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Each issue is packed full of entertaining stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice – great for anyone starting out in family history research, for experienced researchers needing help overcoming stumbling blocks, and for those with a general interest in how our ancestors lived their lives.
Visiting the seaside for relaxation, leisure and entertainment gained widespread popularity during the Victorian age, when expanding railway networks offered fast, increasingly affordable travel to beckoning coastal resorts. Just as holiday tourism was advancing, so the new portrait medium of photography was also evolving, with pioneering photographers launching commercial studios as early as the 1840s in developing seaside locations nationwide, from Brighton to Blackpool.
Sailing an ageing inshore yacht from Southampton to Sydney would not be anyone’s idea of an easy job. But in 1883, Tom Dudley, an experienced yachtsman, took it on, agreeing to sail the Mignonette across the world to its new owner. He could see the danger of it plainly, but the pay was good – enough to set him and his family up in a new Australian life – and so he set about making it happen. He came to bitterly regret the decision: it would soon break his body and set him on a collision course with the full weight of the British legal system.
It began in London. Liberal MP William Ewart (1798–1869 – not be confused with prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, 1809-98), whose private member’s bill led to the passing of the Public Libraries Act (1850), had another bright idea, the placing of commemorative plaques on the houses of the esteemed. It was in 1863 he first mooted this cunning plan for ‘the places which had been the residences of the ornaments of their history could not be but precious to all thinking Englishmen’. Ewart was fascinating. As well as his interest in libraries and plaques he succeeded in abolishing the death penalty for cattle rustling, for which I’m eternally grateful. Ewart’s scheme
Recently, while searching on TheGenealogist’s Image Archive, I was struck by a photograph of a woman with her child that had appeared on the gallery home page. Momentarily distracted from the reason that I had opened up this tool in the first place, the picture of the mother and child intrigued me.
Today, young people can access their favourite celebrities easily via social media, following them on Instagram, TikTok or other platforms in order to see them and be involved with their lives. Yes, they also watch their bands play concerts, or actors perform on stage or on film, but there are other ways that they can ‘see’ them outside of these arenas.
A new release of records by family history website TheGenealogist allows English, Scottish and Welsh family historians to discover useful information on a myriad of people. From ancestors who were writers, artists, actors and many other professions, this collection opens up the lives of these people for the researcher.
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