Thursday, June 12, 2008

A wee post ...

At Biased BBC.

Apologies for the light blogging. Quite apart from the long hours and a weekend spent laying concrete, Laban's been spending his time on the computer investigating his family tree - the most efficient way to waste time on a computer since Microsoft put Solitaire on Windows 3.0.

Four or five years back, when the 1901 Census was released, I'd paid to download the relevant pages showing my Welsh grandparents as small children (my father being a foreigner, I haven't attempted his side). When the Welsh aunts were up a week or two back, we looked at them and spent a few hours going through family history and legends, trying to remember the maiden names of various grandmothers and aunts - and I found myself using what spare time I had consulting Carmarthenshire marriage records and searching census indexes.

Unaided I got my mother's father's side back to around 1790 - then a reply to a posting to a website took it back to the 1740s. Beyond that it's time to start writing to local historians and visiting churches and the County Record Office. Doing my maternal grandmothers line now - only back to 1850 or thereabouts so plenty of work left. And a nice chap with a subscription to a genealogy site has mailed me my grandfathers WWI medal cards.

This evening I determined to post when I got home. If blogging is left too late the mental energy is lacking. And if you're too tired to blog, then why not spend another hour trying to determine if the James Roberts on the 1881 census in Lampeter is the same as David James Roberts who appears as a child in Loughor in 1861 ? The ages and birthplaces match - or did David James die, and James was somewhere else in 1861 ?

I tell you, the hours just fly by.

Laban recommends :

- loads of links once you've found a particular area to search in. Depending on the area, you may find links to searchable census indexes from 1841 to 1901. Mostly free.

FreeBMD - Free, searchable indexes to UK births, marriages and deaths. A great site.

Familysearch - the Mormons site. For religious reasons, they need to know the names of everyone who's ever lived if they are to be saved on the Day of Judgement. Hence they have an awful lot of data. Free 1881 census search and family tree software, too - although I'm using GeneWeb.

Ancestry - the commercial big daddy. For £80 a year, access to a lot - including all UK census info - the full info, not indexes. But useful free stuff, too.


Anonymous said... might be worth a check as well, though its now trying to reposition itself in facebook territory. In fact I think facebook has some sort family tree sideline as well, I'll have to check.

Anonymous said...

My wife has found that ministers of religion tend to be pretty helpful, except one. When a Roman Catholic priest realised that she isn't herself Catholic, he threw her out. But CofE, Kirk, Nonconformists, helpful all.

Christine Blythe said...

I'm sorry about the experience with the Catholic priest. I am a lapsed Catholic and neither my husband or children are catholic and I've never run into this issue. I'm sure it's not a common occurrence.