Gain unlimited access to all the latest Discover Your Ancestors articles (including those in this issue) with a 12-month subscription to Discover Your Ancestors for just £24.99. For a taster of what to expect, click here to see some of our older issues.
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.
Before chocolate eggs and chicks, the Easter holiday was replete with local traditions and festivities. Like today, Easter was not only an important religious festival but also marked the end of winter gloom, the arrival of spring and as one writer put it in 1813, a ‘complete change of garments and temper’.
Photographs of ancestors in the merchant navy are common because in the past this industry was a very large one, employing hundreds of thousands of people. Photos were also a means for family at home to have a reminder of their relative at sea who might be away for months or even years. Quite often, photos were taken to mark a specific event such as a person’s first appointment as an apprentice, their qualifying as a ship’s master (’captain’), or the receipt of an award for bravery. Photos may also denote occasions such as a ship’s maiden voyage, a wedding or someone’s retirement from the sea. The details in a person’s dress may give clues to your ancestor’s role and employment among
William Strachey was born in Saffron Waldon, Essex in 1571, the eldest child and son of William Strachey and Mary Cooke of Hertfordshire. Hailing from an illustrious line of farmers and city merchants from London dating back to the 13th century, Strachey’s grandfather had acquired the family’s wealth from the wool industry, becoming the richest man in Saffron Walden. After his father’s death in 1598, William Strachey entered into a protracted legal battle with his stepmother, Elizabeth Brocket. A natural-born orator and wordsmith, Strachey won a coveted place to study law at Cambridge University in 1588, and became a member of Gray’s Inn, but failed to graduate from either institution. By the age of 23, Strachey had married Frances Forster, whose family had once held strong political connections to the court of Henry VIII. Frances gave birth to another William nine months after her marriage to Strachey, and a second son, Edmund, followed in 1604.
The 15th of April marks 111 years since the catastrophic sinking of that most famous of transatlantic liners, the Titanic. With the tragic loss of life of more than 1,500 souls, just 706 were saved. In the churchyard of St Saviour’s, Jersey, there can be found a grave for one of these survivors. At the time of the fatal voyage he had been one of several quartermasters employed as part of the ship’s company. An experienced sailor of many years, after the awful event he never went back to sea, even though he continued in the employ of the White Star Line. At the time that the iceberg hit the Titanic on 15 April 1912, Alfred Olliver was returning to the bridge where he witnessed the orders being given by the officer of the watch. Later, as a survivor, he was able to give evidence in Washington before the US Senate inquiry into the disaster.
I have always been proud of the fact that, early in my research, I was able to pin down all eight of my Victorian-born great-grandparents in the 1881 census. Now the Map Explorer research tool provided by TheGenealogist has led me even closer to them in a way I would not have been able to imagine when I started back in the 70s.
The 1871 Census for England, Scotland and Wales has now been georeferenced on TheGenealogist. This is the process of linking each record to a geographical spot and means you can now see where a household stood with links to detailed maps on the powerful Map Explorer tool.
Birds’ plumage has featured in the dress of certain cultures for millennia, becoming significant in western society by the 1400s, when luxury feathered trimmings demonstrated wealth and courtly status. In Tudor Britain jewels and ostrich feathers formed fashionable hat decorations, single ostrich feathers or plumes (feather clusters) remaining in vogue for generations. During the 17th and 18th centuries ostrich, osprey, heron, peacock and even vulture feathers produced an ostentatious flourish in vast hats or towering wigs. By the late 1700s ostrich plumes were being adopted by the emerging middle classes, soaring demand causing the near extinction of wild ostriches. During the 1820s and early 1830s swansdown ‘tippets’ (boas) and wide-brimmed hats heaped with ostrich or marabout stork feathers were the rage. Ostrich plume headdresses were also a requisite of official court dress 1700s–1900s.
In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, conquered in turn by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, and an important Roman settlement, Lactodorum, stood on the site of modern-day Towcester. After the Romans left, the area eventually became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and Northampton functioned as an administrative centre. From about 889 the area was conquered by the Danes, until being recaptured by the English under the Wessex king Edward the Elder in 917. Northamptonshire was conquered again in 940, this time by the Vikings of York.
You can buy a printed version of the annual Discover Your Ancestors bookazine directly from the publishers, please see www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk and click on ‘Order print copies’ at the bottom.
Discover Your Ancestors Publishing,
PO BOX 163,
Put your research questions to an expert, watch a talk, speak to a local society, archive or genealogical supplier.
Special Offer! Buy tickets for £7.00 (£10.00 on the day)
Unable to make the next show? We also have shows planned for the following locations:
Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is published by Discover Your Ancestors Publishing, UK. All rights in the material belong to Discover Your Ancestors Publishing and may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without their prior written consent. The publisher makes every effort to ensure the magazine's contents are correct. All articles are copyright© of Discover Your Ancestors Publishing and unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. Please refer to full Terms and Conditions at www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk. The editors and publishers of this publication give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised.