Discover Your Ancestors reaches its 100th edition!


The 100th issue of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical has just been released!

In this August 2021 edition are the following great articles including my piece on finding Ian Fleming’s homes:

      • Stocks and Bond: Nick Thorne (writer of The Nosey Genealogist blog) addresses the records for where the stockbroker who created 007 once lived
      • The tormenting verdict of ‘not proven’: Stephen Wade looks into the Ardlamont mystery and talks to the alleged killer’s great-grandson, David Potter
      • The Irristum Remedy Company: Nell Darby investigates a company run by a married couple, aimed at curing female ills – but they had their own problems
      • A tale of two cousins: Denise Bates digs into a family mystery and discovers one of her forebears played an important role in fraud investigations
      • Queen of Hearts: Caroline Roope marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Caroline of Brunswick, wife of George IV
      • History in the details: Materials – wool (part 7)
Discover Your Ancestors Periodical 100th edition
August 2021 edition of Discover Your Ancestors online periodical

Sign up today for only £24.99 and receive the following:

    • 12 monthly issues of the Periodical
    • Access to 500,000,000 birth, marriage and death records
    • Free data: Titanic passenger list
    • Free ebook: Huntingdonshire 1906 Kelly’s Directory

See more here:


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Finding Ancestors’ addresses – new article in Discover Your Ancestors

I was commissioned to write an article for the February edition of Discover Your Ancestors Magazine by their main sponsor TheGenealogist on various records that could be useful when looking for an ancestor’s address over time.

The piece used for its example the well known politician, Sir Robert Peel who was twice PM of the UK, founded the Metropolitan Police and on his estate in Tamworth created a breed of pigs! I find his addresses in a number of resources including his Staffordshire estate in the Tithe records, his leased London House in the same record set,  his Kent property in the poll and electoral books, his official residence in the Newspapers & Magazines and then there are the other sets that can help you to track down your ancestor such as entries in educational records, residential and trade directories and so on.

The Discover Your Ancestors online magazine is out now for February 2021 and you may find some of this months other articles equally educating!

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical
Discover Your Ancestors Periodical February 2021
The Discover Your Ancestors monthly periodical has just been released for February 2021 and it has some really fascinating articles this month. From Buffalo Bill’s visit to England to some interesting crime stories from the past and more in between! Here is what to expect inside the pages of this online magazine:
    • Victoria’s transatlantic treat: Caroline Roope tells the story of when Buffalo Bill amused the queen
    • Kindness everywhere: Keith Gregson discovers that concern for birds is not something new, as he tells the story of the hugely successful Dicky Bird Society
    • PM, pig breeder and police pioneer: Nick Thorne traces residential records for the two times prime minister of the United Kingdom. Sir Robert Peel
    • The strange case of Lucy Strange: In the midst of WW1, one woman lost both her life and her public reputation: so why didn’t Lucy Mary Strange’s family get justice? By Nell Darby
    • The untold story of ‘Doctor Dick’: Will Hazell investigates the chequered career of a man who scandalised Cornwall in the late 19th century
    • History in the details: Materials – wool (part 1)
Discover Your Ancestors is available now online:
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Tracing Your Scottish Family History On the Internet

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.*



I have just received a copy of Chris Paton’s latest guide for family historians and it is an extremely useful work of reference for any of us that have Scottish ancestors or are researching people from Scotland.

Tracing Your Scottish Family History On The Internet published by Pen & Sword (ISBN 9781526768384) is packed with information about where to find records to help you research ancestors who came from this  beautiful land. Covering many types of records and resources, both national as well as local.

Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet - Book cover

The author has also very comprehensively covered the offerings from national institutions, commercial sites and those family history societies, etc that have online presences. There are chapters on Gateways and institutions, the important website of ScotlandsPeople and what can be found on it, other sources for researching Scots forbears, occupations of ancestors, county by county records and Scotland’s Diaspora. Chris Paton explains how these sources can be used by a family history researcher, as well as looking at many unique collections for this country that may help in your quest to find out more about your Scottish Ancestors.

I particularly liked being able to turn to chapters dealing with those online resources for each Scottish county. In my own case most of my Scots ancestors were from the Lothians as well as Fife and Perthshire and so I could consult those pages to get some important leads on where to go online.

Tracing Your Scottish Family History On the Internet by Chris Paton is a valuable addition to my bookshelf and will no doubt be regularly consulted when trying to find out more about my own Scots ancestors.



*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:

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Scottish Civil Registration Research – Here is a useful video tutorial

If you have Scottish ancestors then I am sure that you will find this YouTube video by Chris Paton really useful. The video gives us a great overview of the historic civil registration system in Scotland in a clear way. If you are researching your Scots ancestors then you will learn a lot from this as it covers Births, Marriages, Deaths, the Registers of Corrected Entries (some readers may not even know about these!), Still births, Adoption and Divorce. I was particularly interested in the Book of Scottish Connections that is for people who live overseas but who have a Scottish connection that they can verify – I had not heard of this before I watched this video!

Chris is a professional genealogist who specialises in Scottish and Irish research and is the author of a number of books that I have no hesitation in recommending including Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church & State Records and for those of you with Irish ancestors Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet.



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Free Genealogy Records Encourage Beginners to Stay at Home and Research Their Family Tree


Begin a lifetime of discovery with TheGenealogist’s FREE “First Steps” package

TheGenealogist is offering a package of their most useful record sets, their image archive and digital magazines for beginners to use for 3 months. No card details, no subscription, just completely free.

With so many of us staying at home, now is the perfect time to make a start on your family tree. It’s the perfect hobby; both rewarding and mentally stimulating.

You can begin your discovery now at

TheGenealogist’s First Steps package will give those beginning their journey on the compelling road to discovering their ancestors some excellent family history resources.

You can find out more about this FREE package at

UPDATE 17 April 2020:

Press Release:  Extra Resources Now Added to TheGenealogist’s Free First Steps Package

TheGenealogist’s FREE “First Steps” package to encourage beginners to Stay at Home and research their Family Tree has been expanded with new records

TheGenealogist’s Free First Steps offer has proved incredibly popular among those looking to start a new hobby while staying at home in the pandemic.

Mark Bayley, Head of Content says:

“We have been overwhelmed by such a positive response to our Free First Steps package and it has encouraged us to do even more. We have decided to help users trace back even further, adding yet more free resources

Now you can extend your research as TheGenealogist has added a further two years of census for England and Wales.

Also included is the Complete Birth, Marriage & Death records index for England and Wales 1837-2005, access to TheGenealogist’s image archive and a really practical subscription to Discover Your Ancestors digital magazines to use for 3 months. No card details, no subscription, just completely free.

People on social media are already talking about TheGenealogist’s First Steps: 

“This will be a life saver for many people” – Gwyneth, Wales

“You are helping my lockdown (be) so much better and productive.”  – Rachel, Coventry

“What a very generous offer” @Book_magpie

“Thank you. I can now do more family research” – Lorraine, New Zealand

“Thank you for this kind offer. I am finding it really helpful for researching my family.”  J Tafe

Researchers can begin their discovery now at

The Free First Steps access will now include:

      • Complete Birth, Marriage & Death records index for England and Wales 1837-2005
      • English & Welsh Census Records to see where ancestors were living in 1891, 1901 and in 1911
      • TreeView the online family tree builder
      • Image Archive of churches, places and people from the past 
      • A high quality monthly digital magazine packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice

TheGenealogist’s First Steps package will give those people beginning their journey on the compelling road to discovering their ancestors some free and very useful family history resources.

Find out more about this package at

Read the article: How to start your family history (but be sure to use the link above to sign up for the Free package)

About TheGenealogist

 TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections.

 TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military Records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

 TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

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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:

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 (25th January) 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: 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!



*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:

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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, 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


*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:

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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

(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:

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:


The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

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