Tag: family

Creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records.

The first consideration when starting to research your genealogy is creating and safeguarding a digital library.

Creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records.

The importance of creating and safeguarding a digital library of genealogy records.

I have been a computer user from the day of the old single-use word processors. Therefore, I tend to digitize everything into my own digital library of valuables from family photos, tax documents, bills, bank records, correspondence – and of course, genealogy records, genealogy databases and data.

I’m not a novice. I’m well aware of the pitfalls of relying on a digital library, but I’m as guilty as the next person for procrastination and rationalization. When it comes to doing the tasks necessary to ensure my genealogy records are secure and permanent, I tend to think, “It’s OK, I’ll do it later.”

There are, however, some very serious pitfalls of putting these things off.

Some of the compelling reasons for digitizing records include:

  • Immediacy of sending genealogy records digitally over the internet.
  • Ease of organization, storage, searching and reproduction.
  • Ability to share family genealogy records between yourself and others.
  • Retain genealogy records in condition at the time of scanning to safeguard against the inevitable ravages of time on physical documents, etc.
  • More and more genealogy records are “born-digital”, never having been in physical form at all.

The digital backup we are used to is not sufficient to safeguard and archive records. The process required includes:

  • Storing with background, technical and descriptive information
  • Storing records in several locations
  • Archiving for a very lengthy period of time
  • Saving genealogy data at a very high resolution
  • Periodically transferring stored genealogy records to new media to prevent loss of data
  • Converting file formats and media to new ones to avoid obsolescence
  • Ensuring access to the digital genealogy records collection

For my own digital archive storage, I am using a 1 terabyte hard drive and save all important genealogy documents and photos to it. If my sum total of research at this point wasn’t as large as it is, I would use the ‘cloud’ as a backup. But there are limits to the quantity of data it will hold.

After a couple of years, I transfer the archived files to a new backup using the newest technology and format, and use the older hard drive for every day computer backups of less important ‘stuff’. I don’t believe in using CDs or DVDs for permanent storage at all. I’ve had too many fail.

photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc

Translating French words for genealogy research can be tricky.

In researching genealogy, translating French words as well as words from other languages can be troublesome and mistakes can easily be made. Getting one term wrong can mean taking your research off in the wrong direction based on the interpretation of that word.

Translating french words to English in obituary for Paul Henri Boily

Translating French words to English for obituaries can be problematic.

While researching my French Canadian, Acadian and French Canadian ancestors, I frequently came across terms that needed translation. From past experience, I knew it was important to not make a snap judgment of the meaning of a term based on its similarity to another French word, an English word, or words in any other language.

The most obvious example that comes to mind is ‘journalier.’ Upon first impression, I thought this might mean ‘journalist’ but after checking into it further, I discovered it meant a ‘day laborer.’

Here is my list of the French terms for occupations that are encountered most frequently in vital documents and records.

à la retraiteretired
agriculteurfarmer, husbandman
aide de sous commishelper to asst clerk
apothicairepharmacist
apprenti(e)apprentice
apprêteur(euse)tanner, dresser of skins
archerbowman
architectearchitect
argentiersilversmith
armuriergunsmith
arpenteur, arpentierland surveyor
arquebusiermatchlock gunsmith
artisanhandicraftsman
aubergisteinnkeeper
aumonierarmy chaplain
avocat, avocatelawyer, barrister
baillibailiff
banqier(ère)banker
becheur(euse)digger
bedeauchurch sexton
bédeau beadle
beurrier(ère)butter-maker
bibliothécairelibrarian
blanchisseur(eusse)laundryman, woman
bonnetier(ère)hosier
boucher(ère)butcher
boulanger(ère)baker
bourgeois(e)privileged person
boutonnierbutton-maker
braconnierpoacher
brasseur(euse)brewer
briqueteurbricklayer
briquetierbrick-maker
bucheronwoodcutter
cabaretier(ère)saloon keeper
caissier(ère)cashier
calfat caulker
camionneurtruck driver
cannoniergunner (canon)
cantinier(ère)canteen-keeper
capitaine de milicecaptain of the militia
capitaine de navireship captain
capitaine de portport captain
capitaine de vaisseauship captain
capitaine des troupestroup captain
cardeur(euse)carder(textiles)
chamoisseurchamois-dresser
chancelierchancellor
chandelierchandle-maker
chanteur(euse)singer
chapelier(èr)hatter, hatmaker
charbonnier(ère)coal merchant
charcutier(ère)port-butcher
charpentier carpenter, framer
charpentier de naviresshipwright
charretiercarter
charron cartwright, wheelwright
chasseurhunter
chaudronniercoppersmith, tinsmith
chaufournierfurnace tender
chefcook
chevalierhorseman, calvary
chirurgiensurgeon
cloutiernail-maker, dealer
cochercoachman, driver
colonelcolonel
commandantcommander
commisclerk
commissaire d’artilleriearms stewart
commissaire de la marineship’s purser
compagnonjourneyman
comptableaccountant, bookkeeper
conciergejanitor, caretaker
confiseur(euse)confectioner
conseilleurcounsellor, advisor
contrebandiersmuggler
contremaîtreoverseer, foreman
controleursuperintendant
cordierropemaker
cordonnier cobbler, shoemaker
corroyeurcurier, leatherdresser
coureur-des-boistrapper
courriercourier, messenger
courvreur en ardoiseslate roofer
couteliercutlery maker
couturier(ère)tailor, dressmaker
couvreurroofer
couvreur en bardeau roofer who roofs with shingles
cuisinier en chefchef
cuisinier(ère)cook
cultivateur(trice)farmer
curépastor
débardeurstevedore
défricheurclearer (of forest)
dentistedentist
docteur doctor
domestiqueindentured servant, farmhand
douairièredowager
douanier(ère)custom officer
drapierclothmaker, clothier
ébenistecabinet maker
écclésiastiqueclergyman
échevinalderman
écolier(ère)student
écuyeresquire
électricienelectrician
éleveur(euse)animal breeder
employé(e)employee
engagé ouesthired to trap furs out west
enseigneensign
enseigne de vaisseauship’s sub-lieutenant
ferblantier tinsmith
fermier agricultural worker
fonctionnairecivil servant
forgeron smith, blacksmith
huissier sheriff
ingénieurengineer
journalier(ère)day laborer
maçon mason, bricklayer
marchand merchant
médecindoctor
mendiant beggar
menuisier carpenter
meunier miller
maître d’écoleschool master, headmaster, principal
maîtresse d’écoleschool mistress, headmistress, principal
navigateur sailor
notaire lawyer, solicitor
ouvrier worker
pecheur fisherman
peintre painter
pilote ship’s pilot, harbor pilot
pompierfireman
potier potter
prêtre priest
rentier retiree
scieur sawyer
seigneur land owner, landlord
sellier saddler
tailleur tailor
tanneur tanner
tonnellier cooper (barrel-maker)
vicaire vicar

FamilySearch.org is seeking indexers to contribute to their current obituary project.

ObituaryI’ve stated several times in the past that my favorite genealogy source type is and probably always be the ‘will’. This is because the will is the one historical legal document that provides a great deal of detail and insight into the lives, families and circumstances of our ancestors.

Now, I will state that my next favorite source to use if the ‘obituary’.

Although not quite as detailed as the will, the obituary is usually written and provided by family members and includes life details, names, relationships, personal details, etc and possibly a photo. I am always overjoyed to see new wills and obituaries made available to genealogy researchers online – especially when they’re free.

FamilySearch.org is in the process of having numerous obituaries indexed and upon completion these obituaries will be provided free on their site. Anyone interested in contributing to this indexing project can learn more from their blog posts, “2014: The Year of the Obituaries”, and “Obituary Arbitration in 6 Easy Steps.”

photo credit: Erika_Herzog via photopin cc