Showing posts with label archives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label archives. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2009

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With Your Irish Roots

How in the world can so much time go by without realizing it? I can't believe my last post was February 10th. During that time my family went to the local Scottish Games and my wife talked to the representatives of the Lindsey, Campbell and Stewart Clans. She is descended from all three clans but thinks she will become a member of the Lindsey Clan since they are the closest to her original immigrant. I also attended a conference by to discuss some of their ongoing activities and their World Archives Project. Visit their website at for more information on this project. I have also been working on developing a new edition of the new FamilySearch teaching manual for the classes I teach. I am still waiting for FamilySearch to develop an official manual. I have part one in draft format posted at my website If you notice anything that I missed in the document please let me know. It is still a work in progress. I will follow up with a second manual with more advanced options and a third manual discussing FamilyTree.

Now, on to our topic for the day. St. Patrick's Day is coming up. How many of you have found your Irish roots? My wife has traced her Faul line back to Ballywillin, Ireland based on their immigration records. They came to the US before the Civil War and fought on the Union side. These are her black sheep since all the rest of her ancestors were Confederates.

So, where can you look for these Irish roots online? There are many sites but I decided to focus on the National Archives of Ireland in this blog.

The National Archives of Ireland has a searchable database which can be found at There are several databases on the Archives' website which may be useful in your research. Additionally, they have a link to a large number of websites where additional information can be found. This list is located at

I always like looking for black sheep when I do research. It adds a little color to the family. Did you know that Ireland shipped some of their convicts to the Colonies during the mid 1700's? A list of the individuals that were deported from Ireland to what would eventually become the United States during the time period 1737-1747 can be found at Some of these individuals are listed as vagabonds or were arrested for larceny. A few even had their death sentences pardoned so they could be deported. Ireland also transported their convicts to Australia from 1788-1868. The National Archives of Ireland has a searchable index at Check it out to see if any of your surnames are represented.

I hope these links help you get in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and don't forget to wear your green.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oh Canada!

Hi again, I know that it has been over a week since my last blog. I have been busy getting a new computer setup in our Family History Center. We have a little problem with it accessing our wireless network properly and it takes some skill to make it work. Hopefully that will be fixed by this weekend when I start my next 8 week Family History class during Sunday School.

I have been following a discussion thread on one of the boards concerning the Canada 1916 census. This census was on the FamiySearch Records site ( for a few days for testing and then was taken down due to contractual agreements. Several users were upset to see it go. After reading this discussion I decided to focus today's blog on online Canadian records.

Canada has a rich supply of online records for your genealogical research. I don't use the Canadian databases much since we only have one small line that settled in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia regions. 

FamilySearch Records pilot site currently has two sets of Canadian records indexed. These include the Ontario Death Records (1869-1939 and 1939-1947 overseas deaths only) and the Quebec Catholic Parish Registers (1621-1900). Currently there are no images posted for the Ontario Death Records but the index is fairly complete. Also, the volunteers at FamilySearch Indexing ( are working on parts of the 1861 census. These volunteers are doing an incredible job and just last month were able to add 40 million new records to the FamilySearch Records site. If you have some free time I would encourage you to volunteer and assist in the indexing of these records.

The Canadian Archives has a large number of records available. There are a couple of sites that I recommend when looking through the Canadian Archives. 

The first is Archives Canada ( This site is the gateway for archival resources found in over 800 repositories throughout Canada and is maintained by the Canadian Council of Archives. This site allows you to search archival holdings across Canada, access Provincial and Territorial archive networks, view digitized photographs, maps and documents, and find where materials are located so you can view the actual records. My luck in finding digital records within this database has not been great but I suppose that is because I haven't used it very often to do research. It does give great details about the collections and their locations as well as telling you whether these colections are open to the public or have restricted access.

The Libaray and Archives Canada collection ( is another great site for researching Canadian roots. They have a searchable database called the Canadian Genealogy Center which provides access to many of the records that you will need during your research. You can select to search all records, only those that are online or only those that are not online. For example, I searched for Smith and had 37,000 results but only 8,000 of those were online records. You can also narrow your search by using a range of years or the record type. The site contains birth, death, and marriage records along with military, employment, immigration, census and land records. The images are high quality, easy to read and easy to copy to your own records. Another thing I like about this site is their Youth Corner. This part of the site is currently down but it is expected to be available by the end of the month. The goal here is to promote interaction between the generations.

That's My Family ( is a site run by the National Archives of Quebec. This search tool leads to genealogy and family history databases hosted by federal, provincial and territorial archives and libraries as well as other partners. This is another very useful search tool since it covers a wide variety of records and has a fairly easy to use interface.

I hope that some of these sites prove useful in your research. And remember, it is cold in Canada during the winter, so curl up next to a nice warm fire with your laptop and do some research for your ancestors from the great white north. Eh?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Europeana Digital Library is back up for testing

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the Europeana Digital Library. This site crashed almost as soon as it went live due to high traffic volumes. Well, now they have come back online with the test site. You can access it at: This site has over 2 million digital items including images, text, sound and video from museums, archives, libraries and other collections across Europe. This is your chance to try it out. A final version is expected to be available in 2010 with over 6 million digital objects cataloged.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finding Records Online – Colorado

Colorado has a huge number of records available online. There are literally hundreds of different types of records totaling over 565,000 individual records which can be found on the California State Archives website.  A list of the indexed records can be found at

The Historical Records Index Search page can be found at This page has a database of over 50 types of records including professional licenses, court cases, military records, wills, voter registration, tax lists, naturalization, Indian records, census, birth, death, divorce, and many more. You can select the records that you want, fill in the form and electronically submit it to the Archives for them to research. There are fees associated with getting the actual records but even just searching the indexes can provide some useful information such as name, record type, county and date of event. More information on the record types that have been indexed can be found at  Another way to search this site is through the Colorado State Archives Search page at I would run a search on each of these links because they display the results differently and sometimes additional information can be found.

Another useful site is the Denver Public Library’s Western History and Genealogy site at Like most libraries, many of their databases require a Denver Public Library card for access. However, you can use the search bar located at the top of the page to search the indexes that are available for free.

I hope these free indexes are useful. Tomorrow I will talk about records from the state of Florida. Have fun digging through all the records.