Genealogy World Archives

Five Reasons Why You Should Transfer Your Homes Movies to DVD

It’s always fun to pull out the old home videos and reminisce, especially on occasions when the family’s together. What wonderful moments to see and experience again your children’s first steps and first words. Then there are the videos full of laughs, your kids shenanigans and even some of your own caught on tape.


VHS-DVD (Photo credit: HawkinsThiel)

Those home movies are great! Unfortunately, every time you pull them out they seem to be a bit more worse off than the last time you watched them. Even more unfortunate is when you pull that one special video that you hold in reserve for special times and you find that it no longer works.

Don’t let that happen to you! Transferring those old home movies to DVD will save you a lot of heartache.

Here are five reasons you should consider turning your videos to DVD:

Technology – Technology is always changing. VHS/VCR tapes and players are a thing of the past. VCR’s are less common in homes, as most people have traded their VCR for DVD players. Even in the marketplace it is becoming more difficult to find players for this kind of media.

 Heat & Moisture – Heat and moisture can cause mold on VHS tapes, and both are great enemies of VHS. This form of media is not designed to be long lasting and even kept in ideal conditions may only last a maximum of 15 years.

AgeHome videos are far too precious to lose. However, that is what happens with many even when you do take good care of your videos.  Additionally, each time a VHS tape is played the tape is run across a head to be played, and this in term deteriorates the tape, making each consecutive playback weaker.

Convenience – Most VHS tapes hold up to 2 hours of recording time, however they take up more space and cannot be easily copied to share with others, unless you have a dual deck unit or 2 sets of equipment in order to play back and record at the same time. Whereas, with DVD’s, you still have the same 2 hours of video and they are convenient in that you can make copies much more easily without the need of extra equipment.

Storage – VHS tapes are bulky and cumbersome in this day and time. Some people have so many home movies and videos that they literally have shelves and shelves covering every wall just to have storage space for their videos. However, with DVD’s you can store your entire collection more easily in binders and leave your walls free for other things.

Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with mag...

Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One great feature of transferring your videos to DVD, is that DVD’s have the option of splitting your videos down into scenes. This allows you to take a variety of different scenes from varying times and place them onto one DVD so you can have them in one place to choose from – such as a synopsis of birthday events or special holidays over the years.

Just remember that over time videotapes lose quality, and may eventually be unwatchable due to deterioration, or even tape failure.  The best way to preserve those memories is to transfer your home movies to DVD. If you have not converted your old home movies to DVD, it is possible that your tapes may already be seeing the effects of deterioration. So, don’t delay any longer, save those precious memories and transfer your home movies to DVD today.

Video 2 DVD Transfers is part of a large production house with more than 25 years’ experience in transferring peoples treasured memories. From old cine film to modern recordable mini DVD’s we have copied more than 350,000 hours of family footage.
For those whose family memories are on cine film, Regular 8, Super 8 or even 16mm, we can produce archive quality transfers on to DVD or other digital media. The days of setting up a projector and screen are long gone. Our transfer systems are High Quality and are not based on out dated projector technology. Our website offers a clear and simple pricing structure.
We’re always happy to have a chat about your individual needs and you can call us free on 0800 592433 or email – Creating Digital Memories


Guest post by Jim Gregory



Uncover your WW1 Military Heroes

Every year, World Wars I and II get further and further away. They seem more and more like part of the distant past and less like an unfortunate part of our own time. Still, many people alive today have grandparents, great-grandparents, and even possibly parents who served in World War I. Looking for military heroes in our past keeps us connected to these tumultuous global events personally, even if we never experienced them. The British Army WW1 service records from 1914-1920 are available for those who are interested enough to learn in detail how their personal histories were connected to broader, global history.

British trench near the Albert–Bapaume road at...

British trench near the Albert–Bapaume road at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hundreds of thousands of men voluntarily joined the war effort in the earliest stages of WW1. The extensive British propaganda effort, a terrible job market, and general feelings of cultural malaise all contributed to the mass enlistment, in addition to the noble ideas of serving one’s country. Propaganda used many tactics, including shaming, appeals to fear, and appeals to the conscience. The Somme campaign and its horrifying 500,000 casualties contributed to falling volunteer soldier rates. In 1916, conscription began, first for single men, and then expanding to include all men aged 18 to 41 as possible draftees. As such, WW1 directly affected multitudes of families throughout the United Kingdom and beyond, and many families today would have ancestors who were directly or indirectly affected by it. Women were also able to join the war effort in a non-combatant role as nurses or cooks. Military heroes need not be limited to the soldiers.

Social changes occurred in the wake of World War One, in recognition of the service military heroes performed. Millions of soldiers left for the battlegrounds unable to vote, and the Representation of the People Act 1918 changed all that. Men over the age of 21 who were householders were granted suffrage. The hypocrisy of denying the right to vote in a democracy for those who had risked their lives defending it was untenable. Women over 30 who owned certain property were also granted suffrage. The United Kingdom rallying around its servicemen and women was but a minor part in the tremendous aftermath of the war. Official reports indicate that there were over nine hundred thousand casualties, including killed in action, dying of wounds, taken as prisoners of war, or missing in action. Uncovering the legacies of these military heroes would be a daunting but rewarding task.

Good military records in the 1910s have made ancestry detection easier than it has been for other times and places. Tracing your ancestry to the very early past is very difficult. People from certain socioeconomic backgrounds may not have left very good records. There was no assurance that everyone would have birth records until the early to mid-twentieth century. Finding ancestors in the military can be a direct route to finding many of your ancestors, given the stability and detail of military records. Their accomplishments will not be forgotten by anyone.

Essex Record Office Discovery Day

Ahead of his guest appearance and keynote speech at the Essex Record Office on Saturday 8 September 2012, Nick  visited Essex County Council and made some snapshot videos in the Council Chamber.

Here are some tips Nick recorded whilst at the Essex County Council

Nick discusses why he feels archives are still relevant when there is so much family history information online

Nick talks about the impact of genealogy documentaries such as “Who Do You Think You Are” on people researching into family roots

Want to hear more?

Visit the Essex Record Office Discovery day on 8th September 2012




Tracing the History of Your House in America

Whether your house is a historical landmark or just a simple, fairly modern abode, researching its history can be a fascinating experience – and you may find the story of your house more interesting than you expect.

I have a limited number of my book on House History available. You can purchase your personally signed copy  

Price: £10.00


The process is actually fairly simple, though it may require a bit of time and research. If you’re willing to look, there are very likely plenty of resources that can be easily accessed or obtained to help with your research.

Building Permits

Going straight back to the beginning is the best way to start your search. Even if your house is old, it’s quite likely that the original building permit is still available in your city’s archives.

The permit will provide some useful bits of information, including construction dates, architects and contractors, the original owners and the original cost of the house. Depending on your city, the records may not be accessible to the public, so be aware that you might need to pay a small fee to obtain copies of the records.

City Directories

Many city directories date back a hundred years or more, and provide detailed information on local history. City directories will list all adult residents of a house, as well as their professions. This provides a very useful insight into previous owners of your house, and can give you a much better picture of the house history.

Census Records

At times, the city directories are too vague or don’t provide sufficient information on previous residents of your house. In this case, it may be helpful to look through census records. For over 200 years, a regular census has been taken across the country, and these records are on record both at certain libraries, as well as online (though you may need to pay a subscription to gain access to this information online).

Census records will provide a much greater understanding of how many people lived in your house, where those people were born, how many children they had, and even their ages and occupations.

Abstract of Title

The Abstract of Title is going to be one of your most useful pieces of information when you’re putting together the history of not only your house, but the land it’s built on. The Abstract is a document that contains records of every legal transaction associated with your property.

The Abstract of Title will provide details on all previous owners of the house and how long it was owned by each subsequent owner. It will often also provide information on the construction of the house, as well as any large-scale renovations or additions.

Plat Maps

This is potentially one of the most fascinating pieces of your house history puzzle. A plat map will give you a picture of the neighborhood as it was envisioned by the original developers. The map will list owners of the land, and will show a detailed plan of streets, street names, and any pre-existing structures. It will give you a clear picture of your property’s footprint at its beginning.

How do I find out the history of my house

A few weeks back I mentioned the various means by which you can find out where your family once lived. Well I have come across an increasing number of people eager to find out how I would find out the history of my house. For many property buyers there is quite a bit of romance to buying a house with a history. The history may have to do with the previous owners or with the property’s architecture. New developments can be all well and good with spiffy conveniences, but a house that has stood for over a hundred years is bound to have some juicy history attached to it, or so many of us hope. It is the kind of thing that really makes for delightful dinner party conversations.

For a newly purchased home, I would make the first inquiry on the history of my house with the realtor. They are able to give information on when the property was built and details on new additions and renovation work. If the house is in a less urban locale, and the realtor is familiar to the property, they should be able to give information on the previous owners and the work that has been done to the property. Estate Agents often like to relate stories about a property and its owners, particularly if it will help clinch the deal.

The local council and record offices are also a good resource on the history of my house. Information on permits issued will give a history of the work done to the structure. Also, you should be able to tell if the house was part of a bigger estate on the maps. Legal records and census returns will also give data on the history of ownership. For much older properties, these records are probably going to be under the custody of the local archive.

At the local archives service or library, I do find there is a dedicated section on the area where I can look up my house history. This resource should be really useful. There will be everything from tax records to the private papers of the estate manager. When researching the history of my house, I find it is easier to actually know what I am looking for, this helps me narrow down the search to the relevant government department. Even if the property is in town, estate records should be able to yield information on developments done on the property. Census records are a good way of finding out the details of the occupant past. Be sure to check online for information that may already be available to the public.

Whether my house history interest concerns how the house originally looked when new or who lived there in the early 1900s, my local records and archives office would be the safest bet. If you are not familiar with your family’s genealogy, then use the same tips to find out more about your past.

I have a limited number of copies of Signed Copies of “Tracing the History of Your House: The Building, the People, the Past”

if you would like to buy a copy

Price: £10.00


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