Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Organising, organising and more organising...

Today has been an organising day! (Inbetween the usual daily chores and looking after the baby of course!)

I now know what I've got, what I haven't got, printed copies of documents I only had on the pc and added another list of things to find to my to do list. I've also created a mini folder with summary info to take with me to Who Do You Think You Are Live at the weekend.

But there is definitely something satisfying looking at a nice clean folder with everything filed away.

All I need now is someone to ask me a question so that I can go to my newly arranged files and swiftly provide the answer!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Griffith's Valuation On Line

This valuation contains details of every landholder and householder in Ireland. Thanks to Margaret Jordan's post at the Cork Genealogist I've found that it is now freely available.

My Greatx2 Grandfather, Peter GUTHRIE, appears on the list in Pharis. His landlord is George Macartney who I believe is from Lissanoure Castle. I've just found their website here. I've actually been to Lissanoure about 4 years ago for my aunt's birthday party. According to the Valuation he rented house, offices and land. There is then a valuation, in this case the total rateable value is £10 15s.

Another interesting thing on this page of the valuation is that some of the other family names in Pharis were still around 100 or so years later when my mother lived in Pharis as a girl. She recognises some of them and it shows how some families just didn't move much.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009 - Advice Welcome

On Saturday I'm going to Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009 at Olympia in London.

I've never been to an exhibition like this and I'm not sure what to expect.

I'm going to attend 2 workshops - one on Irish Records at the National Archives in Kew, London and one with the Berkshire Family History Group.

Does anyone have any ideas what would be good to take with me? Obviously I'll take a pad and a pen but not sure how much of my own information I should take so that I can make the most of any opportunities for further research.

Dan Eastman from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter has attended in the past and posted a video on his blog which can be seen here. It looks like there is a really good atmosphere and plenty to see.

To Do List

So, now I need to come up with a list of tasks.

1. Look up relatives on Ireland Civil Registration Indexes 1845 - 1958 at FamilySearch.

2. Work out how to get certificates for Irish Births, Marriages and Deaths.

3. Get Family Historian v4 as soon as it comes out in March then use it to make sure all the information is sourced properly.

4. Add the direct line families to my binder for both lines.

5. Go through the box of bits from my mum and scan in anything interesting.

6. Look into the common places for each surname.

7. Find out about the jobs that people did.

8. Investigate any military connections.

9. Start proper lists of certificates to apply for, documents to find, questions to ask, places to visit

10. Find out what resources are available at the local library

11. Volunteer for some sort of transcribing programme or local society.

These are in no particular order but should serve as a bit of a reminder when I'm coming back to it. Time is always the thing I run out of first as it's tricky to do much research when you're looking after 2 children under 3!!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Taking a step back

So, I've got 700 or so names in our family tree. Sounds good doesn't it?

The only problem is that for most of them all I know is that they were on a census at some point or that my mum remembers a distant cousin. The majority are actually not direct line ancestors but collateral ancestors.

Luckily I've already been through once and made sure that I have a source for each fact but I feel like I need to add more focus to my research.

So, I'm getting organised and using folders (I think they are called notebooks in the States?) for surnames, then filing each family and associated documentation in their own section. This should mean that if someone says "What do you know about the family of Daniel Guthrie and Jane Loughridge?" I'll be able to go to a file and show them all the information in one place. This is based on the postings in DearMYRTLE.

It is difficult to leave behind some of the interesting stories I've started to uncover on distant relations but I can always come back to them in the future.

The 1911 Census at the Irish National Archives

Copies of the Irish 1911 census are held at the Irish National Archive website. Through this site I've been able to find details of my family at the time.

Each image shows the actual census document rather than a transcript so I've actually seen my great grandfather's handwriting!

The other good thing about this website is that it's free (unlike the 1911 census in England) so you can have a really good trawl around it.

The census return took all names, relation to the head of the family, religious preference, education, age, sex, profession, length of marriage, number of children born alive, number of children living, county of birth, whether they speak Irish or not and if they are deaf, dumb, blind or an imbecile.

As well as the individual returns you can also see the enumarator's abstract, details of the houses and buildings at each address and further information on the outbuildings

This photo shows the return for my great grandfather, Daniel GUTHRIE. On Sunday, 2nd April 1911 the family was in the townland of Pharis in the parish of Loughguile in County Antrim. This Census entry has confirmed information that I'd obtained from an old family bible that my mother has. It has also given me middle names that I didn't have.

This is the buildings information for the townland of Pharis. It shows what types of buildings and who rented from whom.

I believe I've also found the return for another great-grandfather, James HICKINSON, when he was 18 and living with this parents (my greatx2 grandparents) in Carncullogh Upper in the parish of Derrykeighan in County Antrim. I haven't yet corroborated this with other evidence but I'm working on it!

I've also found the returns for some of my collateral lines but as I'm trying to focus on my direct line ancestors I won't include them here.

I'll cover the details of the census when I describe what I've learnt about the individual families.

The Kreativ Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Jennifer for sending me the Kreativ Blogger Award. It's lovely to connect with such friendly people and has definitely motivated me to add more to my blog.

So, the rules are:
  1. Copy the award to your site.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
  3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
  4. Link to those sites on your blog.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

Ok, well as I'm new to the world of blogs I'm sure most of the blogs I nominate will have already received this award but here goes. (I'm not sure I'll manage 7 though....)

Elyse's Genealogy Blog - this was the first blog I found and I realised how interesting geneablogging could be

DearMyrtle - she has given me some great tips on the organisation of my research

Jennifer's Genealogy Blog - a fellow accountant interested in family history which means we have so much in common already

Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers - I've learnt so much just from one evening of reading the posts

Small-leaved Shamrock - an irish family history blog which I'm sure will have lots of tips for me

Right, off to leave a comment on those blogs so that I've completed my first set of blogging tasks!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Websites - Worldnames

I've just found this website World Names Profiler and it's quite interesting.

It shows how surnames are distributed across the world.

Don't know how accurate it is but it does make for interesting reading.

I've checked out TILLIN and HICKINSON and they seem to match up with what I already know.

Thanks to Facebook® Bootcamp for Genea-Bloggers for highlighting this website

Software - Family Historian

For my research to date I've been using a software programme called Family Historian.

This software is easy to use and has many interesting charting features. I'm now starting to use its query tool more but this is not very straightforward. It's been great to have a way of linking my source photos and documents to individuals.

There will be a new version coming out soon and I'm hoping that it has some improvements in the reporting and web section.

I've found the Family Historian User Group very useful when trying to pick up tips and ideas.

Who am I researching?

I've been looking into our family trees for a couple of years now. I started off researching my husband's family as they were predominantly in England so more straightforward for a novice. Once I'd got the hang of it I started looking into my ancestors who were based in Northern Ireland.

Since then I've collected various pieces of information on hundreds of ancestors - both direct line and collateral. The problem is that this is all very interesting but not very accessible to anyone else so I've decided to take a step back, concentrate initially on our direct line ancestors and try to put the information into a format that is easier to look at.

The names I'm going to focus on at first are
  • ADAMS - Somerset, England and Hampshire, England
  • BIRCH - Kent, England
  • FAIRCHILD - Gibraltar
  • GUTHRIE - Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • HERMON - Berkshire, England
  • HERON - Surrey, England
  • HICKINSON - Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • LOUGHRIDGE - Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • MOLLOY - Derbyshire, England
  • REDMOND - Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • ROBBINS - Kent, England, Gloucestershire, England and Gibraltar
  • SAIT - Hampshire, England
  • TILLIN - Berkshire, England and Surrey, England

The locations are where I believe the majority of our ancestors resided. This is based on Census information as well as anecdotes.

What am I doing?

So this is my first ever blog posting.

I thought I'd pop down a few thoughts on why I've decided to do a blog when I don't really know what I'm doing!

  • I've been looking at a few of the other genealogy blogs on the web and found them really interesting. Also, I've picked up a few hints and tips - especially about how to organise your research.
  • I've not found many blogs relating to UK and Ireland history so that I'm hoping to find a few along the way.
  • A blog seems like a good place to try and organise your thoughts (or "wibbles") on a particular subject and that's what this blog is all about.
  • It seems like a good place to share what I've found with other members of my family without having to work out how to set up a whole website. I'm not sure how this will work out but worth a try.
  • I might be able to get in touch with other people who can help me with my "brick walls" (currently in Northern Ireland where it's difficult to get too far back but more about that on another day).

So, off to work out what to add next.

If you've got any hints, tips, links, ideas then leave a comment and let me know.