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 Post subject: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:58 pm 
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Birth, marriage and death certificates provide all sorts of useful information to start from and these can be obtained online from the General Register Office and cost around £9 - £10.
http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
I have successfully ordered these on line and they were sent to me within a few days. The suspense was killing !

A very useful website is Ancestry - http://www.ancestry.co.uk/
This is a paying site but you get access to census records up until 1911 (1901 in Scotland), as well as being able to see births, marriages and deaths.
You can see who else is interested in the same people, and you can also access family trees that people have put on line.

There are plenty of free sites which are useful :
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/Search/frameset_search.asp
This is the IGI Mormon/Latter Day Saints website which has thousands of records of births, marriages and deaths around the world, not just in the UK !

Another useful free site for BMDs :
http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl

If there is enough interest, I'll put the useful websites on a topic as a sticky so that they can be referred to and updated at any time.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Anyone requiring details of servicemen family members killed in the First World War, make it known here or via PM, and I'll see what I can do.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:26 pm 
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Brilliant, Blaze!

Most of my research is done on 2 Irish sites.

http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/
a free site set up and maintained by the Irish government, bless their dear hearts. Records are uploaded as soon as they've been transcribed, but are currently limited to Dublin City, County Kerry and County Carlow (Church of Ireland ), and Cork & Ross, Kerry and Dublin City (RC). Other locations will be added as and when.

The other site is http://www.rootsireland.ie/ where each record costs €5 a pop. The trick is to filter carefully and double-check you're getting what you want.

For early records, the LDS site (familysearch) is invaluable, although since they abandoned the pilot and changed to the updated format I haven't been able to view records. Maybe something to do with Firefox.

For friendly 'technical' help and information, try http://www.rootschat.com/

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Thanks for the Irish ones, MAD :-bd

This is a free forum : http://genforum.com/
You just type in the surname and then sift through the results. I've found it very useful but it is vey dominated by the Americans searching for their European roots :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:09 pm 
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we have 1881 census on disks if anyone not on broadband wants anyone looking up as sometimes it takes awhile to find them, we have my maternal family family back to 1600's my paternal back to 1750's my OH only to 1805's but my Mum's paternal family stayed in the same village from Domesday making it a lot easier , also the village I was brought up. Will try the Irish sites too thanks Mad for the links


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:53 pm 
I became interested in genealogy in the 1970s, and have traced several family lines going back hundreds of years and in couple of lines, more than a thousand years. In those, pre Internet days (the 1970s I mean), research had to be carried out by visiting record offices around the country and finding either micro fiche or, better still, the original hand written records. It was really exciting stuff. Now, of course, it is so much easier, with many records on line, but to get the real thrill, one should try to visit the places where your ancestors actually lived, and to read up on the local history of those areas.

If you are starting now, as said above, there are many very useful web sites, and the following may also help, listing ten of the top genealogy sites - and many others besides.

http://genealogy-websites.no1reviews.com/?gclid=CKnS39nBjqwCFUcj3godrTM4nA

The following site also looks interesting, although I have not used it.

http://www.free-genealogy.co.uk/

For beginners, one of the best sources is the IGI (International Genealogical Index) produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), copies of which can be found in many libraries - and on the 'net. It contains masses of data, which should enable you to produce a skeleton family tree, BUT then check out that data, which can be over enthusiastically incorrect.

Good hunting. It can be a great hobby, especially if you go into family backgrounds and not just produce a family tree with no other information except dates.

Footnotes.

1. In my fairly early researches, I was thrilled to prove one line back to Charlemagne, until a few years later an eminent genealogist pierced my ego by telling me that probably most Europeans will have some of his blood in their veins, but just can't always prove it. :(

2. A month or two ago, my old computer packed up and I had to buy another. When I tried to restore all my personal data, including my family history stuff, I couldn't read that part of my latest back up file. I went back to an earlier back up - and that too was corrupted. :( :(
I am now going to have to try to find an "expert" to see if he can extract the files from my old hard disc and am sweating blood that I haven't lost some 35 years of data. Moral - make sure you back up your data regularly AND periodically check that your back up files are readable.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Majic wrote:
Moral - make sure you back up your data regularly AND periodically check that your back up files are readable.

It's also worth keeping a hard copy of information.
There are plenty of family tree softwares available and it's easy to print out copies of the information you put there.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:54 pm 
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Genes Reunited - linked to the friends reunited site - is useful for genealogy. You have to pay to get access to the detailed records but it allows you to confirm an awful lot that might otherwise only be conjecture. It has allowed me to confirm details going back well over two hundred years!! You also get access to other people who may have done lots of the basic groundwork while looking into their own family trees. I have been able to help quite a lot of people who have a link into our family tree, and equally I have received a lot of help from others, as well as confirmation of facts that were at best only hazy in the documents to which I previously had access.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:41 am 
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Irish church records (pre-civil registration) are usually in latin. I've discovered over the years that the individual priest's mastery of latin was a bit hit and miss. There's a list of latin forenames and their English equivalents here
http://www.british-genealogy.com/parish-registers/registers-latin-names.html

On that subject, if anyone can enlighten me as to what on earth the priest was attempting when he wrote "Gualteris" as the baby's name, I'll be grateful :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:46 am 
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Mad could the baby have been still born or died shortly after birth ?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:19 am 
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GillyC wrote:
Mad could the baby have been still born or died shortly after birth ?

I haven't got round to looking for a death yet. The only name I can think of is Walter, which seems unlikely for an RC birth at that time, but you never know. Why do you ask that?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:26 am 
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MAD87 wrote:
On that subject, if anyone can enlighten me as to what on earth the priest was attempting when he wrote "Gualteris" as the baby's name, I'll be grateful :lol:


Yes ! Gualterius = Walter. It was on the list of Latin names and was probably misspelt by the priest !
Just crossed with your posting, MAD .... There will always be exceptions regarding names.

I have come across many mistakes when looking at Ancestry census records. Sometimes the person taking the census details at the time misspelt or misunderstood what they were told. It's only because I had an idea what I was looking for that I was able to decipher the errors. There is a facility to add am amendment with the correct spelling. For example, I was looking for the surname "Crouch" and found the family were listed as "Mouch". The writing in the census reports is not always easy to decipher if you don't know what you're looking for !


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:16 am 
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just a random thought as we had trouble finding someone turned out they re used the same name about 5 times as the babies kept dying very young !
Also 2 families in same generation with the fathers only about 6 months difference in age ! exactly same names in the same small village !

Our parish records are at The Borthwick institute in York some on microfiche very hard to read some original records, we found 1 person I read it as Housebreaker when in fact it was Horsebreaker :lol: written as one word, we then started to try to make a good copy of the word and ask others to read it for us :-?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:28 am 
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Any ideas of how to trace a birth of a British subject (1894) who was NOT born in the UK - could be at sea, South Africa, Australia, East Indies - no clue except that his father had some sort of British government job and lived in various places. Its my paternal grandfather I am looking for and the name is a very common MILLER.
Also is there any way to find out why someone was in prison in 1881. Its on the census that my maternal great grandfather was in jail but I would love to know why.
What is the best source for info once one gets earlier than compulsory records - its not possible to get over to Liverpool and research in parish records. I would love to hear how Majic actually did his parish searches etc.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:53 am 
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Thanks Blaze & GillyC.

Inina2, I think the current practice is that overseas births are registered in the GRO. Whether that was the case then, dog knows.
Jail: if you know the location, you might be able to get records from the prison if it still exists (I've had info directly from the Tower). Otherwise, newspaper archives? When I'm at a complete impasse, I tend to use google with a shorthand version of what I'm looking for - Fred Miller jailed 1881 for - I've had a few good results that way.
UK parish clerks have been putting some records on line for a few years, so you might get some joy there -
http://www.onlineparishclerks.org.uk/

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:57 am 
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Inina - census reports will usually show the place of birth and, for example, if your grandfather was born in, say, India, this would show up on the 1901 or 1911 census if he lived in the UK then. It is unlikely that "overseas" would have been filled in on the form.

I agree with MAD - I have done various random searches via google giving a name and date and it's surprising how successful it can be.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:31 am 
Inina2 wrote:
. I would love to hear how Majic actually did his parish searches etc.


If you could be more specific Inina, I would be very happy to tell you. All I can say now is that it took a lot of travelling - mainly to Suffolk, and visiting a few of the local record offices there, but it also gave me the opportunity to visit the sites and still existing houses of my ancestors. I think that if you only do research on the Internet, that is just fact gathering, but doesn't give you the same "feel".

What would you like to know?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
Inina - census reports will usually show the place of birth and, for example, if your grandfather was born in, say, India, this would show up on the 1901 or 1911 census if he lived in the UK then. It is unlikely that "overseas" would have been filled in on the form.




Unfortunately he doesnt appear on any census! I think he only came to the UK during the 1st World War - but maybe wasnt even resident as I have found him as crew on ships crossing to New York from Liverpool (nationality given as British). Other than that I have his marriage certificate in 1918. Its quite infuriating!


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:22 pm 
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majic wrote:
Inina2 wrote:
. I would love to hear how Majic actually did his parish searches etc.


If you could be more specific Inina, I would be very happy to tell you. All I can say now is that it took a lot of travelling - mainly to Suffolk, and visiting a few of the local record offices there, but it also gave me the opportunity to visit the sites and still existing houses of my ancestors. I think that if you only do research on the Internet, that is just fact gathering, but doesn't give you the same "feel".

What would you like to know?


Can you look at records in churchs - baptisms etc? Have you tried this and how easy is it to do? And do you have any idea what would happen to records if the church did not exist anymore? What other local record offices are there and how easy is it to get to see stuff? I would love to walk arund the areas that my grandmothers family lived in - need to actually look at some maps and get a feel for the geography of the area!
Glad this section was started. All my research has been carried out online and I sometimes dont think laterally when I hit a brick wall. Maybe other people's suggestions will give me another angle to work from! :-bd


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:28 pm 
I use Genes Reunited. It has helped my natural family to find me after over 50 years of not knowing. We have traced it back 4 generations so far. You do have to pay for the service but its the choice you make.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:33 pm 
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We visited our village church and saw the records there by arrangement with the Vicar (who we knew) the older records of books that were full were in the Borthwick Institute in York as were others from local parishes, some on microfiche some the actual book, this was in Yorkshire, you had to book a slot so there was a computer and or fiche reader for your use, local libraries have some records too as have other places we have also used Harrogate and Leeds library and West Yorkshire Archives in the outskirts of Leeds also Cumbria records office and Bowden library in Cheshire it just depends where and what information you want, we used some visits to take photos of houses where family lived, I have also used the regimental musuem in Lancaster as Dad and the uncle he was named after were in the same regiment.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:03 pm 
Inina2 wrote:

Can you look at records in churchs - baptisms etc? Have you tried this and how easy is it to do? And do you have any idea what would happen to records if the church did not exist anymore? What other local record offices are there and how easy is it to get to see stuff? I would love to walk arund the areas that my grandmothers family lived in - need to actually look at some maps and get a feel for the geography of the area!


Hello Inina.

The majority of church records, but not all, have been deposited with the local county records offices in the appropriate counties, and those counties, in turn, have micro filmed them, so that you can search at the record offices on their micro fiche readers. Some counties have more than one record office.

In some cases, churches have kept their records and/or copies of them, so if you cannot find the records of "your" church at the local record office, then you can contact the church in question. It is always best to check with the record offices and the churches before you make a long journey.

Where churches no longer exist, it is very likely that the records are with the local record office but, for a variety of reasons, they may not have been deposited and/or may have been lost or destroyed since the "strong boxes" in the churches were not always secure.

In our case, we traced relatives who lived at Dunwich, most of which disappeared under the sea many years ago, but the records for the church we were looking for, survived. In another case, in Somerset, the church records had been found in the street, but severely damaged by the weather and only a few pages were able to be deciphered, so we were stuck on that line for quite some time.

If you have ancestor families resident for many years in one county, it may well be worth while joining the family history society for that county (virtually all counties have one), and you could gain valuable information from other members.

Any more question? Do ask, there are obviously people on this site who will probably be able to point you in the right direction. Then, when you have proved your line back to Charlemagne, we can call each other cousin.

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To all on this thread, who/what is the most exciting discovery or discoveries which you have made in your researches?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:08 am 
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For anyone whose ancestors served in the British Army during WW2, you can apply for unclaimed medals here:
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceFor/Veterans/Medals/ApplyingForMedals.htm

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:18 am 
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I came across a reference in an old (17th century) will record to someone being a "scriptur". I can't find an explanation of this anywhere, nor is it in our historical Oxford dickshinerey. I assume it's some kind of scribbler, but doesanyone have any further info?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Is anyone an Ancestry.com subscriber and how useful have they found the site?

I've had an email pointing me to possible family matches, but at $150 for 6 months' subscription to the World Explorer database, I'm wondering whether I really want to gamble that much...

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Not a subscriber Mad but I tried the month's free trial and found it all only moderately interesting - certainly not enough to warrant the monthly subscription.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:58 pm 
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When my hubby was off work sick he went to the local library to use Ancestry.com for free he had to pay just £1 per hour to use their computer but did find quite a bit of information on there he thought it was about £100 for a year but that might have only been UK


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:49 pm 
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MAD87 wrote:
Is anyone an Ancestry.com subscriber and how useful have they found the site?
I've had an email pointing me to possible family matches, but at $150 for 6 months' subscription to the World Explorer database, I'm wondering whether I really want to gamble that much...

I'm a limited subscriber to Ancestry.co.uk and I have found it excellent. Apart from the information it provides, it lets you look at other people's trees which can coincide with your own. You can get details on births marriages and deaths up until recently and occasionally you can find an image of a scanned certificate.

If you find someone who is interested in the same person/family as you are, you never know what info you can exchange .....

My husband knew next to nothing about his family and Ancestry was a huge help. Lots of interesting skeletons :YMDEVIL:


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:24 am 
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Well, having done a little Ancestry.com member research, I've decided to dither a little longer. I haven't discarded the idea completely but I'll look at some other sources first. Blaze, what is the limited subscription limited to?

These sites look interesting:

http://www.one-name.org/
http://www.findmypast.co.uk/home.jsp
http://www.onlinenames.net.au/
http://www.ukgid.com/

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:45 am 
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If you go onto Ancestry.co.uk you can see the different levels of membership at the bottom. I have taken out Premium membership which gives access to UK and Irish records. Paying a year's subscription works out a lot cheaper. It's certainly been worth it for me as I have made some useful contacts but I imagine that there are other sites that work just as well and it probably depends what you're looking for !


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:29 am 
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Thanks Blaze, I'll look into that.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:43 am 
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There's a message board too.
The family trees are often very interesting, but I've found errors in some of them, particularly when I'm 100% sure of my details. Everything has to be checked very carefully as it can be easy to be misled or go down the wrong track !


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:35 am 
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Quite by chance, I've been in contact with a Dublin cousin on my father's side - Eithne :-o Had to do some research on how she's pronounced....(Ethna).
Sadly, she knows very little about the other dozens of paternal cousins as none of them keeps in touch.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:45 am 
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I use Ancestry and you have to be careful about other people's research. One of my cousins, for example, puts all sorts of people down in her tree, without any proof that they are the "right" people - her view is that it is speculation to see if anyone responds.

However, some people regard the information in people's trees as "gospel" and often import it into their own.

It is often difficult to "prove" links, especially when you get past 1837 because a lot of the data, for example, doesn't include women's surnames. For example, I have in one branch, 5 confirmed direct ancestors with the same first and surnames, I know the 6th one also has the same first and surnames - the problem is that there are two of them in the records, both married women called Ann - I have no way of knowing (yet, hopefully) which one is mine. Many people on Ancestry simply pick one, in situations like this, with no real proof at all.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you start?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:23 am 
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About 10 years ago my Dad got into putting together a family tree, eventually concentrating on following the paternal line back as far as he could. Fortunately it turned out that, as was common, the family stayed put not just in one town but more or less the same street prior to the late 1800s, allowing a lot of digging through local and parish records. There was also, for a while, a line of church sextons who seemed to pass the job from father to son, which may have been additionally helpful in finding documentary evidence. I think he got back as far as 1515 before running out of legible evidence.

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