Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ulster Settlers Database

 Likely you cannot read the faint print of this snip, so I  copied it for you. The important-est statement is this, to my mind: "historical data relating to the English and Scottish men and women who settled in Ulster in the period 1609-1641..."   Those are/were what we've come to understand as the Scots-Irish! Those hard-to-find-hard-to-trace rascals who came to the colonies and happily settled on the frontier away from anything of "officialdom." 

My hubby's Phillips line is Scots-Irish and I've had minimal success with it. Bet you're in that rowboat with me, eh? I'm going to have a great time clicking around on this website/database......... and, if you Google "Ulster Settlers" several parallel websites pop up, offering more insight, knowledge and information to you! Hooray!

The Ulster Settlers Database, an exciting biographical and historical resource, is now available to researchers. Making innovative use of historical data relating to the English and Scottish men and women who settled in Ulster in the period c.1609-1641, the database is a searchable account of a community in flux.

The initial phase of the project was funded by the Royal Irish Academy through the Hunter Digital Fellowship. Beginning in early 2022, the project was co-hosted by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queens University Belfast and Maynooth University’s Arts and Humanities Institute. 

Taking on the challenges involved in working with incomplete biographical data, this project models existing data into life events and then digitally links all these related events to reconstruct a searchable prosopography or biographical map of the entire settler cohort. 

The Ulster Settlers database is available to search here: https://ulster-settlers.clericus.ie/

By the by, never say "Scotch-Irish." David Rencher, CEO of the FamilySearch Library reminds us "that Scotch is a drink."

Friday, April 19, 2024

FamilySearch WIKI


Have you accessed the wonderful, fantastic, FREE resource that is the FamilySearch WIKI? When you click to www.familysearch.org/WIKI this is the page that opens up to you. From this menu, you can "order" among over 106,000 articles......... articles about places all over the world, records of all types, and what records can be found where. When my Puerto Rican friend, Leticia, wanted help with her family tree, the first thing I did was to go to the WIKI and print out all the pages of tips, helps and websites. 

Danielle Batson at the 2023 RootsTech, gave these tips in her talk:

  • "The WIKI is your online genealogy guide linking you to all known records of the entire world!"  How can you top that??

  • WIKI is constantly adding newly found links/sites.

  • WIKI offer strategy papers.

  • Search by locality, she said. "That's where things happen!"

  • Search top-down.... ie, start with Denmark or Virginia and then work your way down through the menu.

  • Realize that some countries ("Bulgaria for instance") hasn't as many records.

  • Don't over look the sidebar with links to other related records.

  • You can also join a community group for your target area and ask locality-specific questions.

  • Wiki offers Guided Research..... Wiki offers guides to where you might look next.

  • You can book your free Virtual Genealogy consultation, a 20-minute time one-on-one with a FamilySearch specialist for that area or type of record. 

  • And this, the best words she said were these:
"The FamilySearch WII is your researchers' Golden Ticket!"

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tips For Southern Research

 Right off the bat, I'll bet you're surprised to see the number of states included under the umbrella of "southern," as in Southern Genealogy Research. Surprise, indeed!

I attended the 2023 RootsTech and listened to a speaker (whose name I didn't scribble down) speak about Southern Research and giving some tips for same:

  • Learn as much history on/from your family as you can! 
  • Reason out the facts......... was it indeed a southern state?
  • Brush up on your U.S. history from 1763 to 1775 for starters.
  • Then progress to the Civil War time period. 
  • Know that Georgia was only 1/2 British and was 1/2 Native American.
  • Yes, while many courthouses were burned and records lost, not everything was lost. The documentation of the county's wealth and income was all important (how to levy taxes if you didn't know who owned what land?) and were reconstructed.
  • Search the land records and deeds of target states.
  • Attempt a time line for each family in your target location.
  • Plot the family's migration into and then through the Southern states. 
  • Check newspapers for that time and place.
  • Correlate info from all available records: land, census, probate, court, military
  • Use period maps.
  • Watch for name changes or just misspellings.
  • Southern "speech" often use "brother/cousin" when there was no relationship
  • Each southern state has historical societies and archives as do many of the counties in those states. Many of these societies had many much of their holdings available online. 
Example: My hubby's great-grandfather, Seaborn Phillips, born 1844 in Georgia and died in 1906 in Texas. Why Texas? He was a Confederate soldier (was at the Battle of Gettysburg, he said) and after the war, Georgia was devastated and had no resources to pay pensions to veterans, so he moved his family west to Texas where pensions were to be had (Texas was not heavily impacted by the war). 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Filles du Roi

 Was your ancestral mother a filles du roi? If so, be proud. These women are known as the founding mothers of Canada.

Here's the history:

To secure his colonial claims in North America, King Louis XIV of France had to strengthen his settlements in New France (Nova Scotia). French officials recruited girls and women to migrate to New France to increase the population. They became known as the filles du roi, or King's Daughters.

From 1663 to 1673, nearly 1000 women came to New France. In exchange, the women received money, clothes and household items. Almost all of these women married and had children, doubling the population. 

From the perspective of the French Crown, the program was a success. However, little has been recorded of how these women viewed their experiences. 

The women were to be of child-bearing age and especially so, in good health. The women picked for this "adventure" were chosen by their age, health and physical strength, not necessarily for their looks. They had to be "in good health and strong enough for field work and have strong skills when it comes to domestic tasks..."

There are many Canada-based societies dedicated to preserving the memory, experiences and descendancy of these so-called King's Daughter. Also, YouTube offers several video-stories. 

So be proud if your great-x-time-grandmother was a Kings' Daughter!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Are You A Francophone?


A francophone, simply put, is one who speaks French primarily as a first language. We might guess that there are many French speaking people in Canada and Louisiana but I never would have guess that there are so many francophones in the rest of the world, especially Africa. 

According to an article in American Ancestors, Fall 2010, by Felix Lafrance:

Between 1840 and 1930, more than 900,000 French-Canadians left Canada for the U.S. This massive exodus was the result of many complex factors. In 19th century French Canada faced significant economic and socio-cultural changes as it transformed from a rural society to an industrial economy. ...... as economic development exploded, the lives of the working people became worse.... pricing, lack of farmland, poor quality of arable land, debt.. left many French Canadians without a home or a job.

So they came to the United States. But where? By 1900 there was a sizable French-speaking population in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Smaller groups were in New Hampshire, and Maine. And they did well in their new home. 

What attracted them to the U.S.? If lack of jobs, debts and poverty were the primary reasons why French-Canadians left their native land, the pull exerted by America was a factor.  By the end of the Civil War, American industry found itself with a shortage of workers in all sectors..... housing, construction, dam and canal building, installing and maintaining roads, sewage and aqueduct systems, farming, timber and especially industrial manufacturing. These industries experienced unprecedented growth due to the influx of French-Canadians eager to work.  

American life itself was a powerful attraction. American cities promised a new way of life and escape from agricultural work. "City delights" attracted the young. 

Bottom line, the "fever of departure" caused almost one million French-Canadians to immigrate to the U.S. between 1840 and 1930. Perhaps your ancestor was among them??

Do you still speak some French?? 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Are You Your Own Brickwall?


In genealogy, the term “brick wall” is often used to refer to tough research problems, apparent dead-ends that after many hours of searching still yield no answers

We all think we know about brick walls because most of us have them..... or have had them in our family history research. Am I right? Ever considered that you might be your own brickwall??

A handout from FamilySearch identifies some common genealogical mistakes and offers strategies for overcoming them:

    • Talk to family!! Do not skip this step.
    • Realize that there is information beyond the Internet.
    • Realize that while online family trees are great CLUES, unless they are well documented, they are not to be taken as  gospel.
    • Get over the "if it's not free, I don't/can't/want it." (There is a cost associated with creating and maintaining websites, obtaining and organizing records, etc)
    • Plan your research; don't succumb to SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome)
    • Don't start at the wrong end.... meaning start with today, document your ancestry from today on back .... and you'll likely find clues to that end-of-line ancestor.
    • Focus on one family at a time... NOT an individual. Not one man or woman was totally alone but was surrounded by family, friends and neighbors. (In those olden times of the 1800s, where did an ailing old widow go? To live with her children or grandchildren! There was no Social Security.)
    • Be aware of spelling variations: Phillips, Philips, Phillipss, Filips, Flips, etc. are all the same surname (most likely, spoken by one who could not spell). 
    • Aim to access the "real" or bottom-line source, not a derivative source. Ask: where did she get that information as shown on her online tree????? SHE is not a source for you! 
    • Do you collect names and bits and pieces of likely-looking information in hopes of fitting the puzzle pieces together? Doesn't work well, does it, and soon you have desk overflowing with papers! Take the time..... make the time... to analyze your findings. Take time to spread it out on a table and think how it might or does fit. 
    • It is most worthwhile to write up your idea, your analyzing, your thoughts. Just because you've gathered a bunch of facts about an individual or a family, do you have the right family and/or all the information? A school notebook is great; you're not writing a novel but just jotting ideas. 😐
There are dozens of websites offering "Overcoming Brickwalls" and many YouTube videos of the same. Instead of giving up, or quitting when all the low-hanging fruit is picked, or succumbing to SOS, give yourself a shake and learn how to NOT be your own brick wall!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Trivia..... No April Fooling!


Today dinner time often means sharing a pizza....... at the table or in front of the TV or computer. But it was NOT like that in the olden days.

An old Miss Manners newspaper column gives the courses, and the order of these courses, for a 19th century dinner....... all served with different and appropriate dishes, silverware and wine:

  • Raw oysters
  • Soup, often a cream soup
  • Hors d'oeuvres
  • Fish
  • Entree... not what we think today but vegetables like asparagus, artichoke, corn
  • Sorbet
  • Hot roast
  • Cold roast
  • Game
  • Salad
  • Pudding
  • Ice Cream
  • Fruit
  • Cheese
"Never fear, "Miss Manners touted "these were times when thinness was considered not chic, but pitiful. But even then, guests were not supposed to et everything. It was like an entire (menu) from which to pick and choose."

Keep in mind, that at these L-O-N-G dinners, you're wearing heavy, formal attire (corsets, full skirts, sleeves) and there was no AC in summer and it was considered bad manners to absent yourself from the table. If invited, would you attend???