Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gettin' My Feet Wet

It's been a long time since I've posted anything here. It will be interesting to see if I get any comments... will my blog still appear in anyone's feed reader??? LOL!

Every year or so I subscribe to for a month to see what's new and hopefully add some info to my family tree. There's usually not much new and not much to add, so this time around I decided to use that month of Ancestry access to help out a friend by researching her family history. I knew this would be challenging for me because this friend has no Polish ancestors and that's all I have experience in researching. But what the heck, it was time to jump back into my genealogy research and this seemed like a good way to get my feet wet.

I started with my friend's father's line which is French Canadian. The family records from the Essex County, Ontario area were pretty easy to find and it was fun to be on the hunt and entering data in a database again. Before too long, the family records went back to Quebec. Now that was a bit more challenging for me. My French language skills are more than rusty, they're very limited. I had French language classes in grades 4-7 and not since then. But with the help of good ole Google Translate, I made pretty good progress and was able to take a couple of her family lines back to the late 1600s in the Quebec area.

When I'd taken that French Canadian research as far as I could (basically, what I could find online at and I moved on to my friend's mother's line which is English. I've dabbled in researching English records before but it has been a looong while. Ancestry has a few more collections than the last time I was looking for records so that's nice. I had great fun going through the records and discovering the charming street and neighborhood names... like Cold Bath Lane. Wouldn't it be fun to give your address on Cold Bath Lane? Cute!

I was just finishing up with the research of my friend's English lines, and coming to the end of my one-month Ancestry subscription, when Ancestry released the new batch of Michigan Marriage Records 1867-1952. Woo hoo! A serious new collection for me to examine for my own family lines! My one-month subscription to Ancestry just became a two-month subscription.

I'm feeling good about the research I did for my friend. If she wants to take things further she can start reading about Canadian history and pick up some Charles Dickens' novels to learn more about those periods of her ancestors' lives. I know there are probably more (and maybe better) sources for online research for Canadian and English records than just Ancestry and FamilySearch. If you know of some, please leave a comment and I will pass the info along to my friend. Now that I've gotten her started, perhaps she'll want to take the research further.

I was working on that English research at the same time I started binge-watching the "Mr. Selfridge" television series. Now I'm hooked on that series! Love it! Can't wait for Season 3 to begin next month!