Schooldays

Introduction It is rather sobering to think that my grandparents, (all four being born between 1888 and 1897), were part of the first generation to receive free and universal education. Prior to the passing of the 1870 Education Act, schooling had mainly been provided by church schools, the Church of England's National Society and the…

Chameleon Ancestors – Part 2

Introduction A person's name is very much bound up with their identity and as a result, they can challenging to trace if it changes. In Part 1 of Chameleon Ancestors, I looked at some of the reasons why an ancestor might appear in the records under a different name. Many people, then as now, hated…

Chameleon Ancestors – Part 1

Introduction Leopards may not change their spots but chameleons can change their colour and markings to suit the situation they find themselves in. I reckon that some of our ancestors are a bit like chameleons, changing their name, both officially and unofficially if it suited them, or as a result of their personal circumstances. It…

The One-Armed Railwayman

When I was a child, I pestered my beloved Grandma, "Tell me some stories about your family!" She didn't have a lot to pass on but mentioned one extraordinary snippet of information: a relative had lost his arm. Unsurprisingly, this fact has been lodged in my head ever since. All my life I have wanted…