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  • 20 Sep 2021 7:45 AM | Anonymous

    The following was written by Ontario Ancestors:

    Ontario Ancestors is currently accepting proposals for our monthly 2022 Webinar Series. Our live webinars take place the first Thursday of the month at 7pm ET using the Zoom platform.

    In addition, Ontario Ancestors is also looking for guest speakers who are interested in presenting for our new online quarterly mini-conference learning opportunities in 2022.

    All submissions will be considered for both, unless otherwise indicated on the submission. Topics of Interest

    We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, but for your information, the top subjects from our recent 2022 Webinar Topic Survey are:

    • Ontario Land Records
    • Immigration
    • Genetic Genealogy
    • Research in Ancestors' County of Origin
    • Technology &Tools
    • Comparison of Genealogy Websites
    • Organization/Storage of Records

    Selected speakers need to be prepared to provide Ontario and/or Canadian specific examples in their presentations as applicable. Speakers may submit up to 3 proposals for consideration. All submissions will be reviewed but only those who are chosen will be contacted. All submissions will be reviewed and only those who are selected will be contacted by October 11, 2021.

    If you have any questions please contact: Speakers may submit up to 3 proposals for consideration. All submissions will be reviewed but only those who are chosen will be contacted.


    To submit your proposal please follow this link:

    DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: September 30, 2021, at 11:59pm ET


    Those chosen speakers will receive an honorarium for their webinar presentation.

    About the Ontario Genealogical Society

    The Ontario Genealogical Society, founded in 1961, is the leading society in all aspects of Ontario related family history research, preservation and communication. Our mission is to encourage, bring together and assist those interested in the pursuit of family history and to preserve our Ontario genealogical heritage. The Ontario Genealogical Society is the largest genealogical society in Canada. Visit us at

  • 17 Sep 2021 3:07 PM | Anonymous

    The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

    One of the more common arguments against saving things digitally is, “The required equipment to read it probably won't be available in 25 years. I am going to save everything on paper because I know that paper will still be readable forever.” Perhaps the time is 50 years or 100 years, but I hear similar comments frequently. Indeed, there is some truth to that argument but it is somewhat misleading. Still, there is a simple solution.

    Experience over the years has proven that paper is not a good preservation mechanism, and microfilm isn't much better. The news reports frequently mention earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, building collapses, fires, and other disasters that have destroyed thousands of paper and microfilm documents within seconds. While not mentioned as often in the national news, burst water pipes will do the same.

    For the past sixty years or so, microfilm was the storage mechanism of choice because it took up so little space, compared to paper. However, microfilm is almost as fragile as paper. Microfilm is only slightly more impervious to earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, and burst water pipes. To be sure, water-soaked microfilm probably can be washed and then dried for preservation purposes, but the other disasters will destroy microfilm as quickly as paper or anything else.

    Digital archiving has its own set of problems and solutions. Disk drives crash, home computers occasionally erase data, huge data centers are occasionally destroyed in major disasters, and sometimes files simply grow obsolete by a change in technical standards. The biggest cause of computer data loss is the "oops factor:" the accidental loss of files. Any single copy of any digital file is almost guaranteed to be unavailable within a few years.

    For confirmation of the problem with digital preservation, look at a report by Bill LeFurgy that was published in The Signal, a newsletter about digit preservation published by the Library of Congress at LeFurgy describes a survey of citizen reactions to the Kennedy assassination that was conducted from November 26 through December 3, 1963, by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. The survey results were recorded on paper punch cards, which were used to input data into the mainframe computer used to tabulate study data. Summary results were then published.

    When another national catastrophe struck on September 11, 2001, NORC researchers wanted to replicate the 1963 study by asking the same kinds of questions to assess public reaction. The aim was to compare how the nation responded to two very different tragedies. There was but one problem: how to read the punched cards from the 1963 study? The 38-year-old stacks of 80-column punch cards were still available, but finding card readers to read that information was a problem. Eventually, a vendor was found who could read them and convert them to more modern media. The vendor reported that they “had to refurb our punched card equipment; it had been sitting around so long it got a little rusty.” In the end, all worked well and the data set was successfully migrated to a modern data format. The story has a happy ending.

    If the need to read the 80-column punch cards had not occurred for another ten years or so, the ending might have been less happy.

    This raises a question or two about your genealogy data. How are you saving it for future generations? Did you save your information 50+ years ago on punch cards? Will today's storage media become as obsolete as punch cards? Should you save the information to a different form of media? If so, which kind of media?

    Many people claim they will “save everything on paper to make sure it is still readable.” Actually, that statement ignores several factors. Today's information published on paper will deteriorate rapidly due to several factors.

    Most of the paper used today is acid-based and will deteriorate within a few years, unlike the paper of 75 or 100 years ago. Yes, you can buy acid-free paper; but have you ever purchased any? Not many people do.

    Even worse is the ink and toner that is used to create most of today's documents. The output from your inkjet or laser printer may look great when first printed; but will it last for a several decades? Most of today's toner and inks will begin to fade within a few years. I have a filing cabinet full of photocopies made from genealogy books. Some of those copies are now 35 years old and have faded so much they are almost unreadable. (Most photocopiers use the same printing technology as laser printers: the “ink” is actually toner particles.)

    Paper is also delicate. It must be kept under tight temperature and humidity controls if it is to last for a century or two. It can easily be destroyed by fire, flood, earthquakes, and burst water pipes. Paper is also susceptible to damage by moisture, rodents and insects. Just ask any archivist in a tropical country. Paper also consumes a lot of space. That's expensive space if it is temperature and humidity controlled.

    Microfilm isn't much better. New microfilm cameras are now almost impossible to find, and the manufacturers of microfilm already have warned their customers that new, unexposed microfilm will probably become unavailable within the next few years. Once that happens, nobody will be making new microfilms or even copies of existing microfilms. Similarly, microfilm readers are sure to follow the same path to obsolescence.

    Various digital media are available, each with its own strengths and shortcomings. Even the so-called M-DISCs (see Wikipedi at are DVD disks that should last one thousand years, but nobody is predicting that equipment to read them will be available even twenty or thirty years from now. Even worse, the equipment to create M-DISCs is still available today but is difficult to find and is expensive. Do you know anyone who owns the required equipment to create an M-DISC today?

    So, what is the answer? I think there is a simple, but effective answer. However, it does have one major drawback: it requires people.

    The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/11097494.

    If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

  • 17 Sep 2021 2:34 PM | Anonymous

    The following was written by the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree:


    The 52nd Southern California Genealogy Jamboree

    Preserving Your Family Tales

    Friday and Saturday, August 26 & 27, 2022

    The 9th SCGS Genetic Genealogy Conference

    Solving Your DNA Puzzles

    Friday and Saturday, August 19 & 20, 2022

    2022 Jamboree Extension Series (JES) Webinars

    The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) announces its Call for Presentations for its 2022 VIRTUAL conferences and events. This Call pertains to the Genetic Genealogy and Genealogy Jamboree conferences, and the Webinar Series Programs. Presentations will only be accepted through the online portal September 17, 2021 - October 9, 2021.

    Submissions of Presentations: Speakers interested in presenting lectures or webinars for 2022 must submit their proposals through the Jamboree Speaker Portal at The submission process ensures that correct speaker information is used in communication, advertising, and conference materials.

    SCGS Jamboree draws attendees of all experience levels from first timers to conference veterans. The Jamboree Extension Series attracts an international audience comprised of all skill levels. We encourage the submissions of all levels of lectures; all topics will be considered.

    Number of Presentations: Speakers may submit up to 6 presentations. The SCGS Jamboree Committee, at its sole discretion, may select none, some, or all of the presentations submitted by any speaker.

    Session Length: Jamboree and Genetic Genealogy pre-recorded presentations are 50 minutes long. Jamboree Extension Series Webinars are to be 60 minutes with an additional 30 minutes for questions.

    Statement of Nondiscrimination: The Southern California Genealogical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. SCGS is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination in employment and opportunity because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age. Genealogy Jamboree conference, Genetic Genealogy conference and the Webinar Speakers are selected based on experience, technical knowledge, speaking ability, diversity of topics and relevance.

    Questions: Any inquiries may be emailed to with the subject line: Call for Presentations [your last name].

    We look forward to the possibility of including you in the 2021 Southern California Genealogical Society event schedules, and thank you for your continued support of SCGS and these great learning opportunities.

    Alice Fairhurst, Diane Adamson,

    SCGS Jamboree Co-Chair,               SCGS Jamboree Co-Chair

  • 17 Sep 2021 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA):

    AGRA has again been asked to provide specialist help for The Family History Show’s Ask the Experts panel. The show takes place ONLINE on Saturday, 25 September, 2021.

    Following on from the successes of previous events, our AGRA team of experts will be on hand to offer help and advice with those family history conundrums. They can also offer information for anyone interested in becoming a professional genealogist and joining AGRA.

    Visitors will be able to submit questions to the Ask the Experts panel before the show. They will have a choice to either book a free one-to-one session, or watch the live stream question panel at 15:30.

    Gill Thomas, AGRA Vice-Chair, said: “We are delighted to have been invited back by The Family History Show as part of the Ask the Experts feature.

    “This is a fantastic opportunity for visitors to have their own one-to-one advice session included in the price of their show ticket.

    “From our field of many researchers, AGRA Experts will be on hand to help with breaking down brick walls, and can also offer wide-ranging advice, such as area-specific help including Wales, London, the North East, and the Midlands, as well as subjects from Military and Non-conformist ancestors to House Histories and DNA testing.

    “Book now, as the sessions have proved very popular and tend to fill up quickly.”

    For more information about The Family History Show, including how to book your session with AGRA experts, see

  • 17 Sep 2021 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    This week’s Findmypast Friday update sees the release of valuable Caribbean records that have been preserved thanks to a special British Library project along with millions of historical British newspaper pages.

    Turks & Caicos Life Events

    Exclusive to Findmypast, discover thousands of family records from The Turks & Caicos islands spanning 1792 to 1947. This includes

    These new indexes have been created in partnership with the British Library’s Endangered Archives Project which imaged the archipelago’s surviving registers held at the Turks & Caicos National Museum. Many of these precious documents, as the name of the project indicates, were in poor condition and at risk of being lost having been damaged by damp and flooding.

    Now indexed and available to search online for the first time, each of the three collections forms a valuable resource for anyone exploring the history of the islands and their people. As well as essential names, dates and locations, each transcript also links through to the original source image on the Endangered Archives Project website.

    Turks and Caicos Islands, 1763.

    A British Overseas Territory in the West Indies, the first British settlers on the Turks & Caicos were thought to have been Bermudian salt collectors who arrived in the second half of the 17th century. Following the American War of Independence, many loyalists fled to the Caribbean and from the 1780s, brought large numbers of African Slaves to Turks & Caicos to work as forced labour in newly established cotton plantations as well as the islands salt industry. The surnames of some of those Loyalists, such as James Misick, John McIntosh and Wade Stubbs, are now frequent among descendants of their slaves.

    These new records also shed light on the history and legacy of slavery on the islands. Many records, such as the 1826 baptism of two-year-old Kate Wynns, include stark notes such as “slave belonging to Mr Thos Wynns”.


    A variety of new additions from London are hot of the press this week. The latest new titles added to Findmypast’s growing newspaper archive include:

    While additional pages have been added to the following ten publications:

  • 16 Sep 2021 7:05 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

    • LEHI, Utah & SAN FRANCISCO--Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced it has named former Amazon and Facebook executives to its leadership team. Brian Donnelly, formerly head of Diagnostics and Genomics at Amazon, has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA, and Ashish Nayyar, Facebook’s Senior Director of Data Science, has been appointed Chief Data Officer. Heather Friedland, who joined Ancestry in 2019 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, New Products & Growth, has been promoted to Chief Product Officer.
    • “We are thrilled to welcome these three outstanding thought leaders to our executive bench, each of whom bring a wealth of experience from both within Ancestry, and other leading technology companies”
    • Following the company’s acquisition by Blackstone and GIC in December 2020, Ancestry has augmented its board of directors and management team with leaders recognized for pioneering in the technology industry. Building on Ancestry’s strong foundation, the company is focused on innovating for its current subscribers while delivering new experiences for the millions of people worldwide who are interested in learning more about their family regardless of their background or the content available.
    • “We are thrilled to welcome these three outstanding thought leaders to our executive bench, each of whom bring a wealth of experience from both within Ancestry, and other leading technology companies,” said Deborah Liu, Ancestry President and CEO. “I am confident that together we will continue to drive innovation and growth so that we can empower even more journeys of personal discovery globally.”
    • Brian Donnelly has joined Ancestry as Senior Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA from Amazon, where he served as the worldwide leader of Diagnostics and Genomics. Prior to Amazon, Donnelly held a variety of global leadership roles at market leading genomics companies, such as Sequenom, Illumina, and Codex DNA where he was the Chief Commercial Officer. In his role leading the AncestryDNA business, Donnelly will work to advance scientific innovation and develop Ancestry's long-term vision and global strategy for AncestryDNA to drive growth, improve the customer experience, and maximize its impact on the overall business.
    • Ashish Nayyar joins as Chief Data Officer and will lead analytics, data science and data engineering at Ancestry. Nayyar brings more than 20 years of experience in the field and joins Ancestry from Facebook where he led the Entertainment and Commerce Data Science teams for the Facebook app. Nayyar will be responsible for defining strategies to govern and manage data across the enterprise to directly support Ancestry’s product innovation, business growth and future value creation.
    • Heather Friedland was promoted to Chief Product Officer at Ancestry to accelerate the company’s product innovation. Friedland joined Ancestry in June 2019 and served as Vice President of Product for AncestryHealth and Senior Vice President, New Products & Growth. Friedland brings more than two decades of product management experience, previously serving as Chief Product Officer at Glassdoor where she led the product organization during a period of rapid growth.
    • About Ancestry
    • Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of more than 30 billion records and over 20 million people in our growing consumer DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain a new level of understanding about their lives. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.

  • 16 Sep 2021 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    Fire broke out at the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) office in Binondo, Manila before dawn Sunday, September 5, 2021, damaging around 800,000 pesos ($16,000 US Dollars) worth of property.

    No one was hurt during the incident. No important documents were damaged, officials said.

    "The archival collections are safe as they are stored elsewhere," the NAP said in a statement.

    The Bureau of Fire Protection (BF) said the fire started at around 1:04 a.m. at the administrative offices on the sixth floor of the building.

    You can learn more at

  • 15 Sep 2021 2:50 PM | Anonymous

    The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT--FamilySearch added 2.6M parish and civil registrations from France Charente 1550–1936, 1.6M Poor Law records from England Middlesex Westminster 1561–1883, added parish records from England Middlesex 1539–1988, cemetery records from Argentina 1882–2019, and more Catholic Church records from Bolivia 1566–1996, El Salvador 1655–1977, Guatemala 1581–1977, Mexico(México 1567–1970, Michoacán 1555–1996, and Oaxaca 1559–1988) plus Paraguay 1754–2015, Peru 1603–1992 and Venezuela 1577–1995.

    Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 14 billion free names and record images.

    (The full list is very long, too long to publish here./ However, you can find the full list at:

    About FamilySearch

    FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 15 Sep 2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    This series will explore the many mysteries of the U.S. Civil War pension file, including how to find and interpret the many types of online pension indexes, some details of which are rarely documented elsewhere. Those indexes alone may contain hidden clues and a remarkable amount of detail about the veteran’s life, family, and military service.

    This series is intended to provide the researcher with a single reference point for the many confusing issues related to Civil War pensions and their indexes.

    We hope that you will bookmark this series and refer to it frequently.

    The series will then explain how and where you can get your hands on the full contents of those pension files, some of which are also online.

    In Part 1, we will describe the typical contents of pension files and explain why they are among the very best sources of biographical and genealogical information for those who are researching their Civil War ancestors.

    All this an a lot more may be found at, according to Bob Velke (some of you may remember that name).

  • 15 Sep 2021 2:16 PM | Anonymous
    The following announcement was written by the Family History Federation:

    The expanded 2021 ONLINE November show is getting closer.

    Friday 12th November 6pm-10pm and Saturday 13th November 10am-6pm

    The Family History Federation’s Really Useful Family History Show is lining up to be the best yet! The list of enticing presentations along with details of presenters is now available on the website. See brief list enclosed.

    On Friday evening the Exhibition Hall will be open. Opportunity to ask local groups for expert local advice. There is also a live and interactive presentation by Dr Janet Few – Genealogy: the next generation. Thought-provoking discussion for bringing younger people into local societies.

    On Saturday for ticket holders the range of mini-classes plus interactive workshops will be released in early October – all very “how to” and there are four special mini-classes for beginners or those wanting to brush-up on basic skills. In late October the experts will be announced and ticket holders invited to book their own slot directly with their chosen person for Ask the Experts.

    All these opportunities are included in the show ticket price.

    This online extravaganza costs just £10!! ($13.83 US Dollars)  Tickets and can be booked at the show website. Plus, there are offers available through some member societies of the Federation for their own members.

    Final details will be announced via the show website:

    • In early October Full Range of Workshops & Mini-classes

    Essential booking of workshops will open in October—no extra charge

    • Near to the show date access to Ask the Experts

    New format—you will book a slot with your chosen expert—no extra charge

    Only ticket holders can book workshops or slots for Ask the Experts.

    Visit family history societies and other exhibitors on Friday evening for the opportunity to ask local experts for local advice! 

    For further information please see the above website.


    Victorian Street Life – A Poor Existence - Graham Harrison

    In the mid-nineteenth century, many of London’s poorest inhabitants earned their living on the streets of the capital by legal, and sometimes not-so-legal, means. From crossing sweepers to costermongers, Graham will introduce some of the more colourful characters of Victorian London, real people who may have inspired the stories of Charles Dickens. Graham Harrison is a founder-partner of Sun Jester – a family business aiming to enlighten and amuse with a range of topics.


    Kirk Session Records for Family History - Emma Maxwell

    Scottish Kirk Session records have long been viewed as genealogy gold for those with access to them but earlier this year these amazing records were added to ScotlandsPeople. The secrets of the Kirk Session can break down brick walls and shine a light on your family's past. Emma Maxwell, a genealogist at Maxwell Ancestry/Scottish Indexes who was using these records before ScotlandsPeople existed, will explain how you can use them to trace your Scottish family history.


    British Home Children - Christine Woodcock

    Christine learned about these children when researching her husband’s ancestors, discovering that his paternal great-aunt had relinquished all four of her boys to homes in the Midlands which sent children to Canada. Children as young as eight were sent out from homes in the UK. When not organizing genealogy research tours to Scotland, Christine Woodcock lectures on Scottish genealogy, hosts webinars, plus authors blogs and articles.


    Land of Song - Dean Powell

    Celebrate the male voice choir movement in Wales. Discover how the male voice choirs took Wales by storm during the mid­Victorian era, helping create the “Land of Song”. Learn why Wales developed its love of singing, and the fierce competitiveness of choirs with a backdrop of gambling, rivalries and royal commands. Dean Powell is a former BBC journalist and newspaper editor, his anecdotes of interviews have made him a popular guest speaker.


    Great War Widows and Emigration - Andrea Hetherington

    The lives of Britain’s First World War widows remain largely unexplored. This talk investigates the phenomenon of WWI widows’ emigration to the Dominions using information from passenger manifests, census returns plus documents from descendants. Understand the lives of some plucky war widows who did attempt to make new lives overseas. Andrea Hetherington is a writer and researcher with a special interest in the First World War.


    Surname Origins - Wayne Shepheard

    Surname usage dates back to the late Middle Ages, around the fourteenth century. Why did it start then? Was it in response to political or societal shifts, coincidentally across much of Europe, or was it because of something else? We will explore some of the history and reasons for the adoption and use of surnames. Wayne Shepheard is the author of many genealogical articles and regularly makes presentations. His genealogical blog is Discover Genealogy.

    Secrets and Lies: adventures in other people's family history - Frances Hurd

    Every family history—and many historical records—contains secrets and lies, many connected to illegitimacy, others arising from more surprising causes. Explore some secrets and lies that Frances has uncovered. Frances Hurd has been using family history investigation as an aid to her research since undertaking her PhD on a seventeenth-century Puritan author. She is currently exploring the lives of ten families between 1840 and 1940, arising from the discovery of a 1915 photograph.


    London Burials and How to Find Them! - John Hanson FSG

    A problem facing family historians is tracking down burial places, especially so in London due to its size. However, the principals discussed apply also in other areas. The lecture looks at understanding the area, the issues, what is available both offline and online and some of the methods that can be employed for finding those elusive burial records. John Hanson has been interested in genealogy for over forty years and is a popular a lecturer in family history.


    Introducing manorial records - Ian Waller FSG

    From medieval times up to the twentieth century the manor played a significant role in most rural communities. This talk examines how the manorial system operated and the records generated in which your ancestor may appear. Ian Waller is a retired professional genealogist with experience in English research. He gives talks and lectures, plus serves as the vice-chairman and education officer of the Family History Federation.


    Postcards ‘From Ennis to Emmie’: more from the attic - John Frearson

    The story of a post card exchange from the early 1900s, and tracking down the senders and their families. How the finding of a series of postcards allowed the sender and her family to be traced. Family history and postcard history, with examples of cards and photographs of the period. John Frearson is a retired construction materials consultant, turned historian, researcher, lecturer and author.


    The times they are a’changing - Ian Waller FSG

    This talk examines the nostalgia and development of family history research examining the old and new methods of undertaking research. Much that we need for our research is not online; so how did we do family research before the internet age? Sometimes we still need to use those methods today. Ian Waller, retired professional genealogist who regularly lectures, is also presenting Introducing manorial records.


    A Grand (Virtual) Tour of Scotland’s Archives - Alison Spring

    A whistle-stop guide to the best of what Scottish archives have to offer, giving an insight into the kind of records you can expect to encounter in public and private repositories, and showcasing their online resources. With over forty years’ experience of research, specialising in Scottish records, Alison Spring, based in Glasgow, is passionate about tracing your family tree on a budget and blogs as the Frugal Family Historian.


    Breach of Promise to Marry - Denise Bates

    Understand the social and cultural history of broken engagements between 1780 -1970 and why the law allowed the jilted to claim damages from the person who had broken the engagement. The talk explores who the real Miss Havishams were and what suing for damages reveals about the social values of the time. Denise Bates was inspired after reading about two very different breach of promise cases in a Victorian newspaper when following her passion for history. /more overleaf….


    Looking for your Irish ancestors? It’s easier than you think - Linda Hammond

    Irish genealogical research has unique challenges. We will explore civil and church records available online, as well as census returns and census substitute records to cover periods where documents no longer exist. We will explore valuation records, burial and probate records, passenger lists and newspaper archives that help to trace your Irish roots and locate your ancestor’s home town. Linda Hammond has thirty years genealogical research experience and is a member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists.


    Chatham Dockyard: The Rise and Fall of a Military Industrial Complex - Philip Macdougall

    Chatham Dockyard became one of the most important naval yards from 1570 for four hundred years. The yard constructed over 500 warships, ranging from simple naval pinnaces, through to first-rates that fought at Trafalgar, and concluded with the hunter-killer submarines of the nuclear age. This talk by local and maritime author Philip MacDougall, focusses on the final two hundred years of the yard's history, and the artisans and labourers who worked there.

    UK census - Dr Penny Walters

    This session will look at the evolution of decennial censuses in the UK. We will examine each census, deconstructing the information, revealing tips and hints for lateral thinking, which give clues for further research. We will also look at what could be considered to be census substitutes, and consider censuses against a backdrop of social history which is vital. Penny Walters lectures internationally in-person, presents webinars, and writes articles about a variety of genealogy topics.


    DNA: What to do with the results - Donna Rutherford

    You have your DNA results, but what next? Covering the topics needed to get you started on your DNA research, this talk will provide tips and tricks even if you've already started working with DNA. There will be practical examples and case studies to really help build your expertise. Donna Rutherford is a New Zealander who works in London. In her spare time, she manages a Facebook group helping with DNA research.


    Become a house detective: Researching the history of your home - Stephen Poulter

    This talk describes the processes plus the historic documents (including maps, property deeds, parish records and wills) involved in investigating any historic property using online and archive sources for anyone interested in setting out on their own journey of historical discovery. Examples are drawn from the research of the story of the seventeenth-century cottage. Stephen Poulter has tales of owners and residents demonstrating what can be discovered about your home.


    The City Livery Companies - David Williams

    There are 110 City Livery Companies thriving as educational and charitable organisations. Their influence and power dominated the medieval City. Much of today’s commercial and financial activity has origins well over 600 years ago when the Royal charters given to Livery Companies set the pattern for a growth in trade that continues to have a significant role in the twenty-first century. David Williams is a registered City of London guide and lecturer.


    Annoying ancestors - Gay Evans

    An anecdotal story of how to search for your ancestors, highlighting the challenges they may knowingly or unknowingly have put in your way. New and experienced researchers will find this talk features obstacles to consider when tracing your ancestors. A talk to inspire you to begin or to help reinvigorate your family history journey. Gay Evans started doing genealogical research over thirty years ago – it is her obsession. Gay has a blog at

    Mind Mapping: a follow on - Linda Hammond

    This talk follows up on mind mapping after the popularity of Linda’s original talk at the last Really Useful Show. Mind maps can be as simple or complex as you want them to be, however, they help organise your planning and thought processes by visually mapping the information. We will explore how they can be used at each stage in your research: planning, problem solving, reporting and even writing up. Linda Hammond is also presenting Looking for your Irish Ancestors.


    Why the Welsh left Wales - Dr Penny Walters

    This session will explore why Welsh ancestors emigrated from Wales, starting with a historical overview of life in Wales. We will look at the heavy industrialisation into coal mining and at Merthyr Tydfil specifically. Emigration posters reveal the call to build a better life abroad. The crucial role of DNA testing with specified regions and surname distribution will be revealed, as will language, translation tools and scripts. Penny Walters also presents UK Census.


    Researching Ancestors in British India - Valmay Young and Beverly Hallam

    Some three million Britons served in India. From 1600 to 1947, the East India Company, and the British controlled Government of India, won that country with their armies and governed it with a civil service. Britons from all social classes were recruited. This talk will explain the records and where to find them. Valmay Young and Beverly Hallam are trustees of the Families in British India Society (FIBIS), a self-help society for those researching the British in India.

    Local and Family History Together - Joe Saunders

    Family and local history have their distinct focuses. In family history we seek to contextualise our ancestors, their houses, neighbourhoods and communities. In local history we look to populate places with people. This talk will explore the similarities and explain why we cannot do one without the other. Joe Saunders is a freelance historian, an Associate of AGRA and an outreach member and trustee of BALH.


    Finding ancestors and relatives in Jamaica and Nigeria Yetunde Abiola

    In this session, Yetunde Abiola, as a black British person of Jamaican and Nigerian heritage, will show you how to start, focus and streamline your search, providing you with important facts and useful tips and resources to help you find Jamaican, Nigerian, or African ancestors and possibly, an extended family through merging your paper trail with ethnicity results from DNA testing. Her areas of expertise include the complexities and intricacies of Caribbean, diaspora, and colonial genealogies.


    Genealogy: the next generation - Janet Few (Live on Friday evening only!)

    A presentation and discussion about how family history societies can be relevant to the next generation of family historians. What are the needs of younger genealogists? How can societies evolve to meet those needs and encourage participation across the age spectrum? This will be relevant to society volunteers looking to do more, society members who feel that their society could do more and younger genealogists with ideas and suggestions about what societies need to do to appeal to their age group.


    Full descriptions of topics plus presenters’ biographies are available on the website:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

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