Tag Archives: tna

Blank spaces and circumstantial evidence

This is the fourth part of the three-part story of the life of my great, great, great grandmother, Mary Ann Port, which aims to explain why, despite the absence of evidence that she ever had any children, I believe her … Continue reading

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All and every my child and children

Our efforts to reconstruct the lives of our pre-Victorian ancestors are all-too-often thwarted by the lack of available source material. In an era before the decennial censuses and the (virtually) comprehensive civil registration system, our reference points can be severely … Continue reading

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Don’t Believe The Hints

We’ve all been there. We’re following a line back, we’ve got our ancestor in the census, and we’ve found her marriage. We know the four key pieces of information that we ideally need to formulate a search for her birth; … Continue reading

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The Joy of Signatures

As family historians, we should never rely on transcripts. Access to original documents, or at least, to digital images of original documents is an essential part of the process of genealogical research. Even the most thorough and comprehensive transcripts are … Continue reading

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A mariner’s tale – with a twist

William Annal was born to the sea. His father, John, together with his uncle William, left their native Orkney, and worked as fishermen along the UK’s east coast, before eventually settling on the Thames Estuary in Gravesend, Kent, sometime around … Continue reading

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The Joy of Chancery

This is the Court of Chancery … there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not give—who does not often give—the warning, “Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!” Bleak House, Chapter … Continue reading

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The Joy of Tithes

When it comes to the 1841 census, one of the greatest disappointments for family historians is that the addresses given, particularly in rural areas, tend to be frustratingly imprecise. More often than not, we just get the name of the … Continue reading

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Death, taxes and the voices of our ancestors

The inspiration behind this post is twofold; firstly, the ongoing work of Dr Laura King, Dr Nick Barratt, Jackie Depelle and many others to encourage closer co-operation between academic historians and genealogists, but more immediately, a tweet by Hallie Rubenhold, … Continue reading

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What would I have done?

I’ve very much enjoyed reading all the recent blogs, tweets and news items marking the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act (1918); that ground-breaking piece of legislation which gave the vote to women aged … Continue reading

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A Wasted Day at TNA

I’ve just got back from a wasted day at the National Archives in Kew. I set off this morning, full of hope that, with three very different cases to investigate in three very different sets of records, and a carefully … Continue reading

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