24 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Naturalization record Teila Fonoimoana

Just found my grandpa Teila's Naturalization record on FamilySearch.org

Pacific Island Guide to Family History Research.

I had a family member visit me last month and I was asked, "How do you even start your Samoan genealogy when our people spoke our family history orally? I am confused at how to start?"
Boy, was I happy to hear this! I showed my cousin the Pacific Island Guide to Family History Research on FamilySearch Wiki. We read over this and followed through the steps. After hours on FamilySearch and talking with my cousin he came away feeling refreshed and totally excited to do genealogy.
I only have a few cousins who actually have talked genealogy with me so this was super exciting for me.

  If you are starting your Samoan Genealogy read this FamilySearch Wiki article is a great place to start.
Here are the steps shared in the article:
Steps of Research for Pacific Island Ancestors
Step 1. Write what you can from memory
Step 2. Gather written records
Step 3. Learn about customs and history
Step 4. Gather oral histories from your oldest relatives
Step 5. Organize your information
Step 6. Organize your papers
Step 7. Track your research
Step 8. Find ancestors on the IGI
Step 9. Obtain and search other records

08 July 2013

Land and Titles Court goes digital.

This is exciting news! Here is the full article:

A long-term project to digitise the records of the Land and Titles Court has reached its second anniversary.

The project aims to preserve the information that is within the Land and Titles Court at both Mulinu’u and Tuasivi registries.

So far, over 14,000 files have been scanned, amounting to over 680,000 pages. The project team has also repaired over 4,300 files to date.

The total number of Land and Titles Court files housed at the Mulinu’u Registry is about 31,584 and there are over 12,000 files relating to Land and Titles Court matters housed at the Tuasivi Office.

These records have historical value to the people of Samoa, containing a wealth of information about family genealogy, confirmation of matai titleholders and ownership of customary land.

The project commenced on 4 July 2011 and is being run by the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration (MJCA) and the Samoa Law and Justice Sector.

Initially, the project involved file repair and maintenance and a file count.

“Many of the records are fragile and in danger of becoming unreadable: print is fading due to the quality and deterioration of ink and paper from age as well as from insect infestation,” Project Team Leader, Leota Pelenato Paulo explained.

“Some of the recent documents are in good condition but are also becoming fragile with usage and passage of time.

There is also the problem of people stealing or taking papers from files, and also the risk of losing the hard-copy files if buildings are destroyed by fire or natural disaster.

There was previously no back-up for these important records.”

Following the installation of scanners, the project team was trained to use the Doscvault System, software which was used to create an electronic records database. The scanning process began in December 2011. By June 2012, 5,659 files were scanned. As at December 2012, 10,003 files had been digitised.

“This project will preserve all Land and Titles Court records in fully indexed electronic form and enable backup copies to be created in the event that the images on the paper fade or documents themselves are destroyed,” Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe, CEO, Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, said.

“It will also improve access by the public, particularly the interested parties to these important historical heritage documents, by enabling easy viewing of these documents via computer monitors. Finally, the project has made access to these documents much faster, making the Land and Titles Court more efficient.”

The Land and Titles Court is by far Samoa’s busiest court.

The judiciary, Court officers and the public are now accessing the scanned files where and when necessary for matters in the Land and Titles Court.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation on behalf of the project team for the tremendous support and fantastic assistance provided by the CEO, executive members and the management team for the sustainability of the project at a high level,” Leota said.

“Fa’afetai tele le lagolago ma le fa’amalosiau mai. A big Fa’amalo also goes to the project team for all the hard work and effort contributed to reach the two-year milestone. The nine workstations are all working well.”

Members of the public can contact the Land and Titles Court with enquiries about specific records.

Update on this blog, as of today I did not see any additional information about Land and Titles. It is a long term project as said in the article. No information as how to access it.  A site was referred in the comments of the Samoa Obsever. I went to that site http://www.mjca.gov.ws/index.html and didn't see any additional information. 

If you know of any information on this could you post in comments below. Thank you.

03 July 2013

Papers Past Website

I had found this website last week called Papers Past while researching one of my Samoan lines. Papers Past is a website that is provided and run by the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa.

In 2001, Papers Past was launched with 250,000 pages from New Zealand newspapers. The site was re-launched in 2007 and new titles have been added. Check the site often for updates.

Papers Past is based on New Zealand newspapers however I found Samoa references on this site. I'm still looking through the site and see what else that I can find.

Meanwhile, take a look at Papers Past site. Type in various searches. Try a surname, village or an event.
Share comments below about your experience on the Papers Past site.