Birth certificate brick walls for family tree researchers


In my recent video for my YouTube Channel I looked at three brick walls a researcher may have finding their ancestors birth certificates in England and Wales.

Mistake number one that people make is to believe that their ancestor would have been registered with the name that they went by for the rest of their life; but this is not always the case.

What if, in between registration and baptism, the parents decided to change the name of the child? It would have been possible, under the law, for them to amend the birth registry by going back to their local registrar to give them the new name – but very few of our ancestors would have actually bothered.

Another thing to look out for is that some people prefer to be known, when they have grow up, by their middle names. Now I know of a family where the father, the mother and all the children all go by their middle names making them impossible to find in the official documentation of census and poll books.

Here is another scenario: let’s say there are two brothers who have two sons roughly about the same time and they both decide to call their sons John, in memory of their grandfather John Snr. Well the two cousins, as they grow up, may want to adopt different names in order to differentiate themselves from their cousin.

 

Mistake number two I like to call ‘Surnames Surprise’.

Where parents are not married then in most cases the birth is recorded under the mother’s surname and usually that’s going to be her maiden name. But consider a case where she is a widow and so her legal surname is that of another man; so that the child will have been registered with that surname because its mother still has that name!

A slight variation to this is where somebody takes their stepfathers name. Maybe you found them in the censuses using the stepfathers name and because when you come to look for the registration you’ll find them registered under the name of their father, who perhaps has now passed away.

 

The third mistake that people make I will call ‘Who’s the father?’

So what if your ancestor never knew their father and then, when they come to their wedding day, what is the name that they are they going to enter (or give to the vicar or the registrar to enter) in the marriage registry? If they don’t know what their father was called then they may well make it up.

Also people can make their fathers names up and their occupations to make themselves more important. I had a case researching a client’s family where we found a soldier marrying in a garrison town. He gave his father as being Colonel Hamish Brown. It turned out, through my research, that his father was actually Reg Brown, a policeman.

Or watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHWXehAelp0

So if you’d like to find out more about how to tease out your elusive English or Welsh ancestors then go to
www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com

 

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An early Christmas gift

 

.First christmas card

Its starting to feel a bit like Christmas, as I wrap the presents for some of my family today. Once I had finished doing this I thought that I’d better get in the festive mood on the blog as well and so I did a trawl of Wikipedia to find a picture of what is thought to be the first Christmas card produced.

The image above is of that very first in the line of seasonal greetings cards that we all now send. Commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, in 1843, he sold them for a shilling each. Sir Henry is best known as the man who had helped introduce the Uniform Penny Post, in 1840, to Britain and his Christmas card, illustrated by John Callcott Horsley, would have encouraged people to make use of the postal service.

The picture in the middle is meant to depict three generations of a family who are toasting the person to whom the card has been sent, while the other panels show scenes of charitable giving of food and clothing to the poor.

 

As it is the time of year to give gifts I decided that I should drop the price of my best selling English/Welsh family history course at least from now until New Year’s day – as my Christmas present to you.

The English/Welsh Family History course has had tremendous feedback

If  you are struggling to find your English or Welsh ancestors and break down your brick walls, then you would do well to take a look. With this course you will quickly learn where to research on and offline, what resources to use and gain some useful tips and techniques.

To read more click one of the links here and make a seasonal saving:

 

 

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A very Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year

 

 

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TreeView 2 is released by S&N Genealogy Supplies

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

 

Just in time for Christmas comes the release of TreeView 2.

Check out the press release from the team at S&N:

Leading family history publisher S&N Genealogy Supplies have just released TreeView 2, the next version of their popular family history software package specially designed for U.K. family historians.

treeview-2-tree1

TreeView stores your family tree on your PC or Mac with the option to easily sync your tree with TreeView.co.uk and its free iOS and Android app, allowing you to keep your family history at your fingertips. Privacy options for your online tree allow you to retain complete control over your research.

TreeView has many powerful features including:
● Sync your tree between the software and all of your mobile devices.
● Display your tree in a variety of different ways including pedigree, family, ancestors, descendants, hourglass, fan and even a full tree view.
● Create beautiful charts and detailed reports in seconds.
● Attach facts, notes, images, addresses, sources and citations to your ancestors.
● View your entire tree on screen, or zoom in to a single ancestor.
● Quickly discover how people in your tree are related using the relationship calculator.
● Identify anomalies in your data with the problem finder.
● Map out your ancestors lives with map view.
● Import or export your family tree using the GEDCOM standard.

treeview-2-tree

Powerful New Features in Version 2
● Linked charting
● Click to focus
● Extra charting features
● 5 new customisable reports types
● Enhanced individual report
● Drag and drop mapping
● Improved search

The new linked charting feature is a great time saver – when you reopen a chart you will be given the option to update it to include any new changes that you have made, such as date or place changes to events.

Whilst using the Tree Views you can click to focus on any person to shift the emphasis on the tree displayed. The person chosen will then become the main focal point of the page.

As well as customising the types of charts, text size, background colours and images, extra charting features have been added so you can now customise the font and colour of the text, along with the colour of the boxes, borders and connections.

Adding to the original report facilities (Individual, Family & Narrative reports), TreeView now comes with a range of new customisable report types, including Address List, Birthday/Anniversary List, Missing Information Report, Descendant Report, printer-friendly Pedigree Chart and a handy blank Pedigree Chart to fill in when out and about researching. All of these reports can be exported in PDF or RTF formats.

The individual report (Which outputs all the details about a person) now supports multiple individuals, so you can select one person and add ancestors, descendants, both or even select your own list of people to include.

The new drag and drop mapping feature allows you to pinpoint an exact place on a map where an event occurred. Co-ordinates for the places you tag are saved and can be exported in GEDCOM files.

The improved search enables you to look for common attributes among your ancestors. You can now search your entire database using keywords, for example “Baker” would find the word in a name, fact, note, etc.

TreeView 2 is a powerful and easy to use family tree program. You can sync to the cloud and your mobile devices. TreeView’s privacy options allow you to keep full control of your data when storing your tree in the cloud.

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TreeView 2 Premium Edition (£39.95) – Includes:
○ Full TreeView 2 program
○ Quick Start Guide
○ 4 Month Diamond Subscription to TheGenealogist.co.uk (Worth £59.95!)
○ Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland 1893 (Worth £16.95!)
○ Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography (Worth £16.95!)
○ English, Welsh & Scottish Landowners 1873 (Worth £36.90!)
○ Irish Landowners 1876 (Worth £12.95!)

Upgrade to TreeView 2 today for only £14.95

Go to TreeView.co.uk to find out more.

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Finding English or Welsh ancestors in the birth records

 

Nick-Thorne-150x150

 

In this video tutorial I look at the 3 mistakes that people new to family history research make when trying to find their English or Welsh ancestors in the births marriages and death indexes published by the General Register Office (GRO).
 
The first and biggest mistake that people make is to not buy the certificate!
 
So why do you need to buy the certificate?

 

Well just assuming that you’ve got the right person, because their name and maybe the place seems right to you, is opening yourself up allowing a huge error creep in your family tree. You could end up adding the wrong John Smith to your family tree and from then on you’re going to be tracing the wrong ancestor. And just think of all that wasted time that you’re going to spend.

 

By buying a certificate this will provide more information that helps you to check if you’ve got the right person. In the video I set out to find an ancestor of my own. I look in the correct quarter in 1865 for Sydney Thorn and I know that he spelt his name with a ‘Y’ and not an ‘I’.
 
looking for english ancestors birth records
 
But if you look carefully at the index page there are two Sydney Thorns. One in Westbury and the other in Totnes. The index is providing me with the information that I need to buy the certificate but what to do of I didn’t know which one of the two Sydneys was the correct one?

 

I could end up tracing a family tree that doesn’t belong to me!

 

The next mistake that many people make when trying to find their English or Welsh ancestors in the births marriages and deaths indexes is using information that they’ve gleaned from somebody else’s family tree and that information has been unchecked against the primary records. So if you are new to this fascinating passtime please please don’t do that.
 
Whatever you do, make sure that you use the information in the other person’s tree as a pointer towards finding the source and check it to make sure that you have got the right people.
 
 
My next tip is to beware of looking in the wrong place, or perhaps being too narrow in your thinking of where an ancestor should be. If you are looking for birth and you think that it should have been in a particular parish and you just can’t find it there, well widen your search to other churches and parishes because our ancestors certainly did move around. I’ve got people in my family tree that I thought should have been in the Devon indexes and yet I found them up in Hampshire while others turned up in London.

 

So do please broaden out your research to other parishes and towns.

 

Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ln3qYNRvXzY

Want more tips and techniques for finding elusive English or Welsh ancestors?

Take a look here:> http://www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com/trialoffer

One month trial of the Family History Researcher Academy English/Welsh course
Click the Image to take a trial for only £1
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Millions of New Hampshire Parish Records added to TheGenealogist

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

TheGenealogist has made millions of new Hampshire Parish Records available on its site.

TheGenealogist logo

  • Released in partnership with the Hampshire Genealogical Society there are over 2.1 million new fully searchable records of individuals released online for the first time
  • With these records those searching for ancestors from Hampshire can discover almost 1.8 million people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the south of England as far back as 1538 up to 1751
  • Family researchers can also discover the details of over 212,000 individuals from marriages between 1538 and 1753 and nearly 143,800 people listed in the burials of Hampshire from 1838 to 1865

Hampshire Genealogical Society worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online, making 2,135,878 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable. Dolina Clarke, Chairman of Hampshire Genealogical Society said:

“The Hampshire Genealogical Society have decided to put the remaining data from their parish register indexes for Hampshire, which are not already on line, with FHS-Online and TheGenealogist (S & N). We looked at various different online sites and felt that S & N were able to offer us a very fair deal. Furthermore they are a British company with whom we have had a very good relationship for over 20 years.”

Dolina Clarke, Chairman HGS www.hgs-familyhistory.com

Mark Bayley, Head of Online Development at TheGenealogist, welcomed Hampshire Genealogical Society to the growing number family history societies on both TheGenealogist and FHS-Online saying: “We’re delighted that HGS chose to publish their records through TheGenealogist and FHS-Online. This release adds to the ever expanding collection of parish records on both websites. These partnerships help societies boost their funds whilst bringing their records to a much wider audience, through online publication.”

This release joins TheGenealogist’s already published Hampshire parish records, sourced from the Phillimore Registers, and soon we will also be adding further transcriptions that will fill in any gaps to provide an even more comprehensive coverage of this important county.

If your society is interested in publishing records online, please contact Mark Bayley on 01722 717002 or see fhs-online.co.uk/about.php


 

Example: The last Briton to die in a duel on English soil.

James Alexander Seton was the last British person to be killed in a duel on English soil and he is buried in his family’s vault at St Mary’s Fordingbridge, Hampshire.

st-marys-fordingbridgeSt Mary’s, Fordingbridge, Hampshire from the Image Archive on TheGenealogist.

During the early 1840s James Seton, and his wife Susannah, rented some rooms in Southsea on the outskirts of Portsmouth, Hampshire. Seton was a man of means, inheriting wealth, and so had no need to work. The son of a Colonel, he had spent a brief spell in the Army as a junior cavalry officer though his short career never found him being promoted any higher than the rank of cornet. The Setons were of Scottish ancestry, their forebears being descended from the Earls of Dunfermline and Seton’s grandfather was Vice-Admiral James Seton, governor of St Vincent in the Caribbean.

In May 1845 James Seton met Isabella Hawkey, whom he set about pursuing even though he was a married man. She was the wife of Lieutenant Henry Hawkey, an officer in the Royal Marines. When the coast was clear, and her husband was away, Seton began paying visits to Isabella at her lodgings bearing gifts. Lt. Hawkey began to hear the rumours of this and forbade his wife from seeing Seton again. On 19 May 1845, however, there was a ball held in the King’s Rooms, Southsea, which the Hawkeys as well as James Seton attended. When Isabella danced with Seton this caused a quarrel in which Lt. Hawkey called Seton a “blaggard and a scoundrel”. Having been insulted by this, Seton decided to challenge the Royal Marine Officer to a duel. The next evening, on the beach at Browndown near Gosport and after the seconds had measured out fifteen paces, the duelists took their pistols and fired. James Seton’s shot missed his opponent; Henry Hawkey’s pistol was half-cocked and failed to fire. Under the rules of dueling, that could have been an honourable end to it but Lieutenant Hawkey insisted on a second exchange of shots and this time Seton fell when he was struck by a bullet entering his lower abdomen.

Suffering from his wounds, the wounded man was taken by boat to Portsmouth where he was operated on by the eminent London surgeon Robert Liston. The surgery at first appeared to go well, but then infection set in and Seton quickly went downhill. He died of his injuries on 2nd June 1845 and was buried eight days later. His funeral procession through the town saw most of the shops closing in respect and he was laid to rest in a tomb outside the east front of the church next to his father. A search finds his burial on the 10th June 1845 in the Hampshire records on TheGenealogist.

Burial records on TheGenealogist

 

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