Is Digital Media a Thing of the Past?

Is Digital Media a Thing of the Past?

cd roms

There are four main areas that pose threats to the digital longevity of your files and these are highlighted, together with seven simple ways to help you preserve important genealogical records, in a new guide that Ancestry Graphics & Printing have released.

Company founder Larry Spiegel said “digital files may become useless for future generations if they remain untouched for as little as one generation, or about 25 years, and that is a drop in the bucket when compared to the 100 years or longer that most genealogists envision their research lasting”.

The free seven-step guide to preserving genealogy records can be found at:

Increasingly we use digital media in our everyday life, which although being useful as a short term storage facility, doesn’t really ‘cut the mustard’ when you think about all the genealogical data that all of us work so hard to preserve probably won’t survive our life time – let alone others.

It’s still important though to discover who your ancestors were and you can get ONE HOUR’S FREE RESEARCH from Find Our Family by signing up for our newsletter HERE.  Buy one hour and we’ll give you another absolutely free.

Just as important though, and something you can do yourself, is to record an oral history of your family and the excellent  Researching Your Family History by Ron Ross, an experienced genealogist, is available in Kindle format,  HERE to help you do just that.

For the FULL article on digital media go HERE

Iceland Dating App?  You’re Kidding Me…

Iceland Dating App? You’re Kidding Me…

red heart with just love me today

No, I’m not.

Most people in Iceland descend from a small number of Norse settlers that on a small island with a population of 32,000 presents problems for dating as most people are distantly related to one another in some way.

From a genealogical point of view, it’s excellent news as all Iceland citizens have been documented since the 9th century giving what is probably the most complete genealogical outline of any nation on Earth in a database called Íslendingabók or, The Book of Icelanders.

Back to Iceland and the Íslendingabók .  How do you get around the potentially embarrassing situation of whether the person you fancy is your cousin or not?  Well, apparently, there’s an app for that too.

The  app is available for Android and iPhone and iPad versions are being worked on.  The Islendiga-App allows you to bump your phone against another person’s phone to compare your genealogical trees.

Seems like a vitally important app if you live in Iceland.

If you want to read the FULL article go HERE and if you want to know about the top 10 apps to help you with your family tree – go HERE This is a really interesting article – don’t miss out on it.

Of course, you could just start researching your family tree yourself – try HERE at The Genealogist for a free trial r if you don’t have the time to do that, then you can always sign up for our newsletter and get ONE HOUR’s FREE research when you purchase your first hour.




Photograph Attribution

The Past Helping the Present?

The Past Helping the Present?

dna double helix

Diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 47,  Gary Broadfield just thought he was unlucky until, within weeks of his diagnosis, his father was found to have the disease too.  He discovered that the condition had affected three generations of his family when he found out that at the age of 50, his grandfather had died of it.

“If I had known that it was prostate cancer I would certainly have been more vigilant. My father Terrence, who is 72, had never been tested for the disease until I got it. Yet because of his own father’s death he was in a very high-risk group.”

This fact struck home forcibly last year when my own husband, Peter was diagnosed with prostate cancer within weeks of his brother discovering he too had it.  Their father had also had problems, which had since been resolved but even so, not being as vigilant as you could be always leaves room for error.

Perhaps there was some other male in his family tree that suffered the same fate but that we never of.

And, of course, it’s not just cancer, where knowing the family history can make the difference between life and death; there are a whole range of other diseases that can be passed on genetically.

It’s vital that we take the time to document this for future generations to give our loved ones in the future a heads up of any health challenges they may potentially face.

If you want to start mapping your family tree, why not consider a FREE TRIAL to an online genealogy website such as The Genealogist.  Start now and with a little digging you may uncover things from the past that could help those in the present.

You can read the full article HERE 

Ever Visited Places Where Your Relatives Lived?

Ever Visited Places Where Your Relatives Lived?

travellers meeting

Lots of us who are genealogists, both amateur and professional have made journeys into our family tree, researching new leads and following up snippets of information but have you ever gone on a physical journey to find where a distant family member once lived?

Ruraka Minami did that last week when she went to Broome in Australia to connect with her grandfather, Yasukichi Murakami.

Yasukichi moved to Broome in the late 1880s.  He became a well known photographer and died in a WW2 internment camp in Cowra.  Finding his family who live in Australia and Japan – finding his vast photographic collection and ultimately his legacy has been a quest for Mayu Kanamori, a  fellow Japanese-Australian photographer.

“Broome is in my heart… it is my second home,” Ruraka says.  The trip has given her a greater sense of belonging as it is also the place where her mother was born and she got to stand on the same beach as her grandfather once had and to see the Southern Cross in the night sky.

Ruraka has visited Broome before, but first time around she just ‘didn’t get’ what her family’s heritage was all about. She understands now!

It’s never too late to make connection with family but do you know where to look?  If you want to start your family tree but don’t know which resources are available, sign up for our free research report HERE.

Even better, don’t wait until it’s too late – make that journey now and connect with family whilst they are still around.

If you want to read the full story go HERE.

Are Genealogy Subscription Sites Worth the Money?

old family photographs

Are you interested in your family history or where you came from?  If so, genealogy may well be the pastime for you.  From experience, I can assure you that the internet has made the process of finding your family way easier than when I started 40 years ago, trawling round churches, graveyards and libraries to view rolls of census films.

There are a lot of free sites out there offering resources, such as or you can pay a subscription fee. The question is, asks Ellisha Rader Mannering,are they worth the cost?

If you plan on putting a lot of time and effort into your family history, you will probably find that ancestry subscription sites are well worth the cost. They offer access to records that you may not be able to find anywhere else and they are very easy to search on. is one of the most popular and has the most records online. There are several subscription plans to choose from and you can sign up for a 14 day free trial before you buy a subscription and you can cancel at any time. They offer many more records that just birth, death, marriage and census returns.

The Genealogist also charges a subscription fee. Offering the same kinds of records with some exceptions.  Sign up for the Find Our Family free resources list HERE and you will receive a list that shows you exactly what records they do hold in comparison to other sites.

So what are the differences between subscription and free sites? You get what you pay for ultimately and a subscription site will give you more support as well as a larger selection of records.  They also have communities where you can connect with possible family members by sharing trees etc.

Free sites offer the basics of birth, death and marriage dates as well as census returns but once you begin to delve into your family tree a little more, you will want a more in-depth search of a wider range of records.

I certainly believe that they are well worth the cost whatever stage of your family tree you are at, either a complete newbie or more experienced.  Check out the free sites though and then go and sign up for a free trial on a paid site – try this one at FindMyPast for instance and see how you get on.

If you want to view the whole of Ellisha Rader Mannering’s article go HERE

Don’t forget, if you want that resource list then sign up for our newsletter HERE.

Old Documents Found in Wardrobe

Old Documents Found in Wardrobe


Rob Nix, owner of Salonix, a hair and beauty salon on Abbey Place,  Selby had a shock when he was installing an old wardrobe in his home.  He had bought it at a Community Furniture Store on the premise of it reminding him of one his grandfather had, when a small metal tin fell on him.

It had previously been concealed, “I don’t know how it hadn’t been noticed before,” he said. “It must have fallen behind the back part of the shelf.

“First I thought it was a tin of ashes, then I thought it might be a little treasure. I was quite excited to open it.”

However, what he found was an envelope containing a birth certificate for Ethel Annie Payne, born in 1908 who went on to marry George Henry Fisher in 1932 and the tin also contained their marriage certificate.

With a keen interest in his own family tree, Rob is now trying to find the family members so that the certificates can be returned to them for safekeeping.

“I am a bit of a nostalgic myself. I like things with history and objects which have a story behind them.


Classroom Genealogy in Oklahoma

Classroom Genealogy in Oklahoma

Children in classroom setting

Children who know where they came from in terms of their family history are often better placed to weather the storms of life, according long-time educator, Cheryl Murray, a third-grade teacher at Deer Creek Elementary School who is scheduled to teach a “Genealogy in the Classroom” workshop.

Cheryl is offering the workshop at 9 a.m. April 26 at the same time as the Generations Genealogy Conference that is being hosted by the Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5020 NW 63. Educators especially are welcome, but it is open to anyone who would like to attend.

“Knowing who they are and where they come from gives children a foundation and helps them with the battles of life as well as the joys,” Murray said. “It gives them inner strength.”

She says that family history can very easily be incorporated into lesson plans for history, English and geography classes, and used for social occasions such as celebrating birthdays.

Sharing stories about our families provides excellent opportunities both within the family environment and the classroom to explore religions, culture, traditions and geography within a broader remit and also within the home where family traditions and/or recipes can be shared with our children.

Learn more about your family history and get your children involved – you can get a free trial to FindMyPast here to get you started.

Want to read the article in full? Go HERE.

The 5 Mistakes We’ve All Made!

The 5 Mistakes We’ve All Made!

frustrated researcher
Yep, we’ve all made them along the way – we are all guilty of this in some way, shape or form.
•Not recording data or recording t in multiple places
•Ignoring our ancestor’s siblings
•Not putting in the maiden names because we don’t know them
•Assuming we’re related to a famous person because of the name
•Skipping a generation

Not recording data or recording it in multiple places

We get sooo excited by finding out another tidbit of our ancestor’s life that we completely forget to record it all.  Or best, we write it down on a scrap of paper or a notebook.  Yes, a notebook is a fantastic asset to a genealogist.  I have tons of them.  Is all the information from them safely stored anywhere else?  Probably note.

We are also guilty of overkill and recording in too many places.  My husband’s family seem to have 4 copies of everything!  Plus, I still do it myself as well, it comes from working on the computer – particularly with my household and business accounts – where I save them on my computer drive, my hard drive, my Dropbox and my portable stick!!!!  I have paper copies in files plus the actual documents in certificate folders plus my Roots Magic TM database on the computer (backed up in two places – lol).  But what you have to be careful of is not to allow your duplication of data to have errors in it, so if you must record in two places make sure it’s an electronic copy or if it’s handwritten, it is 100% accurate.

We also have a quandry when it comes to female members of our tree.  I will do a specific video on this but I now set up my files under the family name and then the male line (unless it’s all girls, then it becomes a female file) going back and forth and I have sub-files for his wife/ her husband and children, but what do you do with the information you glean from the them and their family before they married your ancestor?  Simples.  You set up another family file for that family name too.

 Ignore ancestor’s siblings

So many people get hooked up on one name, one ancestor and ignore their brothers and sisters at their peril.  This can really help if you get stuck on your ancestor as you can begin to trace their family and perhaps link up to them again in another time period.  Plus it gives you a nice broad sense of the family and where they sit in the social tree – dependent on their occupations, etc.

Putting the female’s married name not her maiden name

A lot of times, we find a marriage but cannot find a maiden name for the female our ancestor married.  Don’t put in your own family name i.e. the name they took when they married into your family.  Leave it blank as this flags it up that it needs to be found.  If you use Debretts form of referencing your family then you can do what I do and record it thus:

WEAVER, James R01 = UNKNOWN, Mary (James Weaver R01)

This means that James was the first born son, born during the time period of 1890 to 1919 marrying a Mary (James Weaver R01)

Incidentally, you can still use UNKNOWN even if you don’t use the Debrett’s system.  I’ve used this system for years, long before I came across the Debrett’s referencing system.

 Assuming you’re related to famous person because of the name

Nothing in genealogy can be assumed.  If you want to pass on credible information to the next generation and do the previous ones justice, then you need to be as thorough in your detective work and recording as if you were trying to find the perpetrator of a crime.  Yes, put the blue and white tape around your family files and prepare to knuckle down and be diligent.   Please don’t assume just because you have an unusual name and a celebrity shares that name that you are therefore automatically related to them, chances are you’re not.  Even worse, are those who assume that because they have a common name, they must be related to all the other people with the same surname as them.  One brick wall of finding two ancestors with the same family name, same christian names, marrying women with the same christian names at the same time in the same parish, soon cures you of that!

 Skipping a generation

Thinking that it’s okay to just skip a generation – oh it’ll be okay, I can fit them in later – sorry, it just doesn’t work out that way nine times out of ten.  Leaving a whole generational gap in your research is just asking for trouble, you will never be 100% sure that the next generation you find are tied in with your family.  You must proceed logically or not at all.

So, have you made any or all of these mistakes?

Have a great week and happy family finding.

Yvonne (been there done that – got the t-shirt) Richards



Can You Afford Not To?

Can You Afford Not To?

Can you afford not to look for your family roots and ancestors?  Are you the keeper of the family tree information – perhaps you don’t even think you are because a lot of it is just storytelling.  By that I don’t mean, made up stories, just memories that never get written down but just passed on at family gatherings every so often.

What will happen when you’re not around?  Who will pass on those memories, some of which are the vital links to help future genealogists in your family trace their roots back. Why not give them a head start by signing up for our newsletter, getting a free hour’s research by Find Our Family and getting started on tracing your roots?

Sign up at the link at the top of this page.

Let us help you find your family.


Family Tree Luminaries/Tealights

Family Tree Luminaries/Tealights

I think this is such an awesome idea. You could adapt this for special occasions or just to show a complete line up of a family tree in lights.

I am soo going to do this for my family tree, just love it.

How special would this be for someone’s 50th birthday (or any other birthday for that matter) to show their loved ones so graphically.
family tree luminaries or tealights

Here’s the full tutorial – best to read it to see exactly how it’s done.

As far as the vellum is concerned, I wasn’t too sure as this is an American post but I’ve found this one on Ebay, so it might be worth trying.

Thanks to for the picture.