The Nosey Genealogist's: Help Me With My Family Tree
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Apr 15 18

Finding Women Who Served in WWI and II

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

A WRNS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A WWI WRNS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On my recent visit to my father I got to talking to him about his mother, my grandmother, and her service in both of the World Wars.

What I gathered from his recollection of her was that in WWII she had been a Leading Petty Officer Wren (WRNS) stationed at Devonport while he was a teen-aged schoolboy. She was living in a flat off the Hoe until the blast from a bomb in one of the raids on Plymouth forced her to find a safer flat on the fringe of Dartmoor. Moving to an ex-nursing home within fifty yards of the Railway station at Bickleigh, with a line into Plymouth, she saw service with the Women’s Royal Naval Service throughout the conflict.

 

It also transpires that in the First World War, as well, she had served in the dockyard before her marriage to my grandfather in 1918. This opened up my mind to the possibility of doing some research into her time in Devenport.

 

With this information about her First World War service I was fascinated to find that The National Archives (TNA) have an on-demand webinar (first put online in 2015) that can help researchers understand what records survive at TNA for women who served in the First World War.

Take a look here:

http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/webinar-women-first-world-war/

While not all the records survive from WWI it is worth a look to see if your ancestor’s records are there.

Second World War records, however, are more difficult as they still remain with the Ministry of Defence. More on this subject in another post.

 

 

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Apr 8 18

Researching mariners

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist
Visit to the Cutty Sark - Copyright A. Derbyshire 2018

John and Nick Thorne visit the Cutty Sark

 

I am just back from a visit to Greenwich with my dad who is almost 93 and still fascinated by everything around him.

He had asked my sister and I to organise the trip and the two of us had a lot of fun watching him engage with the ship and its very helpful volunteer guides.

While being educated about the crew and what they would have had to do when serving on this fast sailing clipper, the knowledgeable guide explained how there was  a lot of material to search on the Cutty Sark in the National Maritime Museum that is close by. This got me thinking about family history research for those of us that have had Royal Navy sailors or Merchant Navy mariners in our past families.

 

The National Maritime Museum is part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, that includes the Cutty Sark. There are a number of exhibitions that you can view at the complex, but the National Maritime Museum also houses the Caird Library and Archive.

If you are researching an ancestor then the good news is that this extensive maritime reference resource has free entry – you just need to register for a Reader’s Ticket. At the time of writing (April 2018) the opening hours are:

Tuesday–Friday, 10am–4.45pm; Saturday 10am–1pm, 2pm–4.45pm.

The National Maritime Museum and Archive is a fantastic and useful resource for finding out about your ancestors who went to sea. They do warn you, however, on their website that tracing people who served or travelled on ships can be a complex task and you may need to consult a range of different resources – their records can help you to search for members of the Merchant Navy and the Royal Navy as well as vessels and voyages​ but you may also have to back this up with records held elsewhere.

Read more at https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum/caird-library/family-history-research#dG1k1rqo8vIK0DKu.99

I found that there are a number of useful research guides on their website that can help you in your investigations and a number of links that will point you to useful resources that are housed elsewhere at other archives.

 

If you, like me, have salt in your blood then this is a facility that you should use.

Cutty Sark- Copyright Nick Thorne 2018

Copyright Nick Thorne 2018

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Apr 1 18

RAF celebrate 100 and new records released

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Today the Royal Air Force celebrates their centenary. 

To mark its birthday I was asked by TheGenealogist to write an article about one of the RAF’s key early chiefs. You can find it if you take a look at TheGenealogist’s website where they have launched some special RAF records to celebrate.

You can read my piece here:

https://www.thegenealogist.com/featuredarticles/2018/celebrating-the-centenary-of-the-raf-with-thegenealogists-records-778/

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Mar 25 18

Learn how to find your English or Welsh ancestors

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT:

For immediate release

Spring Offer from The Family History Researcher Academy:

20% off their English/Welsh Family History Course.

 

Learn where to look for records and resources to find your ancestors.

 

The Family History Researcher Academy has launched a special 20% off ‘Spring Offer’ on their popular English/Welsh Family History Course and its available only until April 2nd 2018.

 

Instead of the regular $14 / £11 per month subscription you can now join up for just $11 US or £8.80 Sterling a month. PLUS you get the first month for only $1.00 / £1.00 for you to take it for a test run!

 

Delivered weekly inside a membership area for 12 months, these modules will reveal the best records and resources that you can use when searching for your elusive English or Welsh ancestors.

 

If you would like to take advantage of this deal, and discover what records to use, sign up between now and the 2nd April using the special SPRING OFFER link below. You’ll be charged $1/£1 and receive one module a week in the first four weeks, plus some extra bonus reports to help you find your English or Welsh ancestors.

If you like what you see, and decide to stay on, then your subscription for the rest of the course becomes just $11 a month in USD or £8.80 in GBP saving you more than 20% on the regular price. The 20% off and $/£1 trial deal is also available for those who wish to pay in Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars or New Zealand Dollars – see the offers on the website.

Like to save even more?

 

To make an even bigger saving, you could take a look at the full payment option of US$94 or £70. This one-time payment saves an amazing $74 / £62 on the full price. You can chose this option from the drop-down tab on the Family History Researcher Academy website.

 

Online English & Welsh family history course

Family History Researcher Academy Online English & Welsh family history course

 

Don’t worry about being locked in – subscribers can cancel at any time, with no need to complete the training.

 

Read about the

 

 

 

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Mar 23 18

Meritorious Service Medals can be searched online

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.*

 

TheGenealogist has released the records of 29,000 individuals who were decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM). The roll of names for those who were awarded this British honour in the First World War have been released by TheGenealogist. Researchers can now look for holders of this medal up to 1920 from within their ever growing military records collection.

  • See a copy of the image of the Medal Card with the theatre of war where the medal was won
  • Details the name, rank, regiment and service number
  • Unique “SmartSearch” links to the comprehensive military records on TheGenealogist.co.uk
  • These new records cover British servicemen from The First World War

The medal was first awarded in 1845 to non-commissioned officers in the British Army who had a record of long service in the forces. Given originally for long service of at least 20 years to servicemen who were of irreproachable character and already held the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal of their service, the First World War saw it awarded to those who performed acts of non-combatant gallantry in the performance of their military duty. In the second case the bravery was not necessarily while the serviceman was on active service and may have been in the saving or attempted saving of the life of an officer or an enlisted soldier.

Family history researchers searching for ancestors who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the First World War will be able to find their forebears in this new addition to the military collection of records on TheGenealogist.

 

 

 

Read TheGenealogist’s article on a First World War NCO awarded his medal ‘For exceptionally good work’ operating night and day to keep the RFC’s aeroplanes at El Hammam flying:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2018/finding-ancestors-awarded-the-meritorious-service-medal-768/

 

 

*Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links. This does not mean that you pay more just that I make a percentage on the sales from my links. The payments help me pay for the cost of running the site. You may like to read this explanation here:

http://paidforadvertising.co.uk/

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Mar 18 18

‘Family Tree’ Family History Week

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

This Press Release caught my eye!

FHWeek Logo

Family Tree Family History Week

Join us for the first-ever Family Tree Family History Week

This spring Family Tree is launching Family History Week – a free online genealogy event of seven days jam-packed with genealogy advice to help family historians of all levels discover new things about the hobby they love.

Where will it take place?

Family History Week will be an online event based at www.family-tree.co.uk where each day, 16-22 April 2018, there will be family history tutorials, useful downloads, essential guides, prizes, quizzes and much more for family historians to enjoy.

Who can join in?

Family Tree would like to welcome family historians and genealogy businesses from all sectors of the heritage community to get involved during the week across social media platforms.

How can you find out more?

The programme for the week will be announced at www.family-tree.co.uk soon.  

If you would like to get involved or find out more please contact helen.t@family-tree.co.uk or lauren.beharrell@warnersgroup.co.uk

Keep up with the latest news on Family History Week via:

www.family-tree.co.uk

Facebook/familytreemaguk

Twitter @familytreemaguk

Instagram @familytreemagazine

Catch all the coverage with #FHWeek

FH Week bear

Quote:

Helen Tovey, Editor of Family Tree, said: “We’re really excited to be launching our first online Family History Week, and we’d like to welcome family historians from all over the world to join in. Our genealogy jamboree will include downloads, guides and discussions to help you trace your tree. From getting starting to getting organised, from dusty old documents to DNA, we’re going to be covering genealogy gems like this during the week. And our goal is that by the end of the seven days we’ll all know a whole lot more about our family histories and would have had a lot of fun learning too!”

Family Tree cover

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Mar 10 18

Fascinating Outgoing UK Passenger Lists for the 1940s decade

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.*

 

 

This week I have been truly absorbed by what I could find in the 1940s decade of BT27 passenger lists.

Until I was asked to write an article for TheGenealogist’s website to showcase the new records that they were making available from their site, I had no idea that the war time passenger lists would be so interesting! I had assumed that it would be a time when only troops were being transported. While they obviously made up the bulk of the travellers, there are still some very interesting tales to find.

My article can be read here:

1940s Passenger lists reveal evacuated children, war-brides and service personnel crossing the atlantic

 

The Press Release from TheGenealogist is reproduced below.

RMS Mauretania; from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

RMS Mauretania; from TheGenealogist’s Image Archive

TheGenealogist has just released 1.4 million Passenger Records covering the 1940s. This expands our Outbound Passenger Lists to over 25 million and form part of our larger immigration and emigration collection on TheGenealogist. The new records feature passengers who sailed out of United Kingdom in the years between 1940 and 1949 these newly transcribed BT27 images are from The National Archives. The passenger lists released today will allow researchers to:

 

  • Discover potential family members travelling together using TheGenealogist’s SmartSearch
  • Find ancestors sailing to Africa, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and other destinations
  • View images of the original passenger list documents
  • See the ages, last address and intended permanent residence
  • Fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, year, country of departure, country of arrival, port of embarkation and port of destination

Researchers who had ancestors that travelled abroad from Britain in the 1940’s will find these records a fascinating addition to the vast collection of records on TheGenealogist.

 

 

*Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links. This does not mean that you pay more just that I make a percentage on the sales from my links. The payments help me pay for the cost of running the site. You may like to read this explanation here:

http://paidforadvertising.co.uk/

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Mar 3 18

Family Networks – Taking the guesswork out of DNA relationships

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.*

 

I saw this press release from the Living DNA team this week. I for one can’t wait for it to be rolled out!

 

Family Networks – Taking the guesswork out of DNA relationships

Family Networks - Tree View

Family Networks – Tree View

Living DNA, the global consumer genetics company,  announced this week it will preview “Family Networks”—a new DNA-driven matching system and family tree reconstruction method—at RootsTech 2018, the world’s largest family-history technology conference taking place Feb. 28 – March 3 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Requiring no prior user-generated family research, Living DNA’s family reconstruction tree method is based solely on users’ DNA, gender, and age. Unlike competing organisations, Living DNA’s Family Networks will provide the most precise matching service on the market by analysing a user’s unique motherline and fatherline DNA data (mtDNA and YDNA), on top of the family ancestry line (autosomal).

With Family Networks, we not only predict how users are related to direct matches, but we can also infer through DNA up to 13 generations back to connect matches with whom they share no DNA with today,” said Living DNA co-founder and Managing Director David Nicholson. “The technology behind Family Networks runs through millions of ways in which users in the network are related and automatically works out which genetic trees are possible. This new capability offers distinct benefits to a range of users, from avid genealogists to family history hobbyists, to adoptees and others searching for their family members. It will reduce the risk of human error and support the task of figuring out how each person in a user’s list are related to one another. We’re truly taking the guesswork out of DNA relationships.

Family Networks will go into private beta in Q2 and open beta in Q3 2018 where it will be available to all existing and new Living DNA users. The unique computation this feature provides gives customers- even those who upload from other DNA testing sites- a level of relationship prediction and specificity beyond anything currently on the market. Where competing offerings rely solely on time-consuming and often error-prone user research, Living DNA’s amazing power tools process users’ DNA to identify relatives and define relationships deeper back in time. Through this extremely rich experience, users can even learn how they’re related to people with whom they share no DNA today.

Users need to only provide their gender and birthdate for Living DNA to build a family tree that shows where their matches fit into their family tree, with no need of Gedcom files or any other user input. This can be especially useful for adoptees and family searchers who are trying to locate long-lost family members but who don’t have any information on their biological family, Living DNA can translate their matches into a potential family tree, giving them a clearer place to start from.

Living DNA, which launched in the U.S. in 2017, owes its existence to advances in genomic science and technology. The company makes it easier for users to discover more about their roots in greater detail than ever before by comparing users’ DNA to the DNA of individuals from 80 worldwide regions—more than any other company. That means mainstream consumers who are curious to know where they come from get a regional percentage breakdown that’s ground-breaking in its detail. For example, instead of telling a user that their ancestors may have hailed from Great Britain, Living DNA can express the percentage of their DNA matching Yorkshire, Devon and Cornwall. Living DNA currently has the ability to detect up to 21 regions in the UK, four in Italy and four in China—and the company is adding more all the time.

Living DNA’s 3-in-1 DNA test offers three tests for roughly the same price that most competing companies charge for only one test. From a simple saliva swab, Living DNA not only covers a user’s family line ancestry, but—unlike most other tests—it also includes the user’s motherline and (if male) fatherline ancestry. The company uses the newest DNA chip technology and innovative software technology developed with top universities including University College London, Bristol University and Oxford University. Living DNA also worked with experts to create the ground-breaking Orion DNA chip to help select the widest range of DNA markers that and beneficial for users with ethnicities from all parts of the world.



*Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links. This does not mean that you pay more just that I make a percentage on the sales from my links. The payments help me pay for the cost of running the site. You may like to read this explanation here:

http://paidforadvertising.co.uk/

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Feb 25 18

TheGenealogist adds more Colour Tithe Maps for Buckinghamshire online

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

 

 

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 I was asked to put together an article on Buckinghamshire Tithe Maps this week as TheGenealogist has added more Colour Tithe Maps from The National Archives to their National Tithe Records collection. With this release researchers can see the plots owned or occupied by ancestors that lived in this ‘home county’ at the time of the survey in the 19th century on colour plans.

 

Colour Tithe map of Buckingham 1847

Colour Tithe map of Buckingham 1847

 

The new data includes:

  • Over 40,000 Plots of Land covering the years from 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans of altered apportionments
  • Joining the apportionment record books and the previously published grey-scale maps

These tagged colour maps and their fully searchable tithe schedule records are from those held at The National Archives. The collection gives the family history researcher the ability to search by name and keyword (for example parish or county) to look for all levels of society from large estate owners to occupiers of tiny plots such as a cottage or a cowshed.

 

Why not read my article written for TheGenealogist: Buckinghamshires-colour-tithe-maps-online-

 

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Feb 18 18

Can’t find the baptism?

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

I was reviewing a problem ancestor in my family tree this week and thought my notepad jottings may help others.

I am looking for a female ancestor who was born before the introduction of civil registration in 1837. According to every census, that she was enumerated within, her birth date was 1806, give or take a year. The place of birth remained consistent as Bigbury in Devon. The problem is that she does not appear in the Bigbury parish register for baptisms for 1806, nor for the years either side. There is someone with her Christian name in the registers, however by following this woman through to her marriage and death I have ruled her out.

 

This being the case I have to consider reasons why I can’t find my ancestor and so I noted down on a pad the scenarios that I needed to explore.

1. Was my ancestor disguising her age in the census to appear closer in years to her husband?   – If so I need to expand my search for her using a larger range of years.

2. Was her maiden surname different from what I had discovered from a transcript of her marriage? Perhaps the name I was searching for was from a previous marriage?  – To find this out I needed to see an image of the parish register and read whether it said Spinster or Widow at the time of her wedding.

3. Was she mistaken about being born in Bigbury? Perhaps she grew up there and assumed that it was where she had been born? – I needed to search the Bigbury parish register to see if any other family members with her surname were baptised, married or buried there.

4. Has the Bishop’s transcripts survived in the Diocesan Archive? – Sometimes entries may appear in the BTs that are missing from the actual parish register.

5. Was she from a non-conformist family and been baptised by a minister of another denomination other than the Established Church? – A search of the non-conformist registers may turn up my elusive ancestor, though not all of them were surrendered and so the collection at The National Archives is not complete. Some may be in the Devon Heritage Centre (County Record Office) while others are lost.

6. Could I find any siblings in the Bigbury area? – Searching first for baptisms, then marriages and burials. In this case I found her as a witness to a marriage of a woman with the same surname. Perhaps her sister, or a cousin. But it does establish a link to Bigbury.

7. Did she appear in anyone else’s published family tree? – Though they are notoriously inaccurate family trees that are published online may give you clues to go and research for yourself and confirm the accuracy of the information in the tree.

8. Does anyone seem to share the DNA with me from that area or from an ancestor with that surname? – Look for a distant cousin that has entered the information about their ancestors to a linked family tree on a family history DNA website.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a start to breaking down a brick wall.

 

How far have I got? Not as far as I’d like, as so many other things have got in the way of my research this week!

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