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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

December Webinar: Writing Your Family History

Writing a Family History: Turning Research into Story



Every life is a story…if you only knew how to tell it. In this webinar, Lynn Palermo shows you how to pull from your research to craft an engaging and captivating story your family will want to read.  For the overwhelmed family historian, Lynn shares tools on how to get organised and helps you identify a starting point for your writing. You’ll learn to find the key ingredients of a story in your research and how to structure it to read like a novel.  Also, find out how to make writing a new part of your daily routine.  Join us for this informative webinar as Lynn guides you through a new facet of your genealogy journey; turning research into stories. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

November Webinar - UNDERSTANDING HERALDRY

Join us on Saturday, November 4th at 11 am ET for our November webinar: 

Understanding Heraldry

In this webinar, Dr Bruce Durie will help us to understand the rules behind heraldry and what we can and can't do if our ancestor has been granted a coat of arms.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Irish Surnames



When surnames were first introduced into Ireland in the 10th century, the country was a rural, agrarian island in which its inhabitants stayed on the same land and neighborhood for generations. The social neighborhood of the Irish was limited to a “shanks’ mare” or by walking to find a potential mate and build a family. Most families time was spent working, and free time was limited except for Sundays. In short, the people stayed put. The size of the social “neighborhood” expanded as horse drawn carts became more common in the 19th century.

As a result, surname variation from county to county and parish to parish did not vary appreciably across the generations. Moreover, the early introduction of heredity surnames brought to Ireland by the Normans predated many other European countries. The dearth of Irish civil records from the infamous destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in Four Courts complex in 1922 (amongst other historic events) highlights the importance of studying surnames to place our Irish ancestors.


Like many other ethnic groups, Irish surnames are derived from personal characteristics like Kennedy (“cennedie”, as in “ugly head”) and Dempsey (Diomusach meaning proud). Still others derived from animals such as Whelan (from faol, meaning wolf) or (“Coinin” for a rabbit). Rank and occupation account for surnames such as McGowan (Gogah) for a Smith and McCleary (cleireach for a clerk).When surnames were first introduced into Ireland in the 10th century, the country was a rural, agrarian island in which its inhabitants stayed on the same land and neighborhood for generations. The social neighborhood of the Irish was limited to a “shanks’ mare” or by walking to find a potential mate and build a family. Most families time was spent working, and free time was limited except for Sundays. In short, the people stayed put. The size of the social “neighborhood” expanded as horse drawn carts became more common in the 19th century.

As a result, surname variation from county to county and parish to parish did not vary appreciably across the generations. Moreover, the early introduction of heredity surnames brought to Ireland by the Normans predated many other European countries. The dearth of Irish civil records from the infamous destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland in Four Courts complex in 1922 (amongst other historic events) highlights the importance of studying surnames to place our Irish ancestors.

Like many other ethnic groups, Irish surnames are derived from personal characteristics like Kennedy (“cennedie”, as in “ugly head”) and Dempsey (Diomusach meaning proud). Still others derived from animals such as Whelan (from faol, meaning wolf) or (“Coinin” for a rabbit). Rank and occupation account for surnames such as McGowan (Gogah) for a Smith and McCleary (cleireach for a clerk). 

To read the rest of this article by Michael Brophy, become a member of ISBGFH and gain access to our members only publication, British Connections

Friday, July 21, 2017

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies



Are you looking for a way to increase and enhance your genealogical research knowledge? The National Institute for Genealogical Studies has a genealogy course for you. Whether you are interested in increasing your knowledge of English records or the records of other countries, the National Institute has the courses at the right price.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies has been providing courses for family historians and genealogists for over 20 years. 

Louise St Denis, Managing Director, explains “The National Institute for Genealogical Studies was established to assist all genealogists---from family historians to practicing professionals---by providing studies in a variety of genealogical topics. Education provides an important role in raising levels of personal and professional growth.”

Louise continues, “With this in mind, a group of professional genealogists came together to create courses and programs conforming to recognised genealogical standards, with several objectives: to assist the family historian research and record information regarding their ancestors in a responsible and professional manner; to help the serious amateur genealogist gain the skills required to apply for certification or accreditation; and to help the professional genealogist develop a part-time or full-time career in our chosen field.”

Currently, GenealogicalStudies.com offers over 200 courses in a wide variety of genealogical subjects, so there is literally something for every researcher. Students of the program can take any number of courses that interest them or work towards a certificate in one of ten specific concentrations, including records from Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, Germany, Scotland and the United States, as well as General Methodology,  Librarianship and a Professional Development Certificate.

One set of courses that are unique to The National Institute are the Analysis and Skills Mentoring courses. The Analysis and Skills Mentoring Program was created to encourage students to apply what they have learned, or already know. These courses provide students with information that they then analyze. Throughout the courses, students learn new evidence analysis skills that they practice. Students have one-on-one instructor access to discuss assignments and questions.

GenealogicalStudies.com courses are designed for researchers of all skill levels, from those who are just getting started right up to the professional genealogist. In addition to pursuing one of the certificate programs listed above, students can also take individual courses to enhance their knowledge or to meet their educational goals. Whether you are interested in exploring the records of the poor in the United Kingdom, gravestone inscriptions in Ireland, Canadian maps, old parish registers in Scotland, United States military records, developing a genealogical library collection, copyright, DNA, Australian convict records, Italian or German census records, GenealogicalStudies.com has a course that will assist you in your research. Courses are delivered entirely online, including assingments, exercises, and exams,  allowing the student greater flexibility. Best of all, students have access to staff and instructors to answer questions

To read more of this article by Gena Philibert-Ortega, join the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. Membership allow you access to our members only publication, British Connections. This quarterly is full of resources to help you find your British Isles and Irish ancestors

Monday, July 10, 2017

In Search of Your Glasgow Ancestors - Book Review





Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Glasgow Ancestors: A Guide for Local and Family Historians. Pen & Sword Publishing, South Yorkshire. ISBN 978 1 47386 721 5, 2016, 202 pgs.

This comprehensive guide to tracing your Glasgow ancestors is a must-have reference for anyone with Glaswegians in their family tree. Maxwell presents a history of Glasgow from medieval times. He discusses common Glaswegian surnames and talks about their origins. Maxwell provides a comprehensive history of the City and surrounds and spends time on each of the areas of the city - the Gorbals, Calton, Anderston and the like. Each of these areas is unique for the people who resided there, the work that was available and for its history. For example, few will have known that Gorbals once was a leper colony.

The resources available in Glasgow for genealogy research are some of the riches resources available. The information that can be gleaned from the very robust collections is almost beyond imagination. It truly is a case of your Glaswegian ancestors waiting on the shelves for you to come and find them. You can gain tremendous insight into the lives of your ancestors by consulting the records available in the City. This book provides a wealth of information about the records, where they can be found, the information they contain and how to access them.

The book can be purchased from Amazon:




ISBGFH makes no commission from any sales of this book. We received a free electronic copy for the purposes of review.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

APPEAL TO FIND FAMILY OF WWI DECODER

An appeal has been launched to find living descendants of a Catherine Hayes Osborne, a Donegal woman. Osborne was one of six members of the first ever military code breaker teams. According to the Donegal County Museum, Osborne was attached to the intelligence branch of the British army's general staff. She is purported to have worked in the censor's office, decoding German wireless messages. Osborne was a member of the British Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) during WWI.

More of the story can be found on the Irish News website at:

http://www.irishnews.com/news/2017/05/29/news/donegal-woman-was-first-world-war-code-specialist-1037871/

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Scottish Family History Research: Where and How the Find the Real Records



Scottish Family History Research:  Where and How the Find the Real Records

One of four excellent courses being offered at: 

ISBGFH British Institute 2017  -  September 18-22, 2017, Salt Lake City, Utah
Early registration ends August 31st

Instructor: Dr Bruce Durie


Many Scottish records are the best preserved, most complete and most accessible available – but are not necessarily available digitally.  Bruce Durie, PhD,  QG, Fellow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, will explore the records and resources available in Scotland, and online.  The “uncommon” resources available for your family history research efforts. 

For more information, see ISBGFH’s website:
https://isbgfh.org/