Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Irish Civil Registrations Indexes, the free website managed by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has had a major update, and it seems to have gone smoothly this time! (An attempt earlier this month accidentaly wiped millions of records from the site; it was quickly reversed.)

Birth indeses have been updated to include all entries over 100 years old, so they now cover 1864 to 1914. Death indexes have been updated to include all entries from 1864 to 1964. In both cases, only the end year has been extended.

it's the update to the Marriage indexes which is the most significant. While the Marriage Index runs from 1845 (for Protestant marriages), 1864 for all marriages to 1939, 'Enhanced' records ie those that show both parties to a marriage, now start from 1882 (about 20 years earlier than was previously available). This development will be well-received by Irish family historians.

Thanks to Claire Santry, Irish Genealogy News for this update.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Review, Review, Review - leads to happy dances

Well how many times have I said that? And how many times have I promised you all were sitting on answers ... IF you would just review and read carefully? Just now I 'accidentally' did just that and guess what??????? I just found an answer to a question I've fussed and fumed over for ... oh ... say about 12 years!!!! OMG!! Do as I say! Not as I do!! Until now? hahaha

Trust me. It works!! Every single time I do a serious review I find answers I missed first time around. Now go review one little thing ... one person, or one family line, or one letter or document or picture! And guess what I'm going to be harping on at the conference at Moose Jaw this weekend?? hahaha And you folks at Saskatoon this past weekend thought I was a nag??!! You ain't heard nuthin' yet. Lol

And now I'm off to do my little genealogy happy dance, again! When you've been at this stuff as long as I have, successes are few and far between. sigh. Sooooo happy. Hmmmmm this gives me a thought about a new presentation that's just waiting to be written. I'm sorry, but I need to live another 66 years to get all the work done I want to do. Ha ha ha

Double Cheers Everyone!!

Newspaper(s) - from Universities

So I just came across this site which I'm pretty sure I've seen before; however, today I did a newspaper search [found on the centre dark grey bar] and found all kinds of family information I've never seen before ... including a wedding announcement of my parents! Sheesh!! Never stop looking, right? Even in places that 'should' have no details. What a lovely find. Also found, from another family line, three brothers who were given death sentences, and electrocuted, for killing a cousin - and this all took place in New York USA. Gotta take the bad with the good I guess.

Happy Searching Everyone!


NWMP Trail - trailer

From Saskatchewan History & Folklore Society. The documentary about the NWMP Trail is done! Here is the link to the trailer:

This video trailer highlights the mini documentary in which a group of volunteers set out to trek the over 350km from Fort Walsh to Wood Mountain in Southwest Saskatchewan. In doing so they retrace the Northwest Mounted Police Patrol Trail that helped open the west.

I'm not familiar with Vimeo. I did read through their website quickly and it appears you can keep a Basic FREE account and never pay a dime, providing you follow the instructions, but you need to read through yourself and decide.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Mini Conference Moose Jaw Oct. 3rd, 2015

In Celebration of their 45th Anniversary, they are holding a One Day Conference on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Moose Jaw Library.

Speakers include: Gwen Fisher (M.J. Library Archives), Carol Karza (Family History Centre), Chris Krismer (Evaluating Sources), Pat Ryan (The Value of Maps, Who’s Your Momma and Take a Second Look).

Register by September 11, 2015 to Moose Jaw Genealogical Society, Box 861, Moose Jaw, SK. S6H 4P5. Cost is $45. All sessions, snacks and lunch included. Questions? Phone: Diane at 306-692-1967.

I look forward to seeing new and old friends in my former home town. I know it's after the official registration date, but give Diane a call anyway and see what can be arranged. I'll be presenting all morning so come one, come all and say "Hi"!! Excellent topics by all presenters. A 45th Anniversary is definitely something to be celebrated!


Top 100 Genealogy Websites 2015

Here's the latest nominated top 100 genealogy websites along with their live and clickable links

Happy Searching All.


Upcoming 'Go West Young Man' course Fall 2015

Several people inquired about the next course I'm offering this fall 2015, so here ya go! The course is mostly full, but if you're interested contact me and let's see what we can figure out.

Provincial Archives are often viewed as intimidating places, and as a result many genealogists do not go. BUT, provincial archives hold a myriad of original records always necessary to our research! Most of this course takes place on-site at the SK. Archives located in Regina, where Pat shares her vast knowledge and experience using these mostly original, one-of-a-kind records.

There are many differences between a public library and a Provincial Archives. Libraries are, for the most part, interested in dissemination of information. In other words you are always welcome to stroll down each aisle, touch books, take them off the shelf and have a peek. There are almost always numerous copies of each record type [such as books, microfilm, or map] available in numerous locations. Archives, on the other hand, are mostly primary records which means there is only one! And almost always that one record is only located in one archive ... in the entire World! These records hold answers not be found ANYWHERE else. Interested? You should be.

Western Canada was settled primarily by homesteaders and you'll learn why in this course. A file was created about each, even those who only farmed briefly. Even if you believe your family never farmed, do not overlook homestead files as homesteaders included not just those who came for the 'free' land, but also school teachers, business owners, and church leaders. Files may include such personal information as former residences, family, dates, house & land details - plus there is much more in these files than meets the uninformed eye. In the past, we have discovered birth/death/marriage/divorce documents, pages of personally written correspondence, photos, and even Wills. Some of these documents lawfully originated in other countries, but are included here.

Each student will be performing research on their OWN ancestors. The best part? Pat is with you every step of the way to assist you, and more importantly to explain your findings to you so you will not miss important details that often are overlooked or misunderstood by others. You will also learn to use old newspapers, directories, photos, special maps, births/deaths/marriage indexes, citizenship, naturalization, ships passenger lists, and military records to name just a few. Pat also arranges for her students to be taken on a personal tour of the Archives 'hidden treasures' - those records hidden from the public and kept behind locked doors. After all, if you don't know what's available how do you know what to ask for? This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Students will also learn to use the very best FREE web sites for land research, not just in Saskatchewan, but for all of western Canada & I have included details on how to research in the USA as I've learned this researching my own families. This allows you to start your research before even arriving at the SK. Archives. The Internet work will be completed from your home computer where you will follow very detailed and comprehensive lessons emailed by Pat to each of her students. You will be working on your own family research throughout this entire course. Even those without Saskatchewan connections will benefit. Class size is limited. Completion of Unpuzzling Your Past would be MOST beneficial and is strongly encouraged by Pat.

There is also a lesson on how to find records held in the one-of-a-kind Prairie History Room Collection held in the Regina Public Library. It is an amazing collection envied by historians world wide. A great deal of work can be done from your home computer so you will learn how to do this, PLUS you'll spend two hours onsite with Pat who knows the collection very well. Do NOT be misled - the PHR Collection holds records and record types for all over the World ... NOT JUST the Prairies!!

Instructor Pat Ryan.
To pre-register send Pat an email now at

13 Oct. 2015 7 - 9pm 3860 Buckingham Drive, Regina
14 Oct. 2015 emailed lessons
21 Oct. 2015 9:30am - noon SK Archives 3303 Hillsdale St., Regina
28 Oct. 2015 9:30am - noon SK Archives 3303 Hillsdale St., Regina
29 OCT. 2015 emailed lessons
03 Nov. 2015 7 - 9pm Prairie History Room Regina Public Library downtown
2311 12th Avenue [free parking in evenings]

SIX lessons $200.00

Federal Election 2015 - Future Censuses

I'm pretty sure I've heard something about a federal election coming up soon!! cough cough

I just read an interesting article regarding where each of the parties stand on the census and access to scientific data. Pretty important stuff to everyone, but certainly to genealogists. Have a read at

Make up your own minds, but Please vote!!


Thank You Saskatoon 2015!

So this morning I woke up in my own bed, and basked in the glory of the weekend. Not in *my* glory, but in the glory of the wonderful people I met, or renewed acquaintances with at Saskatoon over the weekend. They came from near and far. They came from cities and towns, within the Province, and from neighbouring Provinces! How wonderful!! What a fabulous job the Saskatoon Branch did.

Thanks to Eleanor for all the communications with me leading up to this weekend - believe it or not it was almost one year ago that this began. Lots of planning leads to lots of success!

Thanks to Renee for always being 'Johnny on the spot' to assist with anything that needed assisting!

Thanks to Jim for causing disruptions through out my presentations - oh dear, I really meant to say for all his 'thought provoking comments' through out my presentations! hahaha He made this wonderful comment to me at the end of the day. He said "I have been under your influence for some time now". That is one of the most magical things any genealogist has ever said to me. Thank you Jim! Truly I appreciate your sense of humour, as well as your knowledge, and your willingness to continue learning.

Thanks to James who came to the rescue on the few occasions when there was a computer glitch. It takes a great deal of pressure off a speaker when they know there is someone very competent in the room who speaks 'computereez'. Lol

Thanks so much to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities. Everything was top notch!

Thanks to the lady who prepared the scrumptious lunch for all attendees! Two kinds of delicious homemade soup, and fab sandwiches really hit the spot. I apologize for not getting the lady's name.

And of course thanks so much to all who drove (sometimes) great distances to partake in the weekend! Without each of you there would be no conference. I truly appreciate you.

I must also say that the one session I presented Saturday morning - the one where we went live to the Internet for over two hours - I would never have attempted anywhere I did not feel safe. Presenters just don't do this, ever! And the reason is there is just sooooo much that can go wrong ... totally, awfully, wrong... and I cannot tap dance for two hours! haha But I wanted to try this, and I knew I could trust those attending to 'be on my side'. So a huge THANK YOU! Even though it all worked out, I'll never do it again! Just far too stressful.

So folks that's it. I hope you continue to hear my voice nagging you "READ, read, Read!!" :-) Pop in to this free blog anytime. To find all of my older posts simply scroll down until you see links on the far right and then click away - read and learn!! Drop me a line and share your success stories. Or if anyone is interested in my classes I always announce them here first.

Happy Searching Everyone!!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

UK & Australian Research Guides FREE

Holy smokes!! Wait until you see all the links the Federation of Family History Societies have put together and made available to us all, FREE!! Jackpot!!


Ancestry's New Image Viewer - Hidden Features

For those of us who are long time Ancestry subscribers/users the new image viewer is causing all kinds of troubles. We had best learn as much as possible, quickly, because the ability to switch back to the old version of Ancestry is soon to disappear, forever!

So I just found a good article explaining the hidden features of the new image viewer. Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this article and video (free)

Now my classes are underway I can begin to blog again, so hopefully there will be more hints coming your way soon.