Researching overseas

Every month I run a group session at Rosny Library and for September the topic is Overseas Records. I like to have a blog post or slideshow to use at these sessions, so decided this time to write a blog post.

First place to look would be the family search research wiki. Family search is a free website. You can join at no cost and to use the research wiki, there is no need to join.

  1. Click on Search in the navigation bar
  2. Click on Research Wiki
  3. Click on the continent where you want to search
  4. Choose the country from drop down menu on left side. Those countries with >in front of them will open again to counties or provinces or states etc
  5. You should now get a webpage on that country or state etc. On the right hand side of the page will be a list of wiki topics such as beginning research, record types, background and cultural groups.
  6. On the main part of the page, you should see contents and perhaps a coloured button for online records and another for asking the family search community

Spend time clicking on the links on the page. Remember to right click on your mouse and open in a new tab. That way you wont lose your original country page.

Other resources around the world

Cyndi’s List – This a an indexed list of genealogical websites. Begin with categories and choose the letter of the country and gradually work your way through the links as they appear. Be careful: there are lots of ads on the pages, don’t click on them if at all possible.

GENUKI – this is relevant to UK and Ireland genealogy. Make sure you check out the section for first time users.

Other posts I’ve written about researching in other countries – mainly as Twitter chats

As these posts could be three years old, some links might not work properly especially if they go to a twitter profile.

Hope these hints have been helpful in researching overseas.

Genealife in lockdown – Only in Tassie

DNA disproved great great grandfather William Smith half Samoan

As part of NFHM2021, I was asked by the local library where I volunteer every Friday, if I would run a few sessions related to family history. I have one I have presented a few times about “Discovering your family history” that has the participants thinking about what they might already have at home that could start them with their journey and how are they going to share their knowledge.

  • Birth, death, marriage certificates
  • Passports or naturalization certificates
  • War records
  • Photographs – hopefully named and dated
  • Heirloom objects handed down
  • Maybe some audio interviews on tapes or CDs
  • A family tree researched by another person – hopefully sourced well

I then introduce them to pedigree charts and family group sheets and different ways of organizing your family history instead of having lots of notes on slips of paper. Colour coding their files is also mentioned. Finally, where can they go to next.

  • Ask for help from librarians – a book might be published about your family
  • Talk to Sue on Friday afternoons at Rosny library – book a one hour session via Eventbrite
  • Join your local family history society
  • Take an online family history course
  • Create a private Facebook group for family to exchange stories
  • Buy a software program
  • Get DNA tested

So last Friday, I had six participants taking part and I used as an example my half Samoan great great grandfather (who from DNA is now no longer my relative). As I was mentioning where to find other records, one of the ladies and the librarian who was in there helping, said they were related to Captain William Smith. Only in Tasmania could that happen – 8 of us in the room, two related and one thought they had been related.

The two ladies enjoyed looking at all the research I had done on Captain Smith who ran many whaling ships in the 1860’s-1880’s from Recherche Bay, southwest of Hobart, out to the whaling areas of the Pacific Ocean as well as the Great Australian Bight.

Readers: Have you had a chance encounter with someone who turns out to be related to you?