28 January 2014

Finding Broken Links (Tuesday's Tip)

This is how I tackle the problem of finding links that need to be changed:

  1. I periodically use W3C's free link checker to identify broken links in my blogs and Web pages.

  2. I have downloaded and sometimes use Xenu's Link Sleuth.

  3. The HTML code for each of my Web pages is saved in a folder on my hard drive; and the HTML code for my blog posts (copied and pasted from the HTML tab while editing in Blogger) is saved in the nifty little programme Treepad. If someone tells me that a domain address or specific URL has changed, I can easily find out exactly where that link appears in my blogs or Web pages. I simply use the powerful search functions in Treepad (for my blogs) and Powerdesk (for text files with the HTML code for my Web pages).

Have you found other ways to tackle the problem?

(You can see more of my tips here. 'Tuesday's Tip' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)

14 January 2014

Headstones and Distant Burials (Tuesday's Tip)

headstone of George and Mary Hudson
George Hudson is William's son
The fact that a person's name appears on a headstone does not necessarily mean that he or she is actually buried there. Many headstones include the name of a family member buried in another town or another country. Sometimes the inscription makes that clear, but in many cases it does not.

There is a headstone for my great-great-grandfather, William HUDSON (1806-1882) in the churchyard at Crambe, North Yorkshire, England. I had no idea that he was actually buried in Linthorpe Cemetery at Middlesbrough - until I found a funeral card among family documents.

Depending on the geographical location, records that may specify the place of burial could include a death certificate, will, inquest file, newspaper notice, memorial card, or a church, cemetery or local government burial register. (Indexes to many Australian cemetery headstones and burial registers are now on FindMyPast.)

Records created by undertakers and funeral directors are another source of information about the place of burial. In Australia, many genealogical groups have indexed such records for their local area. Some are listed in Specialist Indexes in Australia: a Genealogist's Guide.

The records of Gregson and Weight (funeral directors in Queensland, Australia) refer to burials or funeral services that took place as far away as New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Fiji, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, Austria and the Netherlands.

Have you found other sources of information about distant places of burial?

(You can see more of my tips here. 'Tuesday's Tip' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)

Genealogy in 2013 - Accentuate the Positive

My response to the latest 'Accentuate the Positive' geneameme will be shorter than most. During 2013 I chose to spend more time with my nearest and dearest, and less time doing my own family history. I also began to change the focus of my work as a genealogy professional. Noteworthy events during 2013 included:

  • After many months of hard work, I finally finished revamping, expanding and moving my main Web site. All 135 pages are now at www.judywebster.com.au (my own domain name). The site has advice and indexes that help genealogists to research local, interstate and overseas folk by using historical records. The emphasis is on unusual sources that are superb for problem solving. (Read about the features of the new site.)

  • More than 16,000 names from three of my indexes (hospital admission records for Croydon and Brisbane, and old age pension records) were added to the Australasian collection at FindMyPast.

  • I had an article published in Inside History magazine ('The Case of the False Identity'). To the amazement and delight of one reader, an example I quoted in my article revealed that her great-grandfather was one of several people who used someone else's identity to emigrate to Australia.

  • Statistics showed that there was an exceptionally good response to two of my blog posts, Tips on Using FindMyPast for Genealogy and Improved Searches for Births Deaths and Marriages.

  • I created a Web page with a reading list to highlight some of my favourite books plus others that I want to read during the coming year. The list includes genealogy, history and fiction titles.

  • In addition to my usual genealogy talks, I experimented with private face-to-face consultations and informal group sessions (which, thankfully, were a great success).

  • I started using DNA testing for genealogy.

  • I visited relatives in outback Queensland, and my cousin let me copy family photographs and WW2 letters that I had never seen.

I wonder what 2014 will bring!