Category Archives: research

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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52 Ancestors – 52 Documents

Throughout 2020 I’ve been tweeting my own take on Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 52 different types of document relating to 52 different ancestors over 52 weeks. Now I’ve put all 52 tweets together in one … Continue reading

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Back From The Dead?

This is the second part of the story of Stephen Willis, the Ramsgate hawker, and his parents, Stephen Willis senior and Ellen (née Foley). In the first part, we followed Stephen senior from his birth in Bishopsbourne near Canterbury in … Continue reading

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A Waste of Time and Money

I remember thinking, when I was just setting out on my family history research as a naïve fifteen year old, that this genealogy business was quite a simple affair. Once you’d found a record of someone’s birth, you looked for … Continue reading

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