Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Biographical Database of Australia

             The Biographical Database of Australia  (BDA) is a new genealogical resource which is now up and running with over 500,000 records on line already. This new research tool for historians and genealogists comprises transcripts and indexes of many original records and published biographies of deceased individuals who arrived in or were born in Australia, starting from the earliest times. This first release contains convict, muster, census, baptism, marriage and burial manuscript records for most of the New South Wales population 1788-1828, for Norfolk Island and Tasmania 1802-1811, and many immigrant and convict records from 1829-1837 along with full text of short biographies of 11,000+ residents of most colonies/states published 1881-1907. You can search the indexes for Free to see if this database is of use to you. This is a not-for-profit project, but there is a small annual subscription of $25 for access to the records. That is cheaper than one certificate from BDM.
Records of life events are linked to create a Biographical Report. From one report, subscribers can hyperlink to another biography to spouses, parents, children, witnesses, employers, employees and so on, through the entire database. (SAMPLE) . Future stages of BDA will add data from all states and territories, expanding from early records towards the present, including Aboriginal people, convicts and immigrants of all nations.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Crowdsourcing Army for World War 1 archives

Operation War Diary is a cooperative effort by the British National Archives, the Imperial War Museum and crowdsourcing website Zooniverse aimed at making previously inaccessible data available to academics and amateur historians alike, creating a formidable “hive mind” concept to offer fresh perspectives on the First World War.
First World War unit diaries, digitised by the British National Archives, allow us to hear the voices of those that sacrificed their lives and are even more poignant now as there are no living veterans who can speak directly about the events of the war.
More than 10,000 people worldwide have volunteered to tag names, locations and other key details in the diaries since the site’s launch eight weeks ago and officials say their collective work — more than 260,000 named individuals and 332,000-plus locations — is equivalent to two years of archival work.
More than 200 diaries have already been verified using the data to digitally map and analyse patterns and trends in the four-year, unit-driven global conflict. Ranging from cover pages to maps to narrative reports, the diaries are catalogued by theatre of operations, unit and dates. Users can then select a diary “to work on” and provide missing pieces of the puzzle. Once completed, all of the data produced by Operation War Diary will be available for free. If you are interested in joining in, there is a ten minute tutorial to get started.
The story of the British Army on the Western Front during the First World War is waiting to be discovered in 1.5 million pages of unit war diaries. Operation War Diary needs your help to reveal the stories of those who fought in the global conflict that shaped the world we live in today.
Further information is available in an article by Joshua Rhett Miller  at  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/27/website-uses-collaboration-to-analyze-wwi-diaries-documents/

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Have you looked at Find-A-Record yet?
It’s a new website that allows you to search for genealogical records by a town, region, or geographic area, and it tells you what records exist in the place and time period that your ancestors lived. It looks at the records on FamilySearch, Ancestry, FindMyPast, WorldVitalRecords and other websites that have records that apply to that geographic area.
It has a simple homepage - look for the SEARCH button in the top left corner, this then takes you to another screen. Here you simply type in a place, narrow it down by year span, choose if you want to include only free records or paid record (or both), then tick which records you wish to look for (births, marriages, deaths, census, military, miscellaneous), and hit the SEARCH button.
Don’t expect to find everything, but you are more than likely to find some records for even small and remote towns or villages when looking for places in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, & New Zealand. There is also a video of how to make the most of the site. However it does not take you to the exact record, but rather the record set you should be looking in. It helps to narrow down your search by place, providing relevant records for your ancestors.