Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Civil records available to Irish genealogists

Civil registration in Ireland began in 1864 which, for many Americans, is just too late to provide direct assistance. Having said that, these records are a treasure trove and may be able to connect you to family members who remained in Ireland.

The website Irishgenealogy.ie allows you to access a variety of records. Births, marriages, and deaths are all available. For some of the records there is only an index, for others there are images. 

Indexes:
Births  1864-1915
Marriages 1845-1940 (Catholic marriages from 1864)
Deaths 1864-1965

Images:
Births 1864-1915
Marriages 1882-1940
Deaths 1891-1965

In addition to the civil records, this website includes access to church records as well as lots of valuable information about researching your Irish ancestors and links to many sources that can help you in your quest. 







Tuesday, August 8, 2017

1666 Census of Quebec

What a fascinating snapshot of a moment in history this 1666 census is. While it is in no way complete, it does give those of us who have French Canadian ancestors a way to see where our ancestors were at this one moment 350 years ago. If you have other ancestors in other countries you realize what a gem this is. 

There are several ways that you can look at this, if you want to see the handwritten pages, they are available on the Canadian National Archives website. Some of them can be a bit hard to read so I used it in combination with this Rootsweb site which has them translated and listed by area. Not all the links, however, work so if you are looking for the list of the ancestors on the Isle d'Orleans, Coast of Lauzon or Beauport, you will have to resort to the original records. 

The original records are also by region but you must be careful to notice when the change happens. The census is 147 pages long in PDF or you can look at the 163 pages one page at a time. The last entries in all of the areas are the unattached men, some of whom have wives in France (some no doubt who have lied about having a wife) and the single men. Also, many families have young men working for them as domestics, this is how our ancestors paid their way over to Canada, by promising to work for someone for usually three years. 

I highly recommend if you have Canadian ancestors, you look at and enjoy the wonderful record. In some cases, it is the only way we have any idea what year or about what year our ancestors were born. Don't worry if you can't find one ancestor, you will find many others. 

The areas are:
Beaupre
Beauport
Coste de Lauzon
Isle D'Orleans
Montreal
Quebec
Sillery
St Jean, St Francois, St Michel (parishes on the south side of the St Lawrence River)
Trois Rivieres 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

An Introduction to the Irish Tithe Applotment Books

One record that has survived for Irish researchers to take advantage of are the Tithe Applotment Books. What are the tithe applotment books?  They are records of those people who were Catholic and occupied a piece of land for agriculture over one acre. They wanted a record so they could charge Catholics a title for the Church of Ireland. It was a tax for not being a member of the established church. While it was a very discriminatory practice, today we are grateful to the establishment for this record if not for the actual tax.

The Tithe Applotment Book can help to replace some of the records that would have ben included in the censuses from 1821-1851. They were compiled between 1823 and 1837. They only record agricultural land and not city dwellers and only the head of household but they can be quite useful. 

They record the townland, civil parish and the amount of land occupied. It is very useful to have the exact townland of your ancestor to take full advantage of the information available. All of these fields can be searched, and there is also a browse facility, which allows users to survey entire parishes and townlands.

The population of Ireland was recorded in 1841 as 8.2 million. It would have been somewhat less than this during the 1820s and 1830s, when the Tithe Applotment Books were compiled.

The books for Northern Ireland are in the held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, but there are microfilm copies in the National Archives which can be consulted in our Reading Room.




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Placing your ancestors in historic context

Recently, as I was working on my son-in-law's genealogy  something triggered me to wonder about historic context. He had an ancestor who emigrated to Canada in 1757. The battle for the Plains of Abraham took place in 1759. The majority of French Canadian ancestors came to Quebec in the 17th century. I was surprised that this man came so late.

It made me wonder if perhaps he was a soldier sent by the King of France to defend the colony from the rising English threat. I looked at the record of his marriage which took place in 1757 and sure enough, he was listed as a soldier. 

Obviously, I would have found this out eventually when I went to look for his marriage but because I am aware of French Canadian history, it made sense to me that he might be a soldier. This will work for any genealogy in any time period or place. If you familiarize yourself with the history of the town, state, country or even world in which your ancestor lived, you will be able to recognize tips and hints that may help you to find out more about them. 

If you know that there was a famine or an economic downswing, you will recognize what may have triggered your ancestor to emigrate. Some of these are the Irish famine, Russian programs and religious persecution in England and France just to name a few. Rest assured, if you learn the history, lights will go on for you too. 


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Occupations in French Canada

Once you start to work on your French Canada you are going to find that they have very good records. Among the records are census returns from 1666, 1667 and 1681. Among the questions asked was the occupation. Drouin has listed these occupations in the wonderful Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles du Quebec des origins a 1730. 

I own a copy of this book and it is a wonderful if somewhat expensive resource. While Ancestry does have the index it doesn't have the complete book. Records are of course, in French. This may lead to some confusion about what exactly the occupation of your ancestor was. Some are obvious, soldat is soldier and fermier is farmer. But what about if you see arpenteur, boucher or boulanger? 

Luckily, there is a blog that offers a post to help with this. Unfortunately, I can't tell you who the blogger is, it is anonymous but it is helpful just the same.  



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our Canada-Your Family Building a Nation June 16-18 Ottawa, Ontario

Members of all 34 branches and special interest groups of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other family historians from across North America and around the world will meet in Ottawa in June 2017 for three days of inspiring lectures, workshops, displays, and other learning opportunities. Don't miss it!

Open registration is closed but walk-in registration will be available every day. This conference has some things of interest even to those who don't have any connection to Canada. Check out their brochure


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Some Good News on My English Genealogy

One thing that happens when you do genealogy is that you will meet people who are related to you in a distant way. It is inevitable. I became friendly with someone who is probably a 5th cousin or so. In our many interactions, she told me that she had come across a marriage for one of my ancestors that I had never seen. It was in another town.

To put it as simply as possible, I had Ann Deacon as my ancestress and she said it was really Ann Spinks. My ancestor John Ollard, had two wives named Ann. He married Ann Deacon in Newton, had children there and then Ann Ollard died in 1737. I can be forgiven for thinking she was Ann Deacon.

I contacted the Wisbech Fenlands Museum online and asked them to check the records for Tydd St Giles for a marriage between John Ollard and Ann Spinks. Yes,  there is one, in 1716 the year before my ancestor Spinks Ollard was born. So it seems, he was given his mother's last name as his first name. There is no death recorded in either town for Ann Deacon Ollard but no doubt she died before 1716.

So another mystery is solved and now my genealogy is correct. Thank you, Heather.