The Nosey Genealogist's: Help Me With My Family Tree
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Aug 20 17

Tip for those new to researching for British Ancestors

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

When you first start doing Family history research for British ancestors, It may appear to you to be a quite daunting task. There will be probably be frustration and elation often mixed in equal parts as you find a forebear and then lose trace of them again. There are so many avenues for you to go down and so many records to look at in Britain which means that, given time, you can probably get back on track and those ancestors that disappear may reappear later. Not being able to find a person can be the result of many things. The ancestor may just be hidden within the database because somebody has lost the record, or it has been damaged, or simply your ancestor’s details were mis-entered in the first place.

The best bit of advice that I can pass on is some that was given to me a number of years back. It is a recommendation that can be applied to any task, really.

“Tackle the subject of researching for your British ancestry by taking it in small bites at a time.”

Perhaps the first tools to use are:

  • Birth Certificates – these can provide you with parent’s names of an ancestor
  • Marriage Certificates  that give you the father’s names for both parties
  • Census records which, as well as other information, furnish you with the birth places of ancestors and their ages
  • Parish Registers which will, with luck, supply a track for you to follow of baptisms, marriages and burials for your family.

In truth, all of the above records should be used together so that you can corroborate the details. A census may give you a place of birth different from the actual place found on the Birth Certificate because your ancestor, for some reason best known to themselves, wanted to claim a different place of birth from the actual town where they were born. Ages in census may have been given wrongly for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is that some did not really know!

It is vital to start your family tree research from the latest provable fact. This could be your parent’s details, your grandparent’s or perhaps your own birth certificate.

Now I realise that people that have been adopted, or for some other reason are not aware of their biological parent’s names or details will struggle with this. There is an article republished in the resources section of my website that can help you if you are in this position. Take a look at: Finding biological parents

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Aug 12 17

TheGenealogist releases 650,000 additional Parish Records for Nottinghamshire

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

 

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

TheGenealogist logo

 

TheGenealogist has extended its UK Parish Records collection with a new and exclusive release of 650,000 parish records for Nottinghamshire.  These records can be used to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover parishes from this important East Midland county of England. With records that reach back to 1633, this release includes the records of 56 parishes, including:

369,100 individuals in Baptisms, 168,000 individuals in Marriages and 112,800 individuals in Burials

 

You can use these transcripts to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where noted), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, and in the case of marriage records the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.

Lord Byron

Amongst the notable Nottinghamshire people that can be found in these records are the infamous Lord Byron and his brilliant mathematician daughter Ada, Countess of Lovelace. Both are buried in the parish of Hucknal Torkard. As well as nobility, in this collection we also come across the baptism of Amos Hind. He was famous for playing First Class Cricket for the neighbouring county of Derbyshire between 1876 and 1877. Amos died aged 82 in 1931.

 

These additions brings their Nottinghamshire parish record collection to over 919,800 records.To search these records and many more see TheGenealogist.co.uk

 

Read their article: http://www.thegenealogist.com/featuredarticles/2017/a-poet-a-mathematician-and-a-first-class-cricketer-596/

 

Parishes covered in this release are:

 

  • Awsworth
  • Arnold
  • Awsworth
  • Balderton
  • Barnby in the Willows
  • Barton in Fabis
  • Beeston
  • Bilsthorpe
  • Bingham
  • Blidworth
  • Bole
  • Burton Joyce
  • Calverton
  • Car Colston
  • Coddington
  • Cottam
  • Cromwell
  • Dunham
  • Eakring
  • East Bridgford
  • East Drayton
  • East Retford
  • Egmanton
  • Elston
  • Elton
  • Epperstone
  • Everton
  • Farnsfield
  • Flawborough
  • Fledborough
  • Flintham
  • Gamston
  • Gotham
  • Greasley
  • Grove
  • Hucknall Torkard
  • Kneesall
  • Kneeton
  • Laneham
  • Laxton
  • Lowdham
  • North Collingham
  • Orston
  • Owthorpe
  • Papplewick
  • Perlethorpe
  • Radford
  • Ratcliffe on Soar
  • Rolleston
  • Scarrington
  • Selston
  • Shelford
  • Skegby
  • Stapleford
  • West Bridgford
  • Woodborough
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Aug 6 17

Family History rather than Genealogy?

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

 

Old Leamington Spa

I love researching my family history – rather than just doing genealogy. If you have got the  bug that makes you want to find out who your ancestors were, then you may feel the same.

A list of names and dates, on a family tree, is a great start – but don’t you just want to know what their story was and where exactly they lived?

Whenever I find myself in a place that I have some sort of ancestral tie to I can’t help but wonder what it was like in their day.

It is often the way for me, as I visit a town I mentally scan my family tree to see if any of my ancestors ever lived there. If I recall that one or more did then I get the itch to go and see where it was that they actually lived. This is even if the street bears no resemblance to how it looked in their day, perhaps as a result of having been redeveloped in the years since. I still, however, get a kick from walking in their footsteps and I wonder how many of you can relate to this? It is probably the reason that genealogical tourism is becoming so popular.

 

Recently I had a very pleasant lunch with some cousins in Leamington Spa. While they went off to look around the shops I hightailed-it to the Leamington library that is situated, along with a museum, in what had once been the Royal Pump Rooms. I wanted to take advantage of the library’s Local History section and see if I could come up with an answer to a question that had been left open in my research for some time.

Where did my great-great grandparents live in the middle 1830s period when they stayed in this English Spa town?

 

With my Leamington ancestors I am lucky enough to know that while they lived here they had one of my great-granduncles baptised in 1836 at All Saint’s Church, just across the road from the Royal Pump Rooms and next to the River Leam. From other research that I had already done it appeared that they were of the ‘middling sort’, possibly deriving their income from ownership of part of a thriving business in Scotland.

The census collections are no good to me in this investigation of where they lived in 1835 as, by the time of 1841 and the taking of first count that is of any use to family historians, the family had moved on!

Now, with an hour or so to spare in Leamington Spa, I was able to search the General Arrivals and Departures of people in the Leamington Spa Courier for 1835. This newspaper is available to search online at the British Newspaper Archive but I was using the Library’s microfilm copy on this occasion. With luck I came across my ancestor fairly quickly when I found that on Saturday December 5th 1835 the family arrived in Leamington and were staying at 41 Grove Street.

With the clock ticking down, for when I had to rejoin my cousins at the end of their shopping session, I quickly found the library assistant and asked how far away Grove Street was. Another bit of luck was that it was in easy walking distance and not that far at all. Using a helpful handy map, that the assistant provided, I marched off to see if the road resembled the street of my ancestors time, or whether it had been rebuilt over the years.

When you go searching for your own ancestors homes it is worth understanding a bit about the social history and geography of their towns or villages. What was the industry and what pressures made the developer build the streets as they did? In Leamington it had been the popularity of the waters and the town establishing itself as a Spa.

 

My ancestors came from a mixture of classes including the working class. Those of my forbears who fell into the poorer categories would have, in this period, lived in terraced houses with an outside privy if they were lucky and in court housing if they were unfortunate. My Leamington Spa family, I assumed, had some money behind them and so I expected to find that they were putting up at a reasonably smart residence.

What I saw was, at first, encouraging. As I turned the corner I was presented with a pleasant row of Georgian villas on one side of the street and I thought that these matched my expectations. A stroll up the street revealed a development of red brick late Victorian or possibly Edwardian houses of two stories with slate roofs and further still a modern Fire station.

Consulting my notes I saw that I was seeking number 41 and began looking at the numbers on the Georgian side of the street. With dismay I found that 41 was missing and turning to the other side of the road I could see that it adorned one of the redbrick terrace houses. My gut feeling was, however, that these properties were from a later period than Georgian. (In truth this period was at the end of short reign of William IV from 1830 to 1837, the last of the Hanoverian Kings before the reign of Victoria. It is still, however, considered by some to be the Georgian period.)

On returning home I hit the internet and began researching the development of Leamington in that time. I found several pages that told me about the history of the town and in particular the Historic England website which has a handy search tool to find listed buildings in England.

 

I didn’t find the actual house in their database but one further down the road. This had the helpful historical information that ‘Grove Street was laid out in 1828, the west side and lower part of the east side were built by 1834’.

So the villas were new houses at the time that my ancestors moved in.

I went on to find several pdfs online about the conservation of the area and discovered that my intuition was right when I assumed that the redbrick houses were later 19th century. I read that there was ‘some Edwardian infill on the East side of the street’ built on land that had once been the garden of a large house belonging to Dr Jephson.

Now I knew that there hadn’t been a 41 on the east side of the road when my great-great grandparents moved in as this had been a garden. It lead me to suppose that the houses in the road had been re-numbered at some stage! While I may never be able to pinpoint which property had been theirs at least I had an inkling of the type of residence that they inhabited.

 

So when you come to look for your own ancestor’s houses, whether on foot or via the Google street view, be aware that the houses may well have been renumbered such as this example below of another of my ancestors, this time in Plymouth, Devon. In this case it retains its old number in the widow light and has its new number screwed above the door.

I wish all were as helpful!

 

 

Have you checked out my English/Welsh family history course? I still have some great special offers running.

https://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/course

 

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Jul 28 17

A new census substitute for the year 1921 released by TheGenealogist

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

Leading on from my post last week about ancestors that changed their address, this is exciting news from TheGenealogist…

TheGenealogist has sent out a press release that announces that they have released a brand new circa 1921 resource. This is brilliant news for those tracing their British ancestry as it is for a period that is not presently served by a census because of the 100 year rule for census releases.

The new record set covers 23 counties, and is made up of over one million records. They form part of TheGenealogist’s Trade, Residential & Telephone collection.  

The records are fully transcribed, searchable and enable researchers to:

  • search on forename, surname and profession
  • search by street, town and county
  • look for a business name
  • discover your ancestors’ addresses
  • find professions listed

 

TheGenealogist says that their 1921 directories cover the North, South, East and the West of England, the Channel Islands and reach up the country right up to Aberdeen. If you are researching your ancestors in the years around 1921, then this new release will offer a fantastic name rich resource to use.

Searching for householders within these 23 newly released county directories returns a huge number of names from that time and include a great many that are still famous today.

A number of examples that these new records allow us to discover include Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridge’s department store; Jesse Boot, who set up the chemist chain that still carries his name; Winnie-the-Pooh’s author A. A. Milne; J.M. Barrie, who created the characters of Peter Pan and Wendy; plus the celebrated economist, John Maynard Keynes. I wrote a feature article for TheGenealogist to highlight how I found these examples and it can be found on their website at: Addressing Where They Were in 1921

The areas that have been covered in this release include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Bath
  • Berkshire
  • Bradford and Surrounding Districts
  • Bristol and Suburberbs
  • Brixton and Clapham
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Channel Islands
  • Cheshire
  • Cumberland
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • Hessle
  • Hull
  • Lincolnshire
  • London
  • London County Suburbs
  • Middlesbrough
  • Norfolk
  • Northumberland
  • Oxfordshire
  • Somerset
  • Suffolk
  • Westmorland
  • Wiltshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Yorkshire

TheGenealogist says that they will be adding further counties in the coming months.

 

To read my article for FREE head over to: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/addressing-where-they-were-in-1921-571/

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Jul 23 17

Tracing ancestors as they changed address

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

 

Find your ancestors in Trades DirectoriesWe all know that we can find our ancestors’ address in the census taken between 1841 and 1911 in the U.K.

But we should remember that, just as we may have moved several times in between the last time that we were enumerated, so did our ancestors.

I was researching a particular forebear of mine and had got hold of his army service records. I was drawn to his address at the time of his attestation and then at the end of the war. The address had changed as a result of he and his wife going through a divorce.

I was recently in The National Archives in Kew and just adjacent to the area where The London Family History Centre has its area, located in the Reading Room of TNA, was a shelf of Trades, Residential and Court directories. While I had some time to wait for some research documents to be delivered, I began browsing these books. What I noticed was that if I looked through the different years, for my ancestor’s county, I could see that my subject moved around his home town a bit more frequently than I had previously supposed.

You don’t need to go to and archive, library or record office to find your ancestors in these directories as they can be easily accessed on many of the data websites as well.

Other records that can be used to map out the movements of an ancestor include the addresses given on civil registration certificates of birth, marriage and death and all sorts of other records that were created when our forebears came up against authority in its many guises.

The National Archives

My visit to The National Archives was to take a look at a court document that referred to my ancestor and there again it revealed yet another address for him.

It was at this stage that I realised that it would be a good idea if I started some notes on my mobile family member and so I began recording the dates and his various abodes in a list.

 

There are modules in my online course that look at the many different records that we are lucky in this country to get access to in more depth. If you are researching your ancestors from England and Wales and have hit a brick wall then my online Family History Researcher Academy course is available here:

www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/course

The course can be started and completed in your own time with 52 weekly tutorials being made available to you over a one year period. Currently I have some tempting offers so take a look before the price increases!

FamilyHistoryResearcher.com

 

 

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Jul 15 17

TheGenealogist has launched over 1.3 million Parish Records for Northumberland

by Nick Thorne - Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

 

TheGenealogist has expanded its UK Parish Records collection with the release of over 1,363,000 new records for Northumberland.  These records make it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover the ancient parishes of the northernmost county of England. Some of the records can take you as far back as 1560.

In this release you can find the records of:

903,314 individuals in Baptisms, 157,329 individuals in Marriages and 302,378 individuals in Burials

 

Use these records to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where given), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, in the case of marriage records, the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.

In these records you can find Grace Horsley Darling, the famous lighthouse keeper’s daughter who saved the crew from a shipwrecked paddle steamer. She was born on 24th November 1815, at her grandfather’s cottage in Bamburgh in Northumberland and was baptised the following month.

Grace was the daughter of William and Thomasine Darling who, when only a few weeks old, was taken to live in a small cottage attached to the lighthouse on Brownsman Island, one of the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland.

Her father ran the lighthouse there and she is famed for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked paddle steamer Forfarshire in 1838.

It was carrying sixty two people when it foundered on the rocks, split in two, the survivors managed to clamber onto Big Harcar a rocky island and were spotted by Grace looking from an upstairs window. She and her father rowed out in a four man boat for a distance of about a mile and between them rescued the nine survivors.

 

Search these and millions of other records on https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

 

 

Compensation disclosure: Affiliate links are used in the above post.

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Jul 9 17

Living DNA users can now explore their family ancestry (Autosomal DNA) in three different ways

by Nick Thorne - Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

 

I logged into my account with LivingDNA this week and thought:

“Hang on a minute, something has changed here. I’ve got a more comprehensive way of looking at my results!”

I clicked through to see the news on their website and found out that I was right in thinking this.

The update had happened while I was busy preparing for my trip away and was posted to their own blog on the 18th June 2017 and that is why I missed it. For all those readers who may have missed it themselves I read that Living DNA users are now able to start to explore their family ancestry (Autosomal DNA) in three different ways. Their blog at https://www.livingdna.com/en/blog goes on:

We call this feature “views” as it allows you to look at your ethnic ancestry mix within different confidence ranges; Complete, Standard and Cautious.

For users who would have already received their results, they received their “Standard” view which may contain some unassigned ancestry. But now, by looking at the complete view, customers can see these unassigned areas. We’ve also added in a ‘cautions’ view which combines regions of genetically similar ancestry, providing our highest degree of certainty.

In the process of releasing views, we’ve made some small changes to our algorithms; this means that peoples results will be slightly updated, normally by around 1%, although a small number of customers may see much bigger changes in their mix.

I was impressed with the breakdown as it gives me clues where I should research for ancestors that appear in my family tree, but I know not from where they came. This is because they married into my identified line, but before census or BMD records and so they didn’t reveal which part of the world they hailed from!

Now I will redouble my efforts to find them in the records of the regions that share similar DNA.

 

LivingDNA ancestry

 

Check out the LivingDNA website as they have a limited time special offer on at the time of writing!

 

Disclosure: Links above are compensated affiliate links.

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Jul 2 17

The end of microfilms at Family Search

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

I was in The National Archives this week and I thought I’d pop over to the London FamilySearch Centre that is located inside the reading room at TNA in Kew.

On the desk, in front of the LDS staff was an announcement to the effect that FamilySearch is discontinuing their microfilm lending service on September 1, 2017 across the world.

They have announced that “the change is the result of significant progress in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology. Digital imaging has made it easier to find ancestors through the internet, mobile, and other technologies.”

So what this means for family history researchers across the globe is that very soon we will no longer be able to borrow microfilmed genealogical records from the Family History Library. The last day researchers can place an order for delivery to your local Family History Centre/Center is August 31, 2017.

It is true that the majority of the Family History Library’s microfilm vault has already been digitized and is online – or will be within a short time and they say that they hope to finish digitizing the records that they have permission to digitize, in 2020. This still means, however, that some of the films we will not be digitized because they fall foul of either contractual limitations, data privacy, or some other reason.
 
This is sad news for family historians who had used this rich resource.

Entrance to the FamilySearch vault in Salt Lake City

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Jun 25 17

Who Do You Think You Are? 2017

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist

Wall to Wall's Who Do You Think You Are? programmes on the BBCJust as we were all snoozing in the summer sun the BBC suddenly announced that the ever popular genealogy TV series is back. The surprise is that according to the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine the fourteenth series kicks off in less than two weeks time!

 

This is what the BBC say at their Media Centre pages on their website.

The BAFTA award-winning genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? is back for a fourteenth series with a brand new star studded line-up from the worlds of TV, sport, music, comedy and dance.

The show, produced by Wall to Wall (a Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd company), will return to BBC One this summer.

Actor Charles Dance, sports broadcaster Clare Balding, presenter Emma Willis, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood, actor Noel Clarke, popstar Lulu, EastEnders actress Lisa Hammond, Citizen Khan comedian Adil Ray, presenter Fearne Cotton, and actress and comedian Ruby Wax all delve into their past in this year’s series.

The series will follow actor Charles Dance’s extraordinary journey as he uncovers the true story of the father he never knew, Craig Revel Horwood traces his Australian roots and discovers he’s not the first dancer in the family, while Clare Balding explores her great grandfather’s deep and possibly romantic relationship with a male artist. From the Australian gold rush to baking powder, from prisoners of war to African royalty, from long lost relatives to vanishing fortunes, our celebrities uncover the remarkable and compelling stories of their ancestors.

In this highly anticipated new series viewers can expect tears, laughter, shocking discoveries, emotional revelations and some intriguing surprises as our celebrities explore their family trees and delve back centuries into their ancestry.

Executive Producer for Wall to Wall Colette Flight says: “Who Do You Think You Are? returns with another fantastic line-up. Our ten celebrities set off on the trail of their ancestors, their journeys taking them to all corners of the globe and places the series has never been before, from a remote Caribbean island to a kingdom in Uganda. The stories they unearth in their family trees are affecting, revelatory, and always fascinating.”

Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, says: “Following its recent BAFTA success, this new series of Who Do You Think You Are? promises fascinating revelations from some of the UK’s best-loved actors, performers and presenters. The series continues to be our most watched history series across the BBC – and I know viewers are in for a real treat.”

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Jun 17 17

TheGenealogist releases York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories.

by Nick Thorne - Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

TheGenealogist has announced the release of the City of York and Ainsty Colour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories released in time for the Yorkshire Family History Show at York Racecourse.

 

To coincide with the return of one of the largest family history events in England, at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at the York Racecourse on the 24th of June and which is sponsored by TheGenealogist, today sees the release of a set of new records for York.

 

TheGenealogist has just added the colour tithe maps that cover the City of York and Ainsty to its National Tithe Records collection to compliment the gray scale maps and apportionment books that are already live. In addition it has released another 23 residential and commercial directory books to its ever expanding collection of Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories to help those with Yorkshire ancestors find their addresses.

 

The fully searchable records released online will allow researchers to:

  • Find plots of land owned or occupied by ancestors in early Victorian York and Ainsty on colour maps
  • See where your forebears lived, farmed or perhaps occupied a small cottage or a massive estate.
  • Discover addresses of ancestors before, between and after the years covered by the census in the Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories. (1735-1937)
  • Uncover details of the neighbourhood and understand communication links to other towns where your stray ancestor may have moved to.

For anyone with Yorkshire ancestors this new release from TheGenealogist  adds colour to the story of where their family lived. To search these and the vast number of other records covering the country see more at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

 

Read their article here:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/find-out-more-about-your-yorkshire-ancestors-521/

 

Disclosure: Compensated affiliate links used in the above.

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