For our Expert Q&A on Thursday, March 28 we had Brad Argent from Ancestry.com.au to answer questions about what’s new at Ancestry.com.au, like Ireland’s Morpeth’s Roll (1841), and what you’d like to see in the future. Thanks again to Brad for giving us all the benefit of his time and expertise.
Please find the transcript of the Q&A and links below.
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Summary of links from the Q&A:
- Ancestry.com.au Apps: http://ow.ly/juz9Y
- Ancestry.com.au Family Tree privacy settings: http://ow.ly/juwsi
- Ancestry.com.au GEDCOM uploads: http://ow.ly/juxgd
- Ancestry.com.au Getting Started guide: http://ow.ly/juyyw
- Ancestry.com.au Message Boards: http://ow.ly/juy22
- Ancestry.com.au Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ancestryau
- Ancestry.com.au guide to researching your Irish ancestors: Click to view
- British Newspaper Archive: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/help/about
- Ireland’s Lord Viscount Morpeth Rolls Testimonial Roll, 1841 :: http://ow.ly/jq3bJ
- Sands Directories: Sydney and New South Wales, Australia, 1858-1933 :: http://ow.ly/juz11
- The Times Digital Archive: Click to view
- Wikipedia: Digitised UK newspapers :: Click to View
- Wiltshire Quaker Births 1636-1837 and Deaths, 1542-1897 :: http://ancstry.me/106JEm5
Transcript of Expert Q&A – Ancestry.com.au
Our Expert Q&A with Brad Argent from Ancestry.com.au starts in 15 minutes at 8:30pm AEDT on this page. Tonight he’ll be answering your questions about Ancestry.com.au.
Please ask your questions in a comment below and Brad will answer in a following comment.
Comment: IHM: Welcome everyone, thanks for joining us. Please welcome Brad from Ancestry.com.au to tonight’s Q&A!
A. IHM: Questions entered on our post below will be repeated in a comment on this post, for Brad to answer in a following comment.
A. Sharyn: Angela this is the people I was telling you about.
A. Karen: Huh?
A. IHM: Hi Karen, we’ll copy any questions received early on facebook, twitter etc into comments here so Brad can answer them below. Please ask your question/s below as well 🙂
A. Carmel: Hi all
A. Bec: Hi Brad
A. Brad: Hi!
A. Lesley: Hi Brad, thanks for hanging out with us tonight!
A. Brad: Actually it’s morning for me – I’m currently in Canada!
A. Lesley: Well good morning then, and thanks for giving us some of your time!
A. Brad: It’s a pleasure.
Q. From Karen: Why with Ancestry when I fill in required fields it seems to ignore what I have typed? I typed in my grandfathers details got heaps of similar names come up but he in exact copy of what I typed (name, year, country) was on the 4th page should that not have been first, I also put in England and Australia and still end up with US.
A. Brad: Hi Karen, You’ll need to specify ‘Exact’ in your search options. There’s a few search video’s on our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ancestryau
Q. From Lesley: Can Brad give us an overview of the Irish records they have just added to the site? I am just getting started on my Irish connections so a bit of guidance would be helpful!
A. Brad: Hi Lesley, The new Irish records we added – the Morpeth Roll – has names, and sometime addresses, of about 158,000 people (mostly men). There’s a video that covers our Irish stuff and it can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIgUBe1mnV8
A. Lesley: Excellent! Thank you!
Q (b): Lesley: Do the Births and Baptisms records include Northern Ireland?
A. Brad: There’s some stuff for Ireland Lesley. It’s a bit hit and miss really. We’re adding more stuff all the time so it’s always worthwhile checking what we have every month or so.
A. Lesley: Brilliant, thanks for the tip – I’ve done lots of Scottish research before but not Irish so this is all a bit new to me!
A. Brad: Be prepared to get frustrated then, Lesley – the Irish are much, much more challenging than the Scots!
A. Lesley: Damn! that is not what I wanted to hear! Although that is becoming clear as I start delving, the Scots are so methodical with their records (way better than the British!) but the Irish seem to be less well organised!
Q. From Pam: Sometimes when I am reviewing possible ‘matches’, towns/areas are written numerically. Why and is there a way to decipher them?
A. Brad: Hi Pan, Not sure what you mean. In what particular record set?
A. Brad: *Pam
A. Pam: Mainly English
A. Brad: Electoral Rolls?
A. Pam: When a ‘leaf’ hint shows, and then you go in and look at the records, a list of information is shown on one side with the information already in my tree on the other. Often the place is given numerically, whereas , usually, I have a village or town. With new contacts I don’t always have that information and need to decipher it so I know where they were.
A. Brad: Oh, yeah – I get this too sometimes Pam. I think it’s a glitch in the system. Next time it happens call Customer Services on 1800 251 838 and get some advice.
A. Pam: Thank you
A. Geoff: I thought it was just a geo-locator thingy. From Brad’s answer, it looks like the database is returning the record number for the location, rather than the location itself. If that’s the case, then the database propeller heads need to look at it.
A. Pam: From talking to some other people it seems that a number is allocated to a location, and there supposedly was a ‘chart’ or such which told what number referred to which location. No one now seems to know how to find it. The numbers stay the same for a particular locations, (on different records).
A. Brad: Something’s amiss Geoff.
Q. From Erica: On Ancestry – How can I make my family tree private after leaving it public for so long?
A. Brad: Hi Erica, You can change the settings on your tree at any time and the change is immediate.
A. IHM: Here’s a little more detail on the family tree privacy settings Erica :: http://ow.ly/juwsi
Q. From Roz: How much am I looking at to start off with, bit hesitant to start, because I have no idea of prices at the moment? 🙂
A. Brad: Hi Roz, The costs vary depending upon the subscription you take out. The best thing to do you be to visit your local library – many of the have access to Ancestry. There you’ll be able to ‘try before you buy’.
A. Roz: Thanks Brad, I will give that a go
A. Brad: We also have a 14 day free trial that you can use to test out things but I’m a big fan of our local libraries – a very underutilized resource!
A. IHM: Here’s a link for the free trial :: http://ow.ly/juyyw
A. Roz: Thanks guys really appreciate your help
Q. From Monica: Is there a way I can download my trees to work on offline?
A. Brad: Hi Monica, there sure is. In the ‘Tree Settings’ section there is an option to export to GEDCOM. This will give you a file you can download and import into most family tree software.
A. IHM: Here’s the link for GEDCOM uploads :: http://ow.ly/juxgd and for exports click on Help at top right hand side, then enter ‘Gedcom’ into Key Word Search Box – advice from the Ancestry.com.au forums :: http://ow.ly/juy22
A. Geoff: Please be aware though that Legacy (for example) is not terribly happy with the way an Ancestry GED works. It’s OK as long as you have the basic information, but the way it handles Census records is very messy.
A. Alison: Ancestry’s app for iPad or iPod touch is excellent, and can be worked on offline Monica.
A. IHM: Here’s the link to the Ancestry apps for everyone else here :: http://ow.ly/juz9Y
A. Brad: I use the iPad app for taking my Dad through the tree. It’s a wonderful way of showing him the visual connection of different people.
A. Denise: The ipad is good use once you know how to work your way around it.
A. Brad: Thanks Alison!
A. Alison: You’re welcome Brad, now all you need to do is make Ancestry a bit more affordable… lol
Q. From Bec: Where else can I go to when I can not find any records of my great grandfather.. All I know is he passed when the ship he was an engineer for went down..his wife and my grandfather left England as paid passengers when my grandfather was 3 or 4… I can not find my great grandfather anywhere … Can any researchers in England help me with this?
A. Brad: Hi Bec, you could try searching the UK records on Ancestry. There’s been a bunch of new records put up recently – Mariners Certificates’ that might give you some clues. You can always try our Customer Services people to get some assistance (1800 251 838) but local Family History Societies are a good place to go too Bec when you hit brick walls. I’d look for local advice before you reached out for help in the UK.
A. Alison: Bec: Have you tried searching digitised newspapers?
A. Alison: The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and brightsolid online publishing to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library’s vast collection over the next 10 years. What makes this project so special? We have scanned millions of pages of historical newspapers and made them available online for the first time ever. Search millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/help/about
A. Brad: Thanks Alison!
A. Bec: I have and he doesn’t exist …have looked local and they just give me St Catherine’s house was burnt down and records would be there
A. Bec: That’s all we get from researchers and family history societies here, we have been searching for over 10 years and getting brick walls.
A. Brad: If he was part of the ships crew then you should be able to trace him in the records – at least his movements on the ship. What time period Bec?
A. Bec: They married in 1882 and according to my grandfather, the ship went down when he was an infant… so from 1882-1888
A. Brad: OK. The UK records don’t go back that far (for Passenger Lists) so you might need to see if he’s listed as crew on ships coming into other ports (US, Canada, etc). You could also try the British Newspapers website – it’s not as good as Trove but it’s better than nothing – to see if there was an account of the sinking of the ship as they sometime listed details about those who lost their lives. Have you found the Parish record for their marriage? That might provide more information too…
A. Bec: Lol I love trove found my fathers brother and family wanted to swap or sell their unborn child for a house…mind you it was the depression and they never got a house but put the child up for adoption… Bit of skeleton in the closet no one knew about.
A. Bec: Yeah my mum has and I have tried but unfortunately the last name brings everything but people ie good day sir or goodnight etc as last name is good
A. Brad: And that’s the problem with OCR 🙁
A. Alison: The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2006 — adds an additional 20 years to the original 1785-1985 edition http://gale.cengage.co.uk/times-digital-archive/times-digital-archive-17852006.aspx New interface – enhanced features. The old interface will be replaced by a sleek new interface in the new version of The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2006*. Click here to view benefits of the new interface. Enhanced features will include: Citation generation – users can now automatically create citations and export them to 3rd party bibliographic software, such as EndNote and RefWorks; Named user functionality – a Gale account allows users to save searches and marked items across sessions; New image viewer – ability to manipulate images more easily and view articles and whole pages full screen; Wider variety of printing options – making printing awkwardly sized articles easier; and a new design, making the archive a more pleasant experience for users.