Notes on useful resources, problems found (and hopefully solved), partly for own reference.
Also in Cutlock & Co’s research section:
- General Research Links page, grouped by place and subject.
- Specialist websites covering migration, crime, institutions, military, peoples and nationalities, living conditions.
- Newspapers, maps and visual resources also have their own page.
- Glossary, Names. Common genealogy abbreviations; nicknames and their original names etc.
I was fortunate that Mum created her ‘Recollections and Reflections’ in December 2007, before I decided to get serious about family history in 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, Darrell Austin, 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, Alan Croad.
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 Transcription Archive
- Somerset Archives is based at Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton.
- Seavington Web Museum.
- Somerset Voices oral history archive.
- Somerset Rural Life Museum, part of South West Heritage Trust.
- 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.
- Manitoba GenWeb project had a useful Central Plains section, now gone.
- 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.
- 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 2017’, uploaded from and kept in sync with Family Tree Maker on my computer. (A fresh version was created after the release of the FTM2017 software.) The tree is set to private but access is happily given to appropriate inquirers. Limited and infrequently updated versions of the tree are also on FindMyPast, Genes Reunited and TheGenealogist sites.
My reference database is managed using Family Tree Maker software. At January 2020 (December 2010 in brackets), this holds some 5,744 (over 2,000) individuals, over thirteen hundred (400) different surnames, almost 2,000 marriages, about 2,100 (500) places and over 12,000 (2,000) source records. The more recent figures include Beasor and Shephard additions – there are also elements of ‘one-name studies’ for the Cutlock and (to a lesser extent) Laddiman surnames.
See Ancestry notes for tips on using that website.