On Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, Family Tree University conducted a live Q&A on Facebook with Fall 2012 Virtual Conference presenter Rick Crume as part of our ‘Meet the Presenter’ series. Here is the full transcript:
Family Tree University: Hello and welcome to our Live Q&A for the Fall 2012 Virtual Conference’s ‘Meet the Presenters’ series. You can View the entire series schedule at the link below. Our subject is Rick Crume, genealogy expert and writer for Family Tree University writer. Feel free to submit your own questions to Rick by Commenting on this post.
So, Rick, first question: One of your sessions is on Using UK Civil Registrations. What exactly are civil registrations?
Rick Crume: Civil registrations are government records of birth, marriage, divorce and death. England and Wales began keeping those records in 1837.
Family Tree University: So how can civil registrations be useful to a genealogist? And what sort of information do they contain?
Rick Crume: English and Welsh birth, marriage and death records are similar to American vital records. Birth records include the parents’ names and marriage records give the names of the fathers of the bride and groom. So these records can reveal the names of earlier generations.
Family Tree University: I see. Are there online databases to look through Civil Registrations? If so, what is an example of one such database?
Rick Crume: Yes, several websites have indexes to English and Welsh birth, marriage and death records. For example, FreeBMD <> is a free site created by volunteers.
Family Tree University: Will you be demonstrating how to use these sites in your presentation?
Rick Crume: Yes, that’s right. I also demonstrate using Griffith’s Valuation on Ancestry.com, which has some special features.
Mike R.:My Ross ancestors came from the area of Bramley near Leeds in West Riding, Yorkshire. An early 20th Century genealogist found 16th/17th century Calverley Parish records (which I’ve also seen in a Google Books copy of the records volume) in which the family’s name was also spelled Wrose or Wrosse, which is the name of an Anglo-Saxon hamlet in the Bradford area. Is it likely that this family moved from Wrose/Wrosse at some earlier time? What other inferences might we make from this name, and its change to Ross (which I’d considered to be Scottish)?
Rick Crume: Mike, that sounds like a good lead on an earlier place of residence for the family.
Rick Crume: Since Wrose/Wrosse sounds like an unusual name, I imagine you’ve checked FamilySearch.org and other sites to see where the name occurs in earlier records.
Family Tree University: Great Tips. Another question for you: You’re doing a second session on Tracing Irish Ancestor’s in Griffith’s Valuation. For those who don’t know, what is Griffith’s Valuation and what does it contain?
Rick Crume: It’s a list of property owners and residents taken for tax purposes between 1848 and 1864. It covers about 80-90% of all heads of households.
Family Tree University: What makes it such a complex set of documents to navigate?
Rick Crume: Griffith’s Valuation now has online indexes. But unless you’re looking for someone with an unusual name, it still helps to know the specific place where your ancestor lived.
Diane Haddad: Hi! Was Griffith’s Valuation annual?
Rick Crume: Diane, no I think it was taken on an irregular basis. So different parts of Ireland were covered in different years between 1848 and 1864.
Family Tree University: Tell us a little bit about your own experience using Griffith’s Valuation. What were you able to find out about your ancestors?
Rick Crume: My great-great-grandmother’s second husband Bernard Clark left Ireland before Griffith’s Valuation was taken. But Griffith’s Valuation shows a Bernard Clark and two other Clarks living in the village where my Bernard Clark lived. I’m sure they were close relatives. Griffith’s Valuation even shows the exact addresses of their homes, which I found on a map.
Family Tree University: How did you become such an expert on UK genealogy? Did you have an interest in the region, or did it just arise from digging into your English and Irish roots?
Rick Crume: I have ancestors all over Great Britain and Ireland and I have had pretty good luck researching them.
Rick Crume: I started quite a few years ago using mostly microfilmed records, but of course the Internet has opened up many new resources.
Diane Haddad: So far I have one lone Irish ancestor, a Norris, in my tree, and I haven’t done research on him in Ireland. Was Norris a common Irish name?
Rick Crume: Yes, I suspect that Norris is a common Irish name. But then, it seems like most Irish names are common!
Family Tree University: You do a lot of writing for our magazine. Give us a behind the scenes look: What is your writing process like?
Rick Crume: I write a lot about online searching, so I get to test a lot of genealogy websites and databases. Yesterday I was testing a British fee-based sites and one feature didn’t work right, so I asked the company about it. They reported back today that they fixed the problem, so now it works!
Family Tree University: Sounds like you are a thorough researcher! I urge our audience to keep an eye out for your articles.
Diane Haddad: Trying out genealogy websites is definitely a fringe benefit of the job!
Rick Crume: Diane, indeed it is! Regarding the comment on being a “thorough researcher,” I think that’s a key to success in genealogy, even with so many records online. It still takes persistence.
Mike R.: Is it true that some colonial-era marriage records from the U.S. are held in England? If so, are they viewable online? I’m seeking a Virginia marriage from the 1740s/50s that no one seems to have found. (The record may not even exist as they became Methodists at some time before 1780, and they may not have registered the marriage if it wasn’t in the Church of England.)
Rick Crume: I’m not too familiar with colonial-era marriage records held in England, if they exist.
Mike R.: My Ross ancestors left England for the U.S. in the late 1840s because the Industrial Revolution/steam-powered looms ruined their traditional home cloth-weaving business. Could I expect to find any departure/emigration records in England to match up with the arrival info we have from American ports?
Rick Crume: I don’t think there are departure records that early.
Family Tree University: Well Rick, I think that’s all the time we have for today. Thanks so much for joining us this afternoon!
Rick Crume: It was a pleasure. Please excuse my late arrival.
Mike R.: Thanks for the info … and thanks for participating in this chat, Ricky.
Rick Crume: You’re welcome. Good luck with your research!
Family Tree University: I’d just like to remind all our viewers that you can see Rick’s presentations at the Fall Virtual Conference, which starts TOMORROW! Remember, all videos are downloadable, which means you can keep them FOREVER. Just go to , and use the code FRIENDSOFRICK at checkout to save $40!