Researching Family in the British Isles
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) has partnered with the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) to conduct a four day program of researching family in the British Isles. ISBGFH conducts the British Institute held annually in Salt Lake City to provide week-long education by well-known genealogists on the British Isles. From 13-16 August 2018, the ISBGFH has arranged for several presenters to provide an overview of researching British Isles topics at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. These presentations will explore DNA, Scotland, Ireland and England research. London based genetic genealogist Dr. Maurice Gleeson, MB, will present on DNA and Irish research, Christine Woodcock, from Genealogy Tours of Scotland, will discuss Scottish research, and Frank Southcott, President, ISBGFH, will explore the English records.
The HSP program is designed to be attended either on a given day and topic or in its entirety. It is an in-depth overview of British Isles research and enhances attendance for those who may desire to attend the British Institute where morning instruction and afternoon independent research are conducted in the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City on a country topic. More information about the British Institute is available HERE
The HSP curriculum for each day involves 4 presentations of one hour and fifteen minutes each. Monday, 13 August 2018, Dr Gleeson, MB, will explore advances made in DNA and how it can be applied to your British Isles research. Christine Woodcock will discuss the uniqueness of Scottish research on Tuesday, 14 August 2018. Dr. Gleeson will return on Wednesday, 15 August 2018, to present on the ever increasing resources available on Irish research, and Thursday, 16 August 2018, Frank Southcott, will examine English genealogical resources.
The cost of the four day program will be $299. Individual program days are available for $99 per day. Limited consultation slots will be available on DNA, Scotland and Ireland during the program for $125 hour.
DNA Instructor: Dr Maurice Gleeson
- An introduction to DNA testing for Genealogy
This introductory talk will explain the basics of DNA testing, the three main types of test, how each one can be applied in practice (with examples), and which one is best for you to specifically address your genealogical conundrums.
- Using Y-DNA to research your surname of choice
Anyone can research any particular surname (i.e. family name) that they want – you just need to find the right cousin to test. Y-DNA is eminently suited to surname research because it follows the same path as hereditary surnames i.e. back along the father father father line. This talk explores surname DNA studies and what they can reveal about your surname
- Applying autosomal DNA to your family history research – the theory
The most popular of the DNA tests is the autosomal test. This can be used to research all of your ancestral lines (as opposed to Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA which only help you explore a single ancestral line each). This talk explores the basic science behind autosomal DNA testing, the secrets to successfully applying it, and how it can be combined with other tests and genealogy to help answer specific genealogical questions.
- Applying autosomal DNA to your family history research – the practice
This is a more in-depth look at the use of autosomal DNA, including a step-by-step approach to tackling your matches, the concept of triangulation, the use of third party tools, and how techniques used to help adoptees trace their birth family can also help us to break thru our genealogical Brick Walls.
Scottish Genealogy Instructor Christine Woodcock
- In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors: Search Your Roots; Discover Your Heritage
While many people want to know more about their Scottish heritage, they don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, researching our Scottish ancestors is a fairly easy task. Knowing where to look is usually where we get tied up. This presentation will get you started in researching your Scottish ancestry as well as how to make the most of your research. Topics Include: starting your search, reaching out to others, ScotlandsPeople website, Scottish naming patterns, marriages and family history societies.
- Breaking Through Brick Walls in Scottish Research
Scottish documents contain a wealth of information and can make researching so much easier when you really take a look at what the documents are telling you. It becomes important to really pay attention to the key words on the documents so that you know what records you need to look at next in order to break through brick walls and learn as much as you can about your Scottish ancestors. In this presentation we will look at the key words on the documents that may help break down the brick wall. Then we will look at where those records exist and how you can access them.
- Online and Offline Databases for Scottish Genealogy Research
There comes a time when you have done all of the online researching you can do using the standard databases. In this presentation you will learn of the databases that aren’t as well know but that can assist in breaking through your brick walls. These include: websites for researching Scottish occupations, websites specific to the genealogy of regions where your ancestors might have lived, emigration databases, military databases, witchcraft databases, medieval ancestry, and British newspapers.
- Military Men, Covenanters and Jacobites: Historic Events That Led to Mass Migration
This session will help you understand the importance of the events in Scottish history that led to a large number of Scots leaving their homeland for life in the Americas. In order to be successful researching in the Scottish records, we need to know where in Scotland our ancestors originated. Bridging the gap between finding them in the North American records (birth, marriage, death and census records) and being able to locate them in the Scottish records may seem like a daunting task. However, it is often less of a challenge and more of a reward if you understand what brought them here in the first place. Some clues can be taken from the major historic events in Scottish history that led to Scots leaving their homeland.
Irish Research Instructor Dr Maurice Gleeson
- Tracing Your Ancestors Back to Ireland
For many Irish-Americans, all they know is their ancestor “came from Ireland” but they have no further information than that. This talk gives an overview of the various techniques & records available in the US (and elsewhere) that can be used to help trace your ancestor back to where they came from in Ireland. These include shipping records, emigration records, but also surname dictionaries and distribution maps.
- Irish Church and Civil Registration Records
In the last year or so, many of the civil registration records are coming online. Most of these are now available for free via http://www.irishgenealogy.ie and digital images of the original record can be downloaded. Civil registration started in 1864 for most records. Prior to this, one has to rely on church records for tracing further back and these can be very helpful indeed or not at all – coverage is patchy and most records peter out around 1800-1830. However, all of Ireland is covered by two websites and most of this research can be done from the comfort of your own home.
- Census, Census Substitutes, and Land Records
Census records survive for only 1901 and 1911, with some scraps from other years. Griffith’s Valuation can be very helpful as a mid-1800 census substitute but it is the Cancelled or Revised Valuation Books that provide a wealth of information that allow tracing relatives forward and backward from the present day to the 1850s. We will also look at the Tithe Applotment books and the Registry of Deeds.
- Less Common Irish Genealogical Records
This talk explores the wealth of genealogical material to be found in newspapers, cemeteries, probate, petty session court records, & dog licenses. We will also explore some of the resources that everyone should be using as a routine part of their ongoing Irish research.
English Research Instructor Frank Southcott
- Researching Your Family in England: Census and National Registration
A useful England census has been conducted every 10 years since 1841 and is accessible through 1911. It is the primary resource to establish families in England during that period. England also conducted a national registration in 1939 as an ancillary of WWII. Both of these resources will be explored during this session.
- Researching Your Family in England: Civil Registration
Civil registration of birth, marriages and deaths commenced on 1 July 1837. Explore the records and idiosyncrasies of the registration process in England and how to obtain the information for your family.
- Researching Your Family in England: Wills and Church Records
Wills survive from early times. Baptisms, marriages and burials survive in a great number of parishes from the mid-1500’s. This session will explore the available probate and church records and the wealth of information that can be derived.
- Researching English Family at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Many people are surprised at the vast collection of British Isles records available at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania library. Explore the records and resources available for British Isles family research at HSP with Daniel Rolph, PhD, Historian and Head of Reference Services.