Saturday, January 12, 2008

Resources anyone?

In this age of technology, many people believe they can do all of their genealogy research on the Internet and that all of it is correct. Not long ago, a lady wrote to me to say she had done all of her research online and completed her family lines within a week and would I be kind enough to check it for her. Of course, I was quick to inform her of the pitfalls of accepting everything on the Internet as gospel and I even quicker to tell her that "no", I would not be checking the information she had put together explaining that for me to do so would be to correct the errors from the many sites where she extracted the information.

To be honest, you cannot really do research without ever having been to a repository where such information is available in hard copy, on microfilms or microfiche. Those repositories are genealogy centers, archives, public libraries, etc. There is absolutely nothing like seeing records with our own eyes - it is awesome!

This is not to say that all research online is not good or valid. But if you are a newcomer to genealogy how do you know which sites are and which sites are not good? For one thing if a web site does not post the source where its information was obtained a red flag should go up. Did they do that research themselves or did they copy and paste it from some other web site without permission and taking credit for it. If they did not do the work then how they even know it is correct. I find many sites that simply go around "taking" so as to inflate their own data. Quite unfair all the way around. Some web sites post extractions from lists of names or places. Well how does that help you to know which names were not included?

To my way of thinking and after maintaining a web site for ten years (yes, this is the 10th anniversary of the Acadian Ancestral Home!) I believe there is a right way and a wrong way to disseminate
information for researchers. From the get-go, I would like to believe that I have done my best to provide it in the best and most thorough way possible and with the best accuracy - having said that, if you find what you think is an error please contact me so we can compare notes.

This week, while thinking about all of the messages I receive from folks asking for help - and those who tell me they did their search online, I realized that I don't often tell people about all of the records that are available on my own web site that can be of enormous help to them.

For instance if your ancestors were imprisoned at one of the forts any time between 1755 to 1763 and they were not deported, did you know that I have lists of those Acadians and their families on my web site under PRISONERS & EXILES and then OTHER: There you will see information about Fort Beausejour/Cumberland, Fort Lawrence, Fort Edward, Fort Gaspereau, Fort St. Jean and others. There is a map of where the many forts were located.

Did you know that when Fort Beausejour fell to the British they renamed it Fort Cumberland? Did you know that Fort Beausejour was built to counter against Fort Lawrence the British had built just across the marshes.

Did you know that near where Fort Lawrence was built once stood the village of Beaubassin? How and why did that village disappear?

If your ancestors were deported then you will find lists of exiles on the Acadian Ancestral Home.

There are also many articles that I found in 18th century newspapers. Those 1700s articles even tell of when the Acadians deported to Virginia and from there to England arrived in England. One of the oldest newspapers was the Pennsylvania Gazette founded by Benjamin Franklin. I found an article in that newspaper when I was doing research in Philadelphia that is an accounting given by Captain Nichols of the Duke William that went down at sea while deporting Acadian from Ile St-Jean/Prince Edward Island. It turns out that what I'd found was the earliest accounting printed in an American newspaper in 1759. That article can be found on the Acadian Ancestral Home.

There are great articles by people like Stephen A. White, Paul Delaney, Ronnies-Gilles LeBlanc, Regis Brun and others.

So if you haven't been to the Acadian Ancestral Home yet please come by for a visit. You might really be surprised at what you will find. Future blogs will share other information that can be found on the web site.

I also want everyone to know that everything posted on the Acadian Ancestral Home is posted with permission of the authors, artists, publishers or societies who own the rights. No one should ever use or take without permission nor should anyone not give recognition to those organizations.

There are only four indexes left to be finished for the cemetery project. Once those are done, a Master Index will be created and a link to that will be found at the sidebar when it is ready.

As always I hope that Acadia lives on in your heart of hearts and that you find all of your ancestors and knock down all of your brick walls.


Your cousin Lucie

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