History 4 All
how to trace YOUR family tree.
Newsletter No.8 – May 2007.
Family Tree Maker UK Edition 2006
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Featured Article –
Family Religion - Tracing Genealogy through Church
3. Help wanted - Can you help Deanne find her
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2. Family Religion - Tracing Genealogy through
By: Paul Duxbury and Kevin Cook
Using church records to trace
genealogical information is a great resource that is rapidly being
discovered by those who are tracing their family tree information. Your
church or the church that your family belonged to in the past may have
extensive records. Many do.
The most well known church records for genealogy research are those of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons. The LDS church
maintains extensive records and several web sites, and you don't have to
be a member of their church to access the records as they consider
genealogy records to be part of the mission of their church. They have a
free genealogy search engine, as well as links to many other sites that
can assist in research. Links include US, British and Canadian census
records online. The LDS church also offers a free workbook for researchers
and other tools either free or at a very low cost that can prove helpful.
Many other churches also keep records of membership, marriages, births,
confirmation, baptism, death, anniversaries and other important events in
the lives of their members. If your church is part of a large denomination
there may be a central record centre where this information is kept. If
you or your family belonged to a smaller church, you may have to visit the
church or write to the pastor to gain this information. Many times the
logs or journals of pastors will be passed down from one to another. If
logs or journals are not available, church records will generally show
attendance and that can help tremendously in determining if your family
members were at this particular church during the specified time period.
In the country many churches have adjoining cemeteries and extensive
burial records. One family researcher has been known to hang out at
cemeteries reading the inscriptions on grave stones looking for long lost
relatives, and has had very good results. Other researchers have had good
luck with the records of church affiliated organizations. As an example,
the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization for men that has been
around for a very long time and keeps records of membership. This is a
group formed to provide men of the parish with a meeting place for
fellowship and an organizational structure for doing good works for the
The various rites of the Masonic Lodge has a similar goal and has had
affiliation with many Protestant churches and one genealogic researcher
discovered that most of her male ancestors were members of a particular
lodge, which led her to visit that lodge and ask for help in finding
records of her ancestors. The lodge members were quite helpful. It turned
out that in the small community where the lodge was located most of the
members were also members of the same area churches, and many of the
records coincided. As fortune would have it, one of the churches also had
a nearby cemetery and she was able to find the graves of many ancestors by
visiting there, as well as photographs of two grandfathers and two great
grandfathers who had been Lodge Masters during the years. This was a rare
find, and proved the value of checking with churches, cemeteries and
Family bibles often have indispensable information, and while most
families keep possession of the family bible, some donate them to
churches. If this is the case, checking out the family bibles of other
families in the area can give clues to what may have been going on with
your own family around that time.
Of course, if your family is from a rural area there may be less
organization than would be found in a larger or older city. Boston for
instance is filled with churches and graveyards, and most of them keep
very good records. On the other hand, a small town in Arizona may not have
been settled that long ago in the grand scheme of things and may not have
records that are as extensive. But, you never know until you check it out,
and part of family tree research is following leads to see where they go.
While one lead may dry out, it also may split off and lead you in a
different and more productive direction.
About the Authors Paul Duxbury and
Kevin Cook own
two of the leading Genealogy Websites. In addition Paul owns a wide range
of exciting websites which can be viewed at
Help wanted - Can you help Deanne find her grandfather?
I have searched all the relevant sites over the last 2 years in the search
for my Grandfather to no avail. Brick wall after brick wall. Where does
one go from here. He seems to have left no trace. He was not married to my
Gran but had 3 children with her. From 1925-1930. There are no family
members left to ask any info from. There is a rumour that he came from
Ireland, but his name is not indigenous to this country (Rainbow). How can
I find him as it seems that he doe's not exist on anything. Adoption
records reveal nothing or am I missing something, please help me, I'm
desperate to find where he came from. He was buried in a paupers grave in
St Albans In Hertfordshire and i promised my mother that i would one day
find out where he came from. Sadly she is no longer with me but I want to
fulfil this promise to her. His Full name on his death cert is Walter
William Rainbow born c1873. He was involved in a accident in 1939 in
Sandpit Lane St Albans Hertfordshire. He died March 1940.as a result of
this accident in the poor house Oster Hills St Albans Hertfordshire. There
was an inquest, March the 12th 1940. Any tips will be grateful.
Note from editor:
If you can help Deanne in any way please send details to us here at Family
History 4 All and we will pass on your comments. Deanne is a member of
and has checked all the census information to no avail.
Latest News from
With all the recent media attention, the fact that this
year commemorates the 200th anniversary since the passing of The Abolition
of Slave Trade Act won’t have escaped too many Ancestry members.
However, the recent launch of two significant Barbados
record collection sets will enable you to gain a real insight into the
lives and experiences of those living on the island, from the arrival of
the first British Settlers to the islands in 1627 to the abolition of the
slave trade some 200 years later.
Explore the source images and records for the Slave
Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies,
1812-1834 and English Settlers in Barbados, 1637-1800 to create an
unparalleled picture of life from both sides of the colonial divide- those
of the plantation owners and those of the slaves that worked upon them.
To combat illicit transportation of slaves, following
the passing of the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1807, many of the British
Colonies began keeping registers of black slaves who had been so-called
This collection contains the slave registers from
Barbados from 1812 to 1834. Information available in these records
- Name of owner
- Place of residence (name of Barbados
- Name of slave (usually only a given
name, if the slave had been baptized this may include the slave name and
the Christian name)
- Gender of slave
- Age of slave
- Birth Place of slave
Take a look at the registers here.
Barbados Launch - Slave Registers
This database contains three volumes of Barbados church
records (baptisms and marriages) as well as three volumes of probate
records (wills and administrations). Approximately 200,000 individuals are
referenced within these pre-eminent works on Barbados genealogical source
Family History For All – Website update.
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Next month’s main article: Organizing
Your Family History Records
By Marina Garrison
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