Monday, February 27, 2006

Finding Scots


The first place to search is the IGI (International Genealogical Index): http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp?PAGE=igi/search_IGI.asp&clear_form=true

Start with a bit of information, and only enter more details to narrow down your search results.

Usually the indexed baptisms and marriage information are part of the IGI. If you have searched the IGI without success for your person of interest, searching the Old Parish Register (OPR) indexes and OPRs themselves is still useful, in case they were missed. Baptisms and marriages in the OPRs can be searched using a computerized index, either on a county basis or searching over the whole country. The index gives the reference number for the relevant microfilm roll together with the frame number (page), allowing you to go directly to the record you are interested in, once you order in the OPR film.

You can access the Old Parish Registers online, by opening an account at http://www.scotsorigins.com/. However, you must find the record you want in the IGI first, then pay them to transcribe the record. Scotland's People has an index of Scottish births 1553-1903, marriages 1553-1928, deaths 1855-1953, Wills and Testaments from 1513-1901, and indexed census data 1841-1901. Again, you find your record in the indexes, then order a copy of the original record. Sometimes Scotland's People has records that were missed in the IGI, and thus not available through Scot's Origins.

Or, it costs about $5.50 to order the film you want to your local FHC. If you search the OPR yourself, you can find collateral relatives too. You can also consult the indexes to baptisms and marriages on microfiche and CD-ROM in the FHC. Be aware that the computerized versions are merely indexes, and you should always consult the film of the OPRs themselves.

The birth/baptism/christening index usually contain the individual's name, parent's name, event, date of event, parish, county, and film reference numbers. The marriage index usually contains the husband and wife's name, date of marriage, parish and county, and reference numbers. From the reference number you can order the microfilm which may or may not contain more information. The OPRs vary widely in quality and completeness. For more information about using your local FHC, see: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/07/your-local-family-history-center.html

A new source of digitized death records is the McKirdy Index of Scottish Death Records 1855-1875. Rather than the church records, these are the indexed civil records. http://www.mckirdyindex.co.nz

Was he a minister? Check out Scottish Ministers Index (Fasti ecclesiae Scoticanae): http://www.dwalker.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Ministers%20Index.htm

Scottish Maps: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/01/scottish-maps.html

Scotland Research Links: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/scotland.html

Also, Using Batch Numbers and the IGI: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/using-batch-numbers-and-igi.html

Make the Family History Library Catalog SING for you: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/03/make-family-history-library-catalog.html


Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. - Slim Aitken

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Language Translation

Do you want to know how your surname sounded in German or French? Try AT&T's Text To Speech demo site. Type in the text, press the "speak" button and you hear the word or phrase you need to pronounce: http://www.research.att.com/projects/tts/demo.html

Google Translator: http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en

WorldLingo.com: http://www.worldlingo.com/

Free Translation: http://www.freetranslation.com/

Free Translation Online: http://translation2.paralink.com/

French (voila.fr): http://trans.voila.fr/ - powered by Systran

Links and Resources for Translators: http://www.iol.ie/~mazzoldi/lang/

Online Dictionaries and Translators: http://www.word2word.com/dictionary.html

The Translator's Home Companion: http://www.rahul.net/lai/companion.html

Voila Online Translator(French): http://www.voila.fr/Geek/

Request a Translation: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/topics.researchresources.translators

FranceGenWeb Translation Service: http://www.francegenweb.org/traduction/

Genealogy.Net Translation Service: http://www.genealogienetz.de/gene/misc/translation.html

etranscribtum: http://www.e-transcriptum.net/

Translation Wizard: http://www.faganfinder.com/translate/ - Thanks for the link, Maria! This one will attempt to translate even passages in an unknown language.

Typing Characters of any Latin-based Alphabet in One Step: http://www.stevemorse.org/hebrew/virtual.html

English - German online dictionary: http://dict.leo.org/?lang=en
and Wörterbuch Deutsch-Englisch: http://dict.uni-leipzig.de/
German dictionary: http://www.quickdic.de
and Links to other free English-German online dictionaries and grammar resources: http://quickdic.org/index_e.html

English to Latin, and Latin to English Dictionaries and Translators: http://www.italatin.com/latin.html

German Script Tutorial: http://script.byu.edu/german/en/welcome.aspx

German Letters, charts to help you interpret Old German handwriting: http://www.kindredroots.com/What/germanletters/germanletters.htm

French Script Tutorial: http://script.byu.edu/french/en/welcome.aspx (coming soon, as of July 2010)

OLD-FRENCH-L is a mailing list for anyone with a genealogical or historical interest in deciphering and interpreting written documents in French from earliest to most recent 20th Century times, and discussing old French words, phrases, names, abbreviations and antique jargon. To subscribe, send a new email to: OLD-FRENCH-L-request@rootsweb.com or OLD-FRENCH-D-request@rootsweb.com (Digest), subject: subscribe, message: subscribe .

Transcribe Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transcribe/
   A free service for people who have problems transcribing old German documents, parish records.
   Ein kostenloser Dienst für Leute, die Probleme haben alte deutsche Dokumente, Kirchenbücher; zu transkribieren.
   Un service gratuit pour les gens ayant des problèmes pour transcrire d'anciens documents allemands, des registres paroissiaux.
   Un servicio gratuito para las personas que tienen problemas para transcribir Documentos, Registros de Parroquias, etc escritos en Aleman Antiguo.
Transcriptions and Translations of German documents (letters, parish records): http://www.rootsweb.com/~deutg/

Deciphering Older Writing: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/04/deciphering-older-writing.html

Handwriting Guide: German Gothic: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/RG/guide/German_Gothic99-36316.ASP

For serious or extensive files, you may want to hire a professional translator. Jacques de Guise, professional genealogical researcher, recommends World Lingo as the "best automatic Internet translator on the Internet at the moment."

Hopefully, you will never need it, but for insults in 165 languages, Insult Monger: http://www.insultmonger.com/swearing/

Also just for fun - How to say "Oh my god! There's an axe in my head," in 112 languages: http://www.yamara.com/axe/


Form letters:

FamilySearch.org (Czeck and Slovak, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish): http://www.familysearch.org
   Search Tab > Research Helps link > Sorted by Document Type link > Letter Writing Guide link, or http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/RG/frameset_rhelps.asp?Page=./research/type/Letter-writing_Guide.asp&ActiveTab=Type

Genealogy.com (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish): http://www.genealogy.com/00000023.html


Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful: yourself. - Alan Alda

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Genealogy and Genetics


Our DNA does not fade like an ancient parchment; it is not rust in the ground like the sword of a warrior long dead. It is not eroded by wind or rain, nor reduced to ruin by fire and earthquake. It is the traveler from an antique land who lives within us all. - Dr. Bryan Sykes, in The Seven Daughters of Eve


Famous DNA lists DNA Haplotypes (DNA signatures) for famous, or infamous, people: http://www.isogg.org/famousdna.htm

International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), new non-profit promoting greater understanding of the uses of DNA within genealogy, and support network for genetic genealogists. No dues, no treasury, donated web server space and donations. Side-by-side comparison charts of Y-chromosome and mtDNA testing services: http://www.isogg.org">http://www.isogg.org.

Journal of Genetic Genealogy: http://www.jogg.info/

Genetealogy - Using DNA testing to learn about your genealogy and family history: http://www.genetealogy.com/

Andy's Guide to DNA in Family History: http://www.ancestryhost.org/andymick/dna.htm

Interesting new development -- FREE lineage/DNA database to become available:
Articles - Utah project to link DNA, genealogy; Genetic markers may help Web users find kin: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0%2C1249%2C595045808%2C00.html
Database to unearth roots: http://www.sltrib.com/2004/Feb/02292004/business/143382.asp
Sorenson compiling huge DNA database: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/1%2C1249%2C600129402%2C00.html
   Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation: http://www.smgf.org
A Family Tree in Every Gene, by Armand Marie Leroi: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/14/opinion/14leroi.html?pagewanted=all&position=&oref=login
Free login might be required

Also, Search (or upload) DNA results or GEDCOMS at YSearch: http://www.ysearch.org/ (FTDNA database), Sorenson search: http://www.smgf.org/ychromosome/search.jspx

Competing service: Ybase, Genealogy by numbers: http://www.ybase.org/
   Search by haplotype or surname - up to 49 markers

Another - World Families Network: http://worldfamilies.net/

Family Tree DNA's service: http://www.mitosearch.org/

Databases from the DNA-Anthrogenealogy list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DNA-ANTHROGENEALOGY/database (Y-SNP, mtDNA, Y-STR data), and Kerchner's DNAPrint Test Results Log: http://www.kerchner.com/cgi-kerchner/dnaprint.cgi, Kerchner's DNATribes (t/m) Test/Analysis Results Log: http://www.kerchner.com/cgi-kerchner/dnatribes.cgi, Kerchner's Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA) Test Results Log: http://www.kerchner.com/cgi-kerchner/mtdna.cgi, and for DNA Surname project leaders, Kerchner's Y-STR Haplotype Observed Mutation Rate Log: See who has the Deepest Y Line Ancestry Chart proven by both Traditional Research and Genetic Genealogy Evidence: http://www.kerchner.com/cgi-kerchner/ystrmutationrate.cgi. All presented and maintained by Charles Kerchner.


DNA Database Diving, an article by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=10764

Great DNA links: http://www.kerchner.com/kerchdna.htm#links

Chris Pomery's DNA Portal: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~allpoms/genetics.html

DNA 101: Y-Chromosome Testing: http://blairgenealogy.com/dna/dna101.html

Tracing Your Ancestry Through DNA: http://genealogy.about.com/cs/geneticgenealogy/a/dna_tests.htm

y-Chromosome DNA Surname Projects, + Geographical and Ethnic Projects: http://www.duerinck.com/surname.html

Extensive MUMMA DNA project (20-page PDF) explaining basic principles of analysis: http://www.mumma.org/MummaDNA.pdf

Basics of DNA, Molecular Biology and Genetic Genealogy: http://www.contexo.info/

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak discusses The ABCs of mtDNA: http://www.ancestry.com/s23557/t8222/e/rd.ashx

Genetics & Genealogy Mail List: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/other/Miscellaneous/GENEALOGY-DNA.html
  Join, browse or search messages at the Genealogy-DNA Mail List at Rootsweb.com. Be warned, this is a VERY busy list, and can be quite technical. For beginners to DNA and genealogy, there is the DNA-Newbie list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DNA-NEWBIE/

For those who prefer web forums, see http://dna-forums.org/

Interested in setting up a DNA project? DNA Testing Info and Resources: http://www.kerchner.com/dna-info.htm

For those interested in DNA in ancient genealogy or anthropological research, there is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DNA-ANTHROGENEALOGY/

DNA Masterclass: http://www.dnaheritage.com/masterclass2.asp

Cowan DNA Genealogy: http://www.webspawner.com/users/lauracowancooper/, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~cowandnagenealogy/ & http://www.thecolefamily.com/hobby/cowandna.htm


I've just finished reading Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project by Spencer Wells, published by National Geographic. It's a short little book, only 174 pages including the Epilogue. However, there are almost 75 pages of Appendixes, glossary, suggested further reading, and index. What a great project, which will greatly further our knowledge of human history through both Y-DNA and mtDNA test results. Thorough and well-written.

Try to put well in practice what you already know. In so doing, you will, in good time, discover the hidden things you now inquire about. - Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Keep in touch when you change your email address


When you change your email address, register at one or all of these services:

FreshAddress.com: http://www.freshaddress.com

99.am: http://www.99.am/

Email Change.com: http://www.emailchange.com/

Find mE-Mail: http://www.findmemail.com/

ReturnPath: http://www.returnpath.net/

$$$ SwitchEmail.com: http://www.switchemail.com/index.asp


I have registered with them all, and so far, no spam because of it. No old buddies have gotten in touch with me either......::sigh::

If you are trying to contact someone with an expired address, it is worthwhile to search for them at each of these places, plus the common "search for email" sites, such as My Email Address Is, MSN, Addresses.com. Don't forget the new Rootsweb search engine, to search all Rootsweb list archives at one go: http://archiver.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/search. And of course, google for the old email address and name, too!


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

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Finding Living Persons


Estranged or Lost Relatives and Friends

IMPRESSIVE new site! http://www.pipl.com/, and http://allfolks.com/

A couple of new sites, established in Europe. Great American coverage, though. http://www.yasni.com/ and perhaps even more complete, http://www.123people.com/. An interesting feature is that if you want to see more matches, they will email them to you. So we'll see who wins in the end!

First, search telephone records - The Ultimate White Pages: http://www.theultimates.com/white/ Be sure to play around with the search parameters. The more slots you fill out, the fewer matches you will get. Sometimes a surname and state are all you will want to enter.

Private Eye.com searches Criminal,Sex Offenders, Business, Corporation, FBN, Employment, Professional Licenses, Property, Bankruptcies & Liens, Marriage, Divorce, and Death indexes: http://www.privateeye.com/

Effective Use of City Directories: http://www.progenealogists.com/citydirectories.htm

Search Polk City Directories for 1000+ cities: http://www.daplus.us/?Partner=99990
and CityDirectory.com: http://www.citydirectory.com, also http://www.uscitydirectories.com/

Canadian City Directories: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/canadiandirectories
    Montreal City Directories 1842-1999: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/montreal-city-directories-1842-1999.html

If you have an address, current or not, you may be able to use online property records: http://www.netronline.com

Do you know the approximate birthday? Try Steve Morse's Obtaining Birthdays in One Step: http://stevemorse.org/birthday/birthday2.html

Sometimes a Google Search will turn up the person's name: http://www.google.com Other search engines are useful, also. Search on the name email address, or even address/phone number!

Of course, if you have a phone number or address, you will want to do a Reverse Search: http://www.searchbug.com/ Present occupants may know where your person has moved. Google will do a simple reverse search also - just type the phone number or street address into the Google search box.

More resources - Telephone Directories and Locators: http://www.slco.lib.ut.us/TELEDIRS.HTM

Note: SuperPages, InfoSpace, Dogpile, Yahoo & Switchboard = Acxion, WhitePages = W3 Data, Inc., WhoWhere = Lycos.

About.com - Finding People - Lost Family and Friends: http://genealogy.about.com/cs/findpeople/index_2.htm

Lots of interesting categories and links at the Virtual Gumshoe: http://www.virtualgumshoe.com/

Zabasearch: http://zabasearch.com/

$$$ MelissaDATA's PeopleFinder: http://www.melissadata.com/cgi-bin/peoplefinder.asp

$$$ USSearch: http://www.ussearch.com/consumer/index.jsp

Tracing Living People (UK): http://www.bl.uk/collections/social/spis_tlp.html

Infobel: http://infobel.com/world/default.asp
France, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, USA, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, UK, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Australia and the Pacific.

French Telephone Directories: http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/trouverunnom/RecherchePagesBlanches.do or http://www.infobel.com/france

Message Boards - Lost Family & Friends: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/topics.lost-family-and-friends
WWII Lost & Found: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/topics.Military.wwii.lostandfound

Finding People & Places: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/finding-people-and-places.html

Books: Locating Lost Family Members and Friends by Kathleen Hinckley, CGRS:
P.O. Box 740637, Arvada CO 80006-0637. (303) 422-9371, FAX (303) 456-8825. http://www.familydetective.com

Find Anyone Fast: Easy-to-Use Guide to Finding Anyone Anywhere! Including How
to Use the Internet
by Richard S. Johnson & Debra Johnson Knox, Spartanburg SC. MIE Publishing: 1-800-937-2133 or MIEPUB@aol.com

How to Locate Anyone Who Is or Has Been in the Military By Col. Richard S. Johnson
Thomas Investigative Publications, Inc.: 512-719-3595, FAX 512-719-3594, P O Box 33244, Austin, Texas 78764. http://www.pimall.com/nais/bk.mil.html

Assets Unknown by David W. Folsom, PO Box 6128, Sheridan WY 82801.

The Ultimate Search Book: Worldwide Adoption and Vital Records by Lori Carangelo: http://www.ultimatesearchbook.com/


Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them. - John Updike

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Information Is Power

Our public records are under attack. If you aren't involved in genealogy research, you might not know or care about this. However, you should. These are YOUR public records "they" are trying to keep you and other citizens from viewing and using, while reserving to themselves the right to look at ANY records they want to -- now, without even a warrant.

The following article is from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright 2006 by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at http://www.eogn.com.

Information Is Power

Terry Allen has written an article about the current state of affairs when it comes to looking at public records. The U.S. Government's Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 will bar genealogists and many others from looking at birth and death certificates for 70 to 100 years. The proposed regulations are now causing widespread concern among state officials.

[emphasis added by me.] The regulations impact far more than genealogists. In much of the country, these records have long been invaluable tools for activists, lawyers, and reporters to uncover patterns of illness and pollution that officials miss or ignore.

Activists in Colorado already know what it is like when states bar access to vital records. For years, they fought the Cotter Corporation, claiming that its uranium mining operations were killing residents and workers. Unwilling to rely on the health department, which they claimed had a "cozy" relationship with the polluters, the activists tried to access death records, only to be told that it was illegal in this closed-record state. An editorial in Colorado’s Longmont Daily Times-Call lamented, "If there’s a situation that makes the case for why death certificates should be available to the public, it is th[is] Superfund area."

Some state officials around the country are questioning whether the new federal regulations themselves illegally tread on states’ rights.

You can read Terry Allen's interesting article at http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2488/

My thanks to Paula Hinkel for telling me about the article.

Do you have comments, questions or corrections to this article? If so, please post your words at
http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2006/02/information_is_.html

Feel free to pass this along if the copyright notice goes along with it.


Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. - Henry David Thoreau

Win PC Essentials


Running your computer with the Windows operating system, and connected to the Internet? If so, you will find the following products necessary to the safe operation of your machine.

ZDNet's list of Ten free security tools you can and should be using to help protect, disinfect and manage your Windows computer: http://content.zdnet.com/2346-12691_22-95490-1.html

1. Virus protection. If you cannot afford a commercial program, try AVG: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/. Occasionally stop by Pandasoft, and run their free scanner, also: http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/. This is a great backup between updates of your main virus software. If you have a suspect file or two, try Kaspersky Lab: http://www.kaspersky.com/scanforvirus. Another free antivirus program is Avast Home Edition: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html.
I've just become aware of two more choices, the AOL-branded Kaspersky Active Virus Shield: http://www.activevirusshield.com/antivirus/freeav/index.adp and Avira AntiVir: http://www.free-av.com/. Anti-Vir is very highly rated. All free!

2. Firewall. If you have no firewall hardware, use software: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp,

3. Popup blocker. Makes web browsing safer, and easier. Google makes an effective one, built into their Toolbar: http://toolbar.google.com/

4. Spyware tools. I've found that one is not enough. Run both Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/support/download/ and http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html. They will catch different junk. A good new one is BHODemon: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_download.asp?fid=23611&fileidx=1

5.Get Firefox!  Download and install a safe web-browser! Try Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox or Opera: http://www.opera.com. Both Opera and Mozilla offer an integrated safe email program, which is also important. Other secure email programs are Eudora: http://www.eudora.com, Thunderbird: http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird and Pegasus: http://www.pmail.com/.

If every Windows computer connected to the Internet was regularly using (and keeping updated) these programs, the virus/worm/spam load would be reduced to nothing. Imagine how pleasant THAT would be! For more in-depth information, see Computer Internet Security Class: http://members2.1stnetusa.com/~a/comintsec.

In trouble, and need a boot disk? FreePCTech has all the MS operating systems: http://freepctech.com/pc/002/files010.shtml

Enough about safety. If you want to USE your computer, here are some great FREE programs:

1. Genealogy - Legacy: http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/, Ancestry Family Tree: http://www.ancestry.com/ Embla Family Treasures: http://www.embla.us and of course the venerable PAF (Personal Ancestral File): http://www.familysearch.org

Genealogical Research Note-Keeping - Bygones: http://www.bygonessoftware.com/

General note-taking, to-do lists and so forth -EverNote: http://www.evernote.com/en/

2. Office - OpenOffice.org, hands down!: http://www.OpenOffice.org. Tutorials for OpenOffice: http://www.tutorialsforopenoffice.org

NEW! If you don't want to download a large office/word-processing program to your computer, want to easily collaborate on documents online, or simply want access to your documents wherever you have internet access, there is now a new class of services available, online and free. Best known is Writely.com, which is the only one I have used. It even allows you to publish directly to your blog, if you like. http://www.writely.com/. Note: Writely has been bought by Google, and Writely and Google Docs are now the same thing. Also recommended are http://ajaxWrite.com/ (Firefox only), http://www.zohowriter.com/ and http://www.thinkfree.com/. A nice discussion and comparison of online word processors: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/08/28/1619220. Have fun!

3. Graphics and Graphics Editing - Picasa: http://www.picasa.com/
IrfanView is also popular: http://www.irfanview.com/. The Gimp: http://www.gimp.org/~tml/gimp/win32 cross-platform. The GIMP for Windows: http://gimp-win.sf.net. New free Windows-only program Photoplus 6: http://freeserifsoftware.com. Also new and free is VSO Image Resizer, which will also do batch resizing, among other cool stuff: http://www.vso-software.fr/products/image_resizer/

4. Web Authoring - New! NVU: http://www.nvu.com/ (Win, Mac, Linux)

5. Have a website? You will need to up and download files. DataFreeway will FTP, SecureFTP, and SSH in an intuitive interface: http://www.enginsite.com/download/DataFreeway.exe
And new -- check out WinSCP, Free SFTP, FTP and SCP client for Windows: http://winscp.net/eng/index.php

6. RSS Newsreaders - I use Bloglines online, but if you prefer to download a free program, there is SharpReader for Windows: http://www.sharpreader.com. More about RSS and readers: http://www.lights.com/weblogs/rss.html

7. Backup and Storage: Karen's Replicator: http://www.karenware.com, Yahoo Briefcase: http://briefcase.yahoo.com/ - 30 MB. Online File Storage: http://www.listible.com/list/online-file-storage

8. To Do lists: What To Do

9. File sharing (P2P), chatting/IM, voice over IP, even video-conferencing: Qnext at http://www.qnext.com

10. Desktop Search: Even better than Google Desktop, is X1: http://www.x1.com/

New! Many good free programs for the Windows OS are available from OpenDisc: http://theopendisc.com/ and http://www.gnu.org/software/for-windows.html.

PCMag reviews 26 freeware packages, some of which are listed above: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1864515,00.asp


If your computer is hopelessly compromised by viruses, worms or spyware, it can be recovered with a Knoppix (Linux) disk: http://www.shockfamily.net/cedric/knoppix/


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

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European Research


For all European research, you must have a village name, or at least a small region with a few villages, because that is where all the records are kept! There are few to no departement, county or region-wide censuses or other general surveys such as our US Census records. The exception is the UK, which has searchable census for 1841-1901, and where records have been kept by the counties in England since 1837, in Scotland since 1851. So, you must do your American or Canadian research, before trying to "jump the pond" back to Europe. Recently, the 1836 Census of the Alsace has started to become available. To see if your surnames are found therein, search at: http://www.census1836.com/

Have you found the naturalization applications? Often the first and second application contain much more detail than the final certificate. How about obituaries, in particular those published in small local newspapers, church publications, or German or French newspapers? Many of the old newspapers are available on microfilm. For instance, see the holdings of the NYU: http://library.nyu.edu/research/german/. These microfilms will often be available by Inter-Library Loan. Talk to your librarian about local policies. (http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/03/obituaries.html and http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/death-records-obituaries-biographies.html) and http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa071299.htm

If there are county histories (AKA mug books) available, those can be useful also, although they cannot be relied upon as anything more than clues. Also look at transfer records at the church(es) they attended, church histories, any family Bibles that may still survive, and any old letters or cards that someone may have stored up in an attic somewhere.

Remember -- don't just research your direct-line ancestor. Look at all the relatives, friends and neighbors, co-workers and fellow church members, too. People tended to stick together with family, friends, and neighbors from the old country.

With a relatively common surname, unless you find a passenger record listing the village, you must do your American research very diligently. You have to have that village name! Here are some links that might help:

GeneaNet: http://www.geneanet.org/

Rootsweb Guide to Tracing Family Trees: http://rwguide.rootsweb.com/

World GenWeb Europe: http://www.worldgenweb.org/europe.html
   France GenWeb: http://www.francegenweb.org/ - In English

Expert Links: England Family History and Genealogy, nearly 400 important websites for English genealogy: http://www.pricegen.com/english_genealogy.html

Genealogy in Western & Central Europe: http://genealogy.about.com/cs/europegenealogy/

Genealogy in France - Civil Registers (les registres d'etat-civil): http://genealogy.about.com/library/weekly/aa070700b.htm

The French Républican Calendar: http://www.napoleon.org/en/essential_napoleon/calendar/index.asp and http://www.gefrance.com/calrep/calen.htm

French Telephone Directories: http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/trouverunnom/RecherchePagesBlanches.do or http://www.infobel.com/france

$$$ New French search engine - NOMINA: http://www.france-genealogie.fr/

German Genealogy: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/german-genealogy.html

Europe Genealogy Links (by country): http://www.genealogylinks.net/europe/

Tinney's Europe links: http://www.dcn.davis.ca.us/~vctinney/geneal.htm#EUROPE

AllEnglishRecords.com - English Genealogy Records: United Kingdom Census (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland), English Vital Registrations, Free BMD, Parish Records, Church Records: http://allenglishrecords.com/

The National Archives in Kew (England): http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Historical Directories (local & trade) England and Wales 1750-1919: http://www.historicaldirectories.org/

British Newspaper Collection: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~dutillieul/

$$$ScotlandsPeople: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
Births 1855-1904, Marriages 1855-1929, Deaths 1855-1954, Census, Wills & Testaments

Genealogy Resources on the Internet (Gaunt & Fuller): http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cgaunt/gen_int1.html

Ancestral Villages: http://www.ancestral-villages.co.uk/

Genealogy.net (German-speaking countries): http://www.genealogienetz.de/reg/regio.htm

JewishGen: http://www.jewishgen.org/

Holocaust Global Registry: http://www.jewishgen.org/registry/

Message Boards - Western Europe: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/localities.weurope
   Central Europe: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/localities.ceeurope
   Eastern Europe: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/localities.eeurope
   British Isles: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/localities.britisles
   Scandanavian & Baltic States: http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec/board/rw/localities.scan-balt

Proceedings of the Old Bailey London 1674-1834: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
   100,621 trials, fully searchable

20th Century Archives of the London Gazette: http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/generalArchive.asp?webType=0
   Page has links to the Imperial War Museum, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Family Records Centre, Public Record Office, Federation of Family History Societies & The Times, making it a nice portal to English research

Very interesting concept for Scotland England, Wales, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands: http://www.lostcousins.com/
   You find a blood relative in the 1881 census, and enter the name as found. You are automatically matched with any other persons entering the same ancestral person -- your researcher cousins!

Victoria County Histories (England): http://www.englandpast.net/counties.html

ShtetlSeeker (villages in Eastern Europe): http://www.jewishgen.org/ShtetlSeeker/
   Also see book: Where Once We Walked (WOWW) revised edition by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Amdur Sack with Alexander Sharon, published by Avotaynu. Inc., 2002 Gazetteer has many towns listed with both the old and new names and geographical coordinates.

Sacramento German Genealogical Society (Der Blumenbaum): http://www.SacGerGenSoc.org/

Dr. Don Watson's Hessen covers all of Germany: http://go.to/hessen

Southern California Genealogical Library: http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/

Central European Family History Assn.: http://www.cefha.org/

Federation of Eastern European Family History Assn.: http://www.feefhs.org/

Queries to FANA (Familienkundliche Nachrichten): http://www.degener-verlag.com/ (I couldn't get the javascript to work)

Thanks to Maureen Schoenky on the Pfalz list for some of these links.

Eastern Slovakia (Východoslovenský) & Environs Genealogy Research Strategies: http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/index.htm

Slovak/English online dictionary: http://www.learnslovak.com/slovak-dictionary.html

Czech, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Latin online translator: http://www.slovnik.cz/

Hungarian (and others) online dictionary: http://www.freedict.com/onldict/hun.html

Fils du Vent (nomad ancestors, such as gypsies, bohemiens, circus employees, peddlers - posts in English are OK): http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/racinesnomades/

Country Studies, general descriptive files, such as this one about Romania: http://countrystudies.us/romania/40.htm

Luxembourg: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/10/luxembourg.html

Austrian Newspapers, Slovakia's Cemetery Database Online: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/06/austrian-newspapers-slovakias-cemetery.html

World War Two Aerial Pictures Go Online: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/06/world-war-two-aerial-pictures-go.html

Naming customs in Germany and France: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2004/02/naming-customs-in-germany-and-france.html

Huguenot Research: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2005/01/huguenot-research.html

Pfalz: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/pfalz.html

Alsace: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/05/alsace.html

Lorraine: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/lorraine.html

Maps: http://valoriez.blogspot.com/2003/12/maps.html
   Language Map of France: http://www.lexilogos.com/france_carte_dialectes.htm


Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Deciphering Older Writing


Older English and Latin handwriting
Tutorial about Paleography: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/

English Documents in Latin: http://www.bibliographics.com/PALAEOG-lite/HECTOR.htm

BEGINNERS' LATIN Introduction to the problems you may find with Latin vocabulary and grammar in British documents from 1086-1733: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/latin/beginners/reference/default.htm

Deciphering Old Handwriting in Genealogy: http://amberskyline.com/treasuremaps/oldhand.html

How to Read 18th Century British-American Writing: http://www.dohistory.org/on_your_own/toolkit/writing.html

Martha Ballard's Diary Online: http://www.dohistory.org/diary/
   Story of a midwife's life and career; examples of handwriting

Book Palaeography for Family and Local Historians by Hilary Marshall, pub.: Phillimore & Co., Ltd., 2004, Chichester, West Sussex England. http://www.phillimore.co.uk

Book Latin for Local and Family Historians: A Beginner's Guide Denis Stuart, pub.: Phillimore & Co., Ltd., 1995, reprinted 2000. http://www.phillimore.co.uk
Old German Script
Sample letters: http://www.mun.ca/rels/morav/pics/tutor/mscript2.html

Old German handwritten scripts: http://www.genealogienetz.de/misc/scripts.html

Samples of Old Script Alphabets: http://patsabin.com/colleton/documents.html

Free! Handwriting Guide: German Gothic Resource Guide: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/Rg/frameset_rg.asp?Dest=G1&Aid=&Gid=&Lid=&Sid=&Did=&Juris1=&Event=&Year=&Gloss=&Sub=&Tab=&Entry=&Guide=German_Gothic99-36316.ASP
(or go to http://familysearch.org, click the 'View maps, forms, guides, and other research helps' link, and then 'G', and scroll down to Germany)

Write your name in Suetterlin (or any other word or phrase): http://www.suetterlinschrift.de/Englisch/Write_your_name.htm

German 'Transcribe Group': http://www.rootsweb.com/~deutg/

e-Transcriptum: http://e-transcriptum.net/

Professional translators: http://www.redwing.net/~jakeschu/welcome.html

Cyndislist - Handwriting & Script: http://www.cyndislist.com/handwrit.htm

Book - If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records: http://pages.prodigy.net/tjbentz/GERMANIC.HTM

Book - Deciphering Gothic Records: http://www.cybertrails.com/~fdearden/page2.html

Links - Help with Old Handwriting: http://www.island.net/~andreav/writing.htm


It is almost impossible systematically to constitute a natural moral law. Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil. - Anatole France

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Alsace Genealogy Lists


Alsace-Lorraine-L: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~valorie/Alsace-Lorraine-L.htm

FRA-Alsace-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/FRA-ALSACE.html

Alsace-Genealogy@Listserv.aol.com: http://www.fedda.no/~jacques/alsace/en/g_listserv.html

La_genealogie_alsacienne@yahoo.fr: http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/la_genealogie_alsacienne/
Toute la généalogie et l'histoire en Alsace et en Moselle. Départements 57-67-68-90 et régions aux alentours. Histoire, généalogie, onomastique, héraldique, toponymie, dans les régions germaniques du nord-est de la FRANCE. Aides à la recherche, traductions, interprétations, transcriptions, des actes de l'état-civil, des registres paroissiaux protestants et catholiques, des différents notariats et autres textes historiques anciens. Since 2001, in French. 1195 members.

DEU-Regio-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/DEU/DEU-REGIO.html
   The ancient "Regio" cities (Alsace, Baden, Nordwestschweiz/Northwest Switzerland

German-Alsatian-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/DEU/GERMAN-ALSATIAN.html
   German-Alsatian traditions, culture, folklore, heritage

Alsatian-Rhenan-Nobility-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/ALSATIAN-RHENAN-NOBILITY.html
   Ancient nobility of the Alsatian-Rhenan area (Alsace, France & Rhenish Palatinate/German Rheinpfalz, Germany)

Alsatian-Surnames-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/ALSATIAN-SURNAMES.html

Alsatian-Traditions-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/ALSATIAN-TRADITIONS.html

FRA-Els-Rosheim-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/FRA-ELS-ROSHEIM.html
   City of Rosheim & surrounding areas at the foot of Mount Sainte-Odile, Alsace, France, & Decapolis related matters

FRA-Els-Strasbourg-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/FRA-ELS-STRASBOURG.html
   City of Strasbourg, Alsace, France, and surrounding areas

Keskatel-Alsace-Bossue-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/KESKASTEL-ALSACE-BOSSUE.html
   Keskastel, Bas-Rhin region of France and its inhabitants since the 1600s

Judeo-Alsatian-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/other/Ethnic-Jewish/JUDEO-ALSATIAN.html

Alsatian-American-L: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/other/Ethnic/ALSATIAN-AMERICAN.html

Also, the FRA-Franche-Comté-L covers the Territoire-de-Belfort: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/FRA/FRA-FRANCHE-COMTE.html

List in French only, sponsored by the Cercle Généalogique d'Alsace (CGA)
   Liste@alsace-genealogie.com: http://www.alsace-genealogie.com/iphp/anglais/internet/liste_diffusion.php


Much of the vitality in a friendship lies in the honoring of differences, not simply in the enjoyment of similarities. - James L. Fredericks

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Slavery Research


The State of Illinois has put their report of the policies issued to slaveholders for death or damage of their slaves during the slavery era from every licensed insurer (or predecessor company): http://www.ins.state.il.us/Consumer/SlaveryReporting.nsf

Listed are compiled reports by slave name, and by slave holder name. The slaves and slave holders aren't just in Illinois, but all over the United States. A sample finding for the search "walters":
Slave Holder Name: Wm Bowen
Slave Holder County/Parish: Fredricksburg
Slave Holder State: VA
Slave Name: John Walters
Slave County/Parish: Fredricksburg
Slave State: VA
Slave Other: Policy Number(s): 453
Slave Job/Skill:
Machine builder and pattern maker
Clicking on Wm Bowen's name, I get a bit more information:
Name of Slave: John Walters
County/Parish: Fredricksburg
State: VA
Other Identifying Info (policy no. etc): Policy Number(s): 453
Job/Occupation/Skill (optional if known): Machine builder and pattern maker

Slave Holder Name: Wm Bowen
County/Parish: Fredricksburg
State: VA
Reporting Insurer: New York Life Insurance Company

California Slavery Era Insurance Registry: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/SEIR/main.htm
Alphabetical lists by name of slave, and slave holder. No search, but entire database is available.

Missouri - Descriptive Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops for the State of Missouri, 1863-1865 (birth places of the recruits include 23 states, the District of Columbia, and the Cherokee Nation): http://www.slcl.org/branches/hq/sc/jkh/usctmo/usctmosoldiers.htm

AfriGeneas is the place to start African American genealogy, slave or free: http://www.afrigeneas.com/

NARA has federal records: http://www.archives.gov/research_room/genealogy/research_topics/african_american_research.html

LDS African-American Resources: http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/default.asp?page=home/welcome/site_resources.asp

Also essential is the Freedman's Bureau Online: http://freedmensbureau.com/

New initiatives just in time for Black History Month - African-American Migration from the Schomburg Center: http://www.inmotionaame.org/

A partnership between leading black media placement firms has been created to digitize back-issues from more than 200 black newspapers throughout the US to create an Internet-searchable database. For more info, see: http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/02/new_collaborati.html

Africa WorldGenWeb Page: http://www.worldgenweb.org/africa.html

African-Native American History and Genealogy Home Page: http://www.african-nativeamerican.com/

African American Research Center: http://www.ancestry.com/aahistory

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System - US Colored Troops: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/


Exploitation and oppression is not a matter of race. It is the system, the apparatus of world-wide brigandage called imperialism, which made the Powers behave the way they did. - Han Suyin, 1917-, Chinese writer, feminist, physician