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Newsletter: December 2009

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Dear All,

First of all, Happy Christmas from all of us at Ancestral Atlas and may we wish you a calm and peaceful New Year.

We've a couple of exciting updates for you this month...

New Genealogy Articles Section
We've now added an articles section to the Ancestral Atlas web site where we hope to add lots of interesting titbits on genealogy, both in general and specifically to do with the web site itself.

We've started things along with five articles:

  1. Family Tree Research
    A general introduction into using the web for genealogical research and its advantages.
  2. The Real Value of Mapping
    A discussion on how mapping is becoming more popular within genealogy and how it can be used in the most effective way.
  3. Free Ancestry Research
    Thoughts on how national datasets should be made available for free to everyone once their capture costs have been recouped.
  4. Who were the Parishioners of Lavenham?
    Some experiences of a user from one of our partners (Pharos Tutors) on using Ancestral Atlas to research one of their ancestors, William Gurnall, who was Rector in Lavenham, Suffolk, UK from 1645 until his death in 1679.
  5. Using the Irish Townland Maps
    An article written by a user from one of our partners (Pharos Tutors) on the benefits of using maps to help plan your next steps in researching a particular family member by studying the context of their life with a map.

You can find all the articles here. Please have a read and let us know what you think, either by email (to support@ancestralatlas.com), or on our forum here.

Also, if you have any ideas for future articles, then please drop us an email and we'll see what we can do.

Ancestral Atlas links to A Vision of Britain
We've now joined up with A Vision of Britain (www.visionofbritain.org.uk) to allow you to see contextual information about each place within Great Britain.

A Vision of Britain is a vast resource containing historical, documentary information about places throughout the country. This includes:

  • Historical Maps
  • Travel Writing
  • Census Reports
  • Election Results
  • Population Densities
  • Agriculture and Land Use
  • Industrialisation
  • Housing
  • Employment and Poverty

and much more.

All of this enables you to add context to your ancestors' lives - allowing you to understand not only where they lived, but also how.

Whenever you select a map pin on Ancestral Atlas that's in Great Britain, we'll show a link in the pop-up bubble to the same place within A Vision of Britain's web site. Simply click on the link to start exploring the past like you've never done before.

...and finally...
Did you know that Ancestral Atlas is designed to provide an environment for collaboration as well as displaying family history on maps?

Others may have attached data to the same locations as you and while they may not have a family connection they probably have information about that location that could help you in your quest to record and understand your family's heritage.

You can contact anyone who's added data to the site by simply clicking the "Contact" button on an Event Properties page. Our messaging service is totally secure and you have complete control over what information you share with others (your email address is never passed on to others by us). So go ahead and contact someone - you might be amazed at what you find out!

The Ancestral Atlas Team

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