Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Regina Public Library Needs Your Support!

Most of you will remember this board, a short time ago, deciding to shut down several branches, AND then happily disseminating the world renown, one-of-a-kind, collection of the Prairie History Room located in the downtown branch. If you have never used this collection you are doing yourself a major disservice, no matter where your ancestral roots are. Anyway, buckets of concerned citizens fought that judgement, spoke at numerous meetings, etc. etc. and we WON!

NOW, this (basically) same old board of backward thinking individuals - seemingly led by a very outdated (and I'll say arrogant and 'worse than useless'!)leader are again attempting to impede forward thinking. The hard working, extremely knowledgeable staff of our Regina public libraries are very being poorly treated. Would any of us accept what their board has offered if it were our jobs on the line? I doubt it.

I am anything but a union supporter, never have been, never will be, BUT this is a case where this board is soooooooooooooooo incompetent they need to be turfed so we can become progressive. What good is our magnificent library resources without the expertise of those workers we depend on to guide us to what we need. And now that I'm ranting, how about what the federal government is doing to our archives? ENOUGH!!!! Each person, living in this county of Canada, has family information stored in our (provincial) archives. For more information on the changes at Library and Archives Canada, go to This is insanity at it's worst.

We learned we COULD make a difference a few years back. We CAN fight the government and win! But if we stand back, and stay quite, we deserve what we get ............ and that will be much much less that what we need. Say goodbye to our history Canada, and goodbye to each provinces history, and each family and persons history. The information stored in archives is unique, one-of-a kind, data and will never ever be found by us without the expert knowledge of the trained and dedicated archivists that are willing, but unable, to assist. Thank you PM Harper.

To write the Regina library board, and PLEASE do, go here .... go here, write your concerns and send to all those decision makers involved. And don't forget to share your concerns with the Leader Post!! Let's see if they have the intestinal fortitude to print what sooo very many of us are thinking! Speak up guys or suffer the consequences.

I'm just spitting mad! Please help?

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Many of you know of my major brick wall problem with my Mother's side of the family, the Irish McNiece's. I have struggled with them for a couple decades, and while the struggle continues, I am making strides ............ FINALLY!!!

Many of you also know how I preach and nag you about 'Review', 'Review', 'Review'. Today, I began in earnest to review that line. Guess what? Because I am now so much better than I was 20 years ago at reading old handwriting, deciphering clues, and really 'working' my research analytical skills I believe I have uncovered a long missed clue that will definitely open up new areas of interest. One tiny word, almost illegible, is proving to be [a] SMOKING GUN. OMG ........... I am VERY excited!!

Sometimes it's a blessing in disguise to have a cold, wet, dreary May day that keeps you inside. Yahooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Searching,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

English Equivalent of Foreign Given Names

Many of you have heard me speak about name variants - where one given (first) name may have other interchangeable names ... like Elizabeth who can also be known as Liz, Eliza, Beth, Liza, Elly, Betty and so on. Every nationality has their own 'variants'. This is something that is worth studying. I know from experience with some of my Irish/Scottish ancestors as my not-knowing cost me two years of wasted time, and effort, not to mention FRUSTRATION!! And this is within the realms of the English language.

And then there are names that translate into a 'different' name in another language. I just discovered this web site that may be useful to you. Have a peek at

You cannot find them if you do not know what name you should be looking for.

Happy Searching,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all Mothers have a wonderful day, close to their children, and their Mothers.

For those us not that lucky, here's to remembering our children [and all their antics] and to remembering our Mothers [and all their love and patience]. I'll be marking the day by visiting my Mother's grave, something I don't do often enough anymore. Happy Mother's Day to my Mom.... and to all my direct female ancestors, without whom, I would not be.

Happy Searching,

Friday, May 11, 2012

1911 England & Wales Census FREE searches has the 1911 Census of England and Wales complete & fully searchable for FREE until Monday night 14 May, 2012. You need to register for a free account. Start at

Also there have been updates to the death and marriages indexes post 1915.

So there goes *your* weekend of planting and cleaning the yard!! Y'er welcome.

Happy Searching!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Only Safe Storage is L.O.C.K.S.S.

Are your family history documents/photos etc. safe in case of an emergency?

The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and is copyright by Richard W. Eastman. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the newsletter is available at

A friend wrote to me about the situation with Megaupload, an online file storage service. He knows that I am interested in making sure everyone performs sufficient backups to protect genealogy data and other data from hardware failures, software failures, and human errors.

Megaupload was recently shut down by the federal government. The company provided file storage services and had a great method of allowing one user to share files with others. The problem was that Megaupload had both customers who used the service legally as well as some customers who used it illegally. Some unscrupulous users found that Megaupload was a great way to share movies, music, and other files that were protected by copyright. Despite repeated warnings from the government, Megaupload ignored the problem and allowed all users to share files as they wished, both for legal and illegal purposes.

I won't go into all the legal issues with Megaupload as there are hundreds of detailed stories already available on the web that describe the company's difficulties in detail. There's no sense in my duplicating the hundreds of articles already available. Start at to learn more about Megaupload's services and legal problems.

With the service shut down, no Megaupload customers can retrieve their files, not even those who used Megaupload for purely legitimate purposes.

In his email, my friend suggested that cloud storage is not to be trusted. My friend's attitude of "I won't use it because it might disappear" reminds me of an old folk tale about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

In a way, he is right. Indeed, no ONE method of storing files should ever be trusted to remain available forever. Megaupload, Mozy, Carbonite, Backblaze, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and any of the other cloud-based storage services could disappear at any time. Of course, so could your hard drive or the external drive you use in your home or office. Any method of storing files is subject to all sorts of problems.

There is an easy and effective solution, however: L.O.C.K.S.S.

L.O.C.K.S.S. is an acronym for "Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe." I know of no requirement that says we must preserve information on only one copy. In fact, with today's ridiculous cheap prices for hard drives, it doesn't make sense to me that anyone should ever trust one copy. Or two copies. Or even three copies.

We are free to make all sorts of copies, something that is easy and cheap today. Even better, we can store those copies in all sorts of locations: in the closet, in the basement, at a cousin's house, or in data centers in Rio de Janeiro, Capetown, and Mumbai. In fact, we can store any file in seven or more different data centers in seven or more different locations around the globe. What are the odds that ALL the copies will be destroyed? The price for all this? Peanuts.

I don't hesitate to store my backups in the cloud. However, I will never store my only copy on one cloud service. All my important files are backed up on at least two different cloud services (and three or four would be better) as well as additional copies on my computer's hard drive, an external hard drive, various flash drives, and whatever storage media is available, both at home and in the cloud. I also keep another copy on a laptop computer stored in my motor home. If I had a separate workplace, I would also store a copy of my personal files there, probably on a CD or DVD disk kept in a desk drawer or something similar.

Who cares if one storage service gets shut down by the government or is destroyed by an earthquake or flood or hurricane or other disaster? Who cares if my local copy is destroyed by a defective hard drive or by a burst water pipe in the upstairs bathroom?

L.O.C.K.S.S. will always preserve your data in any situation. "Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe."

Happy Searching!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ancestry 6 month subscription

Looks like Ancestry is offering a six month subscription to the Canada World Membership for $49.00 until May 20th at 11:59 (ET). Be sure to note the following: "Membership will be renewed automatically at the end of the 6 month subscription period and your payment method will be debited at the rate of $77.70." unless you cancel of course.

Happy Searching!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Melfort: ducks, geese, coyotes, moose, showers & genealogy

I had a most wonderful time in Melfort, Saturday, 05 May, 2012. There was a very knowledgeable group of genealogists assembled at the gorgeous Kerry Vicker Centre, and we worked together to learn, exchange ideas, and have some fun complete with laughs. Thanks to all who attended, and a special shout-out to those who drove distances to attend. Also to those who provided lunch, snacks, and all the fabulous home baking that kept up our energy levels throughout the day. Another special "Thanks" to Ron and Marg for hosting my hubby and I overnight so I could be well rested and able to talk, non-stop all day Saturday. Outside the centre, on a short break, we found a duck had built her nest in the midst of a rather small bush. Small shelter or not she laid 9 beautiful eggs. Sure hope they survive! Then there were the overflowing sloughs all the way up, and the equally overflowing fields covered with snow geese and a few ducks. What an amazing sight! And lots of coyotes in plain sight, which is quite normal for us as our home backs a large clearing so we're used to seeing coyotes and foxes all year round. I love it! Now for the most exciting - on our drive home we saw a very large moose standing right beside the highway, seemingly unmoved by the traffic. I'm so thankful she didn't venture onto the road! It was my first moose sighting EVER so I shall always remember the Melfort conference!! grin Man are they HUGE! And lastly I have to mention this - I got to remove my dressings and have a shower Sunday morning!!! YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Those of you there will know what I'm talking about. It's been an awesome weekend. We really need to get out and experience more of our massively huge province with the friendliest people anywhere!! Thanks so much to you all. Pat xo

Filing System for genealogy documents

The filing system I was telling you about on Saturday, 05 May has a very long URL which may not work when you copy and paste it into your browser, so try this - do a Google search for "genealogy filing system familysearch" and you'll end up at the correct page. I can hardly wait to get started on my own filing now!! Unfortunately that can't begin until the carpet gets laid in our family room as everything is now piled ceiling high in my office! Hope some of you will try this system and hope it helps!! Let me know how you make out please? Pat

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Registry of Deeds - IRELAND

Recently I posted something about searching the Registry of Deeds. Here is an interesting comment by John Grenham, very well respected Irish genealogist. It explains this record type and also explains why I have never had any luck using these records, but what I *really* love is his "But, but, but ..." sentence that sums up all genealogical research!! Amen!! Valiant deeds John Grenham Most people will know of the Registry of Deeds as part of the current property registration system (see, but its records actually go back more than 300 years to 1707. The first century and a half of its existence produced a veritable goldmine of material for local and family historians. So why isn’t it more used? There are good reasons. It was originally founded to provide legal defence for the huge transfer of property from Gaelic to Anglo-Irish that took place in the seventeenth century, so its historic records deal almost exclusively with the Anglo-Irish. Very, very few Catholics or Dissenters are recorded. In addition, self-evidently, the records concern the propertied classes, so they cover only those Anglo-Irish who were relatively wealthy: a minority of a minority, in other words. And the records themselves are resolutely eighteenth-century, intensely convoluted, copied out on parchment by scribes standing at lecterns, then bound into back-breaking, tombstone-sized volumes and only indexed very roughly. But, but, but … If there is even the remotest chance of finding something in these records, research is a must. The actual process is a rare experience. The Registry’s historic records are located on the top floor of the King’s Inns, one of the great eighteenth-century public buildings of Dublin. The people recorded in the deeds built the rooms where you now search them. And the search itself requires much climbing up and down ladders carting giant volumes and inhaling 200-year old dust. All that’s missing is the powdered wig. This is research as it should be. Over the years at least four failed attempts have been made to digitise and abstract the records, because the Mormon Family History Library has a complete microfilm copy. The only current attempt is the Registry of Deeds Index Project, a valiant volunteer effort to abstract the family information and put it online ( Look at what remains to be done ( It is the work of many lifetimes.