Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Social Networking From Beyond The Grave

Death may no longer be the end of things, including posting to Facebook and Twitter! A new U.K. site will put your social networking accounts to good use even after you’re passed into the world of your ancestors.
You can link your DeadSocial account to your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts and write messages to loved ones and friends to be sent out at given times after your death — days, months, even years after you’ve passed. According to The Next Web, a “super administrator,” or a person you’ve chosen to access DeadSocial in the event of your death, can “untick” your account to indicate you’ve died and your pre-written messages can be sent out. You can learn more at http://vimeo.com/32396624
DeadSocial is a free platform that allows us to schedule secret messages. These are only distributed across our social networks when we die. The website was announced at South by South West (SXSW) as a finalist in The London Web Summit startup competition & a final four startup in The Next Web & Microsoft's Startup Rally 2012.

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Audrey Collins Australian Tour 2012

Audrey Collins of National Archives UK is doing a lecture tour of the Eastern States of Australia in late June/July. A leading expert in genealogy, Ms Collins will be attending events in Brisbane (27 June), Sydney (29 June), Canberra (30 June) and Melbourne (2 July).  

·         Fri 29 June - Sydney, 9am to 4.30pm - full day seminar at Parramatta RSL Club, Cnr Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta
·         Sat 30 Jun - Canberra, 9.30am to 4.30pm - full day seminar at the Hellenic Club in the City, 13 Moore Street Canberra
 ·         Mon 2 Jul - Melbourne, 9am to 4.30pm - full day seminar at the State Library of Victoria Conference Centre, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
More information is available at the Unlock the Past website.     
findmypast.com.au is now a major sponsor of this tour and they will have a representative attend a table offering free lookups of Findmypast (Australia, UK, Ireland and US), GenesReunited, ScotlandsPeople and The British Newspaper Archive.

Audrey Collins has been researching English genealogy for the last 25. She is particularly interested in the history of the General Register Office of England and Wales, in newspapers and periodicals, and the history of the retail trade. She has a degree in history and politics from the University of Warwick, and was a freelance researcher, speaker, teacher and writer on family history before joining The National Archives in 2002. She started at the now defunct Family Records Centre, then worked as an editor on research guidance and online tutorials. She has held the post of Records Specialist - Family History since February 2010. Podcasts of several of her talks can be found on The National Archives media player http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Her writing credits include contributions to several family history magazines, and she is the co-author with Dave Annal of the forthcoming Birth, Marriage and Death Records: a guide for family historians. She makes occasional radio and TV appearances, including a feature for the interactive element of the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? She also has a keen interest in online resources and social media, with her blog The Family Recorder and as a regular contributor to The National Archives new blog http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk You can also follow her on Twitter @audreycollins23


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Maps to enhance family history

The NSW State Library now has over 14,000 New South Wales parish maps electronically accessible via eRecords. Produced by the NSW Lands Department between approximately 1860 and 1990, parish maps contain details of land ownership in New South Wales and are a very useful resource for local historians and genealogists. You can find them by searching with the phrase Parish maps of New South Wales.
Next up for the eRecords Maps team are 528 NSW county maps and 2300 town maps. The county maps show land holdings at a smaller scale than parish maps – a great tool for research into rural properties stretching back to the 1850s – whereas the town maps detail  land ownership in town centres at a larger scale than that shown on parish maps.
Land and Property Information (LPI) is also undertaking a major digitisation and conversion program to deliver more land records online, enhancing access to many historical documents.The program is converting titles into the electronically delivered Torrens Title system and digitising one of the largest government holdings of archival records. By imaging records and transferring the originals to State archives LPI is also ensuring the long-term preservation of valuable historical documents, some of the oldest of the state of NSW.
LPI is digitising and conserving many different types of land records and plans going back to 1792, and aerial photos going back to 1947. Since the program started in 2004, more than 14 million records have been digitised. Some records available are the Old Form Torrens register, Historical Parish Maps, and Plan Lodgement Books.
When a Parish or Town 'charting map' maintained by Crown Lands had so many amendments that no more changes could fit on it a new edition was drawn up and the old map became a "cancelled" edition. Cancelled editions of Parish and Town maps maintained by Crown Lands have been available through the Parish Map Preservation Project. The maps will soon be available for viewing online in the Historical Land Records Viewer (Pixel).
Parish and Town maps are an important index to land information. By examining previous editions of maps at different points in time you can see how subdivisions and other actions have altered property boundaries.
The maps:
·         show the boundaries of individual land parcels in relation to physical features such as roads, rivers, railways and seashores
·         provide a reference to the Crown plans, the official survey plans for those parcels
·         may show the name of the first land owner, grantee or lessee and the first title information (Vol-Fol) for each parcel granted after 1863
·         shows administration activities over Crown lands such as reserves, licenses, leases and roads.
Free access is currently through the Parish Map Preservation Project and will become available through the Historical Land Records Viewer (Pixel).

The National Library of Australia also provides access to maps through its trove website. You can search for a particular map or by a subject or locality. Locations for maps are listed and some are also available on line.


Monday, June 11, 2012

New Expert Irish Genealogy Service Now Available

There is now help for anyone researching Irish ancestry.
The joint consortium of Eneclann and Ancestor Network have announced that they will provide genealogy services in the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland in the coming year, following a competitive tendering process. The consortium has increased the number of genealogy experts delivering the service, to provide a wide and comprehensive range of expertise to anyone looking for help and advice in tracing their family history.

Approximately half of the project team in the consortium are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (A.P.G.I.). The remainder of the team are graduates of the U.C.D. certificate/diploma in genealogy and/or graduates of the University of Limerick’s M.A. in the History of the Family. They offer an enhanced family history service at a significantly reduced cost to the taxpayer.

The new genealogy service will be available to all visitors to the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland. Everyone is welcome to avail of this free service commencing Monday June 11.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

The Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations Online

In celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, and of Queen Victoria's birthday on 24 May, Queen Elizabeth II has made the journals of Queen Victoria available to the public.
The journals, running to over 43,000 pages, provide a picture of Queen Victoria's life from the first entry in 1832 at the age of 13 until 10 days before her death aged 81 in 1901.
Digital images of every page in Queen Victoria's diaries are available at Queen Victoria's Journals . Full transcriptions and keyword searching of the journal entries cover the period from Queen Victoria's first diary entry in July 1832 to her marriage to Prince Albert in February 1840. This is an ongoing project and journal entries will continue to be transcribed.
The 141 volumes were made public by the Royal Archives and Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University. It took four months to scan all the journals at Windsor Castle, where they were stored.
The journals, launched on the anniversary of Queen Victoria's birthday, provide an account of significant moments in her life throughout her 63-year reign, from her coronation and marriage to Prince Albert to the Diamond Jubilee of 1897. Important historical events such as the Crimean and Boer Wars are also traced in the diaries.
Victoria insisted that the diaries should be rewritten after her death by one of her children, omitting anything unsuitable. Thirteen of the original diaries are also online.

Royal Archives has also undertaken an online partnership project with website Find my Past to enable the public to trace ancestors who have worked for the royal household. There are 50,000 searchable records from 1526 to 1924 which give details such as name, occupation, age, length of service and salary. For more information go to http://www.findmypast.co.uk/content/news/royal-archives
And there’s more:
The British National Archives has also digitized a collection of 60 congratulatory addresses presented to Queen Victoria. This new online exhibition contains 60 of their favorite messages of congratulations and good wishes from around the world.
The beautiful, rarely-seen congratulatory addresses in the Privy Purse series (PP 1) were presented to Queen Victoria to celebrate her Golden Jubilee in 1887 and Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The senders are many and varied, but comprise principally institutions of local government; schools and colleges; social, cultural, educational and religious societies; military and medical establishments; and those of trades associations and manufacturing companies.

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