BCGS Research Tip – July 2014

Happy Canada Day from the British Columbia Genealogical Society!

This month’s British Columbia Genealogical Society’s research tip is:

Learn how names were (and are) pronounced ‘correctly’; say them out loud (or find a native speaker to do that), then use the sound to help you locate indexed variations. (Works with place names too.)

This can be a helpful idea no matter where your family is from. To give you an idea, here’s a list of English surname pronunciations from a little book called Everybody’s Pocket Companion, Fifth Edition, compiled by A Mercer, M.R.S.T. (Page 50, no date, private collection).

Two of these surnames will be familiar to news hounds and mystery watchers,  but do you have one of these names in your tree?  Continue reading

BCGS Research Tip – June 2014

This month’s British Columbia Genealogical Society’s research tip is:

Don’t always search ‘the same old way’ on every genealogical website.

Both speakers at the BCGS seminar last month had specific tips for searching some of the websites they discussed. For example, don’t always use that attractive ‘just enter your name’ search box. Check to see if there is an advanced search facility which will let you focus your search in certain collections, or on certain media, for instance, only in digitized documents or images.

And if you see search terms you’re not familar with, don’t hesitate to look for help. For example, the use of ‘Boolean’ search operators may be mentioned or recommended. Here’s a look at these – “What Does Boolean Search Mean” by Wendy Boswell, About.com.