Ancestry Posts Indexes to 1851 and 1861 Scotland Censuses–1841-1861 Now Available

Scotland.jpgAncestry has launched indexes to the 1851 and 1861 censuses of Scotland, adding them to the 1841 index which had previously been available. Indexes include name of the individual, with links to the entries of others enumerated in the household, age, estimated birth year, relationship to head of household, spouse’s name, gender, birthplace, parish name and number, town, county, address, occupation, enumeration district and page number.

Access to the databases is available to members with World Deluxe or UK Deluxe memberships. For more information, or to search these databases, see the database descriptions and search boxes through the links below:

1851 Scotland Census
1861 Scotland Census

Free Access to Immigration Collection Extended Through 31 December 2006


Free Access to the Most Comprehensive Collection of Available Passenger List Records 1820-1960 Sparks 25 Percent Increase in Site Usage; Offer Extended Through December 31, 2006

PROVO, UTAH – November 28, 2006 –, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced it is extending free access to the most extensive immigration records collection online through the end of the year. On November 9, the company released the most comprehensive collection of all readily available U.S. passenger list records from 1820 to 1960, providing access to more than 100 million names from the height of U.S. immigration. originally offered free access to its immigration records through November 30 to celebrate the launch of the passenger list collection. Due to overwhelming response, the company is now extending the offer through the end of 2006. Continue reading

New at Ancestry

Weekly Planner: Start Your Holiday Wish List

santa list.jpgIs there a genealogy book, magazine, membership, research trip, historical map, software, or other product that you’ve been hoping to get? Make a wish list to share with family. While they may know about your interest in family history, they may not be aware of your genealogical needs. Even Santa needs a little hint now and then!

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Family History Gift Follow-Up

gift boxes.jpgThanks to everyone who wrote in with holiday gift ideas following last week’s articles written by Maureen Taylor and me Family History Gift Ideas  and Highway to the Holidays.

With Thanksgiving behind us and holiday gift planning well underway, as promised, today’s column features some of the ideas that came in from you. So without further ado, here we go:

I heard from several readers who created family calendars to give as gifts. Rose Parks in Texas has used themes for the photos she uses. She wrote, “One year the theme was a baby photo and then a much later one of many in the family. Last year I did photos and also put a document they had written or signed on the page.” Continue reading

Little Names Can Make Big Challenges

We all know what nicknames are. Often, they are simply altered versions of a person’s real name. Patrick or Patricia becomes Pat; James becomes Jimmy or Jim; or Richard becomes Rich, Rick, Dick, Ricky, Dickie, or even Dickey. Sometimes a nickname is a variant that has evolved over time. Dorothy becomes Dot or Dottie; Henry becomes Hank; or, Elizabeth becomes Bette, Betty, Bess, Liz, Lizzie, or Bep. Margaret is a name with many variations: Margie, Margo, Meg, Peggy, Peg, and a number of other forms.

My own research has included any number of these naming variations. For example, my great-grandmother had a forename of Ansibelle, and there are no U.S. federal censuses that list her christened name at all. In fact, her first name was never listed the same way twice. The variations included Annie, Nancy, Nannie, and Ancie. Her middle name was Penelope, and that name has been passed on and been reused in the family. In its more recent incarnations, Penelope has become Penny, Nep, and Neppie. If you encountered the name “Neppie” on a census document and didn’t know the real name it represented, what would you have guessed? Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Memory Tip

from Paula Stuart Warren 

Several months ago, I told my daughter a story about an experience back when I was in second grade. She is in her 30s and just looked at me and said “How can you remember that stuff? I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday!”

The day before I had lunch with six childhood friends from grade school and we spent part of our two-hour lunch reminiscing. It seems that each of us brings up a different memory from the good ol’ days and our particular memory of that situation adds to the story. At times, one or another of us doesn’t remember the story or situation that the others remember.

These situations struck me as a good lesson in memory. Think about the oral history passed down in your family. This is the time of year for many family holiday celebrations. Start a conversation or two about great-grandma or some other relative or town and be prepared to learn a lot–in various versions. There just might be some research clues in those conversations.

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Your Quick Tips, 27 November 2006

Census Tip
While you are gathering documents for your family, pay close attention to every name on them. When you find an unfamiliar name, use the census to see who they were. Sometimes this can help you to determine whether they had any family relationship to your target family. If you find them living near your ancestors, check to see if the woman of the house is of an appropriate age to be a married daughter of your target family. Also, check to see if anyone familiar is living in the household, such as a child or older person bearing your target surname. Finally, check for other familiar names in the neighborhood.

Virginia Sholin Smallwood Continue reading

The Year Was 1900

The year was 1900 and in China resentment over European involvement in various key areas of the country was growing. A secret religious society called the Boxers (also known as the “I Ho Ch’uan” or the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”), began a bloody series of attacks on Chinese Christians and foreigners and eventually took over the city of Peking (Beijing). An international force, including the U.S., France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Russia, Japan, and Great Britain eventually quelled the Boxer Rebellion and China was forced to pay $333 million in damages and open further trading with these countries.

In Canada, a fire that began in the town of Hull, fueled by high winds, blew across the Ottawa River. When it was over, more than 14,000 people were homeless, and property damage estimates topped $100,000,000.

The weather that year was the cause of another disaster, when a hurricane struck Galveston and killed more than 6,000 people. Led by Clara Barton, the Red Cross came to the aid of the city, establishing an orphanage for storm victims and helping to rebuild the area. Continue reading