Saturday, 14 October 2017

Laying the groundwork part 6

Taking classes and attending seminars is something that I find really interesting. I like to find out new information and make lots of notes. It all sounds so good at the time. Maybe that new information could be the solution to a brick wall or give me a clue to take that problem family back a generation. I have lots of folders full notes of helpful hints that just sit there. 

The same thing happens with my research. I love the hunt. Searching for those elusive ancestors through wills, deeds and written accounts is addictive. Once the piece of data is captured by transcription, photocopy, photo or on a flash drive the hunt is over. The thrill is gone. And the data sits there. I still have copies of interesting stuff unprocessed from research trips. This has to change.

There has been some progress since I started writing this blog. In the search for topics I have accessed some of the data that was sitting around gathering dust. There is lots more where that came from. My aim is to get organized so that I can not only put my research in order to find great topics to write about but to even use the information from seminars for ideas for topics and future research. I hope to start this after I return from the genealogy conference. Wish me luck!

Some of the research information waiting to be used

Monday, 9 October 2017

Laying the groundwork part 5

DNA is one of the latest tools in the genealogist’s toolkit. It would be helpful to have a better grasp on the subject and, like every good conference, the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit has sessions on how to use DNA to help with your genealogy research. 

Family historians embraced DNA technology from the get-go. I can remember hearing about it years ago when the only tests available for genealogists were for males because the first genealogy related tests used the Y chromosome. Technology developed rapidly after that so now there are basically three types of DNA that can be tested for genealogical purposes (well, two if you are female and can’t talk any male relatives into parting with their precious cells.)

Some family historians have really gotten into this new technology and have impressive colour charts of where on the chromosomes their various relatives match up. They must have done very well in Math class is all I can say. I hope one day to be able to decipher one of those diagrams or at least be able to tell if it is advantageous to test with more than one company.  I hope the DNA sessions will jump start this side of my research.  

 A little light reading about DNA for the genealogist

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Laying the groundwork part 4

Much of my research involves the history of the Scots. They immigrated in large numbers to Canada and made up a large part of the population of Nova Scotia. As appropriate, the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit will also be offering sessions about the Scots. Even better, it looks like the sessions are about the Scots who came from the Highland areas which is just where my interests lie.

Waves of Scottish immigrants reached Canadian shores. Immigration wasn’t just because of the Highland Clearances that started towards the end of the 18th century. Scots had been leaving their home country for decades before that time and sometimes it is hard to pin down a date.

I am fortunate to know when my Ontario Scottish families came to Canada. The year of immigration was one of the questions on a census in which they appeared. The year of immigration of my Nova Scotia Scottish research families is unclear. I haven’t even been able to find where in Scotland they came from but I lean towards somewhere in the Highlands as they have a Mac name and were Catholic. I hope the summit sessions will give me some clues for future research.   

The Clan Donald Centre on Skye. Skye is the origin of one of my Ontario families