Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Heritage Productions

I’m back! It’s been awhile since I posted here, so let me tell you about the Ohio State Genealogy Conference in Cincinnati and a new resource for books and online classes for UK, US, Irish and Canadian research.
1.       The OGS Conference was great with about 700 people registered. My travel plans went without a hitch even though the air controllers were having a job action due to the Sequester.  Thus I arrived on Thursday and only missed the morning keynote speaker.

I spoke twice on Saturday about land records and had a large number each time. They applauded at the end so I must have done something right.

Next year’s OGS Conference is in the northern part state in Sandusky at a facility called the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center from April 30-May 4, 2014.

2 .      Last year at NGS, I bought a book at the Heritage Productions booth, titled Researching English Non-Anglican Ancestors by Dr. Penelope Christensen. You can see that I referred to it many times through the year as I wrote about researching religious groups in the UK who were not affiliated with the Church of England. This year in Cincinnati, I picked up another of Dr. Christensen’s books, Researching English Poor Law and Parish Chest Records.

This publisher based in Toronto, Ontario, has a huge number of books arranged into a number of series on their website www.genealogystore.com. There are over twenty titles in their General Series, which I would term the non-geographically specific books about organizing data or writing a family history.  Then there are a number of books grouped together in the American Series, the Canadian Series, the English Series, the Irish Series and the Scottish Series. Finally there are several books about research in other European countries.

Heritage Productions is an arm of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. They have online courses which you can take for pleasure or to receive a certificate for genealogy research in either Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland or the United States. Check this out at www.genealogicalstudies.com.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: What Genealogists Want

As I write, I am also preparing a talk about “Accessing Land Records Online” that I will give at the Ohio Genealogy Society Conference. I was thinking about what features a good land website would have. Then I realized that they were the same basic features I wanted from any site – ancestry.com or familysearch.org. My list includes:

                -search by name
                -see original document on the screen

                -print or save the original document, free
There are over 3000 land records offices in the U.S. with little coordination between them, but in this day and age, almost all have a web presence. You will find offices with a bare minimum of data online, that is, only their contact information, address, phone and email. Some reach my criteria for a perfect site. The vast majority of the web sites are between the minimum and the ideal.

Fees for copies are common when you visit an office in person.  Losing this revenue when the world went digital was a fiscal issue in many land offices. If a recorder needs or wants to charge and then puts its images online, many genealogists are clever enough to take screen shots to bypass payment so the records offices may not post the images either.
Charges range from $.50 to about $2.00 per page. The copies are cheap when compared to prices for vital records, so that is the silver lining.

The websites are very exciting so go to the one where your ancestors lived and see what is available.