The Wonderful World of Wills

Wills are truly the most wonderful source for family history. They provide unparalleled evidence on relationships, enabling extensive family trees to be constructed. Wills may also lead to you other sources, such as title deeds or manorial records, due to the description of land holdings. They also help you to pinpoint relevant baptisms, marriages and…

Tracing a British Seaman in the Royal Navy before 1853

A British seaman! A heart of oak! One of the brave tars who fought for, and protected this happy isle / I.M. delin.Rowlandson, Thomas, 1756-1827Published / Created[15 November 1801] Yale University Library https://collections.library.yale.edu/catalog/15813519 Tracing the career of a British seamen, (who was not an officer), before 1853 can be challenging, as until this date, there…

Top Ten Tips to Finding your Ancestors pre-1837

(c) Paintings Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation Introduction Even if you have only limited expertise or experience, it is often possible to trace your family history back to the early years of the Victorian period without too much difficulty. Speeding through the records of General Registration and census you can make rapid progress.…

The Pair of Boots

You never know when a secret, long buried in the past, will come to light. As a result of the indexing of record sources, you can stumble across information about an ancestor that you would never have looked for ordinarily. This happened to me one day when a new, tantalising, green leaf on Ancestry appeared…

A Noble Legacy

On the broad plateau of the chalk downs of North Wiltshire, you will find the handsome church of All Saints, Yatesbury. Yatesbury, a tiny village of around 150 souls today, lies just north of the current A4 road that runs between Calne and Marlborough. If you decide to pay a visit, and wonder through the…

Special Relationships

When you consider the most important relationships in your life, no doubt some of your closest friends come to mind, perhaps even a certain best friend. It's ironic then that as family historians, we may know all about an ancestor's cousins, (some of whom they perhaps never met, or didn't get on with at all),…

Who was Thomas?

After getting over the shock of discovering that his family had emigrated to America in 1849, leaving him behind, [see Left Behind], my quest to discover the identity of George Thomas Powell continued. I had solved the mystery concerning the apparent disappearance of his parents, (William) Benjamin and Mary Powell, but that still didn't change…