Notes on useful resources, problems found (and hopefully solved), partly for own reference.
I was fortunate that Mum created her ‘Recollections and Reflections’ in December 2007, before I decided to get serious about family history late 2008. (I had taken out a free Ancestry sub in 2006 but not pursued it further.) This gave me a starting point on grandparents (mine and hers) and names of her cousins. Dad also let me have the first few printed pages of his ‘Before I forget’ notes soon after I started – the full manuscript unfortunately went out with a damaged computer but this had key data (names, birthdays) on relatives.
The following contacts, mainly discovered via Ancestry, Genes Reunited or this site, have been of great help – no particular order, and no doubt incomplete: Rachel Barber, Winnie Neal, James Holgate, Jeremy Watts, Lucinda Fletcher-Neal, Patricia Sanderson, John GB Howes (via Michael Taylor), Ann Dempsey, Jean Goff, Catherine Jones, Steve Lee, Nathan Caine, Muriel Shephard, Sharon Bass, Peggy Sparrow, Cherry Billing, Sharon Redman, John Osborne, Sue Osborne in Oz, Gareth Williams, Cathleen Parsons, Roger Buttle. And not forgetting Islwyn Watkins. Further credits: Kent Fraser, Glenn Lambert-Vickers, Gayle McRae, Valerie Newell, Phillip Walters, Janet Bailey, Peggy Stahr, Phillip Walters, Stephen Watts, Jack Edwards, Karyn Jeanes.
Plenty of transcription errors encountered on both Ancestry and FindMyPast websites. I like the way you can add notes with ‘alternate’ information for Ancestry record images, although the options can be limiting.
1851 census, Llandefalley parish Breconshire district 6b (south, including Common Bach – “my” patch) half a dozen records in the district are repeated – is an equivalent number missing, containing my ancestors ? (One possible match found to eldest Watkins son apprenticed to a blacksmith.)
A huge of useful web resources relating to family history now exist. This page: websites specifically used, useful or informing our research. Also see the more general, and ever growing, Research Links page. Plus check out the individual pages (by name, place etc.) for key web links for that subject.
Welsh patronymic system – offspring take first name of father e.g. children of Gregory Watkins could be John Gregory, Jill Gregory. Do a search on the subject, or try this BBC Wales history page.
Welsh wills (to 1858) can be viewed online.
Welsh translation Geiriadur yr Academi.
- Glamorgan Family History Society – Rhondda is part of its area.
- Tonypandy 2010 – website now closed. Commemorated the miners strike (and riots) of 1910.
- Glamorgan Archives (Record Office).
- Map of old Glamorgan parishes on GENUKI
- Norfolk Family History Society Amongst other activities and resources, there is a Monumental inscriptions project, recording grave stone information from churchyards and cemeteries (some results are available via FamilySearch.org, Jan 2011).
- Norfolk Baptism Project. Working their way through parish registers for 1813 to 1880 (approx).
- Norfolk Museums
- Paddy Apling’s website includes transcriptions from Kelly’s Directory 1883 for Norfolk parishes, plus White’s 1854 directory for some. Also some info on occupations, wills, etc.
- Norfolk Online Access to Heritage (NOAH) service has ceased. Try the county council’s researching family and local history page instead.
- Norfolk Sources Probate 1800-1857, trade directories, historic books (images of official archive material).
- Norfolk Transcription Archive
- Somerset Archives – new Heritage Centre in Taunton opened 2010. At autumn 2014, due to become part of South West Heritage Trust.
- Seavington Web Museum.
- Somerset Voices oral history archive.
- Somerset Rural Life Museum.
- Somerset and Dorset Family History Society. Also check Weston-super-Mare FHS and Bristol & Avon FHS.
- Somerset Record Society – info is on West Country genealogy site, may not be totally up-to-date.
- Merriott Families Genealogy.
- Manitoba, Canada birth, death, marriage records at Vital Statistics site.
- Central Plains section of the Manitoba GenWeb project could do with more info (a map in particular).
- Automated Genealogy – volunteer indexing of some Canadian censuses.
- Our Roots is a Canadian library and archive site, with some digitised family/folk history books viewable.
- Canadian Headstones.
- National Archives of Australia – things like army service records, naturalisation.
- Ellis Island – search on people passing through the Port of New York, from 1892 to 1924. Also try Castle Garden, for earlier.
- FreeBMD Index to transcriptions of Civil Registration registers of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales.
- Registration districts on UKBMD – use this to reduce confusion on place names which don’t seem to exist, and find what actual towns and villages were within a district’s boundaries.
- FreeREG Similar to FreeBMD, but based on parish (church) records, which start earlier.
- Family Search A variety of sources around the globe (started with US and Canada bias but expanded). Some records give all the data on the site, others link through to free-to-view databases, also ones which charge, but this is indicated.
Subscription sites are listed under Research Links.
If you use the Ancestry site, the full tree is under ‘Howes Watkins Neal Scott’. This is set to private but access is happily given to appropriate inquirers. Limited (and not often updated) versions of the tree are also on Find My Past, Genes Reunited and TheGenealogist sites.
My reference database is held in Family Tree Maker on my computer, linking through to the online tree on Ancestry. (Versions 2008 to 2014 of the software were developed by Ancestry, with Software MacKiev taking over in to 2016.) At December 2016 (December 2010 in brackets), this database holds some 5,698 (over 2,000) individuals, thirteen hundred (400) different surnames, about 2,100 (500) places and almost 12,000 (2,000) source records. The more recent figures include Beasor and Shephard additions.
Other pages in the Research section: