Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Abundant Geneaolgy - Week 3 - Free Online Genealogy Tools
Week 3 – Free Online Genealogy Tools: Free online genealogy tools are like gifts from above. Which one are you most thankful for? How has it helped your family history experience?
Where does one start? There are so many fantastic free online sites so I don't think I'll be able to stop at one.
I love The Ryerson Index which is an index to death notices in current Australian newspapers. It is a fantastic resource and thanks must go to those who freely give their time to work on this project. I'm only sorry that the newspaper from where I grew up is not one of those indexed. I'd index it if I had regular access to the paper. Unfortunately, I read the paper fourth hand in bulk about three times a year and I can't guarantee that issues aren't missing.
Recently I've been spending a lot of time on the Public Record Office of Victoria website, particularly looking at their Wills, Probate and Administration Records 1841-1925. I have been able to access free of charge several family wills which have proved to be extremely beneficial in my research. Thanks for providing these to the public.
I visit Trove's digitised newspapers on a weekly basis. To play a part in the continual improvement of Trove I always correct the electronically translated text. Although this digitisation project has yet to digitise any of the papers of the small country towns that I am interested in I have still been able to locate stories about my families. I was really pleased to be able to verify a story that my father had told me about his grandfather. You can read about it here.
I am very grateful for cemetery sites. The Australian Cemetery Index is a record of inscriptions on headstones or plaques found in each cemetery at the time it was surveyed. Currently there are 616 NSW cemeteries and 181 from Queensland with much smaller holdings for the other states. I have been able to see images of the headstones of many of my extended families on this site. These images have given me death dates which in turn have often led to published obituaries. It's not quite as exciting as finding the headstone yourself but it certainly makes research easier.
I'm looking forward to reading about other fantastic free sites.