Monday, 19 September 2011

When a 2 week old child is not a 37 year old woman

So I have my first irrelevant certificate. It was a bit of a long shot, but there we go.

My ancestor, Mary Ballance married into the Pickup family, but died before the 1851 census. I found a Mary Ann Pickup in the correct area that died in 1847 so I decided to order the certificate just in case.

Unfortunately this Pickup is a cousin-in-law (? - I get lost amongst the branches!), but she died aged just two weeks. I notice her name isn't on any ancestry family trees so she is a new addition to the history of that family.

One day I will find more about Mary Ballance, but if anyone thinks they are related to Mary Ann Pickup, daughter of John and Elizabeth from Burton Salmon in Yorkshire let me know and I'll send you the information.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I know this post was meant to explain my indexing system, but my cards haven't been delivered so no indexing has occurred yet!

Instead I'm doing random searches and I found which appears to be AMAZING!! I've seen it before but assumed (like many things) it was american and of no use to me.

Today I decided to search random ancestors and found their baptism dates! I have looked at some parish records so I know they are correct, so then I decided to look for people that I need information on, and guess what I found? That information!

I'm stunned! Living near London, I'm four hours away from home and the record office I need to visit. While I'm sure I'll still go because looking at the old records is pretty cool, this saves me a lot of time and a lot of confusion, and will hopefully aid my research no end! I definitely recommend it!

I'm also trying to decide whether to buy/use some genealogy software? Preferably it would be free, but can anyone recommend some software I should try out?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Organisation time!

I'm someone who is a massive fan of organisation so genealogy is a perfect hobby for me as I can split my time between researching and organising!

Today I raided the stationery world and bought index cards, dividers and a box to contain my new system, which consists of index cards and a lever arch folder. Now when I say that, you probably think that's not enough. Well let me explain the whole idea.

At the moment I use Ancestry and their tree to put in all my information. Now ancestry is expensive, so when I return to university next October I probably won't continue the subscription, as the holiday at christmas would be the only time available to do any research.

This means I'm wary of leaving everything on that website should I lose access to the census information, parish records, etc. To combat this I began saving images of the census data for direct relatives, as well as transcribing the info into word. To accompany this I've been writing a document that puts all my research into sentences and adds a bit of flesh and speculation to the dates and places I have discovered.

But again, all of this is on the computer, something which can be quite unfriendly, whether it's as bad as blue screen of death, or something mildly annoying like insisting Heading 3 must be preceded by a page break (this was the irritation that set off my organisation spree).

So while my messy, initial tree will remain on ancestry, and all my documents will be backed up to sites like Dropbox (irritating word file and all), I shall also create an offline, hard copy of my tree, as well as a better, online tree using WikiTree.

My next blog will explain my new system, hopefully with some photos!! Very exciting!