World War One involved so many people it is highly likely most of us will have an ancestor who volunteered or who was called up to 'do their bit’. Many family historians go straight for the usual military records when searching for war service details, but there are other great sources of information that can provide you with details of what your ancestors did in the war.
Men in 19th- and early 20thcentury family photographs often appear a little remote behind masses of facial hair. While your great-grandfather might have been bewhiskered, your grandfather might have sported sideburns and a handlebar moustache, and your father might, mysteriously, always have been cleanshaven. Strange as it may seem, these looks were not just individual fashion choices as they mostly are today, but matters that had much to do with the time and culture in which your male ancestors lived.
While researching my forthcoming book, My Ancestor Was a Lunatic, I saw an item on eBay which interested me. It was a solicitor’s itemised bill for a legal dispute relating to the will of a woman who died in a lunatic asylum. This is the kind of document that might well turn up in family papers.
As the party season is well under way, it’s that time of year when people want to relax, celebrate, have fun and really make the most of Christmas and New Year festivities. As families, friends and work colleagues look to enjoy their time together and to enjoy each other’s company we take a look at the popular Victorian party games people used to play back in the 1850s.
Kent, one of the 'home counties’, is known as the 'Garden of England’ for its rich agricultural land, especially for orchards and hop ﬁelds. Maidstone is its county town and historically Rochester and Canterbury have been cities. Major industries in the north-west of Kent have included cement, papermaking, and aircraft construction, but these are now in decline. The county also had a handful of coal mines.
After the devastation of 1666, the Church of England in the City of London was given 51 new buildings in addition to the 24 that had survived the Great Fire. During the next hundred years others were built in the two cities of London and Westminster, most with a crypt as spacious as the church above.
Finding a burial in parish registers is notoriously difficult if the date of death is unknown. First, you should search GRO deaths from the last date the person was located, for example from a previous census or from births of children. Use data website www.thegenealogist.co.uk for GRO deaths from 1837 and many parish register collections, plus census searches.
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