Category Archives: research

You Had One Job…

I’ll try to keep this brief. I’ve blogged a lot in the past few years about the problems with many of the databases on the major commercial genealogical websites and in particular the various county-wide English and Welsh parish register … Continue reading

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We Need To Talk About Ancestry

Or … How The Major Commercial Genealogical Websites Are Killing Family History Research As a full-time professional researcher, I depend heavily on the resources that I’m able to access online, particularly those databases provided by the major commercial websites. Without … Continue reading

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A Draper’s Tale

Thomas Port, my great great grandfather, was born on 22 August 1822 in St Pancras, London. There is, however, no official record of his birth or baptism – at least none that I have ever been able to find. The … Continue reading

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Birth or baptism?

A couple of weeks ago, I was searching for some baptisms on Ancestry’s London Parish Register Database, when I noticed something odd. I’d just done a basic search for anyone with the surname ROGERS and the parents’ names William and … Continue reading

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The Darkest Day

The date is Tuesday, 29 January 1895 and Edinburgh is in the grip of a snowstorm. In fact, the whole country is suffering; snow fell uninterruptedly for 12 hours in Birmingham yesterday and London is experiencing temperatures of 15° Fahrenheit … Continue reading

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Walls Come Tumbling Down

Brickwalls are an inescapable component of every family historian’s world. If you think about it, every line you’ve ever researched starts (or ends, depending on which way you look at it) with an individual whose parentage is unknown. So, for … Continue reading

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Just trying to get by…

The pressures of society weighed heavily on our ancestors; in particular, the expectation that they should live good, God-fearing lives and that they should conform to the beliefs and values of the Anglican church, particularly when it came to matters … Continue reading

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The Annals of the Annals

An investigation into the early history of the Annal/Annand family in South Ronaldsay, Orkney The Annal surname appears to have originated separately in two parts of Scotland; in Orkney (specifically the island parish of South Ronaldsay) and in Fife (St … Continue reading

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Where have all the women gone?

To mark International Women’s Day I wanted to have a look at the key records that we use to research our English & Welsh family history, and to consider how those records routinely under-represent the roles played by our female … Continue reading

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Conjectures, traditions and the search for the truth…

Sir Denner Strutt, Knt., was of Little Warley, of which place he was created a baronet in 1641; he suffered severely from the arbitrary exactions of the parliament in the time of King Charles the First, being compelled to pay … Continue reading

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