Saturday, 30 April 2011

What a Great Workshop

Our Spring Workshop was held today. We have two workshops a year and always try to dedicate the spring workshop to British research. Today was no exception. The first part of the morning consisted of a panel, with each panelist discussing "how to" research in either England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales.

Our first panelist was Audrey Elcomb, speaking on researching English records. Audrey recommends using the freeBMD website to access the indexes of births, marriages, and deaths. She states that it is important to know the county that your ancestors came from, and she provided a map showing the counties in England. Audrey also recommends becoming a member of the Family History Society in the parish where your ancestors resided. This will allow you access to the Society's newsletters as well as to the names that other members are interested in and you may find a link through them.

In addition to Family History Societies, there are also Name Societies. These two can provide a wealth of information for your research.

Next up, I spoke on researching the Scottish Records. The place to research the Scottish Records is the website for the General Registrar: Statutory Records were not kept until 1855. Before that, you will need to look at the Parish Records. Birth and Census records are available after 100 years, marriage records after 75 years and death records after 50 years. This is a pay per view site. To do a search is free. To view each page of the index is one credit. To see the digital record is another 5 credits. 6 credits is about 35¢. Always start with a census record to get Parish information as well as approximate ages, names of siblings and parents. Then you can look for birth records, marriage records etc.

A great book for searching your Scottish Ancestors is Dr Bruce Durie's book "Scottish Genealogy"

This book can be purchased in the Brant OGS Bookstore 

Audrey O'Reagan and Marnie Freeborn spoke on researching Irish Records. Again, it is important to know the area where your ancestors came from. This can be village, townland, city, county and province. There are a couple of websites for Irish genealogy research. One is another is   and a third is:

Marnie talked about a book that provided really useful  social history information. It is called Ireland: history, culture, people. It can be ordered through Amazon.

Our final panelist was Barbara Parry who spoke on the difficulty of researching your Welsh ancestors. Barbara spoke about the importance of understanding the Welsh language, and attempted to give us a short lesson. Barbara's talk was very informative and left most of us thrilled that our ancestors are NOT from Wales!!

After the panelists had spoken, our next guest took the lectern. Tom Timon from our local Family History Centre spoke on the changes to the FamilySearch website. There are currently two websites but these will slowly be amalgamated over to the new site as changes and upgrades continue to be added. The new site is
Another website for FamilySearch is the new portal to FamilySearch where you can find just about anything you might want to know about FamilySearch. Take time to play with the various links. You will be amazed at what you find.

The morning was packed full of information and provided a lot of hands on instruction. Take a few moments to check out the websites provided at this morning's talk. You may even manage to break down your brickwall!

Happy searching!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

New Free Canadian Genealogy Website

First launched in 2008, GenelaogyInTime recently added over 2 million records to it's database. It uses genealogy search engines to help you find the records and information you are looking for.

GenealogyInTime™ describes themselves as "a popular online genealogy magazine with powerful search engines, listings of the latest genealogy records, in-depth articles and other helpful resources. Everything is free."

GenealogyInTime is based in Ottawa, Canada and also offers a free weekly e-newsletter.

Click here to have a look:

Friday, 22 April 2011

Free Access to England & Wales Marriage Indexes on Ancestry

To mark the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, is offering free access to its English and Welsh marriage indexes until April 30. The records from 1837 through 1915 already were free, but this is a good chance to search for more recent (20th-century) marriages.

Join Us April 30 for Our Spring Workshop

The theme for our Spring Workshop will UK Research.
There will be a panel with researchers speaking on Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Tom Timon from our local Family History Centre will speak on using the LDS resource “FamilySearch”
Our afternoon will be dedicated to British War Brides and our speakers will be Joan Johnson and Peter Jones.

The cost if purchased by April 26th is $20, which includes lunch. Registration purchased at the door is $25 plus $5 for lunch.

Looking for a Book or CD from Global Genealogy?

The Brant County Branch of the OGS is a distributor for Global Genealogy. If you have found a book or CD you wish to purchase, contact us at:
We will place the order and have the resource to you in about a week.

And the Survey Says.........

A recent online survey of 1050 genealogy Hobbyists, conducted by Myles Proudfoot, of the blog “family history 21ster” found:
87% are actively engaged in genealogy research
36% research daily
49% attend conferences and Family History Society meetings
94% have asked living relatives for assistance in sharing memories, photos or stories
67% consider themselves “amateur” genealogists
32% started this hobby to continue the research others had started
27% started this hobby to preserve the memories of a deceased relative
The average age of the respondents was 36 years (and I thought I was a baby at this!)
The average length people have been researching is 18.5 years
76% store their research information on their computer
87.5% do their research at home as opposed to in a library, archive or FHS
67% claim to be totally addicted to genealogy!

For the full results of Myles' survey, check out his blog:

Visit Our Library

Our library is open to everyone - you do not need to be a member to use the library. Donations are gratefully accepted. In addition to resources, we have a book store and friendly, helpful volunteers who will be happy to assist you in your research. We are located at 114 Powerline Rd in Brantford.

Gems of Interest in Our Library

  • Access to the personal collection of WI Tweedsmuirs
  • Church records from some local churches
  • Obits from the Brantford Expositor from 1965
  • Flashbacks from the Brantford Expositor
  • Gary Muir’s articles on local history (4 books)
  • Heather Ibbotson’s articles
  • John Merriman from Brant News
  • Kit McDermott’s articles from the Brantford Expositor
  • Ruth Lefler’s articles from the Brantford Expositor
  • Bill Yeager’s articles from both the Brantford Expositor and the Simcoe Reformer
  • Cheryl McDonald articles from Norfolk County
  • Family Announcements from the Brantford Expositor
  • Microfiche records of most of the counties in England

MOCAVO - A New Search Engine Especially for Genealogists

This new search engine was launched to the public on March 16. It is free and super simple to use. Simply type in what you are looking for and watch what happens - dozens of hits based on  your search terms. For example, I entered "Crawfords of Lanarkshire" and the results brought up blogs, family trees, posted messages, books and the list goes on. Give  it a try. You do not need to sign up. Just enter your search terms and start searching!