Sunday, 24 May 2009

Summary Sunday - What have I been up to this week?

I thought I'd do a quick summary of my findings this week.
  • I've been trying to do some more research into my Northern Ireland ancestors, trying to trace back my HICKINSON line. The main problem is that the surname seems to be incorrectly transcribed a lot of the time so I have to check for HICKSON, HICKISON, HICKENSON as well as HICKINSON. It makes it a bit tricky to know if you've found the person you're looking for. I've sent off for the birth certificate of James HICKINSON to see if that will confirm who his parents are.
  • My parents are going over to Ireland in a couple of weeks so I'm trying to get my information together so that they can use it to show any relatives they meet up with and maybe find out more. I'm hoping that they will get time to go to the churches at Kilraughts and Derrykeighan to have a look in the graveyards for any graves of interest.
  • I've received some photos from my husband's aunt following a recent trip to St Nicholas church in Wickham. She had taken the pictures of the war memorial there with Alfred ADAMS on it. I'll scan them in and add a post soon.
  • I actually got round to replying to the messages that had been sent to me via Ancestry. Hopefully this will lead to some further information coming to light on one of our ancestors.
  • Tried out a couple of new websites that were recommended for social networking in my Family Tree magazine -, were among them. Not sure about them yet but will wait and see.
That's about it this week - no major breakthroughs but productive!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Update on Google Your Family Tree

I emailed the website for Google Your Family Tree and asked if there was a scheduled release date for the book in the UK. I had a very prompt reply waiting in my inbox which said there were no immediate plans for a separate UK edition. Unfortunately, this didn't really answer my question. I've replied asking if they know where I can buy it in the UK as I've tried to buy it direct from the website but this only gives options for shipping to the US and Canada.

If anyone knows how I can buy this book then please let me know.


Sunday, 17 May 2009

Google Your Family Tree

I was having a look at Roots Television the other day and watched an interview between Dan Eastman and an author called Dan Lynch.

Dan Lynch has written a book called Google Your Family Tree and from the 10 minute interview I learnt at least 2 things I didn't know about how to do searches on Google. If you want to exclude something from a search just put a minus sign in front of it and if you want to definitely include something in a search just put a plus sign in front of it. How simple is that???

So I then had a look at the website related to the book and that has useful things on it too. Did you know that if you put an asterisk in a search that it acts like a wildcard? So searching for "daniel * guthrie" will give back results such as Daniel James Guthrie or Daniel J. Guthrie.

I'd love to order the book but it doesn't look like it's on sale in the uk so I'm thinking about whether or not to order it from the States.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Friendly Blogger Award - Thanks

Thanks to Mary at Ancestor Tracking for nominating me for the Friendly Blogger Award.

It's great to know that I'm not the only one making a start with their Genea Blog.

I'm going to have a bit of a think about who to forward the award on to and then add them in a separate post.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Ancestral Atlas - Gedcom Update

Yesterday I received an email from Ancestral Atlas to tell me that I could now upload a GEDCOM file to the site.

I chose a very small file (only 5/6 people with 15 events max) and uploaded it. Once I received the email to tell me the file was uploaded I went to the site but couldn't see anything!!! When I clicked on Events, Places etc all I could see was a green box.

I dug around for a while and spotted that one of the preferred browsers for the site is actually Firefox not the Internet Explorer which I had been using. When I used Firefox to enter the site I could now see the data that I had uploaded.

I thought that this would mean that I could now see my locations marked on the map but I was wrong. What I have actually uploaded is just the events. I now need to go through each event, find the place on the map then edit the event to pick up the place. Each even that I uploaded is marked with "*** This event is currently not attached to a location! ***" even though there is a location in the gedcom.

This is quite a lot of work (especially if you were uploading a reasonable size gedcom) when all the information is actually held in the gedcom file itself so I'm quite disappointed. I think I will hold back and wait until the location information in the gedcom can be used to at least guess at the location of the event. If Ancestral Atlas guessed the location you could then go through and verify which would be quicker.

If anyone else has any thoughts about this please let me know as I think this site could be useful in the future once the upload of data is made easier.

Monday, 11 May 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Jennifer at Jennifer's Genealogy Blog for nominating me for the Lovely Blog Award. Jennifer is currently running a series on the De Luca family that is providing interesting reading.

I now need to nominate other blogs for this award but a lot of the blogs I read have already received it!!

I've decided to nominate some blogs that I enjoy reading or have recently discovered

Alex at Winging It - this blog is about a one place study of Wing which is about 30 minutes away from where I live so I often recognise places mentioned. It also highlights the many different sources that can provide information.

John at The Wandering Genealogist - a new blog to me but is proving interesting for 2 reasons - we both use the same Family Historian software and again the places mentioned are familiar to me as my husband's family come from that area.

Margaret at the Cork Genealogist - I've picked up a few tips on genealogy and Irish research from Margaret's blog even though my research isn't focused on this part of Ireland.

I read many more blogs and I'm always on the look out for new ones - either because they're interesting or because they have some sort of connection to me or my family. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Family Historian 4 - First thoughts

As I've blogged previously I use Family Historian software for my genealogy work. A couple of weeks ago a new version was published and I downloaded it.

I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting but I was slightly underwhelmed at first.

The first most obvious change is the use of Projects. As an upgrading user I'm not sure that projects are of use to me. They are a way of organising your data, source, multimedia etc so that you keep everything together. I have my media organised already and don't want a duplicate copy of everything so I think for now I won't be using the Project feature. However, if I was just starting out then I think the Project feature would be invaluable as everything would be properly organised from the beginning.

The next obvious change is the Focus window. I like this new feature as it makes it easy to see information about a particular person and their family.

You can also see the properties of the person you are "focused" on. The properties can also be customised. As well as having the usual tabs of information you can add your own.

I've added a tab to show what flags are associated with each person and I'm in the process of creating one to show all census events. This allows me to see the information very quickly and change it where necessary.

I'll leave it there for now while I carry on playing with FH4 but will review the updated multimedia functionality soon.

New website

I've been keeping myself busy recently with putting together a website showing my genealogy work to date.

We have a family site and I'm adding my family tree information to this using TNG. So far I've had to upgrade our hosting and now I'm starting to learn a bit about php coding.

Once the site is live then I'll add a link here and hopefully be able to link up with others.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Data Backup Day

Yesterday was the first of the month and should have been data backup day!!

Thanks to Elyse for reminding me - I've now copied all my files to our lovely new hard drive so I can feel happy that everything is backed up for another month!!