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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



July edition of Discover Your Ancestors online periodical out now!

Available now from:



In the July 2021 issue of Discover Your Ancestors online periodical:

The friendless friend? Governesses worked hard as teachers, nursemaids and more, but often found themselves overlooked or trapped between different classes, says Caroline Roope

A solid trade: Brickmaking was a physical demanding and financiall risky trade – here Sadie McMullon explores the industry's impact on one particular community

A century in the life of a Birmingham boozer: The history of a striking inner city pub reveals a surprising continuity in ownership, and censuses show a family whose lives revolved around their home. Nell Darby gets a round in

A view into the past: Nick Thorne uses images to help see our ancestors' times

Policing town and gown: A study of Oxford's police reports books shows a pattern of antisocial behaviour underneath the city's dreaming spires... Nell Darby investigates

History in the details: Materials – wool (part 6)



Sign up today for only £24.99 and receive the following:

  • 12 monthly issues of the Periodical
  • Access to 500,000,000 birth, marriage and death records
  • Free data: Titanic passenger list
  • Free ebook: Navy List 1890 - March
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Family History TV gives you access to a wide range of helpful Family History Videos



Here is a Press Release recieved from Discover Your Ancestors Magazine about an exciting development. If you love family history talks then this is a must for you:


We are excited to announce the launch of a new on-demand family history talks platform: Family History TV (https://family-history.tv)

This new website is the place to watch expert speakers from the world of British genealogy, Military History, DNA, House History and Social History deliver their informative and entertaining talks online. This new and reasonably priced service aims to open up these talks to a wider audience.

Family-History.tv screenshot of genealogy video talks

Ranging from a behind the scenes look at the Who Do You Think You Are? TV show, or advice and guidance once you have your DNA results, this channel offers videos to suit most family historians. If you are seeking advice on researching your ancestors, or would like to find out more about social history, there are videos from some of the best speakers who normally talk to packed theatres.

Family History TV features a Military Expert & Professional Researcher drawing on his years of experience from researching thousands of soldiers to explore what can be found when looking for a military ancestor. There are talks from an experienced Social Historian exploring the records that shine a light on sporting ancestors, a well respected Professional Genealogist and House Historian gives you her valuable advice, and top DNA Experts share their extensive knowledge of this popular subject.

With even more genealogical themed presentations to be released in the next few months, each talk has been professionally edited into a high quality video that can be rented for the very attractive low price of just £2.99 and then watched for the next 24 hours.

Take a look at the high quality content available and as a special introductory offer watch Keith Gregson’s Hints and Tips video for free at:  https://family-history.tv






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May 2021 edition of Discover Your Ancestors now available


Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is a high quality monthly digital magazine delivered to your own personalised online account every month. This beautifully designed 30+ page online magazine is packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice

In this month's issue:

Food to die for: When our Victorian ancestors went shopping, adulterated food was everywhere and nothing was as it seemed. Michelle Higgs serves up the details

Celebrating Coventry: As Coventry launches its year-long programme of events to mark its status as the 2021 City of Culture, Nicola Lisle explores its history

A matter of life and death (and marriage): Nick Thorne researches the family of actor David Niven

Tracing a difficult dentist: Under the surface, the life of one dentist highlighted the gender inequality present in Victorian England, as Nell Darby explains

Twas a rare affair: Denise Bates researches a family poem written in 1913

History in the details: Materials – wool (part 4)

Sign up today for only £24.99 and receive the following:

  • 12 monthly issues of the Periodical
  • Access to 500,000,000 birth, marriage and death records
  • Free data: Titanic passenger list
  • Free ebook: Cornwall 1844 Pigot's Directory

Get your copy of the May edition by subscribing here: https://discoveryourancestors.co.uk/subscribe/

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Discover Your Ancestors online magazine for March 2021 out now

In this month’s edition of the online periodical there are some really great articles for those people who are interested in Family and Social history.

Snapshots of fashion past: Jayne Shrimpton picks up a newspaper from 100 years ago this month to see what we can glean about 1920s sartorial trends

The golden age of magic: Our ancestors loved a bit of magic, but it could end up being more dangerous than we might think… Nell Darby peers behind the curtain

Hope and glory: To mark its 150th anniversary, Lynsey Ford examines the remarkable history of the Royal Albert Hall

The Evesham murder: In Victorian Worcestershire, a case of poaching resulted in three deaths and a controversial reprieve for one man… Nell Darby investigates

More like a gentleman: Nick Thorne explores the actor Kenneth More’s family tree

History in the details: Materials – wool (part 2)

Free Recordset: Army List 1875 – January

Contains Generals and Field Officers by rank and by regiment. As well as hundreds of territorial regiments, officers are included for cavalry and artillery regiments, Royal Engineers, West India regiments, Marines, volunteer battalions, and more.

Premium Recordset: Warwickshire Phillimore Parish Records (Marriages) Volume 2

Franciscan registers of St Peter’s Birmingham 1657-1824 (Baptisms) (Phillimore Parish Records)

Get your copy here: https://discoveryourancestors.co.uk/current-issue/

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Fascinating February edition of online Discover Your Ancestors

The Discover Your Ancestors monthly periodical has just been released for February 2021 and it has some really fascinating articles this month. From Buffalo Bill's visit to England to some interesting crime stories from the past and more inbetween! Here is what to expect inside the pages of this online magazine:
• Victoria’s transatlantic treat: Caroline Roope tells the story of when Buffalo Bill amused the queen
• Kindness everywhere: Keith Gregson discovers that concern for birds is not something new, as he tells the story of the hugely successful Dicky Bird Society
• PM, pig breeder and police pioneer: Nick Thorne traces residential records for the two times prime minister of the United Kingdom. Sir Robert Peel
• The strange case of Lucy Strange: In the midst of WW1, one woman lost both her life and her public reputation: so why didn’t Lucy Mary Strange’s family get justice? By Nell Darby
• The untold story of ‘Doctor Dick’: Will Hazell investigates the chequered career of a man who scandalised Cornwall in the late 19th century
• History in the details: Materials – wool (part 1)
Discover Your Ancestors is available now online:
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Why can’t I find my ancestor in the BMD records?

Tips for finding ancestors' vital events in English & Welsh records

There maybe times when we hit the brick wall of an ancestor who doesn’t seem to appear in the official births, marriages and death records held by the General Register Office (GRO). We need to be aware that many of the records that we are accessing, and trying to use today, were created when our ancestors had to engage with an official and spoke their names for that person to write it down. Whether it was the vicar, at the time of baptism, marriage or burial; the registrar for their area for BMDs, or indeed the census enumerator, we have to allow for the fact that the office holder will spell our forebears’ name as they heard it being spoken.

Some of the commercial websites we use for looking up our ancestors' BMDs offer a way of allowing variations of the surname to be done. Some of these, however, may not be as helpful as they could be. For example, when looking for a person named Johns and the suggested return is Johnson. These names would not normally be mistaken in speech and so what is really needed is a search that returns variations that are refined to represent the vocal sounds of a name. This is why we need to use a site where the search defaults to give you a phonetic filter as standard and so will return names that sound alike in order to get you past the vocal origin of so many of our records.


Searching for a surname that could be spelt in many ways

Just consider, for a moment, an ancestor with a broad accent who has just come to register their child. To the registrar the surname of the father sounds like Sissel, or perhaps it is Sissil, or was it Sissell or even Sisel? To add to the problem the family themselves are not able to tell the registrar how their family name is spelt as, like so many of our ancestors, they were not able to read and write and they sign documents with a cross or some other sign as their mark. Using a website that utilises phonetic search as the default filter will help us move forward.



A search for this name employing TheGenealogist will see a number of variations of this difficult name returned. These range from Sissel to Sicel, as well as many close sounding alternatives inbetween.


Sissel variations.JPG

The missing microfilmed pages of the GRO Index

Another pitfall, that can cause us not to be able to find a person in births, marriages and death records, is as a result of them falling into those missing pages that were left out when the General Register Office originally licensed their records of BMDs. It was discovered then that, when the books were microfilmed, that some pages were passed over by mistake in the process. TheGenealogist were quick to spot this and sent a team up to the now closed Family Record Centre to copy the missing data so that these records will be included when we do a search on this particular website.

Brits overseas or born at sea

There is yet another great reason to consider doing your search on TheGenealogist and that is that it includes a number of our ancestors who were born, married or died overseas, or onboard a ship. These records will not be included in the standard civil registration births, marriages and deaths, but are to be found in either the GRO overseas records, or The National Archives overseas BMDs. (Both of which are included on TheGenealogist).

The National Archives' Non-Parochial Records (RG32, RG33, RG34 & RG35) cover such entries as those in non-statutory records from abroad, or on British ships. The copies of these may have been kept by the incumbents of English churches and missions abroad and do not appear in the regular BMD records. To easily access them we are able to use the Master Search on TheGenealogist.

The GRO’s Overseas BMD Indexes are also available under 'Birth Marriage and Death Indexes' on TheGenealogist and cover the births, marriages and deaths of British subjects that were recorded at a British Consulate or High Commission and those of British Service Personnel throughout the world. If our ancestor died at sea, on board a British ship, then TheGenealogist will allow us to research over 210,000 records in the Overseas Marine Deaths records on the site.

If we were to look for Albert South, who died in 1915, then he can be located in the Overseas - Marine Deaths in the Military Records. We can see that his death was recorded on H.M.S. Lightning. 

One click and we can see an image of the GRO indexes.