Genealogy in Lockdown

Since it looks like we are likely in for the long haul with Covid-19 and the lockdown measures it can be a bit frustrating trying to find ways to keep busy. Fortunately this is also a good opportunity to broaden your genealogy skills or even sort through some of your family history material.

Webinars can be a great way to learn something new. Legacy Family Tree have extended their free daily webinars throughout the month of May. You can find the list of free webinars here. If you have membership of the site it’s also worth exploring their extensive back catalogue of webinars, including my own on planning an Irish research trip.


If you are in the mood for even more great webinars there is also the recently launched ‘Round Tuit’ series from Vivid-Pix. This includes conversation and presentations from some of the biggest names in genealogy on a wide variety of topics. If you have old photos it’s also worth checking out their software for photo restoration.


Vivid-Pix Photo Restoration Software

There are no shortage of other great genealogical activities to engage in while stuck indoors. If you enjoy transcribing old documents then you should check out the Schools Collection, part of the National Folklore Collection of Ireland. The collection comprises folklore and local traditions compiled by pupils from 5,000 primary schools in the Irish Free State between 1937 and 1939. Often the stories collected contain hidden nuggets on the local area, providing context for the lives of our ancestors. It can also be a chance to help transcribe stories collected by our own relatives. Some of my grandfathers siblings were among the children who collected the stories, which they received from their own grandparents.


Being in lockdown is frustrating and seemingly never ending but it’s also an opportunity to learn something new. Stay safe and hopefully we will come through this current emergency safely. Anyone with an interest in genealogy, regardless of level, is also welcome to join an informal gathering on Twitter at 7pm Irish time for Ancestry Hour. Just use the hashtag #ancestryhour


Getting Around To It

The current situation with Covid-19 has meant plenty of disruption, especially to those of us in the genealogical business. A lot of events have been cancelled, which impacts on our speaking engagements and we are limited in our ability to research with repositories closed to the public.

This past weekend I was meant to be in London to speak at Family Tree Live. Unfortunately the event wasn’t able to go ahead as planned but some of us who were due to speak recorded our planned talks to deliver virtually. You can find my three talks (and many other very informative talks) on their website for free until April 24th.

I was also invited to participate in a new initiative hosted by Daniel Earl, the Family History Guy, and Vivid-Pix. These ’round tuit’ classes are a mix of educational presentation and fun discussion. I am honoured to be among some very big names in the world of genealogy. You can register for my class on Irish genealogy this evening at 8pm Irish time / 3pm EST and it will be available to view for 30 days afterwards.