As Tithe records included people from all social levels, we can use these records to see how an ancestor's locality had appeared in this era. As an example of this, we are going to look at a house in Monmouth called, The Hendre. Situated in Rockfield, in the civil parish of Llangattock-Vibon-Avel and some 4 miles north-west of the town of Monmouth, it was built in the eighteenth century as a shooting box before being vastly expanded by the family that owned it in three stages during the nineteenth century.
Once we have found our ancestors recorded in the 1871 census, it is interesting to put their lives into context by thinking about what was happening in the UK this year. Queen Victoria was on the throne and it was in March of that year that she opened the Royal Albert Hall in London. The month before, on the 10th February, the Great Gale of 1871 had hit the North of England wrecking twenty-eight ships and causing over fifty fatalities including the six crew of the Bridlington life-boat.
A look at some recently released land tax records for Hertfordshire discovered the home and other property of a seedsman whose name lives on today in the world of golf on both sides of the Atlantic. Every two years the men's golf teams from Europe and the United States play each other at venues that alternate between courses in the United States and Europe for a cup that bears the name of a businessman from Hertfordshire. The original 17 inches tall gold trophy, of which a replica is awarded today to the winners, was sponsored by the St Albans based seed merchant, Samuel Ryder and first presented in 1927.
The famous actor Sir Christopher Lee, made his name often playing the villain in a career in film spanning more than 60 years. To some he was Count Dracula, appearing in the role in seven Hammer Horror movies and ultimately taking the part of Dracula nine times. To others he will be remembered for portraying the bad guy Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). In real life he was actually related to Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, the two being step-first cousins.
It is fascinating what can be found in the records known as RAF Operations Record Books (ORBs) and released online by TheGenealogist. They not only deal with the wartime functions of air force squadrons, but they also extend into the 1950s and 60s. Thus, for those of us with relatives who had served after the war, we can make use of the entries in these official daily journals to discover about our RAF ancestors and what happened on a daily basis in their unit or squadron.
Irish records can be problematic for family historians when they are found to be missing or destroyed. The 1831 Irish census is an example in case, almost completely destroyed in 1922. Researchers therefore have to turn to a set of records that can act as a substitute source. A useful stand-in for this missing census is the 1831 Tithe Defaulters database now online at TheGenealogist.
Every year the popular BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? brings us a host of new and exciting stories. We have taken a look at each celebrity as they journey into their family history, and you can read about their discoveries in our articles.
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