General Genealogy

We hope that you will find some of these articles and internet links useful in your genealogy research.


  • A Cemetery Tip
  • Best trick EVER to read old Gravestones given by a stone carver!
  • Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Palatinate District, Bavaria – from Family Search Wiki pages
  • Church of Ireland Parish Register List **NEW**
  • Facebook for Canadian Genealogy
  • Family Tree Magazine
  • Genealogy on Facebook
  • Google Search Education Online
  • How to Research Your Family History – from the OGS Blog
  • International List of Causes of Death (ICD)
  • Names of Towns in Lower Canada
  • Online Genealogy Courses on Ancestry
  • Record your Family Stories
  • What’s Available Where Online for British Military Records

A Cemetery Tip:

The following tip is from an article in Inside Toronto, written by Joy Neighbors, media manger for and writer of a cemetery culture blog A Grave Interest.  

Write your name, address, phone number, email address and relationship to the deceased on an index card and ask the sexton if you may leave it in the deceased’s file. That way others researching the same person can connect with you.

Best trick EVER to read old Gravestones given by a stone carver!

Hard-to-read headstones can be a bane of existence for genealogists, amateur or otherwise.  There are many theories out there as to the best way to do this, but one I had never thought of was using the sun!  To find out how to do that, watch this video Best trick EVER to read old Gravestones given by a stone carver!

Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Palatinate District, Bavaria:

If you are attempting to find your Palatine family in the Palatinate District of Bavaria (now in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany), you should find useful hints and links on Family Search’s Wiki pages at How to Find Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for Palatinate District, Bavaria (now in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

Facebook for Canadian Genealogy:

Not everyone is on Facebook; however, if you are, you might find help, or useful information, on one of the Genealogy Facebook pages listed by Gail Dever on her Genealogy a la carte blog in a document named Facebook for Canadian Genealogy (updated February 2018). Gail breaks the list down to overall Canadian Facebook pages, and then pages for individual provinces.

Suggestions for additions to this list or broken links should be sent to her at:  Gail Dever.

Church of Ireland Parish Registers List: **NEW**

The Church of Ireland has made available for download, a colour-coded list in pdf format, accounting for what survives; where it is; & with additional information of copies, transcripts and online Indexes.  You can download it from our website here, or you can visit the RCB Library, List of Parish Registers page of the Church of Ireland website for other available resources.

Genealogy on Facebook:

For even more Genealogy Facebook pages, check out the list compiled by Katherine R Willson (the inspiration behind Gail Dever’s Canadian Facebook pages list). Ms Willson’s list now has more than 10,000 groups and pages (in English). Genealogy on Facebook (updated August 2016). There is an index to the list to tell you which of the 288 pages to go to for a specific state or country.

Family Tree Magazine Free Edition:

During the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019-2020, people were forced to self-isolate themselves in their homes in an effort to slow the spread of the disease.  Many companies that normally charged for their services (webinars, streaming video services, digital publication, etc.) made them free to the general public.  Family Tree Magazine was one of the publications.  They released the April/ edition and you can find it hereSome of the articles covered topics such as…The Fab Four, a comparison of the, FamilySearch, FindmyPast and MyHeritage websites; Free Agents, free records available on subscription websites; Counting Up, practical research tips for finding your ancestors in online US census records (though the hints are useful to know when searching Canadian census records as well, Family History Home, tips for digitizing your family’s picture slides…and my personal favourite…Timeline, a history of punctuation.  Did you know that the symbol “lb” for the word pound came from Latin and is short for libra pondo (“pound weight”)?

Google Search Education Online:

Would you like to learn how to use Google Search more efficiently? Google has a self-directed online course that you can take which will teach you the “tricks of the trade” when using Google to search. The course landing page is found at Power Searching with Google. There are two courses, a basic as well as an advanced course. By completing a course, you earn a certificate. The course is not something that you would probably want to complete in one sitting. Creating a favourites folder for the course where you can easily store bookmarks of where you left off so you can pick up the course easily would be a good idea.

How to Research Your Family History – from the OGS Blog:

Reproduced with permission from Frances O’Regan MISt, Manager, Library Division/Social Media – Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS)

How to Research Your Family History – Part 1  (Work from the known to the unknown)

How to Research Your Family History – Part 2 (Keeping Records)

How to Research Your Family History – Part 3 (Proof and Citing)

How to Research Your Family History – Part 4 (Maps)

How to Research Your Family History – Part 5 (Records – Where to look: Ontario Births, Ontario Marriages, Ontario Deaths)

International List of Causes of Death (ICD):

If you are unable to read the cause of death on an ancestor’s death certificate (often due to poor penmanship, or to the use of an archaic medical term), look to see if there is a number recorded along with the cause of death.  If there is, then you are in luck.  That is the ICD number and it corresponds with a specific cause of death as listed in The International List of Causes of Death.  The ICD, which stands for International Classification of Diseases, has been revised many times, and therefore it is important to look at the revision that would have been in effect at the time of your ancestor’s passing.  Click here to be directed to an index of ICD revisions.

Names of Towns in Lower Canada:

Many of our ancestors stayed in Quebec when they first got to Canada, even if only for a short while. Some however, stayed. But if you find them on one of the early census records for Lower Canada you may not be able to find the town today, because the name has changed. The Quebec Family History Society has posted one of Jacques Gagné’s latest research projects. He has compiled a list of more than 1,500 18th and 19th-century hamlets, villages, and settlements in Quebec that no longer exist or have changed their name. The list is in pdf format, which makes it searchable using Control F. Click here to download the list.

Online Genealogy Courses on Ancestry
If you are an Ancestry subscriber, you will have access to all of the courses. However, there are some free courses that anyone can take. The average course is between 45 minutes and an hour. The Course Library lists all available courses, both free and those available exclusively for Ancestry subscribers.

Record your Family Stories
We all have family stories to tell and if we don’t write them down, they will be forgotten in a generation or two. Thanks to Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, we learn of a new startup website called MemoryStoria, which gives you a place online to freely record your family stories in both text and photos and turn them into a digital book. All books are private by default, but you can choose to make them public. You can also share your digital book privately with friends and family.

This new website is the brainchild of two gentlemen (George Iliev – a London-based entrepreneur, and Ryan Cormack – a software engineer). George and Ryan are currently conducting a cloud funding campaign in order to raise the funds to complete the features that would allow audio and video to be added to the book, and to hire an editor to help people who may be uncomfortable with the “do it yourself” aspect of the process. However, participation in the cloud funding is strictly voluntary…Registration and use of this online service is free. Record Your Family Stories

What’s Available Where Online for British Military Records
Compiled by John Reid.