Spring Sale – Beginner’s English & Welsh Family History

Stuck in doors at this difficult time? Always wanted to make a start with your English or Welsh family tree?

The good news is that The Family History Researcher website has put it’s best selling 6 page concise Crib Sheet on sale for the next week!

Reduced to only £2 or $2.45 (US) you can now download this great resource for less than ever.

Find out which websites can be useful for discovering your English and Welsh ancestors. Recommendations include those that are free as well as paid sites. Reviews how using the websites of The National Archives, The National Library of Wales, County Record Offices, Society of Genealogists and more can help you with your research.

Introduces the researcher to the civil registration (vital records) census and going back before 1837 with parish records. Reveals where to look for the records of Nonconformist and Roman Catholics as well as the Church of England.

See box below, or go to: https://familyhistoryresearcher.com/fhrmembers/crib-sheet-beginning-english-and-welsh-family-history-april-2020/

Crib Sheet Beginning English and Welsh Family History – April 2020

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Celebrating Burns night and Scottish Ancestry

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

Its Burn’s night  tonight and so I began thinking about how my Scottish ancestors may have celebrated this important anniversary.

Burns Night falls on 25 January every year, the date having been chosen to coincide with the poet’s birthday, who was born on 25 January 1759.  According to Wikipedia Robert Burns, also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. See: Wikipedia

To celebrate this anniversary I have sat down with a copy of Chris Paton’s new book: Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records. Pen & Sword November 2019

My Scotts ancestors are a fascinating bunch and so in the hope of being able to trace a bit more about them I have turned to the latest book written by the respected genealogist and writer who runs Scotland’s Greatest Story research service.

 

BOOK REVIEW

Book: Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records

It always bodes well when just a few pages into a genealogy book that the author manages to capture my attention by expanding my knowledge with a number of facts that I had not known and which allow me to experience that ‘light-bulb’ moment when I think: Ah that explains why…so and so. That was exactly what happened to me when reading this new Scottish ancestry book from Chris Paton, the well respected author and professional genealogist.

I have sometimes wondered why I had found an ancestor born on the continent in an European country, but who also appears within the Scottish records in Edinburgh. This publication has finally cleared it up for me. As the book points out, as well as the normal  civil records, that you would expect to find recorded at the General Record Office for Scotland (GROS), there are also a number of Minor Records that relate to Scots residing or working overseas in certain capacities, as well as those born at Sea (until a UK based authority took over births at sea in 1874).

Another point that I had not been fully aware of was that adoption in Scotland was not placed on a legal footing until the Adoptions of Children (Scotland) Act 1930 came into force. The book taught me that the NRS Register of Adoptions can only be consulted in person at the ScotlandsPeople Centre and it gave me other helpful details about researching adopted people in Scotland.

I was very interested to learn about the differences between Regular and Irregular Marriages and to understand the differences between a marriage by declaration, a betrothal followed by intercourse and a marriage by habit and repute. Again, to understand that there are a number of minor records of marriage that covered Scots people abroad I thought could be important when researching some of our ancestors living in foreign countries.

A fact  that I had not know until I read this book was that uniquely, in the British Isles, Scotland has a Register of Corrected Entries for its civil records. This would allow a name to be put right if it had been given incorrectly to the registrar at the time of registration. This seems so sensible as I am aware of a member of my family whose registered name was misspelt by her father when he registered it in the English system, with the records remaining incorrect to this day!

I was fascinated to read the brief history of the Church in Scotland, especially as I have a Scots ancestor who was an Episcopalian Bishop in Perthshire and now I see why his family were supporters of the Jacobite cause in 1745-46. Other ancestors of mine from Scotland were Covenantors and so I have been given a better understanding of their religious leaning. Previously I had only noted them in the records where I had found them, be it in Church of Scotland parishes, the Scottish Episcopal Church or others. I had not fully understood the various factions that had broken away from the State Kirk and how, even in the branch of my family tree that was Scots, that my ancestors may have had different views on religion from each other.

When looking at the Old Parish Records, which I have done for a number of my ancestors who were married before civil registration took place in January 1855, Chris Paton suggests in this book that we researchers should always consult both the marriage register and the Kirk session minutes “even if there appears to be nothing out of the ordinary with the marriage record”. His example of a couple who tried to get away with banns being read twice on one Sunday, because of their hurry to be married before the baby was born, made me smile.

The advice that Church of Scotland registers may also contain the names of dissenting couples whose banns are being read is yet another example of how educating this volume was for me. The author suggests that we pay careful attention to the name of the minister that performed their marriage as this can reveal the denomination of the church that the wedding actually took place within. Should the minister’s name differ from the incumbent of the Parish Church, in whose register the banns had been published, then the minister’s name can lead us to find the nonconformist church or chapel where the marriage took place.

There is so much more that I could have brought up in this short review that I found interesting in this book, from understanding Land Tenure and the chapters on Inheritance and Law and Order.

I thoroughly recommend that anyone with Scots heritage get hold of Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records as I am sure you wont be disappointed by it!

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Scottish-Ancestry-through-Church-and-State-Records-Paperback/p/16848?aid=1101

 

 

*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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Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.*

 

 

Book Review:

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians – Second Edition.

Pen and Sword have recently published Chris Paton’s updated second edition of his very useful book on Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet.

Many of us, more use to researching in other parts of these islands, approach Irish research with some trepidation because of the loss of so many of the records that could have helped find ancestors. Anyone in this position will be aided tremendously by reading this book as the author shows us that actually there are a vast number of records that we can turn to and access online from wherever we are in the world.

We discover that websites from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, subscription websites such as FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry.co.uk and RootsIreland plus some of the volunteer family history community all provide us with ways to find our elusive Irish ancestors along with many others that without this book we may never find. 

I recommend reading this book to get an overview of the major archives, libraries, societies and commercial subscription websites. This volume will tell you where to look for Irish Births Marriages and Deaths, wills, newspapers, census, census substitutes. Discover more about land records and directories, occupations and in this second edition the author has added a new chapter on The Decade of Centenaries commemorating  the events that took place in the period from 1912 – 1923.

Chris Paton has filled the pages of this volume with a great deal of information that is truly valuable for the researcher – it is not just a list of websites, but is a valuable guide to carrying out your research on the island of Ireland.

By Chris Paton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781526757814
Published: 5th August 2019
Last Released: 23rd October 2019

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483?aid=1101

 

*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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Learn where to find English/Welsh Ancestors in the records

 

As the evenings draw in, here in the Northern Hemisphere, now is the time to learn how to find your elusive English or Welsh ancestors in the records.

With the English/Welsh Family History Course you can discover some of the lesser known resources to use and understand what collections are available to you.

 

The Family History Researcher Academy’s English/Welsh Family History Course offers accessible tutorial guides delivered weekly in an online members’ area. These easy to read lessons highlight resources and records available on and off-line which are often overlooked by researchers.

 

“Thank you for your detailed study of English research. I have done a lot of English research, yet much of what you have sent is stuff that people don’t know, so thank you very much for your diligence in putting this together.” S. Johnston

 

“Great series. Will be reading them again as I work on my English ancestors.” J. Gill

 

https://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/specialoffer/

(The above link is to pay in USD)  – UK customers can pay in Pounds Sterling for the special offer. Click this link: £1 Trial for 1 Month (then £11 per month).

 

 

 

The English/Welsh Family History course has had tremendous feedback, from those who bought the training to complete at their own pace. The 52 weekly modules explore the different resources, data sets and documents that reveal more about English or Welsh ancestry and allow the reader to become a much better informed researcher. Written from a practical point of view, contributors include professional genealogists, online data experts and Nick Thorne.

 

More examples of unsolicited testimonials received and reproduced with the senders’ permission:

 

 “Hi Nick. Thank you very much for this series. I have learnt such a lot and it has increased my knowledge considerably.” A.Vallis.

 

 “The lessons are very good and I would recommend them to anyone” M.Lynn.

 

 “You communicate in an understandable way! Just wanted to thank you for the 52 very interesting lessons. I have them all indexed and saved and will refer back on a regular basis. I very much enjoyed the snippets of social history around the subject, this is so important when doing your own history.” P.Martin.

 

Topics covered in the 12 months include:

 

The census collections, The Parish records, The Parish Chest, Dade Registers, County Record offices and the valuable treasures they contain, Nonconformist Religious records, Clandestine marriages, City and Town Directories, Census substitutes, Apprentices, Professionals, Military, Merchant Navy, Illegitimacy, The Workhouse, Poor Law, Death records, Burial, Wills, Rural ancestors, Bankrupts, Black sheep, Genetics and DNA, Occupations, Maps and Charts, The National Archives and Other depositories, Family Search  Centres, Passports, Manorial records, Newspapers and more!

 

 

The Family History Researcher Academy is offering a Special Offer Trial for just $1 or £1 for a month (then $14 per month x 11 – However, you may cancel anytime).

Receive 4 modules plus bonus content now by going to:

http://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/specialoffer/

Or to pay in GBP click this link: £1 Trial for 1 Month (then £11 per month).

 

 

 

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Sometimes you just have to visit your ancestors’ town

Last weekend, after a truly enjoyable day at The Family History Show, South West in Bristol, I then headed down for a rendezvous in Devon with some of my first cousins.

Our paternal line hails from Dartmouth, Devon and like so many family history researchers we have some brick walls that we would like to knock down. By using research on the internet we have come up with an address for our ancestor’s home. The problem being that in the 1861 census they lived in Mill Pond, a name of a road that is no longer in existence.

 

1861 Census identifies ancestor at Mill Pond, Dartmouth

The enumerator’s route

I am always surprised that more researchers are not aware that each census enumerator’s route can be found by scrolling back through the household images on some of the subscription sites.

 

The Enumerator’s route from the records on TheGenealogist website, provide by The National Archives

 

This tells me that Mill Pond was just after Mariner’s Place and before Market Square. But even an old map doesn’t pinpoint where these dwellings were!

In the end I resorted to walking the area myself and as I turned into Market Square I noticed that a large house had a sign giving its name as Mill Pond House along with its number in Market Street (as opposed to Market Square). This was my first clue as to where this long gone street name may have once been.

Now I know that my ancestors were not that wealthy to have lived in this house, but what it does prove that by actually visiting an area you can sometimes make more headway than you can from behind your computer screen.

That being said, it was down to searching out the enumerator’s route on TheGenealogist website* that gave me the tools to walk the correct area!

 

*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

 

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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My Top Family History Map resources

I’ve been looking for where some ancestors lived this week and it was to historic maps of all sorts that I have turned in my quest to understand a bit more about the area that they lived and worked within during the period that they were alive.

Some of the areas in the towns have been “extensively remodelled” by a combination of Blitz bombing and modern town planners and so the roads have disappeared.

Here is a video that I put together a couple of years ago but it is still relevant today!

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Five tips for finding your British military history

Something a little different today!

Here is a video that I put together on finding British Military ancestors:

 

In this video we’re going to look at five tips for discovering your English or Welsh military ancestors. There are many military collections online and they range from such things as the early Muster lists for the Militia to medal collections from First World War and Second World War. Some Service Records and Prisoner of War  (POW) records etcetera.

The first record set that I’d like to draw your attention to is the First World War Casualty Lists. See them on Findmypast and also the fascinating resource that is the Casualty List records on TheGenelaogist.co.uk. In some cases they actually show you the printed page from the newspaper of the time that was informing the the poor people at home about what had happened to their service folk.

Second tip is to look out for war Diaries at the National Archives (TNA). Some of these are now appearing on the ancestry subscription site, but others you will need to go to the TNA for – or their website and pay to have a record copied and then sent to you.

Tip number three  – if you’re looking for your ancestors from the Second World War in the British Army the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force then you need to visit the website page of veterans UK and there you can request a summary of service record from 1920 up to the present time. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

Fourth tip: The National Archives holds service records prior to that date and following on from that the fourth tip is if you’re looking for an officer in the Royal Air Force and think of looking at the RAF confidential list in Air 10 series at the National Archives. From 1939 the Air Ministry realized that publishing the Regular Air Force lists with details of an officer’s postings provided useful intelligence for the enemy about new squadrons bases and aircraft so they split the list into two. One recorded the ranks and seniority of officers as it always had done and another one gave the details of the stations and this particular set of lists were called the RAF confidential list and were distributed on a strictly controlled basis so if you’ve already obtained your RAF ancestors service record then of course this will give you a list of stations or units using numbers and all initials which can then be used in conjunction with the Confidential list. Unfortunately these are not online so you’ll either need to pay a visit to the National Archives in Kew, Surrey or select the record and ask them for a quote to copy it and to send it to you.

Tip number five is not all of our servicemen would have been serving in the British Army some served in the British Indian Army. I had a client who transferred out of the regular British Army into the Indian Army and his records are available from the British Library and so you need to either pay them a visit in person, or you need to contact them and ask them for a quote for copying the record and then posting it on to you. Just consider that if your army personnel aren’t showing up in the British Army check out the British Indian army and their records available from the British Library.

To find out more about how to tease out your elusive English or Welsh ancestors go now to www.noseygenealogist.com/discover

discover thank you for watching

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Those aren’t my ancestors

Break Down Your Family History Brick Walls

We all love it when we have identified a new ancestor and can then add them to our family tree to fill that annoying gap that once blighted our research. The sense of satisfaction to jump back one more generation can sometimes blind us, if only for a second. Unfortunately it can be for longer!

All to often we can be lead down the wrong path by spotting a person with the same name as the one we are seeking. By adding this likely person into our family tree, and then researching back from them, we have effectively grafted on to our own tree a branch of someone else’s which has no real right to be there.

I almost got caught out with one of my own ancestors who was responsible for a long standing brick wall of mine. I had already identified the marriage of this individual in a Plymouth church in 1794. From the parish register entry I had her name and that she was “of this parish”. Naturally I hoped that I could find her baptism and then the marriage of her parents and so go back through the generations in the city. Sadly, in this instance, when she declared she was of the parish it meant little more than that she was living there at the time. In a place, such as Plymouth, we have to be aware that such a conurbation would have attracted people in from the surrounding towns and countryside, as well as by sea.

 

Nick Thorne 'The Nosey Genealogist' researching for FamilyHistoryResearcher.com

 

I worked out a possible birth range from her marriage and searched Plymouth with no joy. I then widened the search to the whole of the county and was rewarded with a person with the correct name being born in North Devon. At this point I experienced the rush associated with the belief that I was on her trail! Unfortunately, by checking for marriages in the area, I found that this woman married someone else a year after my own ancestor with the same name married in Plymouth.

 

The fact that our ancestors were happy to chose from a small pool of forenames makes family history research harder and so anything that can make things easier for us should be welcomed. Or should it?

I am referring to the temptation to take a suggestion from an online family tree, or these days the clever matching software that online data websites boast, and simply click to add the suggested person to our tree without checking the evidence backs us up. Some people say that we should aim to find two or more sources as evidence for a particular fact. I read that Else Churchill of the Society of Genealogist has said that she believes that it’s the quality not quantity of your evidence that counts. This I think is very sound advice. So look at the facts and decide how much weight you truly can give to it before adding it to your family tree.

 

To learn more about tracing your English or Welsh family History you may be interested in my online course:

www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com/course

 

www.familyhistoryresearcher.com

 

www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com/course

 

 

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How do I find my ancestor?

Civil Wedding Ceremony
The Signing of the marriage registers with witnesses present. (Not the actual wedding that I went to but an image from Wikipedia!)

 

I was at a civil wedding ceremony this weekend and I couldn’t help but appreciate that before my eyes a record was being created. One that future family historians may seek out to discover more about their ancestor when many years have passed from now.

 

It was afterwards, when sitting down to the meal at the reception that one of the guests asked me what I did. Finding out that I carry out family history research they then told me how they never knew their grandfather – but would now love to discover more about him.

So what was stopping them? They had his name and could work out an approximate date when he would have been born and even knew the area of the UK to look in. It was just that they didn’t know how to go about starting to look, or which documents they could use to carry out the research.

To someone who has been doing research for even a short time it was obvious what to do and where to look. But this encounter brought home to me how we sometimes forget that to many it is a complete mystery!

 

I have put together some Cheet Sheets that are available to download a few pounds or dollars here: Crib Sheets

Hope this helps people in the same situation as my fellow guest at the table this weekend!

 

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The Family History Researcher Academy’s English/Welsh Family History Course

 

The Family History Researcher Academy has added to their in-depth English & Welsh Family History Course that reveals the best records and resources for searching for your elusive English or Welsh ancestors

 

 

“Thank you for your detailed study of English research. I have done a lot of English research, yet much of what you have sent is stuff that people don’t know, so thank you very much for your diligence in putting this together.” S Johnston

 

“Great series. Will be reading them again as I work on my English ancestors.” J. Gill

 

Check Website for current offers:

www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com/course

 

 

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