Genes Reunited Launches Unique KEEPSAFE


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This week the family history website Genes Reunited: www.GenesReunited.co.uk have added some interesting new and innovative features to their website.

One that has particularly interested me is what they term a Keepsafe. It’s purpose is for digitally storing all of your family records, photos and memories and Relation Profiles, where you can view and edit details about each individual in your tree. This latest addition comes after genesreunited.co.uk recently refreshed its appearance with a new, and easy to navigate redesign.

The Keepsafe, they tell us, is a unique and organised way for us to collate our family history and is a place for their members to safely store and share documents, from photos and certificates to maps and letters. Being made available to all levels of membership at www.GenesReunited.co.uk, who’ll be given the option to open their images to the public, keep them private or to share them with other members, their family and their friends. They’ll even be able to share their Keepsafe on facebook. At launch today there are over 2.7 million private images already uploaded to Keepsafe.

 

Relation Profiles are automatically created for each relation Genes Reunited members add to their family trees. It includes a clear timeline, notes section and immediate family tree. There’s also a section that prompts their members on what they can do next to take their research on to the next stage. Users are able to edit the details and then these changes will be reflected in their tree on the site. It is possible to also view any photos or records that are attached to the person too. Genesreunited allows members to print out the profile, so they can share their discoveries with their families.

The Genes Reunited site automatically creates ‘Hot Matches’ where members who have the same relations in their family tree are matched with each other. It is said that many of their members have collected rich data on their relatives and having the option to share this with other members can be very beneficial to their research. At launch there will be over 260 million profiles already created, that’s equivalent to over 4 records for every man, woman and child in the UK .

Rhoda Breakell, Head of Genes Reunited, comments: “Imagine being able to find out more information about your ancestors than you could have ever hoped for. Stories, timelines and more besides….Relation Profiles are a place where our members can store all of this information and then share it with each other. Who knows what anecdotes someone else might have written about your ancestors?”

 

Interesting!

 

The Keepsafe and Relation Profile pages are available online at www.GenesReunited.co.uk for all members.


Discover your ancestors at Genes Reunited.co.uk

Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by Genes Reunited should you sign up for their subscriptions.

 

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Researching family in Jersey, part 9: photos, newspapers and books

To wrap up the series, there’s a miscellany of other potential avenues that are worth exploring.

First of all, there are photographs. If you have family photos you will almost certainly have cursed the elderly relatives who put them in an album and then never got round to labelling who, what and where they were. But… there are some useful tricks to use.

First of all, scan the photograph at the highest resolution you can. If you can be sure the photo was taken and developed in Jersey, you may be able to identify the firm who developed it. A gentleman by the name of Richard Hemery has put years of work into this, and for some of the better known photographers his efforts will allow you to pin the photograph’s date down quite well.

Halkett Place, St Helier, JerseyThis particular photo is a neat example. Richard’s work tells us there were only two firms who put reference numbers on the front of prints, both operating in the 1930s. But there’s more: a high-res scan picks up the name Le Riche over the shop awning behind and left of the lady, and also makes the colonnade on the right clearer. That pins the location down to Halkett Place by the Central Market, and the date has to be after 1932, when Le Riche’s (a long-established island grocer) opened their shop there.

 

“Ah,” you say, “but I don’t have that depth of local knowledge”. But other people do. The Société Jersiaise run an online photographic archive: two of their members are currently going through the massive task of cataloguing every Jersey picture postcard in existence. Talk to them: they could have the information to fill in some gaps. Or use the libraries (see below)

In addition, there’s what the newspapers may have said. The first newspaper on Jersey was published in the late 18th Century, and there have been a number of different publications since, right down to the Jersey Evening Post (usually referred to just as the JEP) of today. The JEP has always been a very parochial paper in the better sense of the word: it reports everything and anything that goes on. If your relative was a prominent member of a local church or a schoolmaster or a farmer, it’s quite possible that they’d get a respectable tribute from the JEP when they passed away.

The central Library in Halkett Place has a very comprehensive collection of microfilmed newspapers – they’re up on the first floor. You need to book a reader – it is worth doing this in advance, particularly if you want the one that will print to paper. E-mail je.library@gov.je and they will sort things out.

While we are talking about libraries, there are collections of reference books at the Coutanche Library (the NoseyGenealogist will be releasing a film guide to what they have shortly) and smaller collections at both the Archive and the Central Library to supplement your knowledge of Jersey’s history and culture.

This is of necessity a scratch at the surface of family history research. I hope you’ve found it helpful. Happy hunting, and – À bétôt!

 

Guest blog by James McLaren from the Channel Islands Family History Society

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Researching family in Jersey, part 1: where to start

You’ve traced an ancestor to Jersey, and you are wondering what you can find out about them. To your frustration, you rapidly discover that birth marriage and death records for Jersey are not available online. So what can you do?

Well, there are at least some useful Internet resources out there to help you get started. The most obvious one is the Census: Channel Island censuses from 1841 to 1901 are available both through Ancestry and Findmypast, and the 1911 census is on FindMyPast and will soon be fully available on Ancestry too.

A word of caution, though: the transcription is not entirely reliable on either site, and on top of that, some database search engines have problems with “divided” surnames like Le Sueur or Du Feu (not to mention Le Vavasseur dit Durell). So here’s a shameless plug: if you are going to do a lot of searching of censuses, you could do worse than purchase the paper census indexes produced by the CIFHS. They are a lot more accurate (well over 99%), and can (with a bit of fiddling) be cross-referenced back to the census images on the Internet.

There are also military records. If you’re looking at Channel Island relatives who served in the First World War, it’s well worth investigating at greatwarci.net – this is the website of the Channel Island Great War Study Group, and they maintain a very comprehensive list of people who served. The list is rather more complete than Ancestry’s transcript of what’s in the National Archives simply because Jersey residents served not only with the British armed forces but also with the Canadians and Australians. There were also at least a couple of thousand French nationals who joined up with the French military, but records for them are very scanty. If you are looking at other periods (and bear in mind Jersey had a garrison to protect it from the French right up until the 1930s), you may find references to service in Jersey on the military records of Chelsea Pensioners kept on FindMyPast, or on the GRO Regimental Indexes of birth marriage and death.

There are other useful resources too on Ancestry. There are three Channel Island postal directories – covering 1839, 1903 and 1927 – that may help to link a name to an address.

You may also be fortunate enough to find online family trees. Ancestry host them, as do Genesreunited, and there are also numerous independently-produced web sites. The general rule of thumb is to treat these as a guideline: they may be inaccurate, or they may tell the truth as far the researcher knows it – but not the whole story.

Aside from this, there’s a couple of major Internet resources based in the Channel Islands that may help you with your research. More about them next time. À bétôt!

Guest blog by James McLaren from the Channel Islands Family History Society


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