Sunday, 28 April 2013

New Developments in British and Irish Genealogy

For our afternoon speaker, we were very fortunate to have James Thomson. James spoke to us about New Developments in British and Irish Genealogy.

James was very thorough in his presentations and shared a number of very useful websites. Here are some of them: 


Askaboutireland: provides Griffiths Primary Valuation Roll as well as Griffiths Valuation maps for all of Ireland. These maps show the actual plot of land where people lived either as owner or occupier.

PRONI: provides valuation revision books, school records, Crown court & Coroner’s court records, County Council records, Board of Guardians (Workhouses) records and Ulster Transport Authority records.
National Archives of Ireland:  This is the republic of Ireland Archives and has tithe applotment books.

National Library of Ireland has tendered a number of records including catholic parish registers, Directories, Newspapers

Irish Genealogy: includes Ireland to Australia transportation

Documenting Ireland, Parliament People & Migration: has Parliamentary papers.

Following a short break, James led us through some interesting and sometimes little known websites for British genealogy. These included

National Records of Scotland:



A Vision of Britain Through Time: This website has historical maps that can be overlayed through the various boundary changes over time. It also holds a number of other records such as Election results since 1833 as well as census records.

Addressing History: This provides searches by "people, places, profession". This site also has historical maps.
County surveys of Great Britain will become available through Edina. These are similar to the Statistical Accounts, but are done at a County level rather than at a Parish level and are more Agriculture based.

BMD Registers: has non conformist and non parochial BMD services.

Thank you James for a very informative afternoon! Many of us spent our evening on our computers checking out our newly discovered web resources.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Using Maps in Genealogy

Today was our Spring Workshop. We had nearly 40 people in attendance and the topics were very well received. First up today was Denise Kirk. Denise runs the Genealogy Club at the Brantford Public Library and spoke to us on Using Maps in Genealogy.
Maps show us where our ancestors lived. They show us county boundaries and how those boundaries may have shifted over time.
Maps show topography of the area where our ancestors lived. Often they will also show us the names of landowners.
Denise showed us some really interesting websites. The first was the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project:  This website allows us to search our ancestors and then see their land on map of the township where they lived.
Other websites were the Ontario GenWeb Projects: Maps
Ontario and Upper Canada Genealogy Maps
Historic Map Works

Denise also reminded us that not all maps have been digitized and put online and many are still only available through old atlases. Using maps in our genealogy research adds a different dimension to our research and to our understanding of the lives of our ancestors.

We Need YOUR Help

We are moving into the future. For several years the Brant Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has done a great deal of research. These records have been available in printed collections. Lately it has been noticed that such sales have gone down. We have been told that this method is old style & we should consider more modern methods. We have got to move on into the new world. It is felt we should look at all our methods & so we need your help.
On Monday April 29 at 1 pm we will hold a meeting in the Library to discuss what we can do. We invite both members & non members to attend. If you cannot attend but you have ideas of how we can move ahead,please send an email or written note to the Branch. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

It's Our Second Blogiversary!

The Brant OGS website is now 2 years old. In that 2 years, there have been 253 posts and over 8,000 visitors!

The Branch is a busy one with work always being done. The library is open to everyone. And is free  of charge. We have a surname database that allows us to show you all of the places where you might find information on YOUR ancestor (obits, newspaper clippings, cemetery records, church records and more) So come on in and see what we have waiting for you to discover.