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Archives for Free Genealogy 2010

The free genealogy site is a free genealogy listings site encompassing a huge range of genealogy related articles, hobbies, help and guide sections and much more. Updated daily with helpful advice, surnames, articles and links all dedicated to the online genealogy and ancestry sector, searching for that missing family history fact or just thinking about starting your family tree has never been easier . It's all here so search away and make sure to check out the latest special FREE databases .

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Click here to search the top News articles of the moment from genealogy, sport, US or UK national news and much more.

Articles of the month

GREAT NEWS! Re-activate your ScotlandsPeople credits

ScotlandsPeople would like to offer all customers who have existing credits in their account the opportunity to re-activate and use the credits at no cost through the use of a voucher code. We are doing this to allow customers who have expired credits to take the opportunity to use these without making a purchase.

All customers who have existing credits can now use the free voucher code SCOTLANDSPEOPLE which will re-set the credit expiry to 90 days in their account. Customers may use this voucher any time until 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 17th June, 2010. The voucher may only be used once in each account. For information on how to use the voucher code, click here.


The 1946 Family Census

In 7 years since the first launch of the England & Wales census became available onlinewe can now access over 8 censuses from 1841-1911.

Waiting for the next Census? It's due for release in 2022 and will be the 1921 Census Unfortunately the 1931 Cenusus was destroyed in the WAR and with no census taken in 1941 it'll be a while before the 1951 census will be released (due in 2052)

But, according to LostCousins, there has been a lot of interest in the 1939 National Register, even though the information is very limited in scope.

Many Family Historians have been delighted to discover recently that in 1946 there was a survey carried out which covered 10% of women in Great Britain who were or had been married. The information collected was as follows: Marital Status Date of birth Date of marriage (and date of termination, if applicable) Date of birth of every live born child Number of children who had not yet reached their 16th birthday Husband's occupation The name of the individual was recorded on the reverse of the form.

Whilst the names of the children were not given, in most cases it would be possible to identify them from their birthdates. It appears that the original schedules have survived, and are held at the National Archives under RG67. Currently they are subject to 75-year closure, which means that we will have to wait until 2021 to see them - fingers crossed it's sooner.


Spike Lee - Lee Discovers Slave Roots On Genealogy Show

Hollywood filmmaker SPIKE LEE paid a touching tribute to his ancestors on hit U.S. genealogy show WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? after learning he is descended from slaves.

The Malcolm X director took an emotional journey to Atlanta, Georgia for the series, in which celebrities trace their family trees. And Lee was stunned to discover a link between his enslaved great-great grandfather, Mars, and a character from his breakthrough film She's Gotta Have It.

He explains, "When I was writing the script for She's Gotta Have It, I was stuck for the name of the character and I called my grandmother up and said, 'I need a name.' She came (up) with this - Mars... It fit because Mars in the film is crazy. That's insane. My great-great-grandfather's name is Mars."

Upon discovering Mars had purchased 80 acres of land after he was freed of slavery, Lee travelled there to bury a necklace he wore in the film with Mars' name inscribed on it.

Crediting his ancestors with inspiring his career, he added, "This is it. That was the spirit that made me pick up the phone and say (to my grandmother), 'Mama, I need a name.' That was the spirit of Mars that made that happen."

In another surprising moment, Lee learned that he has a Caucasian relative - and decided to meet Guinevere Grier, a white woman who is the filmmaker's cousin twice removed.

Read more


Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) Certificate prices to rise 32%

News just in from LostCousins Website. The General Register Office has announced that the standard price for birth, marriage, and death certificates (BMD Records) ordered via its website is to increase by 32% from £7 to £9.25 on April 6th. This announcement was made the day after Who Do You Think You Are? Live, Britain's largest family history show finished at London's Olympia exhibition halls.

According to the announcement the increase is to ensure that they cover their costs.


Make the most of FREE searches at subscription sites.

None of us can afford a subscription at every genealogy site, but we can all take advantage of the free Search results they offer. True, free searches don't reveal everything you need but do help show you enough to know if you want to sign up to a site. For example, if you're having trouble finding someone on the census, searching at a site that has a different transcription or different search capabilities might provide a vital clue. Suppose that you have a subscription to Ancestry, but can't find your relative on one of the England & Wales censuses no matter what names you try. Why not try a free search at findmypast.com, making use of some of the features that are unique to searches at that site - such as searching by occupation, or using wildcards at the start of a field.

Similarly, if you have a subscription to findmypast.com, you might like to try a free search at Ancestry.co.uk using one of the features unique to that site, such as searching on forenames alone (for example, the forename of a child and forenames of its parents).

Modifying your search can reveal additional information vital to help you move forward with your family history research. Suppose that you find the right person in the London Metropolitan Archives marriage registers at Ancestry, but need to know the year in which they married - something that the free search results won't tell you. In this case a 'binary search' technique will provide the solution: first you start with a wide range, such as 1820-1840, then you try the lower half of the range, and if that doesn't produce a positive result, you try the upper half. With repeated searches you'll eventually identify the precise year - and all without paying a penny! But, do bear in mind that this all takes a lot of time and sometimes just taking out a 14 day free trial or testing the pay per views subscriptions on findmypast are a lot quicker and easier. For more information about this an many other articles check out www.lostcousins.co.uk


Facebook Suspends Genealogy Applications Over Ads

Is Facebook putting some of its applications on double secret probation?

Facebook suspended several applications supplied by third-party vendors, including genealogy services. Facebook sent email messages to the respective developers, "Your application contains ads that link to landing pages completely unrelated to the content in the ad and thus are misleading." Among those affected were FamilyLink's We're Related, which has 20.4 million monthly active users, and Familybuilder's Family Tree, which has 5.3 million, according to Inside Facebook.

Familybuilder CEO Ilya Nikolayev told Inside Facebook the company received no warning before Family Tree was suspended, adding that the ad in question was traced to one ad network and to users in Canada, and saying the company would have turned off all of its ads in order to find the objectionable one, but it was never given the chance. Inside Facebook also pointed to a post by Paul Jeffries, head of Facebook's Platform Policy team, on the social-networking site's Developer Forums, outlining its policies.


When to Hire a Professional Genealogist by Myra Vanderpool Gormley

Finding a Genealogist that Suits Your Needs - There's more to finding a professional genealogist than just opening the phone book. Learn how to find the best possible help with your research.

Some hobbyists successfully research their family trees without any professional assistance. However, most of us do not have the time, money or expertise to pursue personally all of the sources that might be available or needed to find our entangled roots and sprawling branches. As a result, the time may come when you will seek the assistance of a professional genealogist.

How do you know when? Since each research project is unique, it is impossible to say exactly when. However, you might need to hire a pro, if you:

* Do not have time to do the research yourself
* Do not have the necessary genealogical research skills
* Do not have access to the records in a particular locality
* Do not know what records exist that might offer a solution to your research problem
* Cannot read the language in which the records are recorded
* Have a reached a dead-end or brick wall
* Need specific on-site research
* Desire consultation on how to solve a research problem or extend a line
* Need help writing, editing or publishing your genealogy
* Want on-site photographs, videos and/or oral interviews with distant family members
* Need help with adoption/birth parent research projects
* Wish to locate living family members
* Are not familiar with records pertaining to a particular ethnic group

Consider the fact that we all have 16 great-grandparents, and they all have families whose branches go every which way. These ancestors probably came from diverse geographical areas, time periods, and possibly belonged to a variety of ethnic groups. It is the rare genealogist who is able to do all this research without help.

Keep in mind that no one can tell you in advance how many hours of research will be required on any of your lines, or that they can find your ancestors quickly. Each family is unique. No ethical professional genealogist will guarantee to find your ancestors either. When you hire a professional genealogist you are paying for her or his time and expertise, not for positive results of a search. It takes just as much time to discover your ancestor is not mentioned in a particular record as it does to learn he is recorded there.

Once you have obtained names of professional who work in the area or category in which you need assistance, you may wish to contact several to find the one who best meets your needs and who has the time to accept the commission. Let the researcher know what you want and agree upon time limit, costs and when reports will be provided. In this country, anyone can call themselves a professional genealogist, but there are some organizations who test applicants and whose members agree to abide by a code of ethics. Moreover, some professional groups offer arbitration services to resolve any differences that might arise between the client and the professional.

To find a professional genealogist and get more detail on Myra Vanderpool Gormley click here


A missing grandfather upsets Kim Cattrall more than she expected

Kim Cattrall is best known for her role as Samantha from Sex and the City. Itís why sheís hugely popular both here and in the US. But surprisingly, Kim isnít American but actually English/Canadian, and it was her English roots that most intrigued her when she began Who Do You Think You Are?

During the programme, Kim solves the 70-year-old mystery surrounding her Grandfather's disappearance. He simply left when her mother was eight and vanished. With painstaking attention to detail, the team find out why, but itís not easy for Kim when she discovers the truth. It upsets her and affects her mother and aunts. She feels itís changed her family and even though itís not good news, they are all relieved to know at last, and very glad the truth is out.

Watch Kim Cattral on Who Do You Think You Are? this 9pm, BBC1, 12th August.


Who Do You Think You Are airs on TV again -

The Latest WhoDoYouThinkYouAre series is airing on BBC again much to Free Genealogy's delight.

Six top class celebrities will trace their family trees again in the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? to reveal the lives of their ancestors and explore a range of ancestrial themes through British social history.

In the nest episode, on TV Wednesday 9pm, funny man and comedian David Mitchell goes in search of his Scottish ancestrial roots. David knows that the Mitchells were wealthy sheep farmers in Sutherland. For almost a hundred years, three generations of the family held Ribigill farm, but mysteriously gave up the lease in 1933. David wants to know why they abandoned a sheep farming tradition that went back so many years. He also wants to find out whether his family were involved in the notorious Highland Clearances.

David is also eager to learn more about a further branch of his Scottish family heritage - the Forbes. Using a book written by his great-great-grandfather Alexander Forbes as the starting point for his investigation, David travels to the Isle of Skye. The trail leads to Alexander's father, John Forbes, a Church of Scotland minister on the island in the nineteenth century. David is delighted to discover that his ancestor was something of a local hero. Not only did John Forbes work tirelessly on behalf of his parishioners, he also became involved in helping to rescue some girls from his parish who had been trafficked to work in a mill in Manchester.

Like every Family History David's story takes an unexpected turn when he discovers some old church papers and John Forbes's will. These documents reveal another, more disturbing side to his ancestor's character... Watch the series to find out more this Wednesday on BBC1 and how, with the help of sites like www.findmypast.com and www.ancestry.co.uk you can build your family tree today.


World's oldest surviving Bible published online

About 800 pages of the world's oldest surviving Bible have been pieced together and published on the Internet for the first time, experts in Britain said Monday.

The Codex Sinaiticus, written in Greek on parchment leaves in the fourth century, is available online in a project involving institutions in Britain, Germany, Egypt and Russia which held different parts of the ancient book.

As part of the four-year joint project, digital photographs have been taken of the reunited manuscript, allowing scholars worldwide to research in-depth the Greek text, the British Library in London said.

The library, which holds a large chunk of the Bible, also opened an exhibit Monday that includes artefacts linked to the manuscript to coincide with its online launch.

"The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the world's greatest written treasures," said Scot McKendrick, head of Western manuscripts at the British Library.

"This 1600-year-old manuscript offers a window into the development of early Christianity and first-hand evidence of how the text of the Bible was transmitted from generation to generation," he said.

Originally 1,460 pages long and measuring 16 inches (40 centimetres) by 14 inches, the manuscript was handwritten by a number of scribes around the time of Constantine the Great who died in 337, experts said.

The manuscript, which was revised and corrected over the centuries, lay undisturbed in a monastery in Sinai in Egypt until it was found by a German professor in the mid-1800s and handed to Russia's Tsar Alexander II.

Britain later bought most of the book from the Soviet Union in the 1930s, while Egypt kept still more pages found in the monastery in 1975.

Professor David Parker, whose team made the electronic transcription of the manuscript, said the Internet project proved challenging with some of the pages in poor condition.

"The process of deciphering and transcribing the fragile pages of an ancient text containing over 650,000 words is a huge challenge, which has taken nearly four years," said Parker from the University of Birmingham.

"The digital images of the virtual manuscript show the beauty of the original and readers are even able to see the difference in handwriting between the different scribes who copied the text," he said.

The manuscript is available at http://www.codexsinaiticus.org.


Scotlands People, the Scottish Government run Genealogy Web Site, are delighted to announce that the following records have been added to their site:

* New 1881 census indexes and images: this now completes the set of Scottish census records 1841-1901, uniquely available on ScotlandsPeople. Please note that this new version is in addition to the current LDS version of the 1881 census (which does contain images)

* Old Parish Records (OPR) Deaths & Burials indexes and images have now also been added from 1538 to 1854

* Coats of Arms 1672-1907 (free to search) have been added

What's more Scotlands People now have more Birth, Marriage and Death records added to the site, with more coming later in the year

* More modern Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) records have also now been added to the site. This now increases the range of statutory records, so you can trace your more recent ancestors:

* Indexes of Scottish births and deaths now run from 1855 to 2006 with marriages from 1855 to 1933. Look out for the indexes to modern marriages, which will be added later this year.

* Images of births are now available from 1855 to 1908, marriages from 1855 to 1933 and deaths from 1855 to 1958.

Further details are available at http://scotlandspeoplehub.gov.uk.

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Getting Started

You might think that starting out building your family tree is going to be a daunting task. Well, it doesn't have to be. Below you will find the most common sets of records to help you start or finish your genealogy research and build that family tree. See Getting Started with Genealogy for more information

Census Records

A census is an official enumeration of the population in a particular area. In addition to counting the inhabitants of an area, the census generally collects other vital information, such as names, ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background. Each census can prove to be invaluable in painting a portrait of a family at a particular place and time.


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Search over 7 Censuses ALL on Ancestry.co.uk today
1901 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1891 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1881 Census - Free England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1871 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1861 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1851 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1841 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland

Birth Marriage & Death records -

Civil vital records—for Births, Marriage and Deaths —mark the milestones of our lives, and are the foundation of family history research. Chronicling the personal moments of our lives through the objective perspective of the public record, vital records can offer details often found through no other genealogical resource. They can be useful in proving or disproving other sources, give you a more complete picture of your ancestor, help you distinguish between two people with the same name, and help you find clues to earlier life events.

With these records, you can gain access to information regarding your ancestor's lives, such as the locations and causes of their deaths, the names of children or parents, their wedding dates and locations, and the many other details that help us record and remember the important moments in the lives of our families.

Search for BMD records here!

Search Census and BMD records here for the UK and USA

Church -

Church records contain information about baptisms, marriages, burials, and membership. In addition to the name of the person, church records often provide information about family members.

Search Church records here!

Cemetery -

Some of the cemetery records included are tombstone inscriptions, burial permits, and death indexes. These records usually show names, birth and death dates; sometimes, they include information on surviving family members.

England Cemeteries & Tombstones | Wales Cemeteries & Tombstones


Genealogy Books and Reviews

Genealogy is the study of family history. Genealogists investigate the history of individual families. This is done by professionals and amateurs on a number of different levels. Genealogy is increasingly popular today and as a result there are an increasing number of resources from a variety of sources. When researching a family you can go as far back in time as you wish and gather as much or as little information as you like. You can also organise the presentation in various forms such as the traditional family tree or a family diary. Various books and websites give you information on how to do this, ways to research and also where you can source information.

There are a number of online resources that you can access that have databases with a variety of information. You can access the Census Online, for example, which gives details dating back to the 1840s of all persons registered in Britain. There are other means of accessing information such as Local Records offices, family members and library resources. Records Offices contain similar information to the census online which gives births, deaths and marriages and will often verify this information.

As for beginning this ambitious project of researching your own family your best bet is to get a good book to start you off. There are several good books on the market that show you how to get started. `Genealogy Online for Dummies` by Matthew and April Helm gives a step by step guide on how to start and develop your research. Unlike other books which categorise the different sources of information or topics this book clearly outlines how to begin, record information as you continue and how to use the internet as a research tool.

Another useful book for those interested in using the internet as a means of sourcing information is a very comprehensive guide called `Cyndi`s List- Cyndi Howell`s 70,000 links to Genealogy.` Howell` book lists all the sites that you can visit and in what way they are useful. Looking through this book is actually quicker than searching on the internet for all the relevant sites yourself and it also contains a lot that you never even knew existed, yet is often relevant.

If you want to know how to organise your findings effectively and properly then check out `Evidence, Citation and Analysis`. This book by expert genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills shows you how to document and present properly. It also looks at how to draw sound conclusions even from evidence that might be limited. This enables you to avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes made when researching. It is useful for both beginners and experts.
`How to do Everything with your Genealogy ` by George C Morgan is a more general guide to the subject and covers more specifically how to conduct research and where to look both on and offline for various sources. Another useful more general guide is Stella Colwell`s `Tracing your Family History- Teach Yourself` which empowers those new to genealogy giving them the skills and tools necessary to conduct their own family history. You can look up a variety of genealogy guides through Book Scanning online or going to your local library.


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