Welcome to the Family History Social

The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Additional R.A.F. Operations Record Books released on TheGenealogist

Further R.A.F. Operations Record Books now released on TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has today released additional new R.A.F. records that are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors.


In a release of over 1.8 million records, this batch of R.A.F. Operations Record Books (ORBs) joins TheGenealogist’s huge military records collection and includes entries for the famous children’s author Roald Dahl when he flew Hurricanes in WW2.


Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron in Palestine, June 1941 as flown by Roald Dahl

The Operations Record Books record the stories of day to day operations of units and so will give the researcher an idea of action that took place as well as give insights into the everyday lives on the bases. You can use this collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences by searching these fully searchable Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher a fascinating insight into their relatives' time while serving in a number of units of the air force. 


The ORBs give summaries of events and can reveal encounters with the enemy, pilots who went missing or were shot down, plane crashes, as well as less traumatic details such as weather and places patrolled by the aircraft and where the squadrons were based as the war wore on. As aircrew personnel are named in these Operations Record Books, researchers wanting to follow where an ancestor had been posted to and what may have happened to them will find these records extremely useful. 


Operations Record Book for No. 80 Squadron on TheGenealogist


Family historians will find the duties recorded in these documents interesting when they reveal the assignments that a serviceman took part in. Examples include Bombing, Convoy Escort, Submarine Hunt, Fleet protection, Attacking Aerodromes and Shipping, Dive Bombing Raids and more. 


Use these records to: 

  • Add colour to an aircrewman’s story 
  • Read the war movements of personnel in air force units
  • Discover if a pilot, navigator, radio operator or gunner is mentioned in the action
  • Find if an airman is listed for receiving an Honour or an Award
  • Note the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or who did not return
  • Easily search these National Archives records and images


This expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection.


Read TheGenealogist’s feature article: R.A.F. Operations Record Books that tell a storyteller’s story: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/raf-operations-record-books-that-tell-a-storytellers-story-1356/

These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

Leave a comment

Genealogical Mystery: The Vanished Child by M J Lee

Here is a novel that could keep you enthralled as the evenings draw in. Although it is a work of fiction it contains some useful tips about tracing ancestors who were part of the child migrant programme.

The Vanished Child by M J Lee is the fourth in the Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery series and sees the ex-police detective and Genealogist investigator search for a long lost man. The researcher must find the older half-brother that her elderly step-mother never knew she had until her own mother confessed on her death bed to having had an illegitimate first child.

The boy had been placed in a children's home while his mother attempted to get back on her feet, only for him to be shipped off to Australia before she and her new husband could claim him back.

Background to the novel

In the 1920s to 1970s more than 130,000 children were sent to a “better life” in Australia and Canada, under the child migrant programme.

The children ranged in age between three and 14 and mostly came from deprived backgrounds and were already in some form of social or charitable care, such as the boys' home in the fictional story. At the time, it was believed that the children would lead happier lives in their new countries and charities such as Barnardo’s and the Fairbridge Society, the Anglican and Catholic churches and local authorities helped with the organisation of their emigration.

The truth is that many ended up being abused or suffering hardship.


Well worth a read:

The Vanished Child by M J Lee

Here is the blurb on the author's website:

What would you do if you discovered you had a brother you never knew existed?

On her deathbed, Freda Duckworth confesses to giving birth to an illegitimate child in 1944 and temporarily placing him in a children's home. She returned later but he had vanished. 

What happened to the child? Why did he disappear? Where did he go? 

Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, is faced with lies, secrets, and one of the most shameful episodes in recent history as she attempts to uncover the truth.

Can she find the vanished child?

This book is the fourth in the Jayne Sincalir Genealogical Mystery series, but can be read as a stand alone novel.

Every childhood lasts a lifetime.



Leave a comment

Lambeth Lloyd George Domesday records added to TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™

Lambeth Property records added to TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has released the records of 83,498 individuals for the Lambeth area into its Lloyd George Domesday Survey property ownership and occupancy record set. This unique online resource includes maps and field books and gives family historians the chance to discover where an ancestor lived in the period just before and as the First World War began. This is a great tool to use with the 1911 Census giving lots of additional information about your ancestors' home, land, outbuildings and property. By making use of TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer the researcher can see how the landscape where their ancestor lived or worked changed as the years have passed.


The maps are linked to field books containing descriptions of the property, as well as revealing owners and occupiers, all of which have been sourced from The National Archives and are being digitised by TheGenealogist. With this release it is possible to precisely locate where an ancestor lived on a number of large scale, hand annotated maps for this part of London. These plans include plots for the exact properties at the time of the survey and are layered over various georeferenced historical maps and modern base maps on the Map Explorer™. This resource enables the researcher to thoroughly investigate the area in which an ancestor lived even if the streets were bombed out of existence in the Blitz and the modern redevelopment does not follow the same lines as the previous roads had. 


Roads on the Lloyd George Domesday Survey have disappeared from the modern map

  • TheGenealogist’s Lloyd George Domesday records link individual properties to extremely detailed maps used in 1910-1915
  • Fully searchable by name, county, parish and street
  • The maps will zoom down to show the individual properties as they were in the 1910s
  • The transparency slider reveals a modern street map underlay
  • Change the base map displayed to more clearly understand what the area looks like today

Lambeth records cover the civil parishes of Bishop’s, Brixton, Brixton North, Clapham North, Clapham South, Lower Norwood, Marsh North, Marsh South, Norwood, Prince’s, Stockwell North, Stockwell South, Streatham and Vauxhall.


As we mark Remembrance Sunday this weekend read TheGenealogist’s article on Lambeth: A haven for the troops and birthplace of a V.C. hero: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/a-haven-for-the-troops-and-the-birthplace-of-a-vc-hero-1350/

Leave a comment

Liz Carr's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? was fascinating

The Who Do You Think You Are? episode on BBC One this week was a fascinating programme.

Silent Witness actor Liz Carr, who is best known for her role in the crime drama as the forensic scientist Clarissa Mullery explored an ancestor involved in an assault. This made her smile as she admits that she loves crime!