Friday, 6 March 2009

Transcribing for FreeBMD

This week I've volunteered to transcribe for FreeBMD. FreeBMD is an ongoing project aiming to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.

I've found FreeBMD very useful in the past - especially for finding other halves of marriages and for births where the maiden name of the mother is part of the index.

I've downloaded all the relevant software and just uploaded my first page. Already I'm starting to get quicker while remaining accurate - hopefully!!

So far so good - I'll update on any interesting names that I find along the way.


I've noticed a lot of blogs talking about "Celebrate Your Name" week.

I looked up my name at Behind the Name and found out that it was a variant of Joan. So I looked up Joan and found out the following:

"Medieval English form of Johanne, an Old French feminine form of Iohannes (see JOHN). This was the usual English feminine form of John in the Middle Ages, but it was surpassed in popularity by Jane in the 17th century.

This name (in various spellings) has been common among European royalty, being borne by ruling queens of Naples, Navarre and Castile. Another famous bearer was Joan of Arc, a patron
saint of France (where she is known as Jeanne d'Arc). She was a 15th-century peasant girl who, after claiming she heard messages from God, was given leadership of the French army. She defeated the English in the battle of Orléans but was eventually captured and burned at the stake."

So, taking my lead from Sheri at the Educated Genealogist, I found out the hidden meaning in my name.

"Extremely intelligent in thought and deed you are gifted at communication and finding practical applications for your ideas. You are strong willed and ambitious and need to have passion, freedom and adventure in your life. Always willing to help others your warm, honest and loyal nature ensures that you are loved by all. It is likely that you will achieve a great deal of success and recognition in life."

I've been interested in the meaning of names for a while - mainly due to the fact that I've had to name 2 children in the last couple of years. I found it quite a responsibility but both of them really suit the names that we eventually chose.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

1st of the Month - Data back up done!

So, following the advice of many different blogs I've made a copy of all my genealogical data.

I'm going to back up this blog at the end of this post.

For next month I'm going to have a look at some of the online backup/storage solutions and see which one might work for me.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live (28th Feb 2009)

Yesterday I attended Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia in London.

We had a really good day. We arrived at 9.45 am and headed straight to the 10am workshop presentation on Irish Records at the National Archives. There was a lot of information but I picked up a few tips that I want to follow up in the future. I made lots of notes so hopefully they will still make sense when I come back to them. I might even take a day to travel to Kew and visit the Archives in the future.

Here are a couple of photos showing the view from the gallery at about 11am. As you can see there are quite a lot of people around.

We then headed for the stands in the Irish section and had a chat with a very helpful girl on the PRONI (Public Records Office for Northern Ireland) stand. She helped us with possible lines of investigation such as the Wills on their website. She confirmed that I need to try and get hold of some of the certificates for my Northern Irish ancestors to help firm up dates and locations. Since chatting to her I'm hoping to go over to Belfast for the day to have a proper look at their records and will take on board her tips for preparing beforehand.

After wandering through the stands for a bit longer we stopped for lunch. The queues for the food outlets were long and there was always a mad dash for seats as soon as any were vacated.

The next stop was to investigate the offerings of the different genealogical societies. We chatted to people on the Berkshire and the Ulster tables. Everyone we spoke to was very knowledgeable about their area and we picked up tips along the way. I hadn't realised how much work the family history societies do - many had cd's of transcribed information that had taken years of work to put together.

We managed to not spend too much money - I picked up a couple of books including the latest version of the Genealogist's Internet which is very useful.

By this point in the day I had brain ache!!! There was so much information that it was difficult to take it all in so we headed home about 2pm but we could have stayed longer.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots of details already so I may do a second post later on after I've had a bit more time to think about it.