22 May 2018

Family Tree Magazine: June 2018

Highlights of the UK Family Tree magazine for June, omitting regular columns, with a few comments.

Beyond the official record: rediscovering lost family papers
The official records can only take you so far in your research. Michael Heafford shows how it is well worth investigating whether more personal papers from the past might have survived the passage of time.
Comment: Personal records can be those remaining within a branch of the family, those in a public archive, those in private archives, those destroyed.
Disappointing as it may be the reality is we'd all be bankrupt just in the cost of storing everything our ancestors wrote or were mentioned in. We've probably all contacted close relatives, finding the second and more distant cousins is the most likely further source unless the ancestor was in touch with someone prominent when exploring archives and collectors may be fruitful.  

Locked up! A life of crime
Pat Chrisfield was shocked to discover a great-uncle who was in and out of gaol all his life, simply trapped in a difficult circle of poverty.

Taken a DNA test? Now what?
DNA tests are becoming evermore popular as a research tool for family historians, but the results can seem bewildering. Help is at hand to demystify DNA in our brand new series with Karen Evans.
Comment: Still puzzled by DNA results? Perhaps this advice from a former primary school teacher will help. Family tree also has a section on DNA under How-to-guides.

Spotlight on Wharfedale Family History Group
Steve Miller introduces a family history society that has been helping people find new routes to their roots, using traditional and modern methods.

Cemetery & graveyard research: expert guide
There is something intrinsically rewarding about standing on the spot where your ancestor is buried. Celia Heritage’s guide will help you track down these final resting places of your family.
Comment: This 6 page expert guide will help manage your expectations in burial records and gravestones. There are sections for Scotland and Ireland and a longer section for when you venture out to attempt to locate a headstone.

Finding Irish church records
Chris Paton provides a handy summary of sources and steps to help you locate Irish church records.
Comment:  Despite the destruction of 1922 not all is lost and more has become available online in recent years. Chris squeezes his best advice into four pages.

Preserving our past
It’s well worth family historians exploring heritage and living history groups to see the light they can shed on the daily life, work and experiences of our forebears in times gone by. Rachel Bellerby has gathered together an inspiring directory to pull out and keep.
Comment: There are about 50 groups mentioned, each with a brief on its activities and a web address. The first is the Railway and Canal Historical Society, the last the Families in British India. Society. Even OGS and the Toronto Cornish Association get a mention.

Researching the life of a ship
With hope in their hearts, many people took a chance, and emigrated across huge oceans in relatively small wooden vessels. Suzanne Hirst looks into the history of one such ship and those who sailed in her.
Comment: Research on a ship built in Quebec in 1834 is used to explore the how to do ship research and the issues when more than one ship went by the name.

Hitching a ride: exploring travel journals
Melody Amsel-Arieli turns back the pages to the past for a contemporary view of the world that was.

A treasure trove of Army records
See how the National Army Museum website can show new aspects to your soldier ancestor’s service with Julie Goucher.

The feel of fashion: 1850s to 1870s
Explore the wardrobe of your ancestors in the age of crinolines and bustles - with Jayne Shrimpton.

Explore the War Memorials Register online
Family historians can now search more than 30,000 war memorial photographs on the web. Ian Hook of the Imperial War Museum reveals how.
Comment:  Over one million names are also in the database, mostly only with initials. I found a relative on three different memorials.

Gaol time
Simon Wills learns about a fascinating project to capture a century of the stories of convicts.

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