Archive for May, 2009

Deceased Online Sponsor Conference

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

As the first national online database dedicated to burial and cremation records, Deceased Online is delighted to be a sponsor and exhibitor at Open the Door and Here are the People. Following our launch at London Olympia s Who Do You Think You Are Live in February, we ve been on the road meeting family historians and genealogists around the country and we re delighted to have received such a big thumbs-up for the new website,

Deceased Online obtains burial and cremation data going back to the early 1800s from burial and cremation authorities, and we will shorty have records from over 10 councils around the UK. We will be building the database over the next few years, adding millions of records from hundreds of councils and other sources.

A whole range of records and images is available, including: Computerised burial and cremation records; transcripts of burial and cremation registers, containing a variety of information. All records kept since computerisation will be available in this form; some authorities have also transcribed some or all of their historical records.

High quality digital scans of burial and cremation registers; these vary by local authority and the type of information recorded in addition to statutory requirements. The most comprehensive hold great detail, including name, age, address and, sometimes, occupation of deceased; spouse s name; grave location reference and type (paupers, private etc); date of death; details of undertaker; details of clergy, religion and church or venue of bereavement service.

Scans are held on the website for most burials and cremations up to within three or four years of the present day. Jm barrie gravestone Details of all occupants of a grave; individual graves may have a number of interments (we ve seen as many as 15) and here you can see all the names of other people interred in the same grave as the sought-after person. This can be extremely useful in discovering relatives and other family links ..and often provides some real surprises!

Deceased Online is one of the few resources where you can get this information. Digital scans of books of remembrance; these crematorium memorial books contain decorative commemorative entries, sometimes with useful dates and informative emblems, such as regimental or professional insignia.

Deceased Online is aiming to be able to display digital scans held by the calligraphy companies who maintain these books. Photographs of grave headstones and memorials; these have started to be introduced to the website, and local authorities are keen to supply where they can. Older headstones can provide a range of information, even entire genealogies for several generations within a family.

Cemetery maps showing exact grave locations; these include a cemetery overview, an intermediate map indicating grave location and a detailed close-up indicating the exact location of the grave plot. This is extremely useful in locating a grave in larger cemeteries even if it has no headstone. The high quality images are presented using a flexible viewer, allowing maps, scans and photographs to be manipulated, printed and downloaded. Images and transcripts are accessed by spending credits bought on the website. The photographs cost £2 each and the cemetery maps cost between £5 and £10, depending on whether they are subject to Ordnance Survey royalties. All other data available costs £1.50 to access. Users search on names, dates and locations free of charge, and only purchase what they need. The revenue generated is shared with the contributor supplying the data.

burial register

You can find out more about burial and cremation records in conference F-09, Burial records for family historians presented by Alec Tritton on Friday 28 August just before lunch. We look forward to meeting you at the conference.

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Researching Irish Family History

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

How to Use Griffith’s Valuation in Your Irish Family Search

How to Use Griffith’s Valuation in Your Irish Family Search

Author: Stephanie Varney

Griffith’s Valuation is one of the most important record sources in any modern Irish family search. It’s helped thousands of people all over the world re-discover their Irish roots, and is often one of the first sources someone consults when doing Irish genealogical research. If you have yet to use this gold mine of information on Irish families, it’s recommended that you examine it right away, as it could contain much-needed information that you’ve been missing in your research.

Griffith’s Valuation was a survey of Ireland that was completed in 1868, making it a treasure trove of Irish family information from the 19th century. Richard John Griffith was appointed by the British government in 1825 to conduct a boundary survey of Ireland. As part of the extensive project, Griffith was supposed to mark the boundaries of every county, civil parish, and town in Ireland. This job was completed in 1844. At the same time, Griffith was also working on an Ordnance survey of Ireland, which was taken over by Sir John Ball Greene in 1868. Green oversaw annual revisions of the valuation.

The valuation that’s so important to an Irish family search today was comprised of two parts–a townland valuation and a tenement survey. The tenement survey is of most value to family historians. This valuation indexed and valued individual property for the first time, whereas only the larger estates of the gentry had been valued before. Griffith’s Valuation was essentially an every-man survey of Ireland, and records heads of households that otherwise might be lost to history today.

If you’re working on an Irish family search on ancestors who were in Ireland in the 19th century, you absolutely must examine Griffith’s Valuation. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to access. It’s widely available on many online genealogy databases, including, so get out there and look up your ancestors in Griffith’s Valuation today!

At the forthcoming International Conference on Family History, there will be many Irish researchers in attendance as well as lectures on finding your Irish Roots.

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Ready to meet your Irish ancestors? Come to Irish Genealogical, the Internet’s top place for all things Irish genealogy! While you’re there, be sure to read our article on a little known source that can help you make big strides in your Irish genealogical research.

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Why Research Family History?

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Why Research Family History?Family history research is a fascinating study which once you start it will probably turn into a passion.

Many people have asked themselves where they come from, where are their roots, and these questions reflect a yearning that all of us have. Genealogy is the science of tracing your family tree. It is a kind of detective work or paper chase game. The results are often unpredictable but always fascinating.

family history researchFamily history research has recently gained a powerful tool in the internet. Now that it is possible to do a keyword or name search almost instantly, it has become much easier to trace a family tree. Easier at least than in days gone by, when a researcher had to spend a lot of time trudging around a dusty archive library, or waiting several weeks for a reply from one records office or another.

Even with the internet though, there are some parts of one’s family tree which will be impossible to reconstruct due to certain historical circumstances. One example that comes to mind is the fire that destroyed the Irish records office in Dublin in the nineteenth century.

So you have decided to try to trace your family tree. The question is, where do you start?

Probably the best starting point is to talk to members of your own family, particularly elders, and try to get them to remember as much as they can about the past, and about their relatives and forebears. This can be very useful in providing some jumping off points for further investigations. The facts they are able to give may well help you to refine and focus your search right from the start, thereby saving a lot of potentially wasted time and effort.

Talking to people about the past is something that should be done in a sensitive way, as it can often awaken memories which people would rather forget.

Next you should decide what aspect of your family history you are going to investigate. Are you interested in finding out about everything you can about everyone related to you? Or do you prefer a more narrow focus, such as tracing one particular branch? Or perhaps you will keep an open mind at first until you find something in your family tree that provokes your interest.

Some people even trace their spouse’s family. A friend of mine who is divorced nevertheless is tracing her husband’s ancestors on behalf of her children, since her ex-husband is descended from an old aristocratic family who were very powerful and influential in medieval England.

There are many different reasons for wanting to research family history, each one of them is interesting to the individual researcher, and all of them have been greatly facilitated by the arrival of the internet.

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Author: Robert Paterson

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For more ideas, see our Genealogy blog

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Testing Your Maternal Family History Using the Most Popular Dna Test

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Testing Your Maternal Family History Using the Most Popular Dna TestFor genealogy researchers, having traced ancestors on your mother’s side, you may have a solid paper trail up to a certain point. But what do you do if the paper trail has gone cold and your family history research has come to a stop. What do you do then? How can you progress your genealogy beyond that?

DNA testing is one way to keep your genealogy research progressing forward on your maternal side. DNA testing gets more popular every year, yet many still don’t understand some of the basics of how it works. The value of any DNA test is that it can show connections where there is a missing paper trail or the trail ends. If you have a good paper trail as far back as you desire you probably don’t need DNA testing, but once the trail ends it may help you make solid connections that would not have been noticed otherwise.

At first DNA testing was used as a tool mostly for male researchers. Initially only the male Y-Chromosome test proved of any value in connecting lines, but this was only on a father’s line. Eventually a popular genealogy DNA test that females could take was perfected. Females were no longer completely left out of genealogy DNA testing. In this article we will examine a DNA test, which females can take, that might by valuable for family history research.

What is the DNA Test Females Can Take?

The most popular maternity test for genealogist is the Mitochondrial DNA test, otherwise known as the mtDNA test. This test traces DNA that is passed only through the mother’s side, from female to female. It cannot be used to track the male lines on your mother’s side. The distinctiveness of this test is that either a male or female can take it. Both sexes inherit this type of DNA through their maternal lines. Yet, only females pass it down.

As in any DNA test, if a match is found between two females, or males, who take this form of genealogy test, then those two people are indeed related on the maternal side, somewhere in history. The dilemma is figuring out exactly where on your family lines you have a common ancestor. In DNA terms we call that the Most Recent Common Ancestor or MRCA. The biggest goal of DNA testing is to get as close as possible to the MRCA for a group of people, or at least the person you want to compare with.

Mitochondrial DNA changes very slowly over time, if at all, so if you don’t exactly match another mtDNA donor it most likely means your common maternal ancestor is very far in the past. This is different than the male only Y-Chromosome test where changes can occur much more recently or quicker, in relation to time itself.

DNA Testing Benefits for Genealogy Research on the Maternal Side

dna testingThe benefit of the mtDNA test is it will tell you how far in the past, within a range, you share a common ancestor with someone else. The results may give you some idea how your family members migrated and what groups you are related to. From there you will need to find paper trails connecting each other, but you will at least have some idea where to start or where a commonality exists.

The more sets of mtDNA results you have from many participants the easier it will be to understand what the matches mean and how you may connect genealogically on your maternal side. This makes it important to get a large group of people to test mtDNA, so that you have more results to compare. Gradually matches will be found and surprises uncovered, all which will give you more clues as to your maternal ancestry. That is why this test remains popular for female and male genealogist alike.

Dr Geoff Swinfield will be lecturing on DNA and family history as part of the "Ask the Experts"  workshops run by the Society of Genealogists at the forthcoming Family History Conference in Nottingham. He has a Ph.D. in genetics and has used this training to apply genealogical research to the study of families at risk from genetic diseases. Why  not come along and have a great four day conference

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Author: Mark Jordan

About the Author:

Mark D. Jordan is a writer and genealogy researcher from Pennsylvania. A recommended genealogy website is Researching Your Family History. More family research information can be read at Family History Blog

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DNA Markers for Genealogy

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Dna Markers for Genealogy

DNA Markers for Genealogy – Mitochondrial DNA Genealogy

Who else wants to know about DNA markers for genealogy? Here is a simple scientific test to trace your ancestors. Did you know that DNA From One Generation To The Other Is Almost Conclusive Evidence. This breakthrough in genealogy research has been making headlines for the past several years with some astounding proof of kinship between some very prominent historical figures.

dna genealogyDNA testing for family tree is not only convenient, but also simple. You find a genealogy testing company either in the phone book of on the Internet. Next, make an appointment and go to the company on your assigned day, fill out the forms, pay the fee and your good to go. The DNA genealogy test starts with a mouth swab of your mouth near the cheek. Many companies give you a kit so you can do the mouth swab at home and mail in the results to the laboratory. After the laboratory tests the DNA, the results are sent back to testee.

Wide DNA Databases Compare

The company doing the genealogy DNA testing will obviously need to have access to DNA databases which they will use to make comparisons and once these comparisons show their results, the company will then send you the results regarding whom your DNA swab matched with. You should realize that each and every cell is sure to have your DNA and whether it is your sperm or egg cells or even the sex cells, you will be providing your own unique DNA for further matching.

Parents Pinpointed

dna genealogyListen closely. Genealogy DNA testing is helpful in pinpointing an individual’s parentage and it can be used extensively when you need to know who the mother is, and also in case of adoptions. Thus, it is easy to see how genealogy DNA testing can help with creating your family tree because your DNA will have been passed from one generation to the next and the information pertaining to your ancestors will be encoded therein.

The Egg The Sperm

When your sperm and also egg cell combine together, a new cell is created that will hold DNA from either parent and when genealogy DNA testing is performed in specialist laboratories, they will help provide evidence whether you are related to another person with a matching DNA. What’s more, the chances of two persons having identical DNA are very small with the exception of identical twins which are due to the fact that their DNA is identical because the fertilized egg had split and formed two fetuses obtained from a single sperm and also from the same egg.

dna testingCutting Edge Medical Science Genealogy DNA Testing

Just imagine, as DNA is passed from generation to generation there is very little change in its structure. This is amazing and is the primary reason to use DNA markers for genealogy testing to explore your ancestry. In no time at all, the link between families can be nailed down and makes the construction of a family tree that much more reliable and accurate. And new advances are being made in medical science to enhance and improve the DNA testing for family tree.

Dr Geoff Swinfield will be lecturing on DNA and family history as part of the "Ask the Experts"  workshops run by the Society of Genealogists at the forthcoming Family History Conference in Nottingham. He has a Ph.D. in genetics and has used this training to apply genealogical research to the study of families at risk from genetic diseases.

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Author: Jean Eagloy

About the Author:

Jean Eagloy is the developer of Genealogy Hookups, visit for more data .

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Use Your Irish Last Name to Discover More About Your Origins

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Sunday is Irish Day at the forthcoming Genealogical conference in Nottingham in 2009. Why not come and learn all about your Irish family history.

irish genealogyYour Irish last name can tell you far more than only that your ancestors were from Ireland. It can actually be the key you need to pinpoint the exact area in Ireland where your ancestors lived. Because many Irish families stayed in the same general location for generations, it’s not unusual for a certain surname to only be seen within a radius of a few square miles for hundreds of years. Even when surnames spread out somewhat in Irish genealogical research, they still often stay within one particular county. If you know the area in Ireland to which your surname was common, you can often break through some long-standing genealogical brick walls.

There are several databases online that provide geographical links to many an Irish last name. One of the best-organized of such databases is found at However, this website only catalogues the most common Irish surnames by location. More obscure or less common names may not be included. If this is the case for you, doing a Google search for your surname and including the phrase “Irish county” in your search terms should help you find the geographical information you’re looking for. There are also a wide variety of Irish genealogy message boards available to help you track down your surname’s county of origin.

One more important thing to remember about Irish surnames is that the name itself can give you important clues as to the history of the family. For example, surnames with O’ in front of them (such as O’Malley and O’Connor) mean “grandson of.” So, O’Malley would literally mean “grandson of Malley” and O’Connor would mean “grandson of Connor.” Surnames with “Mc” in front of them mean “son of.” Knowing this information, combined with being aware of the county of origin of your ancestors, can help you locate some of your most ancient ancestors and give you the clues you need to trace your Irish family into the present.

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Author: Stephanie Varney

About the Author:

Ready to meet your Irish ancestors? Come to Irish Genealogical, the Internet’s top place for all things Irish genealogy! While you’re there, be sure to read our article on a little known source that can help you make big strides in your Irish genealogical research.

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