Archive for April, 2009

Ask the Experts – The Society of Genealogists at the Conference

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The Society of Genealogists, the National Library and Education Centre for Family History in the United Kingdom will be giving a series of lectures under the theme "Ask the Experts" at the conference to help your research beyond the first steps. Lecturers will include Else Churchill, the Society’s Genealogy Officer and cover a diverse range of subjects from Surname Searching through Online Birth, Marriage and Death Records to the roll of DNA in family history.

Founded in 1911 the Society of Genealogists is Britain’s premier family history society. The Society maintains a splendid genealogical library and education centre in Clerkenwell in London.

The Society’s collections are particularly valuable for research before the start of civil registration of births marriages and deaths in 1837 but there is plenty for the beginner too, including the Free Family HIstory Access area where beginners can get a taste of some of the online sources that will help them start their research.

The Society has many unique unpublished manuscript notes and printed and unpublished family histories. Its library contains Britain’s largest collection of parish register copies and many nonconformist registers. Along with registers, the library holds local histories, copies of churchyard gravestone inscriptions, poll books, trade directories, census indexes and a wealth of information about the parishes where our ancestors lived.

Normally the Society of Genealogists has a joining fee but as an exclusive special offer for the conference, if you are not a member already, the Society will waive the one off joining fee should you join during the conference.

This stream of lectures is just one of the choices available to delegates at the forthcoming genealogy conference and with an all inclusive price of just £329 (under 500 US dollars) to include the conference, accommodation, all meals and the banquet there will never be a better time to attend a family history conference in England. Why not come along, enjoy the conference , join the Society of Genealogists and spend a week in London discovering your heritage.

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Family History 3 Creative Ways to Leave Your Own Legacy

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I am sure you are interested in create a compelling family history with all your digital memories. The chances are that you’re already doing many of the right things. You’re probably already capturing lots of good digital memories. Hopefully you’ve started converting your non-digital files to digital format. Maybe you’re even better than the average family about getting that video camera out often, and incorporating it into special events and every-day life.

Here are 3 creative methods you can use that add a whole new level to your memories and family history?

Step 1: Historical changes

Think about the world twenty years ago. So much has changed between now and then? Encapsulating this in how you record and save your memories will be fascinating not only later in your life but also for your future generations. There are many details that you can trap. The variances in your family beliefs, family habits, past times and even family sporting endeavors.

Step 2: Technological changes

Technological advancement adds a completely new element to the times of your family’s experiences. Fifteen years ago, only a few privileged people had car phones. Now, tiny little cell phones are common technology; most of the people you pass in the street are carrying them or talking on them. You can note technology advancement, use new technology for recording your life experiences even comment on the many changes in your journaling or videoing.

Step 3: Political Changes

Overarching political and historical changes can have great effects on your family’s life. These can include positive events, such as the removal of the Berlin Wall, and negative events, such as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the US. While drastically different in consequence, these historical events have had a great impact, in many ways, on your life. You can record and save details or even your feelings or personal experiences on these outcomes.

Adding creative new elements to your digital family history with these 3 unique methods creates a whole new level of complexity and richness in your digital family legacy for the future. Not only will your family members and future generations be able to view video and photos of your life, but they’ll know about the important events and every-day life that may have been a part of your family’s reality.

There are many ways in which you can “trap” this kind if information. You can write it in a digital journal, copy it from a blog or website and save it in a relevant file that corresponds with an event in your life or you can even save news clips or videos. You could also video or audio record your thoughts, feelings and experiences for a more personal touch. There are so many digital mediums now for storing these occurrences and it really does add enormous value. Think about how it makes you “feel” when you look back and think about how your Grand Parents lived during World War II. Are you fascinated? If so your future generations will wonder the same about you and the forces that shaped your life. So why not give them a chance to see what it was really like.

Many family historians and genealogists will be attending  theInternational Family History Conference in Nottingham, England in August 2009. It is great fun meeting other poeple with like minded interests and of course attending the expert lectures from the family history, social history and miltary history world as well as experts from the Society of Genealogists

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/babies-articles/family-history-3-creative-ways-to-leave-your-own-legacy-436750.html

Author: Tim Lassig

About the Author:

Tim Lassig is the creator of Treasure Chest Software, a unique software program specifically designed to preserve all your family history in a digital display to protect it for you and your future generations to admire. Tim has taken digital technology and morphed it into a life inspiring range of tools to help you create a digital legacy and family heirloom for your future. Don’t lose a single memory! Easily preserve and protect your family history today at: www.preservemyfamilyhistory.com
Feel free to post, send this or use it in your newsletter, but only as it is.

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Medieval Genealogy

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

King John of England – Short History and Accomplishments

King John is one of the medieval English kings. At the forthcoming family history conference in Nottingham, Dr Nick Barratt will be lecturing on sources for medieval and early modern genealogy, so just to get you in the mood here is a short history of one of the medieval kings.

John of England was born Christmas Eve 1167 and died October 19, 1216. He became King of England in 1199 and had a very interesting history. His succession to the throne came after his brother King Richard the First, the Lionhearted. John’s nickname was not as inspiring. He was called both “Lackland” (because he was not to inherit the land of his father, being the fifth son) and “Soft Sword” (due to his military ineptitude as a king).

king johnKids may think of King John as the character in Robin Hood, and that is who he is supposed to be. Although we have no idea if a Robin Hood existed. But historically King John is known as the signer of the Magna Carta in 1215, one of the most famous documents ever. The Magna Carta was the inspiration to our democracy today. It greatly reduced the power of the monarchy, putting more power into the people’s hands.

King John of England was the last, and 8th, child born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was his father’s favorite and was well educated, with the ability to read fluently. His childhood was embroiled in disputes as his mother and brothers were constantly in dispute with his father Henry II. Eleanor was even imprisoned by her husband at one point. As a young boy John was being trained for and expected to enter into clerical (church) service. This was to relieve his father, King Henry II of having to give him any land.

medieval genealogyAs a child, John was promised to Alice (Alys) of Savoy, daughter of Humbert III of Savoy. It was at this same time that John was no longer designated to go into clerical service, since it seemed more important to use him for politics. John was to inherit most of Humbert’s lands over the Alps, helping to expand England’s influence. Unfortunately Alice died on her way to meet John.

John was known as a treacherous person siding back and forth, for and against, his brothers and mom, what ever benefited him the most. He was not trustworthy. In 1184 he and his brother Richard were in a bitter dispute as to who was to inherit the thrown. In 1185 John was made Ruler of Ireland, where he was despised and quickly kicked out of the country. In 1189 Richard, The Lionhearted became the King of England. By 1194 Richard had named his brother John as his successor, forgiving John of prior disputes.

When King Richard died, his brother John became King John the 1st, in 1199. However, once again it was not easy for John. He ended up in a dispute over the kingship with his nephew Arthur. King Philip II of France had favored Arthur, although he supported John eventually. King Philip II was actually John’s feudal overlord at the time for certain French territories held by John.

Later John refused some things that Philip asked of him, which was the right of a feudal lord, and war was declared between England and France. John built a modern Navy for this war and sometimes is declared the Father of the Modern Navy. The English and French war lasted past John’s death in 1216. His 9 year old son became King Henry the III. John’s life and reign was full of disputes and battles. Many consider his time the most disastrous in English history although some consider his agreement to the Magna Carta the greatest event in the history of democracy.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/genealogy-articles/king-john-of-england-short-history-and-accomplishments-517964.html

Author: Mark Jordan

About the Author:

Mark Jordan is a researcher and freelance writer living near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. Other historical information can be found at Medieval Timeline and Info and Research Your Family

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Researching British Soldiers Who Served in the 1914-18 Great War

Monday, April 6th, 2009

At In the footsteps BATTLEFIELD TOURS we occasionally receive enquiries about how to trace the records of British soldiers who served in the 1914-18 Great War. We do our best to help when such a request is made, but our resources are limited and we are conscious that our best is often very slow and not always that conclusive. To help those wishing to research records of British Soldiers who served in the 1914-18 Great War we thought that it would be useful if we put together some notes on the basics of how to research this information.

During the Great War of 1914-1918 Britain’s Regular Army was tiny by European standards and was quickly supplemented initially by Reservists and the Territorials. Kitchener’s Army of volunteers were rapidly trained and sent to the front and by 1916 it was necessary to introduce Conscription to make up numbers.

The casualty lists continued to grow at an alarming rate largely because of the very nature of trench warfare. The modern military innovations and communications that we know today simply did not exist and the 1914-18 Great War had developed into one of attrition. As a consequence, the British Army sustained massive fatal casualties averaging around 450 officers and men per day.

WW1 history

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)

The first place to begin your search is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). They have the most complete record of soldiers (and others) that died in the 1914-18 Great War. This record is available on-line in their ‘Debt of Honour Register’ at http://www.cwgc.org/.

The information contained in the Debt of Honour Register includes the location of the soldier’s grave (or his commemoration, if he has no known grave). It will usually give details of his service number, rank, unit, date of death (if known) and place of burial or commemoration. Other information may be available, but this is dependent on material supplied (or not supplied) by relatives during and after the war. It should also be noted that whilst the CWGC make every effort the Register is not entirely free of errors.

The 1921 Compilation – Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19

An excellent resource for locating those who died in the war is Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19. Originally published in 1921 the compilations consist of 80 volumes for the soldiers with a separate volume for officers. Each volume deals with individual Regiment or Corps, and lists those who died, giving dates, locations, army number. It is not 100% accurate, but an excellent record that was based on regimental records.

These volumes give information that the CWGC does not for example, place of birth, place of residence, place of enlistment and any former regiment being the most common.

A full set of the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-19 is available for the general public to reference in the Birmingham Central Library. Other Central and/or Reference Libraries may also hold copies, but check before going as they often only have the volume relating to the local regiment.

This work can also be obtained from the Imperial War Museum as a searchable CD-ROM and is also available from: http://www.naval-military-press.com/. The CD-ROM has the advantage that the casualties can be searched and sorted, which is a great benefit if you are researching a unit or what happened to a group of friends. Inevitably it does contain some transcription errors – but then again the originals have errors too. Overall, this is an excellent though very expensive resource. Many branches of the Western Front Association have a copy, as do some libraries – including the one at the National Archives.

Genealogy Websites

Military-Genealogy.com the Naval & Military Press’ website for military historians and family history researchers has computerised these records, along with similar records relating to the Second World War, and offer a pay-per-view service to search them. These works are also available as a searchable CD-ROM, published by the Naval & Military Press. For further details visit: http://www.naval-military-press.com/.

Another pay-per-view service is provided by findmypast.com that has made it possible to search for soldiers who died in the 1914-18 Great War on-line. It is also possible to access the registers of war deaths via their website http://www.findmypast.com/HomeServlet. In addition to their pay-per-view service they operate a voucher system whereby vouchers can be purchased from UK stockists or mail order, see their website for details.

Rolls of Honour

Many businesses, organisations, schools and towns created Rolls of Honour after the war. Many of these are now available on-line and can be accessed by searching Google then clicking on the appropriate search result.

In addition to these dedicated Rolls of Honour sites is a particularly good website http://www.roll-of-honour.com/ that is striving to list details of the various War Memorials in the UK. This also has a useful search facility that will interrogate the records they have in their databases.

WW1 soldiersSoldiers Personal Files

All British soldiers who served in the 1914-18 Great War had a personal file. Around half of these personal files were destroyed in the first German air-raid on London in the Second World War on the night of 7th/8th September 1940. The records that survived the Second World War were released to the UK National Archives: The Public Record Office at Kew in November 1996. Their website can be found at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/. The original documents are now so fragile that only microfilm is available for inspection and whether an individual soldier’s file has survived is entirely random.

Officers’ files had a higher survival rate and about 216,000 were released to the National Archives in February 1998. The criteria for release were that the officer had served in the British Army between 1914 and 1920 and that he had left the Army before 31st March 1922. It is often possible to locate an officer’s file on line, by typing the surname into the National Archives Catalogue accompanied by a record class number. Officers’ files are mostly contained in record series WO 339 or WO 374 (especially Territorial Officers).

The Medal Index and Medal Rolls

Besides a soldier’s (or officer’s) personal file the other major source of information is the Medal Card Index, also in the National Archives. This is the most complete listing of British service personnel in the First World War. The National Archives has now completed the digitizing of the Medal Index. The on-line version is available at http://www.documentson-line.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.asp

Most soldiers who served with the British Army in the 1914-18 Great War qualified for campaign medals, normally the 1914 (or 1914-15) Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. The Army Medals Office recorded soldiers’ medal entitlement in lists known as rolls. The Index Card available on line provides the reference to where the soldier is listed on the Rolls, which are organised by regiment or corps. The information found on the Medal Card will include the soldier’s name, rank and serial number, his regiment or corps, sometimes his unit (e.g. battalion or Field Company RE), his date of death (if he died during the war), the campaign medals he was awarded and the reference numbers that allow the soldier to be traced on the Medal Rolls, which are not available on line.

It is important to check the actual Medal Rolls because they can give extra vital information about a soldier, such as his battalion, that allows further research to be undertaken. This is particularly true of soldiers who served in the cavalry, yeomanry and infantry, but much less so for the larger corps, such as the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Army Service Corps.

Unit War Diaries

Once a soldier’s unit has been identified it is possible to find out more about it. All units from battalion level (and the battalion’s equivalent in other corps, such as a Field Artillery Brigade) upwards were required to keep War Diaries on active service. These diaries are preserved in the National Archives: The Public Record Office, Kew, in record series WO 95. War Diaries rarely mention ordinary soldiers, but they do provide a detailed account of the unit’s movements and activities.

Regimental Histories

Nearly all infantry regiments and battalions have published histories. These can usually be purchased through that Regiment’s PRI or through most reputable bookshops. On-line bookshops such as Amazon will also have these available.

We hope that the information contained within this article has been of assistance and will help you trace the records of the soldier you are interested in. If you feel that we can be of assistance please email us at inthefootsteps@btinternet.com and we will try to help. Please bear in mind however our opening paragraph, as our resources are limited and we are conscious that our best is often very slow and not always conclusive.

Ian R Gumm

at Willowmead

20th January 2007

In the footsteps BATTLEFIELD TOURS SERVICE

If you are interested in following “in the footsteps” of an ancestor, relative or particular unit we can put together a bespoke battlefield tour proposal for your consideration. The proposal is without obligation as we do not undertake any preparatory work until an order is received.

We also offer a range of commemorative certificates that can be purchased from our website. These decorative certificates are designed to commemorate the military service of service personnel in a readily displayable format, they are not meant to be facsimiles of official documents.

Professor Richard Holmes, celebrated miltary historian will be a guest speaker at the frthcoming conference on family, local, miltary and social history in Nottingham. For details of the conference see the conference website

This article is brought to you by In the footsteps BATTLEFIELD TOURS
Visit our website at In the footsteps BATTLEFIELD TOURS for further details.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/self-help-articles/researching-british-soldiers-who-served-in-the-191418-great-war-94483.html

Author: Ian R Gumm

About the Author:

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Free Genealogy Database: A Great Way to Find Out About Your Ancestors

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Today, more and more people are now considering finding out about their family’s past. Besides, this kind of activity is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Finding out about your  will hold a lot of mysteries and surprises. For example, in politics, genealogists have found that President George W. Bush is a very distant cousin of his political rival, John Kerry. It’s quite a surprise and quite funny when you think about it; two cousins battling it out to get the most powerful position in the United States of America.

As you can see, you will find out a lot of interesting and usually surprising things if you research about your family’s genealogy. However, you also have to consider that hiring genealogists can be very expensive and will take a lot of time to provide you with a decent family tree that will contain information about your family’s relatives.

However, the internet today is a very useful and a much cheaper way to find out about your family’s genealogy. In fact, there are some genealogy websites that offer their services for free. All you need to do is type in your complete name, your birth date, and also the country where you live in and click on search. You will find out about your family tree almost instantly. However, free genealogy database websites are sometimes unreliable and produce inaccurate results. You have to consider that it takes a lot of work to get a single family database done. Imagine building millions of family database. It’s quite a difficult task even for a seasoned genealogist.

However, if you are just starting out finding about your family’s genealogy, free genealogy database websites are the websites you should first visit. Here, you will obtain different kinds of information about your family where you can later use for a more comprehensive and accurate search. You will also save money on obtaining important documents, such as birth, death, marriage, and immigration records.

free genealogy

It is important to consider that free genealogy database search are basic and will only give you limited information about certain people whom you are related with. If you want a more comprehensive search, you should prepare paying for it as information can be hard to obtain.

When you are already progressing on your search in the free genealogy database website and encountered a dead end, you can search further by looking at public records, and looking at old newspaper obituaries.

These are some of the things you have to consider when using a free genealogy database. Always remember that the information usually provide in free genealogy database websites are basic. Once you encountered a dead end on your quest for your family’s genealogy, you should consider taking it one step further by either looking at the public library or by hiring an expert and reputable genealogist to do the work for you. Provide your genealogist with all the documents you accumulated during your preliminary search and inform them on how far back you want to search. They will know all about documents and they will know where to search for it.

 

Of course you have to know where the websites are located and this is difficult to do without the knowledge of experts and other family historians. At the  forthcoming International Genealogy Conference to be held in Nottingham there will be many family historians with expert genealogical knowledge as well as speakers from the Society of Genealogists who will be lecturing on where to find free genealogy on the Internet

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