A collection of miscellaneous tips and tricks not covered in other articles that might help you with your research.
- 1 Access some subscription websites with a Library Card
- 2 Access an obsolete website in archive.org
- 3 Find the meaning of words used in India
- 4 Convert prices to present day values
- 5 Translate from another language into English
- 6 Find out the meaning of an archaic medical term
- 7 Find out the meaning of an archaic occupation
- 8 Interpret personal name abbreviations used in records
- 9 Read old handwriting
- 10 Date family photographs
- 11 TechTips
- 12 Use transcription aids
- 13 Search for a Library which holds a book you want to read
- 14 Search for books on a particular topic
- 15 Copy Information from Full View Google Books
- 16 Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass
- 17 For Fibiwiki editors
- 18 References
Access some subscription websites with a Library Card
- There are a number of websites including Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, The [London] Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, The Illustrated London News 1842-2003, 19th Century UK Periodicals and other newspaper sites, JSTOR (many journals), which may help you in your research, where access is restricted . Card holders of participating Libraries including the following National Libraries (noting there is generally a residential requirement) Scotland, Wales, Australia, State Library of NSW, and many University Libraries can access some, or all of these websites, generally remotely on their own computers. Many of these websites including ECCO may also be accessed from the British Library Reading Rooms and the National Library of Ireland Reading Room. Also see Subscription websites-online newspapers, journals and directories
- In England, a Borough or County Library Card may enable you to access The Times remotely but probably not other historical newspaper sites. However, enquire what is available to you both from your local library and the libraries of surrounding boroughs as what is on offer can differ widely and membership requirements are usually easily met. Popular choices available online include The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who's Who & Who Was Who. Other subscription sites may be available from terminals in the library itself e.g. Ancestry - this may sound restrictive but, if you already subscribe at a base level, may be useful for consultation when you want to look up a source restricted to premium subscribers.
- As an example, Suffolk Libraries shows the databases available to the users of the more than 40 local libraries of Suffolk County Council. Ancestry and findmypast are available but must be accessed in a local library, while other databases are available on home computers.
- Many larger local libraries in Australia provide access for residents, to websites such as Ancestry and findmypast.
- Card holders of the State Library of Victoria, Australia are able to access digitised records from The National Archives, Kew, on their home computers, without charge. This service only applies to residents of Victoria.
- The libraries of many genealogical societies provide free member access to websites such as Ancestry and findmypast. Enquire what other services are offered. As an example, the Society of Australian Genealogists in Sydney, NSW Australia, provides access in its library, to downloads free of charge of digitised records from The National Archives, Kew.
Access some articles in the JSTOR subscription website for free
JSTOR is a not-for-profit organisation which provides access to scholarly journals, primary sources, and books. In addition to access through the British Library, or through some library cards, (such as those issued by the National Libraries of Scotland, Wales and Australia) some items may be accessed for free, on your home computer, up to three items from the archive every two weeks. More details are in the article JSTOR Register & Read—Free Reading of Historical Scholarship.
Browse the titles of the Journals and books available in the JSTOR website. Includes a Search facility. Note however, not all articles are available under the free scheme. An example of an article available is "Real Incomes of the British Middle Class, 1760-1850: The Experience of Clerks at the East India Company" by H. M. Boot The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 638-668
Access an obsolete website in archive.org
- Go to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php and type in the website link [URL] you require in "Browse History".
- A helpful website which has closed is regiments.org, here is the archived site at January 2008. This is the Regiments page, the Numeric list of British Army Regiments page and the British Army 1881 Regiments page; An overview of the South Asian Armies page, Alphabetic Index,South Asia page and Numeric index, South Asia page
Capture a web page in archive.org
- Perhaps you may want to “capture a web page as it appears now for use as a trusted citation in the future”. For example, you may want to save a web page which has a family history reference. Use this archive.org link and select Save Page Now
- Does not apply to all websites. Read the FAQs: Wayback Machine for more details of the types of webites which cannot be archived.
Find the meaning of words used in India
- Hobson-Jobson: the Anglo-Indian dictionary by Henry Yule, Arthur Coke Burnell, William Crooke published by Wordsworth Editions, 1996.
- The Oriental Interpreter and Treasury of East India Knowledge: A Companion to "The Hand-book of British India." by Joachim Hayward Stocqueler 1848, Full View Google Books
- Early Modern India: a Select Glossary from South Asia study resources compiled by Frances Pritchett, Columbia University
- This Glossary is from the British Empire website
- Glossary to The History of the British Empire in India by Edward Thornton 1859. Google Books
- A-I Vocabulary: A lexicon of long-forgotten Anglo-Indian words www.tapmal.com, now an archived webpage
- Askew's Glossary of Victorian Colonial Terminology includes a section on 'British Colonial Military Terms and Soldier Slang' and 'India and the Northwest Frontier'. Now an archived website.
- A description of coins, weights and measures in use in Madras c 1832. The terms for weights are pollum, vis, maund, candy, and for grain puddy or seer, marcal and kallum. For cloth, terms are mollum or cubit. Page 179 The Travels of Rabbi David D'Beth Hillel: From Jerusalem, Through Arabia, Koordistan, Part of Persia, and India to Madras by Rabbi David D'Beth Hillel 1832 Google Books.
- The Anglo-Hindoostanee Handbook; or, Stranger’s Self-Interpreter and Guide to Colloquial and General Intercourse with the Natives of India1850 Google Books. Contents Includes Vocabulary, Monetary System, Weights, Linear Measures etc.
- Also see Merchant
- For some quantities used in recipes, see Food and Drink.
- A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms. See Dictionaries online
Convert a date which has used the Bengali Calendar
- Bengali Calendar Wikipedia
Convert prices to present day values
- Currency converter: 1270–2017 The National Archives, Kew. Convert British currency from past dates to present values.
Find an exchange rate
Indian currency to British currency.
- Prior to 1871, 1 rupee was equal to two shillings (24 pence), so there were 10 rupees to the pound.
- An old page from Wikipedia History of the rupee, accessed 30 August 2013 contains the following data
- Rupee exchange rate in pence
- 1871–1872: 23 ⅛
- 1875–1876: 21⅝
- 1879–1880: 20
- 1883–1884: 19½
- 1887–1888: 18⅞
- 1890–1891: 18⅛
- 1891–1892: 16¾
- 1892–1893: 15
- Source: B.E. Dadachanji. History of Indian Currency and Exchange, 3rd enlarged ed. (Bombay: D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co, 1934), p. 15.
- Note: This book is available Archive.org version, together with the 1927 edition Archive.org version, both mirrors from Digital Library of India.
Translate from another language into English
Baptismal, Marriage and Burial records
- Genealogical Word Lists FamilySearch Wiki. Various countries.
- Use Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Alternatively, Google using the search term Wiktionary. As an example, if you want to know the meaning of the Latin word consueverunt use the search terms consueverunt latin Wiktionary.
- Also see the Fibiwiki page Non-British Ancestors.
- Perhaps you have found a webpage which is not in English. You can obtain a computer produced translation of non English wording using Google Translate, or some browsers such as Google Chrome have an automatic option to translate webpages. If you don't use Chrome, you can also enter a website URL (link) to Google Translate, and the entire webpage will be translated (although there may be errors).
Find out the meaning of an archaic medical term
Useful for interpreting the cause of death on a burial record or the medical conditions on a soldier's service record.
- Glossary of Medical Terms used in the 18th and 19th Centuries from Craig Thornber’s History of Medicine
- Genealogy Quest-Glossary of Terms-Diseases
- Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death by Rudy Schmidt. Although called a Glossary, the terminology is accessed through a Search Facility, so you need to be exact in the spelling, and there are only limited Lists accessible for free, through "Recent additions and Updates". A donation appears to provide access to actual Lists. In addition to English medical terms, it is possible to search for medical terms in many other languages, including German, French, Latin and Dutch.
- List of Alcohol & Drug Related Diseases. Includes ebriosity, or the variant ebriositas (seen mis-transcribed ebriositis): partial intoxication; habitual drinking to excess.
- Old Medical terms for use by Genealogists Rootsweb page, archived.
- Heatstroke was also known as sunstroke, and occasionally as insolation or siriasis.
Find out the meaning of an archaic occupation
- Old Occupation Names Hall Genealogy Website. Also contains links to other sites
- Old occupations & terms English Family Tree Association.
- A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921 by Ministry of Labour HMSO 1927. doot.spub.co.uk. Also available on Archive.org
Interpret personal name abbreviations used in records
- Abbreviations Lists for Personal Names (English) FamilySearch Wiki
Read old handwriting
See Fibiwiki article Reading old handwriting
Date family photographs
- Findmypast has a series of blogs about how to date family photographs by Jayne Shrimpton. Also browse using the various categories of tags such as jayne shrimpton, ask the photo expert, family photos etc. However, the articles currently available appear limited. Archived versions of the webpage contain many additional posts. Select different dates archived for possible additional entries. Some posts can be navigated through this archived link, clicking where appropriate on "older posts".
- "30 Tips for Using Family Photos for Genealogy" by Jane Shrimpton 05 May 2017. Findmypast.
- [Videos]: Past Sessions of RootsTech from 2015 to 2018 (at time of posting). rootstech.org. Rootstech is the FamilySearch annual conference. Contains videos relating to Apps etc.
- FamilySearch TechTips Blog Archives FamilySearch website.
- Comments by Sherry Morgan April 30, 2013 FamilySearch website. "I use photo editing software for documents as much as for restoring photos and one can do some decent work with a free program called Irfanview. I use it frequently at our Family History Center after scanning microfilm or microfiche to clean up or an all over brighten or darken and contrast to better define old handwriting".
- "Did You Make This Common Mistake When Scanning Your Family Photos? (Here’s How To Fix It!)" by Thomas Watson and Craig Collett 2 March 2016. savefamilyphotos.com. How to add metadata, or information about your photos to scans of family photos.
Google Search tips
- How to use search like a pro: 10 tips and tricks for Google and beyond by Samuel Gibbs 15 January 2016 The Guardian
- Google Advanced Search: https://www.google.com/advanced_search
Use transcription aids
Use Speech Recognition or Dictation applications
Speech (or voice) recognition or dictation applications/software may be an aid if you are transcribing a document, or recording other information.
You may need to ensure the microphone option is turned on. These mobile applications perhaps could be useful for recording information for cemetery transcriptions.
Your computer may contain a "Dictation" or similar option. As an example, for Apple Macs, choose Apple () , then System Preferences, click Keyboard, then click Dictation. Note however the Apple Mac option does not recognise some voices and will not work at all in these cases.
Scan and edit a document using OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
- OCR anything with OneNote 2007 and 2010. howtogeek.com. OneNote 2010 is included with all edition of Microsoft Office 2010 except for Starter edition. OneNote 2007 is included with Office 2007 Home and Student, Enterprise, and Ultimate.
Search for a Library which holds a book you want to read
- Worldcat.org. Note that the British Library does not appear to be part of this database.
- Copac: Search over 70 UK and Irish academic national & specialist library catalogues. Also includes a keyword search. Participating Libraries include the British Library. Copac is based at the University of Manchester.
- Trove for Australia. (National Library of Australia)
Search for books on a particular topic
- See the Copac Search above.
- Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH), previously called the Royal Historical Society Bibliography on British History may be of use if you are researching a particular topic and wish to find books written about the topic. As an example, entering East India Company produced over a thousand results, mainly books and articles written in the last forty years. This is now accessed through a subscription service, but is available free at the British Library as part of the Electronic databases available in the Library's Reading Rooms
Copy Information from Full View Google Books
Refer Google Books
Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass
You may find this Virtual Magnifying Glass is useful.
For Fibiwiki editors
- Oocities.org This website was set up in 2009 to preserve content from the closed website "geocities.com". It may be possible to recreate a link from geocities.com
- Intellectual property – guidance: Changes to copyright law by Intellectual Property Office. Last updated: 18 November 2014. gov.uk
- Acknown et al. The Times On-Line Great War Forum 17 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Descent, Journal of the Society of Australian Genealogists March 2019, page 17
- RealMac. Translation needed 17 February 2018. FamilySearch Forum hosted on GetSatisfaction. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
- Great War Forum thread Dragon Dictation - IPad, iPhone (retrieved 8 December 2018.) Note Dragon Dictation is no longer available free.
- Use your voice to enter text on your Mac support.apple.com (retrieved 8 December 2018.)