I’m busy packing my bags getting ready to make the trip from California to London for my third appearance at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London.
Here I am in last year’s experts panel
I’ll be teaching some of my favorite classes (sorry, they are already sold out, but I look forward to seeing those of you who have tickets there):
- Friday 3/22 at 2:30 pm Ultimate Google Search Strategies
- Saturday 3/23 at 11:00 Turn Your iPad (and Tablet Too!) into a Family History Powerhouse
If you don’t get a chance to attend my classes don’t fret, because I have a free ebook for you called 5 Fabulous Google Search Strategies for the Family Historian that will jump-start your research. It’s available for free when you sign up for my free Genealogy Gems e-Newsletter.
One of the best parts about the event for me is meeting all of you! And this year that will be easier than ever. When I’m not teaching you can find me at the Family ChartMasters booth (#12)
There’s so much to look forward to at this years event. Whether you’re new to tracing your family tree or a seasoned researcher, it’s packed with genealogy experts, informative workshops, over 160 specialist exhibitors and celebrities from the UK television series to help you with your own family history search. Is it any wonder that Who To You Think You Are? Live made it on my 50 Family History Favorites list (which includes my top 5 conference picks!) Here the list in the brand new free Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 151.
It is often said that “bigger is better” here in America, but in the case of family history conferences, the British have won the “super-sized” title. As an American genealogist, when I walk into the immense Olympia convention centre, I feel like a kid in a candy shop. Contained within those walls is more energy, more color (LOVE the hot pink carpeting!), more vendors and more genealogists than just about anywhere else. You certainly don’t have to have British roots to benefit from attending. This is my third year and I look forward to it as much as the first time.
So many of the Genealogy Gems Podcast’s 1 million downloads have been from the UK that it’s like “old home week” for me. Hope to see you there!
Evernote is certainly the fastest-growing (and FREE) note-taking technology out there, so it’s no wonder that it is incredibly popular with genealogists. But there’s a lot packed into it and I’ve noticed that many genealogists aren’t taking full advantage. Here’s are two of my favorite tips that I use all the time from my brand new Evernote for Windows for Genealogists cheat sheet:
1) Create a New Note: When you’re working on your computer and you want to make a quick note of something in Evernote, you can get there with lightening speed by pressing these quick keys simultaneously: Ctrl+Alt+n.
2) Instant Note Search: What if you are knee deep in your research and you have a note that you need to quickly reference? Simply press Win+Shift+f from anywhere on your computer and Evernote will instantly open with your cursor in the search box ready to type a keyword and search!
Try these Evernote tips now! And then get LOADs more helpful tips in this 4 page laminated Quick Reference Guide, like:
MyHeritage has signed on to sponsor The Genealogy Gems Podcast! Their support helps us to continue to bring you free multimedia content to inspire and inform your genealogy journey.
Our editorial team has spent several months getting to know MyHeritage.com. We think you’ll love their…
International membership. MyHeritage serves over 70 million members worldwide in 40 languages. Did your English-speaking ancestors originate in the British Isles? Are you discovering Sephardic roots in Spain? MyHeritage members may be your cousins—or know something about them. Check out their world membership map here.
24/7 record searching technology. MyHeritage uses a unique and powerful search system called Record Matches to constantly cull 5 billion historical records for your family. It’s the only family history interface out there using semantic analysis to search newspaper articles, books, and other free-text documents. It is also the first to translate names between languages. I personally like that matches from MyHeritage’s historical newspaper collections show up toward the top. It’s a great way to find obituaries!
Millions of trees. MyHeritage can search over 1.5 billion records in their own 27 million trees and recently-acquired Geni.com’s unified tree. From a single screen, members can search all those trees plus WikiTree and other trees. But you don’t even have to search. MyHeritage’s unique Smart Matching technology intelligently matches each family tree to hundreds of millions of profiles in other family trees. Members are alerted when new matches appear on the site.
Offline software companion. Family Tree Builder 7.0 is free software that allows you to keep a master copy of your family tree offline. Read my blog post on that topic here.
Great app. The MyHeritage app for iPhone, iPad and Android 2.2 helps you research, record and share your family history on the go. You can browse records, photo-share, and show off your tree in its beautiful display.
Genealogy Gems will continue to bring you news and gems on a wide range of genealogy topics and companies, not just MyHeritage. But we do encourage you to get to know MyHeritage.com. We choose our advertisers carefully and are very proud to partner with them!
Merging duplicate records in your family tree is important. Perhaps you have inherited a giant genealogy file (GEDCOM) from a relative. What now? Follow along in our series on Inherited Genealogy Files as we talk about how to merge the duplicates in your family tree.
Have you cleaned up your family tree lately? Whether you have inherited a genealogy file from a relative or have been an avid researcher yourself, clean-up is necessary from time to time, especially as your database grows.
Merging Duplicates from an Inherited Genealogy File with RootsMagic
When you sit down to do your genealogy research, the last thing you want to worry about are duplicate names. Duplicates can be distracting and confusing.
You may have inherited a genealogy file or files in the form of GEDCOMs. (Read more on what and how to use a GEDCOM file here.) While inheriting this family history is great, it can also be a lot of work to clean-up, confirm the data, and add source citations where needed.
If you use RootsMagic or other similar software, it can be quick and easy to clean up duplicate names in your database. Start by running a duplicate search by clicking on Tools, selecting Merge, and then clicking Duplicate search merge.
You can search for duplicates by surname or given name. You might consider running a duplicate search for sounds alike, as well. This is particularly important if you have merged two databases in which you and the other contributor may have used different surname spellings.
When you are ready, click Search for duplicates at the bottom of the box. The system will tell you how many duplicates it finds and allow you to compare them one-by-one.
If you find a duplicate, the primary person will be on the left and the matching record on the right. Whichever record/person is most correct, use the Swap button to move that record to the primary position on the left.
If you feel these are a match, click Merge duplicate into primary at the bottom left corner. You have now merged these two individuals. It should be noted that you do not actually lose any of the data of the duplicate person. If I find Dean Howard Lockwood in my index and double click on his name, a pop-up window appears and I see he now has two birth and death entries, however. To fix this, click on the duplicate fact to highlight it, then click Delete fact at the top.
Cleaning Up Duplicate Places
You may not have considered cleaning up the duplicate places that exist in your file. For example, perhaps Great-aunt Susie liked to use the old format for place names. [i.e. , Ross County, Ohio] Notice the comma before the county name Ross. This was the way in which genealogists used to indicate Ross was the name of the county. Now, we use the more recent accepted format and change that to: Ross county, Ohio, United States. You can quickly merge these two places into one by clicking Lists at the top left, and choosing Place List.
Now, choose the place you would like to fix and double click it. In the pop-up window that appears, simply type in the place name as you desire it to appear in your database.
In the example above, we have changed , , Kentucky to Kentucky, United States and clicked OK. But wait, there’s one more step! You may notice your list now shows duplicates of Kentucky, United States or some variation. To fix that problem, click on the merge button at the top of the Place List pop-up window. A new window will pop-up and you can choose all the places you wish to merge together. Then, click Merge selected places.
More on RootsMagic Software
RootsMagic is the genealogy software used and recommended by Lisa Louise Cooke and The Genealogy Gems Podcast. You can purchase this amazing software from the Products We Love tab in our store or by clicking on the RootsMagic 7 image link. When you use our affiliate links, you are helping to support the free Genealogy Gems Podcast. Thank you!
Genealogical records come in all shapes and sizes and this week’s records round up even includes round records! Keep reading because you never know what you’ll find.
Photographs at Indiana Album
I love this website simply for the tag line Historic Photographs from the attic to the Web! We all have a bit of other families’ genealogy in our attics, closets and scrapbooks, and Indiana Album is a nonprofit organization that want to make it accessible. They encourage Hoosiers (and of course descendants of Hoosiers) to loan them their photos and documents. The group then digitizes, catalogs and shares them in a database on their website. Head here to search for the names, places and other keywords relating to your family. I’m finding gems like the one below.
Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project
Here’s a free online collection that is adding tons of new melodic content!
I’m amazed how often I run across music references in my genealogical research, particularly when reviewing the diaries, letters and other records of my late 19th century and early 20th century relatives.
When I was in my twenties I wrote my Grandfather often and asked him questions like “Do you remember any favorite songs from when you were a young man?” His answer included:
As you can see from the linked titles above (click them to listen for yourself), I found every single one of them at the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project. This is a phenomenal free online collection of digitized recordings made accessible to everyone.
The good news is that the project, which currently boasts over 200,000 recordings, just received funding to preserve another 250,000 sides of 78 rpm records. That means they need records. So, check your basement, closets and attic and consider donating your 78s to the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project for digitization and physical preservation. You can donate your 78rpm Records to the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project here.
No Wonder (That I Love You) Gene Austin, 1925
UK & Iceland Records at Findmypast
There are over 6.4 million new records and newspaper articles available to search and explore this Findmypast Friday including over 264,000 new and exclusive parish records that have been digitised and made available online for the first time in association with the Lancashire Archives.
Over 31,000 additional records are now available to search amongst out collection of Lancashire Baptisms. The new additions cover the parishes of:
- Edge Hill, St Nathaniel -1869 to 1918
- Liverpool, St John – 1785 to 1898
- Liverpool, St Silas, Pembroke Place – 1841 to 1918
- Liverpool, St Stephen the Martyr – 1851 to 1918
- Newburgh, Christ Church – 1860 to 1917
- Seaforth, St Thomas – 1839 to 1918
- Stoneycroft, St Paul – 1916 to 1918
- Toxteth Park, St Bede – 1882 to 1918
These records include both transcripts and images of the original documents. Each result will reveal when and where your ancestor’s baptism took place, the names of their parent’s and father’s occupation.
Lancashire Marriages & Banns
A further 179,000 records have also been added to our collection of Lancashire Banns & Marriages. These new marriage registers add coverage for a selection of new Liverpool parishes, including:
- Edge Hill, St Nathaniel – 1871 to 1943
- Everton, Emmanuel – 1835 to 1943
- Liverpool, St John – 1785 to 1898
- Liverpool, St Stephenn the Martyr – 1852 to 1943
- Seaforth, St Thomas – 1870 to 1943
- Stoneycroft, St Paul – 1916 to 1943
- Toxteth Park, St Bede – 1887 to 1943
Learn when, where and to whom your ancestor was married, as well as the happy couple’s ages, occupations, marital status, residences, parent’s names and father’s occupation.
Over 54,000 new records from the central Liverpool Parish of St John. These new records span the years 1767 to 1883 and will allow you to discover when your Liverpool ancestors were laid to rest.
The transcripts and images within this collection will enable you to discover when your ancestor died, their occupation, the date and location of their burial, as well as their age at death.
United States Obituary Notices
A whopping 5.7 million new records are now available to search within our collection of United States Obituary Notices.
These records, obtained from the tributes.com and currentobituary.com websites will enable you to discover your ancestor’s name, birth and death years as well as the original obituary text. Additional information such as images and details about the records can be found on the source’s website.
Scotland, Darien Scheme Investors 1696
Explore the records of investors in The Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, also called the Scottish Darien Company. It was funded by investments from people across Scotland. These transcripts will provide you with information on those who invested money and their representatives.
The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to establish a colony called “Caledonia” in Panama in the late 1690s. Opposed by commercial interests from England, the company of Scotland raised subscriptions for the scheme in Amsterdam, Hamburg, and London. English investors soon raised their share but withdrew their money after King William and the English Parliament turned against the venture. However, by August 1696 the Scottish investors raised £400,000 themselves.
As the scheme was backed by approximately 20% of all the money circulating in the country at the time, its failure left the entire Lowlands in substantial financial ruin and was an important factor in weakening Scottish resistance to the Act of Union. In July 1699, the colony was abandoned due to inadequate provisions, the unfamiliar hot and humid climate had caused fever to spread, and many settlers died. Of the 1,200 settlers, only 300 survived.
International Records Update – Iceland
To mark Icelandic National Day this week, we have made over 287,000 baptism and marriage records from the land of fire and ice available to search on Findmypast.
These two new indexes span the years 1730 to 1920 and will generate hints against your Findmypast Family tree.
British & Irish Newspaper Update
A bumper crop of new and updated titles have been added to the collection this week, with 163,404 new pages added. We have seven brand new titles added this week, covering both England and Scotland. We have three new London publications joining us – the Harrow Midweek, the Middlesex Gazette and the Middlesex Independent – as well as one Scottish title (the Northern Ensign & Weekly Gazette) and one new Essex title (the Essex Guardian). We are also delighted to welcome two specialist sporting titles – namely, the Volunteer Record & Shooting News, which ‘warmly supports the interests of the shooting man,’ and the Fishing Gazette, a publication which covers all types of fishing across the world.
Further to these new arrivals, we have also updated sixteen of our existing titles. Updates this week cover the length and the breadth of the United Kingdom and Ireland, with updates incorporating publications from Aberdeen to Jersey, from Kingston to County Down, from Bristol to Kensington, from Crawley to Strabane.
Navy Officer Letters at Fold3
Fold3 just announced “We have added a new collection of naval records to our archives! The Navy Officers’ Letters 1802-1884 is a collection of letters to the Secretary of the Navy from officers assigned to naval ships, stations, and Navy bureaus.
The letters contain routine personnel matters such as duty assignments, leave or furloughs, desertions, resignations, court-martials, and other administrative issues. The collection is organized by year and then alphabetically by sender. The letters offer a glimpse into military history and provide valuable genealogical records for ancestors that served in the Navy.”
British Newspaper Archive
This week the British Newspaper Archive added 137,896 new pages spanning 128 years from 1871 to 1999 to eighteen of their existing collections. These include extensive updates to the Walsall Observer, and South Staffordshire Chronicle, which cover the years 1873 to 1969 and includes nearly 35,000 pages.
Also updated: Six of their London titles, including the Acton Gazette, as well as three Scottish titles, with pages added to the Hamilton Advertiser, the Dumfries and Galloway Standard and the Aberdeen Press and Journal. We have added pages to publications covering Newcastle and Middlesbrough, as well as new pages to The People.
A subscription is required. Clicking on the titles above allows you to see examples and review the scope of the collection.
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