Sunday, September 15, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are?

Ever wondered what research is needed to produce an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? It is certainly more involved than what you see on the telly. The research company for the U.S. version have created a website to give you a behind the scenes look at the popular show, providing more in-depth information about the research. The company is Progenealogists at

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The Historypin website is worth looking at. It locates historic photographs of places all over the world, and draws from major collections, such as Powerhouse and Museums Victoria. Our Local Studies Librarian, John, has been adding some of our photographs of Manly to the site, which is at and also amending data on photos from other collections which have inaccurate information. It is early days, but the site is already substantial. Enter Manly NSW in the search box to see what’s up already.
Dick Eastman has also been talking about Historypin on his blog recently, which may give you a few more ideas.

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FamilySearch & Ancestry Partnership

There have been mixed reactions to the announcement about the FamilySearch and Ancestry Partnership. (See 1 Billion Records to be Digitised posted 10 September 2103). In response to the negative feedback, FamilySeach has tried to answer the most frequently asked questions, such as ‘How does the family history community benefit?’ and ‘Will people have to pay to see records indexed by FamilySearch volunteers?’. For their full response see the FamilySearch Blog.
The Ancestry Insider Blogspot has also responded to allay fears.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

UK War Wills

During the First World War final handwritten wills were kept by U.K. troops and other Allied troops in their pocket service books and tucked into their uniforms. Now those original paper records that survived are preserved in 1,300 boxes inside a temperature-controlled warehouse run by data company Iron Mountain in Birmingham, UK. The last wishes, thoughts and concerns of more than 230,000 soldiers who died on the front line during World War I are now to be made available online. The wills, which are owned by Her Majesty's Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS), are being digitised in time for next year's centenary of WWI. The huge online archive is also as part of a larger project to make all war wills publicly available, dating from the Boer War to the Falklands. BBC News was given access to the first batch to be made available online, and the full article can be read at

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1 billion records to be digitised

Great news for genealogists! There has been an announcement this week that and FamilySearch have come to an agreement to digitise over 1 billion records from FamilySearch’s Granite Mountain vaults. Over the past seven years volunteers around the world have been indexing and digitizing the LDS Church’s vast collection of genealogical records, and on April 19, 2013 they reached the phenomenal “1 billion” searchable records mark, that have been added to the website.
While new records are being digitised and are going online straight away, FamilySearch has a collection of over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm containing photographic images of historical documents from 110 countries. It is literally going to take years to get these all online and digitised, let alone indexed as well, so this new agreement with will speed-up the whole process. This agreement proposes that and FamilySearch will increasingly share international sets of records more collaboratively, however financial and administrative details have not been released. You can read more in the press release and Salt Lake City’s “Deseret News” newspaper.

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