Category: General

Thrifty Thursday: PCC and other wills at

Category: General

Did you know 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 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 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

Category: General

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

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

Number of Records: 8,084
Years covered: 1546-1839
Parishes covered:
Melcombe Regis
Gussage All Saints
Glanvilles Wootton
Lytchet Matravers
Okeford Fitzpaine
Fontmell Magna
Shipton Gorge
Bishops Caundle
Frome St Quintin

Number of Records: 13,372
Years covered: 1573-1749
Parishes covered:
Dorchester All Saints
Dorchester Holy Trinity
Dorchester St Peter
Gussage All Saints
Melbury Abbas
Okeford Fitzpaine
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.

Ancestry enhances its family tree viewer

Category: General

Ancestry has improved its tree viewer to let you more easily see and move around between the generations of your family tree:

  • Expandable generations in the Pedigree View so you can see more than five generations in any one line.

  • Updated Family View displays more generations as well as the extended family.

  • Zoom in to an area of your tree or panaround.

  • View your tree in the full width of your browser window.

  • Printer-friendly feature.

The 1911 Census is coming to

Category: General

The 1911 Census will soon be available on the new Diamond Subscription at The subscription costs 149.95 for a year but there is currently a 20 discount - (see link). The project will start late 2010, with an anticipated completion date of summer 2011.

Other subscriptions are available plus a Pay-as-you-go option.

Ancestry release new military collections

Category: General

Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949
Provides details of almost eight million soldiers over three centuries of warfare. Campaign medals were usually awarded to everyone who fought in particular battles, so these records are virtual roll calls of famous conflicts such as the Napoleonic, Crimean and Boer Wars. They don't include the two World Wars you'll find the WWI rolls in a separate collection while those for WWII aren't publicly available.

Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972
A similarly extensive collection honouring forebears who served at sea. The Royal Navy and Marines have been at the centre of our military actions for hundreds of years, so among these 564,000 records you'll find seamen at the Battle of Trafalgar, The Crimea and the Zulu War. This time the World Wars are also included.

Citations of the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-1920
These records detail the courageous people who were awarded a medal considered second only to the Victoria Cross in its significance during World War I - find a forebear here, and you have reason to feel extremely proud. As well as each serviceman's name, rank and regiment, you'll find the full story of how they earned this illustrious reward.

New Here? Welcome to my Family History Blog

Category: General

Hi there, I'll try not to keep you long!

My name is Annie Barnes (nee Hibbitt) and this blog is connected to my Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website, available at The main site contains details of mine and my husband, Harvey's, family trees (click here and choose a tree if you wish to view all the names in our families) as well as photo galleries, biographies, a guestbook and other resources. The blog is a way of keeping you informed of my latest research, any changes to the main site and offers some useful family history links and other genealogical information......Read more »
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