Friday, July 31, 2009

Genealogists Encouraged to Embrace Change

from the Mormon Times online.
David E. Rencher encouraged participants at BYU's Conference on Family History and Genealogy to adopt new technology, such as Family Search's new online applications. He knows it is a hard sell for some.

"I clearly remember the day when we took the old paper copy of the card catalog out of the Family History Library," Rencher, FamilySearch's Chief Genealogical Officer said. "We nearly had a riot on our hands when we began taking those drawers away."

The same thing happened 10 years later when microfiche were replaced by computer indexes. "Change moves on," Rencher said.

For the rest of this very interesting article about coming significant changes at Family Search cick line below . . .

See additional coverage of BYU's Genealogy and Family History Conference.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Hong Kong Diary Revisited - The Family Remembers

Attached is a pdf brochure ** for a recently published diary of a Lieutenant L.B. Corrigan of the Winnipeg Grenadiers who was imprisoned by the Japanese after the fall of Hong Kong. The book is an actual transcript of the officer's extensive diary that was kept continuously through the years of imprisonment and hidden by him in various places throughout the camps and retrieved at liberation. The officer's daughters have published the diary with some added family history material. This book would be of interest to those with family members that were Hong Kong veterans because it gives such a detailed account of day to day life in the camps. It also would be of interest to those interested in World War II history in general as the diary includes Lieutenant Corrigan's voyage to Hong Kong and the battle itself.

To order a copy of A Hong Kong Diary Revisited or for more information, contact Sheilagh Purcell, 905-373-0490,

** Please note is a webspace of mine. GL

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top 25 Genealogy Blogs

. . . . as of 3 April 2009
Heather Henderson

Genealogy blogging is all the rage and on the rise. A Google search for genealogy blogs currently results in nearly half a million options, with over seven times that number for "family history" blogs. Nielsen Buzz Metrics BlogPulse shows a steady trend for genealogy and family history blogs with spikes correlating to celebrity family history activity in the news. Of the millions, 25 surface as the most popular all-around genealogy blogs, with a tie for 25th place according to rankings from Technorati.*

*For this study, hundreds of genealogy blogs were evaluated based on their overall content, Technorati rating, and industry experience. Due to the ever-changing nature of the blogosphere and the authority basis of Technorati rankings, it is anticipated that this list will change frequently. Note that Technorati does not list Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN) as a blog; statistics drawn elsewhere.

Thank you to "ProGenealogists - Trusted Family History Research"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Genealogy TV Show this Fall

I first heard about this via my RSS feed from Dick Eastman's BLOG (on my iGoogle homepage).

The article from the Bradenton Herald (Florida) explains a new genealogy show produced by Brigham Young University through a new initiative, The Generation Project. It sounds like our "Ancestors in the Attic" but with a U.S. focus. It apparently will air in October 2009 on cable, somewhere.

This bit of information prompted me to visit BYU-TV on the Internet. At BYU-TV they have some genealogy programs already. If you wish to wish to see any live or archived shows you will have to download and install a video 'plug in'. It is very easy to do. I suspect that if the new show is not available to us in Ontario, it will show up on BYU-TV.

As I hear more news I will update you on our, Durham Region Branch(OGS) BLOG.

Friday, July 10, 2009

ProQuest® Announces African American Heritage Resource

From a ProQuest® News Release . . .

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 10, 2009 - ProQuest announces the first digital library resource dedicated to the unique needs of African American genealogical research. Available fall 2009, ProQuest® African American Heritage is a groundbreaking new resource that provides key genealogical and historical records specific to tracing the lives of African Americans. The resource goes further to set itself apart by including a critical set of research and social networking tools that address the common genealogy need for research guidance, personal assistance, and mentoring.

Genealogical research for African Americans can be more challenging than other genealogical inquiries as a consequence of slavery and the changing legal status of African Americans. Records made prior to the Civil Rights era were segregated and are difficult to find, and oral histories passed down from generation to generation may be incomplete or inaccurate. Chris Cowan, vice president of publishing for ProQuest, notes that “With limited local resources and no dedicated electronic library resources for African American family history research, libraries have found it challenging to meet the unique needs of their users. Now, ProQuest African American Heritage helps to fill that gap by bringing together genealogical and historical resources critical to researching African American heritage back into the 18th century and helps people put together missing pieces of their past. ”

For much more detail go to:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Celtic Quest Tours to Ireland

Richard Doherty, one of the speakers at the Irish Workshop on August 8, conducts annual trips to Ireland under the name "Celtic Quest". This year there is a group going to Dublin October 10-17 and to Belfast October 17-24. Details and brochures are available at

Thank you to Toronto Branch for this information.

Limerick Burial Records and California Digital Newspaper Collection

Limerick Burial Records Online (Reported in Eastman's Online Newsletter)
Burial records for the City's largest cemetery, Mount Saint Lawrence, dating back to 1855 are accessible on the internet free of charge.
The newspaper article with the announcement is at:
The images from the burial register are at:
They aren't indexed.

Irish research has certainly changed over the last few years. First the National Archives decided to post images and indexes for the surviving census records (online at no charge). Hopefully other city councils will make their burial records freely available the way Limerick has. It's a far cry from the 1980s when local heritage centres offered us printouts for an exorbitant fee of indexing done by unemployed youth and we were denied access to original records.

California Digital Newspaper Collection (reported in Eastman's Online Newsletter)
A collection of California newspapers is online at:
A successful search on this database will give you a list of hits. Then when you click on a hit you have the option of seeing a transcript of the relevant section. This gives you a fast way of determining whether it is worth your time to download the image of the page.

Thank you to Toronto Branch for this info.