Family History Archive 2019

3rd December 2019: Six members escaped from their Christmas preparations to enjoy a relaxed and sociable meeting. We were treated to an informative, and somewhat competitive, quiz which prompted much discussion and reminded us of how much changed for our ancestors in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Special thanks to Helen for organising this for us.

25th November 2019: At this months meeting fifteen members discussed the possible benefits of undertaking DNA testing to aid family history. Led by two members who had already taken tests they generously shared their results and demonstrated what information was available through tests on two different sites. Ancestry results included introductions to potential relations, usually second, third or fourth cousins and access to their trees. Living DNA offers less matches but a greater story relating to both maternal and paternal patterns of migration over thousands of years. It gave us all much to think about and discuss. Our group membership has grown over the last few months and it was good to see everyone making a contribution.

28th October 2019: The group welcomed two new members this month. The group discussed the pros and cons of various paid-for websites including Ancestry and Find My Past, and also looked at a number of free sites that members had used. It was a lively discussion and hopefully gave all of us some new ideas for our research. Our top tips were:   Is the information I want available for free – check out our list of free websites; try visiting your local library where a version of Ancestry and the newspaper archive are available for free; try before you buy – most sites offer a 14 day free trial; check each sites coverage of the areas you want to research and finally look for the special offers because sometimes subscriptions are offered at rock bottom prices as a special promotion. Happy hunting!

23rd September 2019: This month the group considered the value of newspapers within family history research. We looked at the wealth of publications now online, the cost of accessing these and what can be found in libraries. We looked at examples of old articles that would help to confirm relationships, such as reports of funerals, and members shared stories from their research.

22nd July 2019: We looked at lists of old occupations, many of which no longer exist, and talked about what some of ancestors did depending on both their social status and the areas in which they lived. We heard some inspiring ‘rags to riches’ stories and of some other less fortunate ancestors.

24th June 2019: Our theme this month was a wide one as we learned about the Workhouse and our ancestors dread of being placed in such institutions. Members shared their research into conditions in such places and in particular establishments in Nottingham and Derby. We also looked at housing conditions, their lack of sanitation and subsequent disease leading to children often losing their parents at an early age. We also shared some personal stories of our own research.

25th March 2019: Our discussion theme of military ancestors was enriched by members sharing a wealth of personal documents and artefacts from their own families. We looked at discharge papers, ration books, cap and badges from WW2; enlistment, service records and medals from WW1; Naval records, photographs and biographies as well as a bible given to a recruit in WW1 with a personal inscription. It was agreed that having such items made us feel closer to our ancestors. Thanks to all those who contributed. After coffee two members shared their experiences of having had their DNA analysed and the results they had received. This was an interesting meeting and provoked lots of discussion.

25th February 2019: Members shared their knowledge of local railways and interesting stories about their railway employee ancestors. We spoke of the navvies who built the tracks and the various jobs within each company. We looked at employment records online and records of accidents, some fatal.

28th January 2019: Available records pre 1837/ Kelly’s directories etc. Recording trees and useful websites.