Archive for June, 2013

June 25th, 2013

The Ultimate Resource Collection for Tracing Irish Genealogy Online

If you are looking to trace your Irish genealogy online, it’s important to know where to look. There are lots of websites that promise a lot but deliver little in the way of genuine Irish genealogical databases and info. One could waste hours of valuable time pursuing leads from a search engine that end up nowhere. You however need not worry about that. You have arrived at the ultimate collection of resources for pursuing Irish genealogy online.

All of the websites listed below have bona-fide databases of valuable Irish genealogy records or other useful tools that can help you find your ancestors. Some of them may charge a fee if you wish to order a copy of a record, but most of the databases are completely free to search.

Irish Family History Foundation
The Irish Family History Foundation consists of a network of county oriented genealogical research bases in Ireland. They possess millions of digitized Irish genealogy records, including of church records, census returns, and gravestone inscriptions. The website contains information on every county’s IFHF center.

Cavan Genealogy Database
Part of the Irish Genealogical Online Record Search System, they have the largest collection ofIreland’s Parish records that can be searched online. Search is free (subject to certain conditions).

Clare County Library
The website of the Clare County Library has a searchable online database which includes Griffith’s Valuation for County Clare, the 1901 census report, and many other records and directories.

Donegal Ancestry Centre
The Donegal Ancestry Centre was set up with the primary purpose of helping family history researchers trace their Donegal ancestors. It is the official family history research center forCountyDonegal.

Ask About Ireland
This is an initiative of public libraries, local museums, and archives that have combined to encourage the digitization and online publication of Griffith’s Valuation and other resources that may be useful to genealogists tracing their Irish family line.

Irish Times Digital Archive
Contains exact reproductions of every article published in the Irish Times from 1859 to present.

Irish Genealogical Research Society
The Irish Genealogical Society was established inLondonin 1936 in order to encourage and promote the study of Irish genealogy and to amass a collection of books and manuscripts of genealogical value. This is a private organization with membership dues.

Irelands Gravestone Index
Here you can search almost half a million gravestone inscriptions from every county in Ireland.

These are the most valuable Irish ancestry records databases and resources we could find online. If you know of another site that has a database or collections of Irish ancestry records that are useful for tracing Irish genealogy online, please let us know by leaving a comment or posting a link in the Comments section.

Read the rest of this entry »

June 18th, 2013

How to Use Facebook for Genealogy

Do you know how to use Facebook for genealogy? Many of us spend hours everyday either logged in or being active on the world’s largest online community, but how many of us take advantage of its genealogical potential? It should really be a no-brainer. Facebook has massive potential for connecting with relatives and other researchers. The potential for sharing information is incredible, yet many of us don’t know how to effectively use it to expand our genealogical horizons. It’s really as simple as searching, and you’d be amazed at the wealth of genealogical information and contacts that are out there just waiting to connect with you.

I am by no means an expert on Facebook, but I have come across some very valuable genealogical resources there. For one thing, there are lots of genealogical groups that have Facebook pages. I have found the National Genealogical Society, the Daughters of the American Revolution, JewishGen, the Genealogy Society of Ireland, and many other well-known and respected genealogy groups and societies. If there is a specific society or organization that you like or want to follow, simply type their name in the search window in the Facebook toolbar at the top of their page and you’ll know instantly if they have a Facebook presence.

Many of the society and genealogical group pages on Facebook allow you to post on their wall, so it’s easy to leave a message as you would on a message board. Other members or fans can view your post, and will be able to reply to any queries you might have. Another benefit of these pages are the photos and links to valuable information they post. Some pages such as the Pennsylvania Genealogy Research group have a section just for research resources, and many have an Events tab where you can view upcoming events form around the world such as seminars and conventions, or even events happening online such as webinars and tutorials.

Create a Facebook Page to Share Youth Own Story and Resources

If you want to build your own Facebook page you can easily do so. This is especially useful if you have a genealogical product you wish to sell, or even if you just want to share your family tree and genealogical data. The procedure to begin creating a page is;

  1. Click More at the bottom of the right column on your Facebook homepage. (Underneath the ads.)
  2. Click Create a Page
  3. Click one of the boxes to choose a category for your Page
  4. Choose a subcategory and enter the required information

All you have to do after that is to agree to the Facebook terms of use policy and you’re on your way to creating your own Facebook Genealogy page. Once you create your page you can use the Notes option to share stories, research notes, or anything else you wish to! Your page can also be a great place to share your family photos and announce any events you might be planning such as a family reunion.

If you are researching a specific surname, look for other Facebook genealogy pages that are doing the same. It’s also a great idea to like as many other genealogy pages on Facebook as possible. Don’t do too many at once however, as Facebook might consider you as spammer. Pick 5 or 6 pages everyday and Like them by clicking their Like button. Whenever you like a page, make a short comment on their wall, and invite others to visit your page. This will give you more exposure, and increase your chances of connecting with other researchers or even family members searching the same surname as you.

There are also many Apps on Facebook such as I Remember, which allows you to create a memorial page for a family member or friend. Live Roots features a specialized index listing well over 200,000 resources, though some you have to pay for. Mundia is’s app designed to help genealogists find ancestors who are listed in existing family trees or message boards. We’re Related and Family Links help individuals to find family members who are on Facebook and to share information with them.

As you can see, Facebook has great genealogical potential. Next time you log-on, spend some time investigating the many different genealogical aspects and applications. You never know, you might bump into someone you’re related to!

Read the rest of this entry »

June 11th, 2013

How to Search for Native American Genealogy Records

Knowledge of general history is crucial if you want to search for Native American genealogy records. One of the primary benefits of gaining such knowledge is that it will guide you to search in the correct time period for your ancestor’s records. An added benefit is that you will be able to nail down a specific geographical location in which to conduct your research. Having these skills will maximize your potential to discover that valuable documentation.

History can also shed light on Native North American culture; their naming patterns, tribal affiliations, and kinship terminology are quite different to those of European cultures. Only when placing them in proper historical context, without added assumptions and stereotypes, will a researcher accomplish true success in their search for Native American genealogy records.

Bibliographies and Native American Genealogy Records

Those researching their Native American heritage will do well to consult the vast array of bibliographies of Native American historical works that are available. Many have been composed by both individuals and institutions who are experts in the field of Native American history. They include works that are cultural and archaeological in nature, and frequently include comprehensive listings of sources and methods for deciphering the information they contain. One such bibliography is The Cheyenne and Arapaho Ordeal: Reservation and Agency Life in the Indian Territory, 1875-1907 by Donald J. Berthrong.

The research value of these publications is immense, and anyone who seriously wants to search Native American genealogy records should consider them necessary research aids. They can also be found in college and state libraries, large public libraries, and in the possession of selected genealogical and historical societies.

Search for Native American Genealogy Records Using General Histories 

Some of the most useful documentation for tracing Native American ancestors is general and tribal histories. They can tell you the location of tribal villages, hunting and gathering areas, and insight into settlement and migration patterns. Several such histories have been published in recent years, one being North American Indians in Historical Perspective. This book contains nearly five hundred pages of detailed histories of Native American tribes and clans.

Using such publications helps to place your Native American ancestors into a historical context. Once you know the era to research, and the location, you will inevitably find the ancestry records. As a bonus, many footnote sections, reference sections, and biographical notes can link you directly to primary and secondary source materials.

Local histories can help to establish tribal affiliations, another important aspect of how to search Native American genealogy records. Nearly all tribes have some sort of history of their earliest times, and city and county histories may also refer to the earliest Native American inhabitants of the area. Although they might not contain vast amounts of documented data, they can help to identify the original native inhabitants, and therefore must not be overlooked as valuable resources for tracing Native American ancestors.

Read the rest of this entry »

June 4th, 2013

What’s in a Name? The Fatal Effects of Name Meshing

It’s the latest trend, among celebrities and laypersons alike! Rather than adopting a hyphenated name, many couples are combining their two surnames into one, a practice that has become known as meshing. When I first encountered a story ion this phenomena I was lightly amused. Just think of the fun you could have with the right two surnames! Moon Unit Zappa might be named Moon Unit Zappaman (a combination of Zappa, her father Frank Zappa’s surname, and her mother’s maiden name, Sloatman)!

Yes, this is the general process for meshing; for example, Mr. Gatts and Ms. Harley became Mr. and Mrs. Hatts, while Mr. Pugh and Ms. Griffin are now known as Mr. and Mrs. Puffin. This is all fine and dandy, and may well be in good fun, but what are the future implications for genealogists? When couples choose to mix their surnames, create a completely new identity, and in effect eradicate an entire family line! Many consider it to be romantic, and in a sense it is, but are those couples who choose to “mesh” thinking about their heritage?

Imagine the potential for dead ends as future genealogists trace an ancestor right up until a certain time period, then their family surname completely disappears! Sure it might be easy enough to find the marriage records and figure out what happened, but it could also prove very difficult and elusive for some. Perhaps a note should be made in marriage records and applications that a name change was requested by the couple, and record what the new surname is. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I don’t think so. I’m thinking completely from a genealogical perspective, and would definitely like to know what your thoughts on the subject are.

The Importance of Surnames

There is so much information attached to surnames that is important to genealogical researchers. Surnames tell us the story of our ancestors, often point to their geographic origins, and frequently allude to their occupation. It doesn’t take much to goes the occupation of an ancestor with the name Blacksmith, but Puffin? Surnames link us to our past, if we start to disassemble them and form them into completely different surnames; there is the chance that entire family histories could be lost. If losing entire family histories sounds a bit dramatic, losing the family identity might not be.

Some might argue that the meshing of surnames creates a completely new identity for a family, one that will carry them into their future and begin a new legacy. I actually agree with that to an extent, but I feel that some link to the original and newly formed surname must be kept in order to connect the two for future researchers. How that can be accomplished I’m not sure, perhaps you may have some ideas about that.

Exploring the history of your surname and its meaning is a fascinating part of genealogical research. With all of the information contained in the surname, it will often lead us down new paths of genealogical. Creating too many forks in the road by meshing surnames could make researching particular family lines or even complete surnames extremely frustrating ion the future. Will the genealogists of tomorrow have to for the fun we have today? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Read the rest of this entry »

 Page 1 of 1  1