Family history

What’s in a will?

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Once upon a time, the location of wills was such an arcane subject that books were written on the subject.  So before ordering a copy of a will, you had to find out where it was, track down the will you wanted to order and work out how to order it.  Things have become a […]

Family history

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief

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How much detail you will be able to find about your ancestors in any generation does very much depend upon the type of family or person they are.  Although it seems unfair, the ordinary worker who isn’t very rich and isn’t very poor, will be the most difficult to find detail about.  Once you go […]

Family history

Using Census returns to fill in family history

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Once you have managed to piece your family tree together back to 1911, in the UK the most useful tools for progressing your family history are the UK Censuses.  These are available online, and were held every ten years from 1841 onwards, although only the returns up to 1911 are available to researchers.  What makes […]

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 […]

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 […]