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View Full Version : one place studies... this is how I did it . Uk version



apehangmom
13-05-2008, 4:53 PM
I realize that if you made it to this web site you just didnt get here by accident.. You probably have been on line doing genealogy for a 'while" I use that word a while loosley.. ANd someone on the highway of your journey told you about this great resource.But like we all wish,,, we could have started out here.. Genealogy is not for the weak or the impatient. We are a strong bunch .. that (SECRETLY)plans vacations to look in church records.. thinks nothing of having a picnic in a graveyard to look at the headstones...while listening to why do we have to do this.. or driving 30 miles out of your way to go to a 'family home of a pilgrim".who died 500 years ago. only to be told the DNA PROJECT isnt including YOUR LAST NAME..
WHile I have been looking up my family for a good 12 years now.. I hadnt really done Settle... located IN North Yorkshire. I did like we all do. google. I googled Settle England.
what I found were 3 basic travel and one web site that was put up by a local photographer who has been in buisness for over 100 years. His older photos of the town then and now were displayed.
IN this web site I had links to wikipedia..You need to look up your town on this site. this is important resource. this shows you were other towns close by are and the history of your town and facts. This resource was important when I got to the IGI look up.. I had to know if the other Lunds were regestered with in 20 miles of my base. SO that future research could include them. This led me to GEOGRAPH. This is another resource that is important. It shows you photos of the place your looking for.It does a 10 mile radius.. of your base. PHOTO SITES ARE ALSO a way to learn about your town.. I have spent hours looking at Settle ENgland from the sky .. from a field .. form a car .. from a rooftop.. so try the photo gallery web sites.. Religion... .. this is an issue. Parrish records is a great resource. But you need to find out if the church still has them.. and in my case.. family changed religions .. not catholic any more.. So this is where you contact the local history society.. which can be foud by asking here.. It also seems that its takes a while to get the feel of a place.. There is a tremendous amount OF COTTAGES for rent which is a neat way to see what the town looks like. it gives you a feel .. Also the bigger the town the more web sites on travel . Travel sites are good for info and what the town is like.. THERE ARE A MILLION LINKS TO see on these travel pages.. You almost have to have patience and keep looking at links.. I am trying to keep this short.. and not loose any one of bordom. THe BBC is also a good rescource. They link news with every city and that city page also has links.. At this point in time this is a journey .. each town is different and has info in differnt places it takes time and patience to sift through all the garbage to find the gold. You can post here and ask hey does any one live in this town.. and maybe some one kind will answer. ( they could help in 5 minuntes.. ) finding the church where you worshipped . the local historical society .. linking the BBC and wikipedia up.. posting on here and the bbc genealogy resources, and just keep looking. finding the travel sites helps you see the historical homes still here. The regular pay ancestry and genealogy .com are good .. cyndis and rootsweb are also good.. But I think that on your journey you will find that each time you sit and do a search on your TOWN your bookmarks get fuller and fuller .. you find more and more.. and it just takes patience.. but hey .. if any one can add to this . that would be great. thanks chrisitne

Neil Wilson
13-05-2008, 6:29 PM
Hi Christine
One place studies are interesting, each web site is different and has different resources. I remember emailing someone saying that they had a link for my home town on their site, which covered the old 'Hundred', but had no information. The person who I know fairly well replied, well you create the site and I will link to it. That was over 6 years ago, changed the site address twice and have just mirrored it to it's 'own name' web address. I suffer from boundaries problem, where to count the parish boundary in term of year. i.e. it became a parish in its own right in 1853, but I have information from before then. Do I include the villages around it? These days they aren't around it, because they have been swallowed up in to one big town. Could go on all night but I have a stack on data to transcribed and so little time.

apehangmom
13-05-2008, 9:25 PM
Neil its hard I can see why your frustrated. when doing a place search.. In the states .. You need to know where the courthouse is( this includes FINDING what county the records were recorded. .. where the church is .. Where the Historical society is and lastly WHERE THE LIBRARy is.. Because some local libraries have a free ancestry.com subscription. which is nice for those brick wall suituations.. But differnt countries and towns you have never been to so pose a problem... roots web has a forum .. not to mention a surname fourm but also a place fourm.. Which is nice because some people actually look under the town postings. I do think that it would be easier to have a one stop shop when it comes to genealogy.. but it is a journey.. and the funny thing is .. You learn stuff while your looking for your history.. I have found cousins that I never met. But you know things are easier than they were 10 years ago.,. family tree maker used to be a big help.. But more and more people are posting information.. thanks christine

Lesley Robertson
29-08-2008, 12:05 PM
Things have changed greatly since I started my (scottish) OPS, but I have found that I've benefitted from a structured approach. Note that some of what I say will apply UK-wide, but some things will only apply to Scotland.
My Study started as a look at a single house and then, as I worked out what I was doing, spread first to the village and then to the parish. When I began, most information gathering was done in a high-intensity week in Edinburgh, followed by long waits for certificates to arrive, but now there's a great deal on line. My data is all fed into simple databases made on MS Works (which is more tolerant of errors than Access) and, when I start linking a family, Family Tree Maker 2005 (very useful because it will print "whole database" trees).
I started with the census for the parish. All of the available scottish census returns (1841-1901) are available in New Register House if you can get to Edinburgh or on Scotlands People. Each census set showed me who was where in the parish, what they were doing, and their background information. I used the information to track mother's maiden names, children born to the family but not resident on census night, etc.

Of course, the census only gives you a snapshot every 10 years, and so I've been buying photocopies of the Valuation Rolls for the parish at shorter intervals. These will tell you who owned a property, who the tenant was, and who the head of household was (on the later ones). These are currently most easily available from the local Archives, although the National Archives for Scotland (NAS) is currently scanning their set.

Once you know who was around in the census, BMDs become of interest. I've been steadily building databases of the Whitsome BMDs (Scotlands People gets far too much of my money) - these provide extra information such as parents' marriege dates and places on birth certs, etc. By putting them into a proper database, I can also change the sorting - for example sorting on cause of death highlighted a couple of outbreaks of typoid in the parish.

Back before BMDs started (1855 for Scotland, 1837 for England & Wales), Church records of baptisms and marriages become very informative. It's important to remember that there was no definitive format - the Minister could record what he liked. Some gave full entries, others didn't even give the name of the mother on a baptism entry. I treated myself to a microfilm of the relevant Old Parish Registers (OPR) and am gradually transcribing the entries into another database. It's worth noting that the registers of the Church of Scotland, and scottish B&M certificates to 1875 were made available to the LDS when they were building the IGI and can be found on the IGI BUT do check when you find an entry that it's a transcription and not submitted by a user (most of the latter entries are probably very useful, but there's no way to separate them from the others involving wishful thinking and guesswork, such entries should be regarded as clues, not hard data).

Scotlands People also has testaments, and NAS has all sorts of goodies to be found by searching on the name of the OPS target.

Old maps are important - the National Library of Scotland has their map collection on line for download, so I've been able to track farms, for example, over the centuries. The new satelite systems have also been useful in matching current field boundaries to the old ones.

The Scottish Genealogy Society publishes books of pre-1855 Memorial Inscriptions (scottish ones can be very informative) which are always worth searching. Pople weren't always buried where they last lived. Howevr I found the 1855 cutoff inconvenient, so I spent 3 days photographing the complete old burial ground and doing on-site transcriptions. Once I got my website up, I've put the whole thing on line - stones and transcriptions.

Talking of websites, mine has been a great help. Once people started finding it, they also started contributing information and photos - it's well worth establishing a presence.

It's also worth checking around because you never know where you'll find something useful - the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, for example. Google Books has provided nuggets and my current favourie site is the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) where you can download whole copies of old books.

I also post to the appropriate mailing lists and soc.genealogy.britain, as well as here.

URLs to most of the sites I've mentioned are on my web page.

Lesley

vivdunstan
09-09-2008, 4:33 PM
Old maps are important - the National Library of Scotland has their map collection on line for download, so I've been able to track farms, for example, over the centuries. The new satelite systems have also been useful in matching current field boundaries to the old ones.

Part of the NLS map collection is online. Much isn't. When I was doing my Coldingham baptismal witnesses project I bought an early (1855-1857) 6 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of the parish to look up addresses of the parents and witnesses and compare them. Many were place names that still survive but many weren't. The NLS even have a 25 inches to the mile OS map for Berwickshire surveyed at the same time, but that would probably not have given me too much extra information and would have been gargantuan for such a large parish. If you're interested in buying copies of the early large-scale OS maps for Whitsome email the maps address given on the NLS website. They're very helpful, and very quick at processing orders.

Viv

Lesley Robertson
10-09-2008, 8:16 AM
Part of the NLS map collection is online. Much isn't. When I was doing my Coldingham baptismal witnesses project I bought an early (1855-1857) 6 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of the parish to look up addresses of the parents and witnesses and compare them. Many were place names that still survive but many weren't. The NLS even have a 25 inches to the mile OS map for Berwickshire surveyed at the same time, but that would probably not have given me too much extra information and would have been gargantuan for such a large parish. If you're interested in buying copies of the early large-scale OS maps for Whitsome email the maps address given on the NLS website. They're very helpful, and very quick at processing orders.

Viv

I've got copies of the first edition OS maps from the Borders Archives - they sold me photocopies when I was just starting, long before the NLS went on line - AND they only charged me for the cost of photocopying to A2! On the version I have, it takes 2 pages to cover Whitsome village and the farms.

Interestingly, I was playing with the various sat-mapping programmes and realised that it's still possible to match most of the field outlines to those on the easrly OS map, even though many of the farms have now vanished.

Good to see you here, Viv!
Lesley

Geoffers
10-09-2008, 8:31 AM
I was playing with the various sat-mapping programmes and realised that it's still possible to match most of the field outlines to those on the easrly OS map, even though many of the farms have now vanished.

Field boundaries and footpaths/trackways/roads often follow ancient lines and are very useful in comparing older estate maps with more modern OS maps so that you can identify fairly accurately where buidlings stood and long gone features existed.

I love maps, old and new and firmly believe that anyone interested in research should have at least a small collection of fairly detailed maps.

suedent
10-09-2008, 8:47 AM
Geoffers I echo what you have to say about maps. You can never have too many, place names change, hamlets/farmsteads within a parish disappear.

My main area of interest is of course Polperro & have a nice pile of maps together with a huge collection of postcards.

I have also become fascinated with my husband's "ancestral home" of Haltwhistle in Northumberland & have a growing pile of maps & have also bookmarked online maps (those antiquarian maps that I can only covet!). Originally these maps were sourced to locate one particular settlement but I continue to seek out maps even though I have long since found the settlement I was looking for.

Lesley Robertson
10-09-2008, 10:36 AM
My main area of interest is of course Polperro & have a nice pile of maps together with a huge collection of postcards.


My OPS is for a tiny village (25-35 houses, depending on when) and surrounding farms, and I was quite amazed when I found a postcard for the place. Since then, I've found or been given others, the earliest being from the 1890s A couple were based on paintings rather than photos.

It just goes to show how attitudes change - from my original surprise that there's any postcards, I'm now disappointed that there doesn't seem to be any of other places in the parish.........

Lesley

vivdunstan
10-09-2008, 5:07 PM
I've got copies of the first edition OS maps from the Borders Archives - they sold me photocopies when I was just starting, long before the NLS went on line - AND they only charged me for the cost of photocopying to A2! On the version I have, it takes 2 pages to cover Whitsome village and the farms.

Oh excellent. Glad you have them. Must admit that I haven't mined the local archives resources as much as I should for unusual Coldingham and Melrose records, having moved away from the Borders in 1991 and not really returned much since. Made more use of the NLS, NAS, GRO(S) etc.

Viv

Lesley Robertson
11-09-2008, 9:00 AM
Oh excellent. Glad you have them. Must admit that I haven't mined the local archives resources as much as I should for unusual Coldingham and Melrose records, having moved away from the Borders in 1991 and not really returned much since. Made more use of the NLS, NAS, GRO(S) etc.

Viv

I spent 2 days in Borders Archives in July (the sunny days, the day I went to photograph Hilton burial ground resulted in new wellies and a waterproof). The building is nice (but not signposted), the staff are great (the Dragon from mary Mill is gone), but the collection seems a bit random (once you get away from the standard census films and OPR), apart from the fact that they have a full set of Valuation Rolls for the area (any scottish researchers who're not familiar with the VRs have missed a treasure trove!). They have a single book of the W&H parish school board's minutes, for example, even though it's obvious from the text that the teacher writing the minutes had the earlier ones - he documents his trip to pick them up from the previous teacher.

2 days was enough - I may go back for the VRs (but NAS is scanning their collection at the moment), but that's all. They are aware of their shortage, and grateful for deposts, so I may give them the original documents I find on that well-known auction site. The NAS curator said that they're far behind with cataloguing and deposits may not become instantly available to the public.

Lesley

vivdunstan
12-09-2008, 4:32 PM
I spent 2 days in Borders Archives in July (the sunny days, the day I went to photograph Hilton burial ground resulted in new wellies and a waterproof). The building is nice (but not signposted), the staff are great (the Dragon from mary Mill is gone), but the collection seems a bit random (once you get away from the standard census films and OPR), apart from the fact that they have a full set of Valuation Rolls for the area (any scottish researchers who're not familiar with the VRs have missed a treasure trove!).

I'd like to visit the new archive sometime but it depends on whether I'm up for the trip. I exhausted much of their material for family history purposes two decades ago, trawling through their records during odd days in my final years at school. Good point re signposting. I grew up in Hawick and am not sure I'd be able to find the route there that easily now!


They have a single book of the W&H parish school board's minutes, for example, even though it's obvious from the text that the teacher writing the minutes had the earlier ones - he documents his trip to pick them up from the previous teacher.

How frustrating!

Viv