Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Look for FamilySearch.org

For those of you familiar with www.familysearch.org, you might want to check out its new changes. They are still working on it but have a new setup for it. Go have a look whether or not you have ever gone to that website before. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint's Family History website and it is chalked full of ancestor information. Good Have fun!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

ARE YOU IN A GENEALOGY FUNK?

Do you find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to your family history? You know what you need, but are afraid to move forward. Maybe you think you have exhausted all the free genealogical websites, however I find that hard to believe since there are so many of them. Maybe the record you seek is not online and you must venture outside your home to find what you need. Now unless you are one of those people who are afraid to leave their home because they have a phobia of society, you have no real valid excuse not to head out the door to the nearest library, archive, graveyard or museum. Don’t let fear keep you from finding the information you need to add to the family tree.

I myself faced my fear of driving on my own to Ottawa for a genealogy rendezvous with the Library and Archives of Canada, the Family History Center and the City of Ottawa Archives. If I had not jumped in the car and headed east, I would never have found the many useful pieces of information for my family history that now don my file folders. Recently I conquered my fear, well fear is too strong a word to describe how I felt, nonetheless, conquered my reservations about driving in the northern part of Toronto. The most important thing I did to prepare myself to drive there was to have my husband drive the route I needed to take so I could see for myself where I had to go. Keeping track of landmarks along the way helped me the next day when I had to venture out on my own.

I made the round trip to Whitby and back to Markham no worst for wear. The key was preparing for the challenge I put before myself. The same is true in genealogy, if you do your prep work before hand, the actual venture out will seem oh so less terrify. If you plan to visit the Library and Archives of Canada, you should be prepared. The same is true for any repository you need to do research in. Understanding the basic things like where to park, what can and cannot be brought into the facility, their hours of operation, who can help you to navigate once you enter the building and so forth is very important to the genealogical research process.

Will you be prepared to ask intelligent questions and know what you want or are you going to go by the seat of your pants; not something I recommend. Those who go by the seat or their pants usually end up wasting the facilitator’s time as well as their own and go home empty handed. I prefer to plan ahead and it has paid off tenfold with information flowing into my hands like water in a sink with a good bar of soap. A nice lather always leaves me happy, especially when the perfume of the soap lingers on my hands; so does the satisfaction of finding what I need to build the family history path that can go back several generations. Thus, I encourage all of you to step outside your comfort zone, beyond the box of familiarity, and dig into the records you have always wanted to, but were too intimidated to follow up. Once you take the first steps beyond, who knows where your next move will be.

Happy Hunting !!

“MAY ALL YOUR GENEALOGICAL DREAMS COME TRUE!!!”

Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Basic Recommendations for Genealogy Enthusiasts


Author Tammy Tipler-Priolo copyright 2006
This column was created to help people, interested in genealogy, learn about the ins and outs of genealogical research; thus, they can choose the right track and be on their way to a successful ancestor hunt; I will also include inspirational and motivational articles to keep you from being discouraged along the way.

Let us begin with first things first. I recommend that you start with yourself and work backwards; you might be thinking at this point why? Well if you start with yourself first, you will have a less likely chance of getting lost and completely off track with your family history, not a nice place to be thirty years from now and several dollars later.

To help you manage all this information on yourself and ultimately your ancestors, I recommend starting with a pedigree chart first. Not familiar with a pedigree chart, just type in Pedigree Chart in your search engine and you will find loads of examples of one. Another name for a pedigree chart is a family tree chart.

A pedigree chart is a chart that is either vertical or horizontal. Both start with person number one, which would be yourself. Next, it directs you to person number two, which would be your father and person number three would be your mother (note when asked for female names always put their maiden name down). Thus, a pattern begins to show up. Person number four would be your paternal grandfather and person number five would be your paternal grandmother, while person number six and seven would be your maternal grandfather & grandmother respectively.

At this point, don’t worry that you are not able to fill the chart completely in. The point of the chart is to help you figure out what is still missing and to then create a research plan. What is important, is filling out the chart with your information first. Fill in your complete name. Make a note of any nicknames as well. Fill in all the information regarding specific events such as date of events (birth, christening, marriage) & places of events. Do this for your father, mother, grandparents and great grandparents until you have the chart filled out with all the information you personally know about you and your ancestors. (Note when writing out dates it is recommended to start with the day as a number, then the month written out and then full year (i.e. 19 Oct 1919 so a distinction can be made between the numbers).

Next check off each record you already have. Start with the most recent event in your life and work backwards. Perhaps you are already married, then you would want to have your full marriage certificate that states your name, who you married, where you were married, when you were married and who your parents were. Next, you would want to locate your christening record or full birth record that states your name, when & where you were christened/born and the names of your parents. Once these links with your parents are located you can begin with either parent and search for their records starting with their death record if they have passed on or their marriage record if they were married, followed by their christening/birth record, so a link can be created to their parents.

Ah…are you starting to see a pattern? Yes the goal of working with a pedigree chart and starting with yourself and working backwards is to take stock of what records you already have and what still needs to be located in order to create those links from one generation to the next without ending up in the wrong family lines. You want to use your pedigree chart as a map to aid you in developing a sound, well thought out research plan. You want to collect as many records as possible to help prove the correct links from generation to generation; thus, setting a goal of trying to locate three records to prove one link if possible.

I have presented you with a methodical plan of action to begin tracking down your ancestors. These recommendations will come in handy when you must approach a library, records office, archives or professional genealogist. There is no guarantee of finding specific records, but if you follow my recommendations, you will be on your way to a success search.

HOW GENEALOGY CAN HELP TEACHERS REACH STUDENTS

Author Tammy Lynn Tipler-Priolo copyright 24 September 2010

Last night my husband and I went to our daughter’s school to meet some of her new teachers. We had met two of them last year and appreciate the hours of work they put into teaching the students their required curriculum. Her geography/history teacher was a little concerned with the geography he was required to teach this year, as it was apparently really dry stuff like statistics, economics and migration patterns. Subjects we as students several years ago would have taken in Second Year University. Being a genealogist, I am always trying to find ways to introduce the wonderful family passion of mine into other’s lives. I suggested to the teacher that he relate the migration patterns section to the migration patterns of their ancestors. He thought this was a wonderful idea and could see the connection to the history he would eventually also teach.

Genealogy is a personal thing, and when reaching students it is easier to relate to something they know about, and that would be their families for the most part. Now I am not assuming that every student would know their family history, but with a little creativity, a teacher could have a student wanting to learn more, if a little genealogy was used along with the subject at hand. If a language course was taught, the students could learn to relate to their own ancestors who came over to Canada as immigrants and could not speak English or French. What was it like for these ancestors when they met up with other nationalities and could not speak to one another? My husband’s grandmother came over from Italy in the 1930s and could not speak a word of English. She was able to communicate with the other housewives in the community who did not speak Italy, by sharing recipes, vegetables from the garden, plenty of smiling and lots of laughter.

Math class could use a bit of genealogy to spice up a course that can be very dull and boring for some confused students. Why not measure the distance from Canada to an ancestor’s homeland or calculate how long it would take a passenger ship in the 1800’s to travel from an ancestor’s homeland to Canada? Science could include a bit about crop rotation and what crops and animals their ancestors had on the farms; one look at the 1871 census agricultural schedule will show all sorts of items farming ancestors had in their possession. Reading and writing could include the life of an ancestor. Gym class could include physical activities that our ancestors partook in so many years ago. Bocce, an Italian form of lawn bowling or lacrosse that was created by North American Natives could be introduced to students. Thus, genealogy would seem to have a place in our schools. The idea of students learning about their own family history and relating this personal knowledge to all their subjects seems a grand idea to me. Now with a little luck this article will spur on more teachers to plunge into the genealogy world. You never know what they might achieve with a pedigree chart in one hand and a required subject in the other.

Happy Hunting!!

“MAY ALL YOUR GENEALOGICAL DREAMS COME TRUE!!!”

Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MURDER IN THE FAMILY?

Author Tammy Lynn Tipler-Priolo copyright 27 July 2009

Most of us will find in our genealogical journey, a string of law-abiding ancestors that worked as farmers, labourer and such. We might even find the occasional death by a disease such as Tuberculosis or Diphtheria or accident. My Great Great Grandmother Angelique was killed by a train in her late 40s in 1884. My Great Aunt Georgina died at the age of twelve from Diphtheria and my Great Aunt Margaret died of an Epileptic Seizure at fourteen years of age. My Great Uncle Claude died at 27 years old when the dam he was working in was filled with water; his body was never recovered. My Great Uncle Alfred died of Meningitis at the age of 30 and my Great Great Uncle Charles died when a tree he was chopping down fell on him.

Murder was suspected when my grandmother’s cousin and his wife disappeared in the late 1950’s from their cottage; it was only recently discovered that they had drowned with their bodies preserved in the cold depths of the lake. However, murder did happen in my family tree. This murder took place in the cold month of February in 1952. An on going feud between my Great Uncle Arthur and a reclusive neighbour ended in the shooting of this uncle. The story hit the local newspaper and covered in great detail the events that had occurred that cold and wintry day. The neighbour was taken into custody right away in a peaceful manner.

With curiosity in my veins, I wanted to know more about the man who had killed my uncle. The paper had said he was a veteran from both great wars. He altered his age by 18 years and dyed his hard dark as to gain entry into WWII. He was born in England and immigrated to Canada as a young man. He had been married and had two children. He lived on his own for several years and was quiet according to the neighbours.

On further investigation, I found that he had two daughters. His wife had died in the 1920s. He was born in Scarborough Yorkshire England and his father was a Confectioner, Bookseller, Publisher and Insurance agent. His father had been married twice and he was the son of the second wife. His maternal grandfather had been a Surgeon and had also been married twice to two sisters, the first being his maternal grandmother. Whatever possessed him to fire those fatal shots at my uncle, one can only conclude that he was not in the right frame of mind.

Assumptions arise as to how the murder trial had gone, but what truly happened still needs answers. Now a search through the local papers would be a good start, but not knowing when the court case appeared, that would be several months of searching. I turned to a google search on this murder case and after 30 minutes of searching, I came upon what I needed, but did not know that it had existed until that moment. I had located the inventory of case files in the fonds of the Department of Justice for persons sentenced to death in Canada 1867-1976. Note that the death penalty had been abolished in Canada in 1976. Check it out for yourselves at http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000001052.pdf .

In this document, you will find a list of reference numbers that apply to each person sentenced to death for murder. A description of the convicted is also given such as racial origin, age, birthplace, occupation and marital status. The trial dates are also included; ah, the newspaper search will be much easier now. You will also find a list of the victims of these murders as well as details on how they were killed and the result of the trial. Reference to various items in the file such as correspondence, petitions, transcript of evidence, fingerprints, photos, maps, coroner’s inquests, etc. are also mentioned. These files are apparently kept at the Library and Archives of Canada, but not all files are open for public viewing and are under the Access to Information and Privacy Act. I am still in the process of trying to piece together the life of my uncle’s murderer, as I still have some unanswered questions that have arisen during my quest. Finding out “who dun it” was easy, understanding how a person makes such a decision to take another’s life may never be revealed.

Happy Hunting!!

“MAY ALL YOUR GENEALOGICAL DREAMS COME TRUE!!!”

Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Genealogy Articles

You can read my most recent genealogy articles once a week at www.BayToday.ca under columnist "Genealogy In Action" by Tammy Tipler-Priolo

Friday, January 05, 2007