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Researching Family History

(32 Posts)
Kateykrunch Sun 04-Nov-18 11:41:47

I have tried before but can’t seem to figure out how to research in simple terms. I have just got the 50 day free trial on The Genealogist site and again hit a wall trying to find anything later than my Mums Grandmother, can anyone tell me how to continue. I am trying to do it without buying certificates is that why I wonder. Any tips appreciated, thanks x

M0nica Sun 04-Nov-18 11:53:29

Providing your family are Britain based Census records go back to 1841. The census takes place every 10 years and all Census returns to 1911 have been released to the public.

I am not sure how old you are, but my mother's grandmother was born in 1850 and I have been able to trace her and her family that far, they came to England from Ireland in 1852, so it is difficult to go further back. My English ancestors I have been able to take back to the 1841 census so know where and when they were born. In some cases in the 18th century.

I have done all this without buying any certificates. I have a subscription to Ancestry, but there may be a Family History Society in your locality and often they are able to give members free access to all the online genealogical database.

My local FHS has its own centrewith free access to Ancestry and FindMyPast and offers help to people researching families from around the world. All for an annual subscription of £21

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 11:57:31

Do they have baptismal records on that site? If you can find her father's name and possibly mother's first name then you could try looking at the census records to find the family.

I did quite a lot without buying certificates although I did end up buying some just for confirmation that I had got things right. If you buy certificates don't do it through Ancestry or other sites as they charge more - do it through the government website.

There are lots of free BMD records online too

My advice is to check and double check to make sure you have the right family - and don't always trust other people's research as many researchers post family trees online with mistakes - but are convinced they are correct!

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 11:59:54

The LDS site has a lot of parish records too and is free - they are dependent on input from the general public though.

Elegran Sun 04-Nov-18 12:19:38

It is worth getting a few certificates to give you firm evidence, and they are not all that expensive - the General Record Office are doing a pilot scheme supplying PDFs of birth and death certs for £6.

A birth certificate gives you details for both parents, including a maiden name for mother, and an address. From that you can move on to the nearest census for that adress and those names. A death certificate will have an informant and their relationship to the deceased, a marriage cerificate had fathers' names and occupations and full nales, ages and addresses for both spouses. Well worth £6 each.

Do your searching of the indexes first (FreeBMD has birth, death and marriage indexes for England and Wales, free to search) and note the reference numbers of what you find. If you can't quote these, the GRO will charge extra.

You do know that you can use library computers to consult Ancestry without paying for a subscription? The libraries have a bulk membership.

grammargran Sun 04-Nov-18 14:11:04

You’re going to have to spend some money at some point Katykrunch -very few hobbies are free like walking! As has been mentioned, Findmypast is an excellent site with thousands of records. Didn’t know about the GRO’s pilot scene Elegran,I’ve been spending £9.50 on any certificates I’ve bought, but what a wealth of info unless, like me, you keep finding a blank or line drawn through the father’s name! Good luck anyway, it’s an absorbing pastime with every so often a Eureka moment which is so exhilarating - and it is cheaper than golf or a gym subscription (but probably not so healthy). On the other hand, it can get you out and about around the country!

blueberry1 Sun 04-Nov-18 14:26:05

Try It is a very comprehensive free site compiled by the Mormons and I have found lots of relatives on there.

jusnoneed Sun 04-Nov-18 14:57:10

FreeReg and FreeCen are very useful sites. You can search baptism/marriage/deaths and census records on them.
I have traced my families back to the early 1800's you just need patience and lots of cross referencing/checking.
Now you have your mum's grandmother you will have rough idea of marriage date/place, so try and find that. Then you can get her maiden name and find birth. If you know where they lived FreeCen may have records for there transcribed so you can see the household in Census years (1841, 1851, 1861 etc). Also look for free parish records for your county, lots of those are online - Online Parish Clerks.
Happy hunting, I've been searching records for years and still find things every now and again as more are transcribed every year.

Anniel Sun 04-Nov-18 16:03:07

I have a dead end with a great great grandfather born c1827. His name was John Miller and he gave his birthplace as Liverpool, Lambeth or Pymouth. I think the enumerator may have misheard with the last two.
He ended up in Liverpool and died there, but no baptismal record, birth cert ( as not compulsory registration until 1837)
This has disheartened me! I do not think i will ever solve the mystery despite having Ancestry and using Family Search.

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 18:14:33

the General Record Office are doing a pilot scheme supplying PDFs of birth and death certs for £6.
Thanks Elegran, I didn't know that!

Anniebach Sun 04-Nov-18 18:39:38

I have been searching for years for g g g uncle William brn 1834 , why did he have to leave Anglesey , I am sure he went to Liverpool so big problems, no way would a census record him as born in Trewalchmai, they wouldn’t be able to say it, certaintly not spell it, they would settle for born in Wales !

PECS Sun 04-Nov-18 18:45:46

I found my family members on various census forms online. But it is harder if they have moved away from the area they were born.

jusnoneed Sun 04-Nov-18 19:18:23

I transcribe census records for FreeCen Anniebach and have come across quite a few Welsh names that are spelt very differently to how they really are lol. Good job there is a site to try and find them and to check what they are supposed to be. Some interesting overseas places too.

grammargran Sun 04-Nov-18 19:48:46

You do have to watch for mistranscriptions, not only in enumerators’ records (they seem to have misheard a lot and assumed they always heard correctly!) but also in later transcriptions from those records ie, official transcriptors trying to read the enumerators’ handwriting. Sometimes you think your ancestor has dropped off the planet, only to find he/she has been given a different name by someone misreading the handwriting.

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 19:52:10

I have just corrected something on Ancestry - quite a basic error in fact, as they had a transcribed record of someone joining the RN 39 years before he was born.

Anniebach Sun 04-Nov-18 19:54:11

I have a g g grandmother , brn in Llanfaelog, Anglesey, brn in same village, baptised , married, had six children , died and buried in same village. On one census she was born in -
Donnington, Lincolnshire, !

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 19:56:41

You may solve it one day Anniel

It has taken me nearly 10 years to solve a mystery about one of DH's ancestors - but I did it in the end!

If you can track all his other movements you may be able to find the correct one. Is he on the 1841 census with parents? He would have been 13 or 14 then so perhaps still at home.

Anniebach Sun 04-Nov-18 20:43:21

Jalima. .i am so interested in William, eldest of six sons of a stone mason, five brothers were stone mason,William was a tailor . 1841 / 51/ 61 he was still with his parents, 1871 he was living in Caernarfonshire, still a tailor. What is strange he was living alone, single men went into lodgings . 1881 found a William Thomas lodging in Liverpool with a widow from Anglesey and two other Male lodgers from Caernarfon, but this William was a sail maker.

Was it my William , I don’t know, never will , he didn’t die in Caernarfonshire or Anglesey, I realy would like to know where he was buried, all his siblings , parents and grandparents buried on Anglesey , where is poor William ? I want to send my brother to wherever William is buried with bunch of daffodils and sprinkle some Welsh soil

Jalima1108 Sun 04-Nov-18 23:06:09

We have a William who kept to-ing and fro-ing as well - they moved around a lot more than you think in those days Anniebach
He did get married and have a family but sometimes he was with them and sometimes living somewhere else not far away.

Some of these Welsh names are very difficult to track.
I'm not sure if our William deserves any daffodils if he kept leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves.
If only we knew.

SueDonim Sun 04-Nov-18 23:23:42

I'm at some dead ends in my FH research but they're different dead ends from those of ten or fifteen years ago, because as more and more info comes online, those brick walls start to tumble.

Parish records in particular are becoming available which is v useful for pre-census/registration times.

Can I recommend Lost Cousins website, too? I haven't personally found anyone on it but it seems v helpful to a lot of people.

Anniebach Mon 05-Nov-18 09:06:26

My William was still single age 37, he is a mystery, where did he go after Caernarfon, why were my lot born in Trewalchmai, why not Bodedern, easier to spell

Elegran Mon 05-Nov-18 17:17:41

Tailors were sometimes boys who were disabled and not fit for the more physical work their brothers went into. That could have been his reason for taking it up. A disability may have affected his chances of marrying?

Sailmaking and tailoring have some similarities, (but sails don't have to fit a fussy customer!) Perhaps he went from one to the other?

Riggie Mon 05-Nov-18 17:34:25

I keep finding that my father died 14 years before I was born!! Someone of the same name did die then, but not Dad. He'd been brought up by relatives (before official adoption came in) and changed his name so while I know this, it's not corroborated by any official records, so I can see it is an easy mistake to make.

Jalima1108 Mon 05-Nov-18 17:38:05

It took me years to find DH's GGF because he was called by his step-father's name when his single mother married his step-father when GGF was about 12 months old. He then reverted back to his old family name when his step-father died 25 or so years later.

Anniebach Mon 05-Nov-18 17:48:00

Elegran I did think possibly he was disabled, I am speaking of a family , generations of stone masons, quarry workers, coal miners, a tailor and first born! Then moving from home to the other side of the bridge and living alone , this just didn’t happen, men couldn’t pour a mug of tea, they went into lodgings. I have a niggle about Liverpool , why not the quarries near home , a tailor ! Now I must find him, poor William .

Thank you x