With the signing of the armistice on 11th November 1918 the First World War came to an end. The conflict had claimed an estimated 15 to 19 million lives and approximately 23 million military personnel had been wounded. There are various records that we can use on TheGenealogist to find out more about ancestors who had served in the war that was supposed to end all wars.
Despite the shadow of the Second World War and the jet-powered aircrafts that now carried passengers across the ocean, ships still remained important as a means of transport. A search of the 1950s decade passenger lists on TheGenealogist reveals a number of famous celebrities.
The nineteenth century saw reforms that increased schooling and introduced extensive state-funded schools in the country. While it is not possible to find all our ancestors’ school records there are still a whole set of school and university record books on TheGenealogist with a number just having been added to this collection.
Today, Brent has become a well developed area as London has expanded and it is the latest addition to TheGenealogist's Lloyd George Domesday Survey. These records and maps can be used by family historians to find ancestors’ homes especially where the topography has changed over the years since the land tax valuation was undertaken between 1910 and 1915. Brent developed rapidly in the years between the two World Wars. This area would have been much more rural at the time of the survey than it is today when our ancestors would have been used to seeing extensive farmland and woods.
Nick Thorne finds the 1732 birth and 1810 burial of one of the "founders" of Leamington’s first Spa - and wonders why his own great-grand uncle was born there in the 1830s. "My maternal grandmother was always proud to claim that her father was a Scot. When I got interested in family history it came as a surprise to find his actual birthplace was Tours in Northern France, though he was registered as a British Subject. Equally fascinating was the birth of William Hay, one of great-grandpa's older brothers as it took place in the Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa. While their parents, Charles and Janet Hay, were from Scotland, William was the first of the couple's children to be born in England."
The CRIM 09 record set on TheGenealogist finds the bicycle thief who became the infamous 'Brides in the bath murderer'. In the years before the First World War a series of young women lost their lives in different parts of the country, drowning in their bathtubs, seemingly from natural causes. It wouldn’t be until 1915 that the similarities of their respective deaths would be recognised and George Joseph Smith would finally be held to account.
Paralympic gold medallist Jonnie Peacock shot to fame when he won the 100m in 2012 at the age of just 19. Because his parents separated when he was young, Jonnie's knowledge is greater about his mother's side of the family than about his father's. Jonnie has always been fascinated by his maternal grandfather, Johnnie Roberts, a keen footballer who died in 1992 just before Jonnie was born. On his paternal line he knows very little other than that they were from Cambridgeshire.
Robert Rinder who was born on the 31st May 1978 in London is a British lawyer who made his name as television's 'Judge Rinder' and, in 2015 was one of the stars appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. Robert is from a large Jewish family and is very close to his 94 year old maternal grandmother Lottie: "She...is still very much at the quiet centre of our family."
With the latest release of IR 121 records from TheGenealogist family historians now have an enthralling batch of Valuation Office survey records and maps to use in their research. Ranging from 1910 to 1915 this new release includes for the first time the detailed Field Books which include often fulsome descriptions of the actual properties in that period.
Marvin Humes is a TV and radio presenter who rose to fame 10 years ago when appearing on The X Factor in the boy band JLS. Today he lives in Essex with his wife, the TV presenter Rochelle, and their two children. "Family's everything to me. I'd like to think I've had a very lucky upbringing..."
Shirley Ballas is a Ballroom dance champion and now the head judge of BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. In her paternal line there is an intriguing rumour that there is some black ancestry. And on her mum’s side she’s heard a family story that her great grandmother, Clara Sutton neé Eccles, had deserted her family in England in order to go and live in America.
Boy George is well known as a pop star, DJ and fashion designer who is remembered for his Eighties band Culture Club. "I would describe myself as the kind of pink sheep of the family. I definitely growing up had a real sense of being different, of not really having a place not only within my family but just in the world"
At the start of this investigation Lee doesn't know very much at all about his great-grandad Billy Mac and he wants to find out much more about this comedian in the family. Lee has some autographed photos and mementos in his possession and in his episode of the genealogy programme he discusses what he has with his wife Tara.
The release of a number of Poll Books into TheGenealogist's ever growing Poll Book Database allows us to search and discover the residences of ancestors who had the vote.
The award-winning actor Olivia Colman grew up in Norfolk. Her paternal line, she already knows goes back several generations in the East Anglian county. What she doesn't know so much about is her mother's side of the family. Olivia's mum had once said that she believed that there was a French woman among their ancestors, but that she knew little more about her.
From the well known poet Lord Byron to one of his own ancestors, Nick Thorne finds people who changed their names.
With the 1920s being the decade that all women had the same voting rights and the 1921 census not being available to researchers yet, this fascinating period is covered by TheGenealogist who have added more records to its 1921 census substitute.
Our Girl star and Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan uncovers some exceptional women on her family tree in this episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
The records show a motley collection of criminals who had been recorded by the Metropolitan Police. As well as the mug-shot books for preventing drunkards being served in pubs and clubs, there are other records that the family historian may find useful.
With the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on the 19th May this year we decided to look back at Royal Family weddings that have taken place in Windsor Castle's chapel during Victorian times. We can see how the traditions of pomp and ceremony echoes down through the years to our own era by taking a look at reports in TheGenealogist's Newspapers and Magazines collection.
The Holy Trinity, Coventry was where a Welsh-born Lady's maid got married in November 1773. With her marriage she could give up her employment in service and return to the stage, an occupation that she loved and had an aptitude for. The bride would go on to become what some say was the greatest English tragic actress ever. Sarah Siddons was the eldest daughter of a theatrical family - her father, Roger Kemble, was the manager of a travelling company and her mother was an actress.
Nicki Dray, UKindexer's Manager, explains how becoming involved in a volunteer project can not only help to share genealogical information that may have otherwise remained hidden, but can also be very rewarding.
On 1st April 1918 the very first air force in the world to be independent of army or navy control came into being. This was the birth of the RAF when towards the end of the First World War the pilots of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service were merged into a new organisation. Adopting the motto 'Per ardua ad astra' that translates as 'Through adversity to the stars', its first Chief of the Air Staff was Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard.
Those of our predecessors who dedicated many years to the armed forces may have been rewarded with a long service medal and if you find an ancestor who had been given the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) then they are likely to have been a long serving Warrant officer or non-commissioned officer above the rank of corporal, or equivalent.
The addition of the 1940s decade of the BT27 outgoing passenger lists to those already on TheGenealogist introduces some intriguing ship's passages to research. Using these records researchers can find ancestors who may have braved not only the vagaries of the weather out at sea, but also the threat of the lurking German submarines.
In South East England, bordering London, is the attractive county of Buckinghamshire, named after Bucca, an Anglo-Saxon landowner. The newly released colour tithe maps of Buckinghamshire, that now compliment the tithe records on TheGenealogist, allow us explore the landscape of this area in Victorian times and look for the plots of land owned or occupied by ancestors from all levels of society at the time of the survey.
'Transportation beyond the seas' was a form of punishment that most family historians are aware of as being handed out by the courts in Britain in the 18th and 19th century. We discover more using the newly released HO 8 criminal records
It is not just the great and the good that we can read about in the pages of The Illustrated London News. There are many articles dealing with a wide range of stories. If your ancestor was involved in a newsworthy event then it is worth searching the collection to see if they got a mention in the paper. As well as baptisms there were death notices, wills, marriages, crimes and court cases, plus the political stories of the time.
The recent release of parish records for Warwickshire by TheGenealogist contains many individuals who have been recorded by their local church when they were baptised, married or buried. Inevitably, in amongst their numbers are a few interesting characters - including one Warwickshire landowner who was a double murderer.
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.
All articles are Copyright © of the author and TheGenealogist. These may not be reproduced in whole or part without prior permission.