Category: Electoral

Permanently label media and files with identifying information.

A very large part of my genealogical research over the past twenty years has produced thousands of photographs and other images and naming and cataloging these files required me to permanently label media files with identifying information.
Permanently label media files with identifying information. Insert cursor to the right of the 'Comments' line and a scroll box appears. Enter relevant data in the 'Comments' box and click 'OK' to save and exit.

Permanently label media files with identifying information. Insert cursor to the right of the ‘Comments’ line and a scroll box appears. Enter relevant data in the ‘Comments’ box and click ‘OK’ to save and exit.

I have developed a system over the past few years that has been invaluable to me.

I did not develop this universal system until many years after beginning my research. Therefore there are numerous files in my database that do not follow this, but as I edit individuals and data, I change the file names and comments entries as I go along.

Key points in this system are:

File Comments Section

  • On the file being named and labelled:
    • Right click on the file in the list
    • Select ‘Properties’
    • Select the ‘Details’ tab
    • Insert cursor to the right of the ‘Comments’ line and a scroll box appears.
    • Enter relevant data in the ‘Comments’ box and click ‘OK’ to save and exit.

File Names

Photos

Commas (,) separate data for an individual while a semi-colon (;) separates different individuals. The last name appearing first enables sorting file lists alphabetically with last name first. Otherwise, a file search can be done.

  • Individual persons
    • Last name, First and Middle Names, birth date (i.e. Smith, George Walter, b. 1961.jpg).
    • The addition of the birth date enables identifying an individual when there is more than one with the same name.
  • Married couples
    • Husband’s last name, first name; wife’s last name (if different), first name (i.e. Smith, George; Christine.jpg; Smith, George Walter; Foster, Samantha.jpg).
    • In the comments section I list individuals from left rear to right front or clockwise, as they appear in the image.
  • Family groups
    • Father’s last name, first name; wife’s last name (if different), first name; children’s last name (if different), first name (i.e. Smith, George Walter; Samantha; Grace; John.jpg).
    • In the comments section I list individuals from left rear to right front or clockwise, as they appear in the image.
    • If the group is too large to include all names, I list individuals in detail in the comments section of the file data in order from left rear to right front.
  • Groups of miscellaneous people.
    • Each individual’s last name, first name, b. date (if more than one with the name); last name, first name; etc. (i.e. Smith, George Walter; Davidson, Thomas; Foster, Helen).
    • If there are too many to include in the file name, start on the left rear and work to the front right or clockwise, with as many names as possible (i.e. Smith, George Walter; Samantha; Grace; John and family and friends.jpg).
    • If the group is too large to include all names, I list individuals in detail in the comments section of the file data.
  • Places, buildings, etc.
    • List the place data in the file name as follows: Country, State or Province, County, City or Town (i.e. Chilliwack Senior Secondary School; Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.jpg).
    • In the comments section, I list as stated followed by the street address and any other pertinent information (i.e. landmark name, owner, date, background information).
Source Images
  • Individual records (i.e. birth, marriage, death, etc.).
    • For the file name list the last name, first name – record type, relevant date (i.e. Smith, George; Death Record; December 12, 1911.jpg).
    • In the comments section, also include all other relevant data for identification purposes (i.e. place, other people mentioned, etc.).
  • Group records that include several individuals (i.e. censuses, tax rolls, passenger lists, etc.).
    • For the file name list the head of household’s last name, first and middle names, birth date if more than one individual with that name – record type, country, state or province, county, city or town, street address, household (i.e. Smith, George A, b. 1872; 1850 US Census; Beekmantown, Clinton, New York.jpg).
    • Whatever does not fit in the file name can be included in the comments section of the file.

Are free genealogy databases a thing of the past?

In almost twenty years of genealogy research, I have found a considerable amount of the sources, data and images on free genealogy databases online. They still exist in large numbers and can be very valuable.
find free genealogy databases

Finding free genealogy databases.

The tough part in some cases is finding them, as most sites created by amateur genealogists and website owners are not optimized for the internet and therefore may not rank well in Google searches.

Be sure to sift through as many links as you can. If the site entered from a Google search result links to other sites, then by all means check them out. It’s important to bookmark any sites you find valuable as it’s very likely that days, weeks, months or even years down the road, you may never be able to find it again.

One tool I find very helpful for finding free genealogy databases is the Google Genealogy Search Tool at the Ancestor Search website. Scroll to the very bottom for the search tool, just one of many on the page. This tool incorporates most of all the search types above it. Just proceed to the next search results once you’ve waded through a set. This is very quick, easy and fruitful.

It is also important to search by other means than just names, such as location, topical sites (i.e. military service, war records, births, deaths, etc.) and dedicated surname websites.

When you begin to study genealogy, the resources that you have are few and far between. Most of us don’t go out and purchase expensive books or buy memberships in larger sites to get the information that we want. We tend to rely more on our own experiences and family members, but the truth is that those resources, while good, won’t carry you back through too many generations before you need some additional help.

Frustration can be an integral part of genealogy research. When it gets to the point where I’m very frustrated and feeling blocked, I create a ‘to do’ note on the person’s record in my genealogy software and turn to a different item. I find when I return later, either with a fresh, clear mind, or having given the database time to make updates, I will find something useful.

While you’re working online on your family tree, the free genealogy database will very often be a life saver. Those of us who don’t, or can’t buy the online access to the many paid databases, use the free ones religiously to find our way through family members. While you may not find all of the things that you want to know, you will find a great deal of information that will point you in another direction you weren’t even aware that you had to explore.

Even paid genealogy sites offer some specific databases for free access. These sites include Ancestry.com, and Fold3.com, amongst others. To search for free records on any given paid genealogy site, find the search link, go to advanced search, and enter the keyword ‘free.’ Most sites will produce a list of all free databases on the site. Also, try a general ‘free database’ keyword search on Google. Be prepared for thousands of search results, but at least it’s a place to start.

It is also important to subscribe to the blogs or newsletters to learn of any time limited free database promotions that may be coming up.

For all of you who thought the free genealogy search was a thing of the past, and that nothing worth having was free any more, take heart. There are literally thousands of free genealogy database sites out there that are waiting for you to come and pick through them and get what you can for your own genealogy.

photo credit: shindoverse via photopin cc

Now’s your chance to check out Ancestry.com’s free DNA kit.

Ancestry.com free DNA kit with 6 month subscription.

Ancestry.com gives a free DNA kit valued at $99 with a 6 month subscription.

If you’ve ever considered a subscription at Ancestry.com, now’s your chance to buy the 6 month subscription, and you’ll get a bonus of a free DNA kit valued at $99.

That’s the same value as the Ancestry.com subscription, so you’re essentially getting everything at half price.

My tough luck is that I’m already subscribed so I don’t qualify, because I’ve always wanted to get the DNA kit.

I’m a dedicated Ancestry.com World Subscription user as my research spans numerous continents, countries, counties and cities. No one comes even close to the broad range of geographical areas and document and source types offered by Ancestry.com.

There are a few points in our genealogy where doing a DNA test would be very helpful by confirming some connections for which it has been difficult to find reliable sources – at least this test could confirm that there is a connection, or not. It may also help us solve some family genealogy mysteries.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to let my subscription lapse and wait until they offer the free DNA kit again in the future???

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – June 26, 2014

Following are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions.
FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

The list is extensive and will break into multiple pages as June 18th seems to have been a very busy, productive day at FamilySearch.org.

The countries with the most additions are Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, United States and Poland.

 

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Argentina

Belgium

Bolivia

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Croatia

Czechoslovakia

Denmark

El Salvador

Germany

Honduras

Hungary

India

Indonesia

Italy

Mexico

Netherlands

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Russia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

  1. England, Kent, Manorial Documents, 1241-1976
  2. England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997
  3. England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952
  4. Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009
  5. United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United States

Venezuela

Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Canada

Poland

United Kingdom

United States

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions: June 15, 2014

Following are the FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com updates and additions up to and including June 15, 2014.

 

Updates and additions to familysearch.org and ancestry.com

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Argentina

Belgium

Canada

Colombia

Costa Rica

Hungary

Korea

Mexico

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Russia

Switzerland

United Kingdom

United States

Venezuela

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Central America

Czechoslovakia

Italy

Japan

Moldova

New Zealand

Puerto Rico

Sweden

Switzerland

United States

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions – May 20, 2014

Following are the most recent FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions up to and including May 20, 2014.

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

St. Caron’s Church, Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales 1

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Brazil

Canada

France

Indonesia

Netherlands

Nicaragua

Peru

Spain

United Kingdom

United States

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Australia

Germany

Indonesia

Paraguay

Peru

United Kingdom

United States

Zimbabwe