Family history

Runs in the family

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A few years ago, I went round to a friend’s house, to find her father-in-law, someone I’d never met before, was visiting.  Her husband had a missing finger on one hand, and I noticed that her father-in-law also had a finger missing.  I clumsily made mention of the fact and said I hadn’t realized it […]

Dorset

An inconvenient town

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England, especially the area of Lincolnshire where I live, is littered with mediaeval villages that were abandoned.  In many cases we may have no idea that the village is there, except for a map reference.  A ruined church and slightly bumpy-looking fields surrounding it may be the only sign that a settlement once existed in […]

My family history

A Welsh family mystery

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One of my maternal great grandparents is Charles Henry Hughes Spivey, who was named for his own maternal grandfather, Charles Henry Hughes.  I’ve been researching the Hughes family of Carmarthen for a number of years, and have learned a great deal about them.  One of the mysteries about the family is that although they seem […]

New to family history

One-name studies

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Every beginner family researcher learns quickly that some names and some families are easier to research than others.  In my own family tree, the Jones family of Carmarthen are a nightmare: over 500 Mary Joneses in Carmarthenshire for the early 19th century, and nothing much to distinguish one from another.  However, I also have Earwakers […]

Family history

Heralds’ Visitations

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The Heralds’ Visitations are records of visits to various places to record family genealogies, changes to families, made by the College of Arms heralds.  They can provide useful information, but any researcher has to understand that the information is fallible.  Just because it was recorded three centuries ago, Aunt Agatha’s information about the family is […]

Paid-for resources

If I were a rich woman….

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Usually when I blog, I blog about freely available resources of interest to the family historian.  Sometimes, however, I come across a paid resource which makes my mouth water.  And today I found one such resource: the British Online Archive.  It’s a whopping £20 a week, or £40 a month, which is eye-watering.  However, if […]

Free resources

Online Parish Clerks

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Online Parish Clerks are not parish clerks who have made it into the digital age, but volunteers who have access to specific parish registers, and who may assist you in finding a particular entry or a particular person in the records.  There are very active Online Parish Clerks in some areas of the country, and […]

Family history

Being the family archivist

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If you successfully nominate yourself as the family’s archivist, a couple of things begin to happen within a short time.  Everyone in the family who has anything related to family history, especially those items that they don’t want to throw away, but don’t really want, will begin to send them your way.  Aunt Martha’s cup […]