Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rootstech Videos & Handouts 2015

The videos are at

And the handouts [syllabus] are here There may be other syllabus submissions available. If anyone finds them, please let me know and I'll share the link(s).

Sorry I've been absent here for some time. I've been reading!! 25 books so far in six weeks ... which means I'm not working, just holidaying. haha I've read mostly some classics to get them off my bucket list. So books like Treasure Island, Brave New World, The Great Gatsby, Madame Bovary, A Tale of Two Cities, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, etc. and now I'm into Great Expectations. Loved them all. I did this a couple years ago too. It's fun, but boy does it eat up your time and I couldn't care less. haha If anyone has suggestions for their best reads please send the titles to me!!!!!!! One unexpected bonus has been the fact most of these old books are on Kindle and FREE. WooHoo!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Irish Surnames = Irish Locations

Nothing is fool proof, but I have found this tool to be most helpful in locating 'where' in Ireland my ancestors lived. Ireland is a challenging country to do research in AND it is totally essential to be able to name the TOWNLAND where they lived. A townland is not the same as a township in other countries. A townland is the smallest legal land division in the world ranging from one acre to a hundred acres. And there are some sixty THOUSAND townlands! Oh yes, and just to help muddy the Irish waters, they re-used townland names ALLLLLL over the entire country. So it takes lots of work, and some luck, to find the correct one.

Having said all that, when Griffith's Primary Land Valuation was taken between 1848 and 1864 - there is a very good explanation of Griffith's here

Now I've told you all this, to tell you this. [hahaha] I have found good success by using link to help pinpoint at least the county where the surname was most common, including all the normal surname spelling variants. This works even more effectively if you happen to have two surnames you believe were from the same area ... such as two surnames who married in Ireland as there is a way to search for both surnames showing up in Griffith's in the same area. It can at least give you a chance of finding the correct county, barony, diocese, poor law union, and townland to begin your searches.

Anyway, it's FREE so give it a whirl. Even though my McNIECE family had left Ireland before Griffith's took place it's doubtful every single family member got on a ship. Any that show up give me a location to begin searching. I'm getting a headache just re-reading this!!! haha BUT it's such a rush when we finally do track them down we forget the headache and begin the Happy Dance!

Happy Searching from a toasty Manzanillo Mexico,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RootsTech Streaming Schedule 2015

So there has been a ton of misinformation being passed around on social media regarding the upcoming streamed (FREE) sessions. They have just announced part of the schedule and looks like we'll have to stay tuned to Scroll down the page and click on "Watch RootsTech Live" and go from there. Some really good sessions coming up for those of us who are unable to be in SLC for the live event.

Cheers from a steaming Mexico [possibly cause I'm cooking a roast in the oven! haha] Also made yorkshire puddings that blew up triple size! Yummy ..............

Legacy Family Tree Quick Tip

There is so much assistance on their website! For those of us who use Legacy as our genealogy software, today there is a really cool example of how to use the software to search for specific people within your ancestors. Vellly intelesting ... was that Artie Shaw from Laugh In? haha


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ancestry FREE 6-8 Feb, 2015

Ancestry will have free access starting Friday 06th Feb through Sunday 08th Feb, 2015. ALL sites ... UK, Canada, Australia, and USA.

So for those of us with subscriptions this probably means 'find something else to do this weekend'!! haha

Good luck everyone,

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ireland - A Topographical Dictionary 1837

If you want to know something about the civil parish your family lived in back in 1837, take a look in the Lewis 'Topographical Dictionary of Ireland' 1837.

I have found that you can sometimes find townlands listed, but other times you'll need to search by other location names such as barony or parish or even the name of a village. It's FREE so take your time and try them all.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

USA Historic Newspapers FREE

The Library of Congress has done an admirable job of digitizing historical newspapers across the USA. You can search by State, by time frame, and/or by surname. Give it a try at

Have Fun!

French Canadian Filles du Roi

Dick Eastman has just published a very interesting article on the Filles du Roi or King's Daughers who were single, mostly French girls sent to Canada in mid 1600s to become wives to the many French troops already stationed in Quebec. I have known of these girls for a long time, but what I found most interesting this morning was the dowry the King included for each girl. Here goes:

1 chest, 1 taffeta handkerchief, 1 ribbon for shoes, 100 needles, 2 knives, 1 comb, 1 spool of white thread, 1 pair of stockings, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of scissors, 2 knives, about 1,000 pins, 1 bonnet, 4 laces, and 2 silver livres (French coins). Wow, I can think of a whole lot of other things I'd have rather brought with me! hahaha Times have changed.

Anyway, these young women have left hundreds of thousands of descendants. The article is at

For some fun you can also look through an alphabetized listing of all known Filles du Roi and their husbands linked from the bottom of the page mentioned above.

Super Bowl Sunday and it's raining a bit here so I made a key lime pie using fresh limas!! WOW. I'm pretty sure it's on my diet sheet ... somewhere? haha

Happy Searching,