Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rory Bremner's Ancestral Story in the Daily Mail

Hello All -

In the Daily Mail today (Saturday, 27th) there is an article by British comedian/impressionist Rory Bremner about his family history. Rory was one of the participants in the UK version of WDYTA. In the article he writes about his hero father during World War 2, along with his feelings and thoughts about his journey into finding his family roots.

Read the full article here:

The End of Roots TV

Hello All -

Just read on Dick Eastman's blog that Roots Television is coming to an end. You can read his post here:

It will be very sad to have it come to an end. It provided many great videos for genealogy. I enjoyed watching the interviews that folks like Dick Eastman would provide during the various genealogy conferences and other events. Even with the up tick in tv programs involving family history such as Who Do You Think You Are and Faces of America, etc. there is still a need for a place for people to put their own video creations online for other to learn and enjoy.

However, on the positive side, there are still places like You Tube that can sort of fill the gap in the loss of Roots TV. I hope that those who have been posting videos to Roots TV in the past will not give up on doing so. Roots TV was a great idea, and it will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Neat Map Feature - Overlay Ordnance Survey Maps

Hello All -

If you are like myself and really like old maps and how they compare to today, then this is for you.

I was looking at the historical maps from the National Library of Scotland online and found their townplan map section - they offer Ordnance Survey town maps from Aberdeen to Wigtown with most Scottish towns in between. The years range from 1847-1895. What is exciting about this feature is that it allows you to overlay the old map with the new current map from Google. See the weblink below and have fun with this great tool - really fascinating to say the least.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Will The UK Census Become Extinct in 2011?

Hello All -

I saw a great post by one of my fellow colleagues Chris Paton regarding the 2011 census in the UK and the possibility of it being the last one taken. There is an interesting article about this found in The Times newspaper
This article was linked by Chris as well.

This would be a dissappointment for at least the genealogy community. I know that taking a census is an expensive undertaking by the government, but it has been around since 1801. It is also can be viewed as unreliable as some people will try to be "funny" or feel it an invasion of their privacy and will give the wrong information on the questionaire. However, there are many who will be responsible and give the right information. If one looks at the previous public census returns from 1841-1901 in Scotland (1911 in England & Wales), these have incorrect information as well. However, for the most part the information will be fairly reliable.

The census is a valuable resource for the family historian and genealogist. It will be a very sad day if the UK government decides to scrap it. No doubt there would be something to take its place. You hope that they don't think about doing this in other counties such as the US. However, in the US the census is used more as a political tool to decide how many Congressman there will be, statistical analysis of the country, just to name a few. Also, it is required by the US Constitution.

It will be interesting to see if this happens or not - hopefully not. There are still honest people out there who will take the census seriously and not use it as a joke or an invasion of privacy. It has been taken for years, what is the big problem now?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If You Are In North Carolina on March 15th ....

Hello All -

I received an email from the North Carolina Genealogical Society about their upcoming presentation in Raleigh, NC. If you are interested in Irish and Scots-Irish ancestry this looks like a must see event. The Ulster Historical Foundation is one of the premier authorities on Ulster Ireland and the Scots-Irish. So, if you happen to be in North Carolina on the 15th of March this would be a good event to go to. The information regarding it is below:

The North Carolina Genealogical Society presents "Our Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors" with Fintan Mullan and Brian Trainor of the Ulster Historical Foundation, Monday, 15 March 2010 at the North Carolina Archives Auditorium, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601 (directions).

Fintan Mullan has been Executive Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation since 2001. He is a non-executive director of the Irish Family History Foundation, a board member of the Northern Ireland Publications Resource (NIPR), a member of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Readers Forum, and a non-executive director of the International Society for British Genealogy & Family History. He has spoken widely in the United States about Irish family history research, and has also spoken in Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. He was educated at Queen's University Belfast where he received a bachelors degree in Irish Politics and Philosophy and a masters degree in Organization and Management. Brian Trainor retired as Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation in 2006 and now works part-time as a consultant for the organization. Formerly Director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, he has also held a lecturing post in history at Queen's University Belfast and a fellowship with the Institute of Historical Research in London. Educated at St Columb's College in Derry, and Queen's University Belfast, he holds a 1st Class Honours degree in History, has been awarded a Doctorate of Letters from the University of Ulster, and holds Doctorate of Law from the National University of Ireland.

Registration is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. For additional information, including web or US Mail registration, please visit the homepage of the North Carolina Genealogical Society website:

Friday, February 05, 2010

YFT Collectors' Pack

Hello All -

Just bought the new Your Family Tree Collectors' Pack - what is that you ask?
It is Your Family Tree magazine March 2010 which also includes another magazine that is
called Computing for Family Historians and a cd of over 30 family history
programs for your computer (worth £150 as the cover states).

As I say I have just bought it and haven't had time to got through it in any way, but
it look like good stuff. YFT always puts out really good information and is in my
opinion one of the best British genealogy magazines on the newstand. If you haven't
done so already, go out and get your copy - retail price at £5.99 which is a good price
for what you get.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

WDYTYA Live 2010 Coming Soon to London

Hello All -

Here is a date for your diary - February 26-28, 2010 in Olympia, London, England.
Yes, that means Who Do You Think You Are Live is on again for another full packed couple
of days. If you haven't been to this show before, it is well worth it to try to make the trip to London. It seems like each year it gets bigger and better. In the February issue of the magazine WDYTYA it has a several page brochure of what's on and the various workshops happening, the celebrity appearances, just to name a few things off the top of my head. It should still be on the newstands as we speak. If you can't get ahold of the magazine, just go to the website to see
all the goings on, as well as being able to purchase your ticket(s) to go. They are currently offering 2 for 1 tickets.

While you are in London, go check out the Society of Genealogist, which has a great library and offers many great lectures and other events at their facility. See their website at