Although the summer is now coming to an abrupt end, it’s nice to reminisce about summers spent with our families throughout the years. We all have fond memories, but those that tend to evoke the most vivid recollection are usually set in summer. And this should come as no surprise really, given that even a glimmer of sunshine is excuse enough to don sunglasses, flip-flops and shorts - we’re mad about the summer and even more determined when it comes to the summer holidays with the family.
For example, I remember being pushed around the back garden of my family home in what could only be described as a mini plastic police car. My sister, then eight and myself five years old, insisted that whilst the family barbecue was heating up we would explore the garden in the searing summer heat. That very day was my initiation into the wonderful world of sunburn.
This week the National Archives bolstered its current MI5 records collection by 171 records, bringing the total number of files available to approximately 5000. Spanning both the Second World War and post-war eras, there’s plenty of material to get your teeth into. Many of the files are available online at nationalarchives.gov.uk however; here are some of the most interesting additions...
Antonia Hunt (ALIAS) Tonia Lyon-Smith:- At the age of 15 Antonia was trapped in France by the German invasion on 1940. Instead of being sent to a concentration camp though, she was enlisted as an office girl by a Gestapo office in Paris. Prior to this, she was arrested by the very same Gestapo officers for a letter she had written on behalf of the resistance. In an amazing twist, the time spent at the office was overshadowed by the infatuations of a German officer named Karl Gagel. He even attempted to make contact with Antonia following her return to Britain!
The international genealogists descended on Washington DC and MyHeritage was there to meet them.
The 31st International Conference on Jewish Genealogy – August 14-19 – was organized by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Maryland in conjunction with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. The annual conference is held in a different city each year, with Paris the venue for 2012.
Chief genealogist Daniel Horowitz, UK genealogy advisor Laurence Harris and US genealogy advisor Schelly Talalay Dardashti were ready for the more than 1,100 family history researchers and genealogists from the US and around the world.
The conference program featured more than 120 lectures, workshops and other events, including a concert. This event is one of the longest genealogy conferences, beginning on a Sunday and running through Friday.
This is a guest post by Shauna Hicks.
Shauna is a professional genealogist, former archivist and librarian who has been researching her own family history since 1977.
It's been another busy week in Australian genealogy and with lots more to come over the next few weeks being a family history buff in Australia is going to be a busy time!
The Week That Was
This week I was really pleased to finally see the Society of Australian Genealogists (Sydney, NSW) offering a webinar to its members. Their first one was offered to 100 members and was booked out very quickly so there is obviously a need for this kind of service to members.
It should be said that the Genealogical Society of Victoria has been offering podcasts to its members for years but a podcast is not as interactive as a webinar but still good if you can’t get along to society talks.
With that in mind, here’s hoping that SAG start offering webinars to non-members and that other societies will also follow their lead.
In this thought-provoking video, Greg Carroll of the West Virginia State Archives discusses the history of slaves and free people of color in West Virginia from 1800-1860.
In addition to informing viewers as to what genealogical research materials are available, Carroll talks of a palpable lack of certain types of information and the need to collect further information. In particular, the oral histories of these people are lacking.
This video also provides some background to the plight of these West Virginians. Well worth a watch.
Great News. MyHeritage is going to be exhibiting at the New Zealand Family History Fair this week.
The event, that runs from Friday 26th - Saturday 27th August in Hamilton, New Zealand is only in its second year but has already established itself as a must-see on the A/NZ genealogy event circuit.
MyHeritage will be at Stand 11 with free Family Tree Builder CDs and premium subscription discounts, so come and say hello
I will also be doing a talk titled "The Benefits of Digitising Your Family History Research" at 4PM on Friday if you're keen to hear more on the topic.
Today's poll is about the things we treasure and are entrusted with by our ancestors.
Family heirlooms hold important values for all of us, whether it is a box of old black-and-white photographs or a priceless dinner service. We recognise the value of these possessions in preserving our individual family histories.
Let us know about your family's current heirloom status:
The popular BBC1 programme focused on Rowling's interesting family history.
It followed her late mother’s French roots, starting with her maternal great-grandfather, Louis Volant. Rowling’s family had been convinced that Louis received the prestigious Légion d'honneur for bravery during World War I. Rowling also received that award for her contribution to literature for the popular Harry Potter series.
The family tale was proved wrong as the award-winning Louis Volant was an unrelated man with the same name as her great-grandfather. However, her great-grandfather was in fact similar to Rowling.
Recent announcements include online Canadian records, a free mobile app for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), as well as interesting family history-related stories covering an inspiring search, family reunions and memoir-writing.
Canadian records online
Looking for a quick way to search Canadian genealogy records?
FamilySearch.org has added nearly 8,000 Quebec notarial record images (1800-1860) to its Canadian records. Click here for more information.
- Try Genealogy in Time’s free genealogy search engine. Some included websites: Automated Genealogy, Alberta Family History Society, Alberta Genealogical Society, Ontario Genealogical Society, Canada Genweb websites, federal and provincial archives, Canadian obituary websites, as well as French, Acadian, Loyalist, Mennonite and other sites. Fifty additional online sites with Canadian ancestral records have been added. The site claims some 10 million new records have been added.
- For more lists of Canadian-specific sites and records, click http://www.genealogylinks.net/canada/ or http://www.cyndislist.com/canada