 burials:

Baptisms
Number of Records: 1,533
Years covered: 1538-1839
Parishes covered:
Okeford Fitzpaine
Portesham

Marriages
Number of Records: 8,084
Years covered: 1546-1839
Parishes covered:
Gillingham
Melcombe Regis
Portland
Gussage All Saints
Glanvilles Wootton
Lytchet Matravers
Fordington
Longbredy
Frampton
Okeford Fitzpaine
Fontmell Magna
Holnest
Halstock
Shipton Gorge
Bishops Caundle
Lydlinch
Licence
Hooke
Frome St Quintin

Burials
Number of Records: 13,372
Years covered: 1573-1749
Parishes covered:
Chettle
Cranborne
Dorchester All Saints
Dorchester Holy Trinity
Dorchester St Peter
Gussage All Saints
Melbury Abbas
Okeford Fitzpaine
Portesham
Wyke Regis

How to organize your digital family history data

Category: General

There's no one particular way to keep your digital genealogical research organized but I thought I'd mention how I do it. If you have an alternative method please share it in the comments section.

My research is organized within a series of folders on my computer, two of which are named Family Members (Maternal) and Family Members (Paternal) respectively.

Inside these folders, I have a sub-folder for each person in my tree for whom I have documents, photographs, or both. I name them using the surname first, in capitals, then the Christian names and lastly, in brackets, a married name for women. In the case of several individuals bearing the same name, I add the birth year or other fact in brackets to differentiate. Here are some examples...

FRYER Richard (b abt. 1663)
PARKER Sarah Albinia (Dando)
TOYSOM Alexander (the elder)
WALKER Sarah (Dando, Hamilton)
!UNKNOWN Hannah (Pitcher) (b abt. 1808)

I use the exclamation mark before those with unknown surnames so these individuals will be placed at the beginning of the folder when alphabetically sorted.

I make sure my folder is sorted on 'name' so I'll be able to find my chosen individual quickly. To do this in Windows, you need to open up either the Family Members (Maternal) or Family Members (Paternal) folder and in the menu, choose View > Arrange Icons By > Name. If they are sorted Z-A perform this action once more and you should have them arranged A-Z.


Inside the person's folder, I create another folder named 'Documents'. This is where I store all the downloaded documents and scanned images of documents in my possession. Wherever possible, I date them so these documents will appear in order inside the folder. For example...

1869 - England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Alfred Charles Hibbitt.jpg
1869 - England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Alfred Charles Hibbitt.mht
1871 - England Census - Alfred C Hibbitt.jpg
1871 - England Census - Alfred C Hibbitt.mht
1928 - Alfred Charles Hibbitt - Death Certificate.jpg

1882 - 17 Feb - London Gazette - Bankruptcy of William Elbert Dando.pdf
1915 - Post Office London Directory (Part 5 - Law, Court & Parlaiment Directories) - William Elbert Dando.jpg

There is inevitably, a certain amount of duplication for instance, a census document might contain a family of 6 people so the same document will eventually be stored in 6 different folders. I feel this is the best way to ensure I'll always find the document I'm looking for but it does, however, take up more disk space.

Besides the 'Documents' folder, I sometimes create a folder called 'Photos' within the individual person's named folder. As the name suggests it's where I place photographs relevant to the person if I have them. These might include scanned pictures of the person or photographs of places where they lived or worked or churches where they were baptized, married or buried, either taken recently or from old photos. I might also include pictures of memorabilia such as medals or other personal possessions.

Whatever your method, remember to always back up your important data either onto an external hard drive or to CD or DVD or memory stick or to an online backup service, anywhere just so long as you keep an additional copy. Your data represents many hours of hard work which you'd be heartbroken to lose.