Category Archives: Handy Tips

Its November and a New Discover Your Ancestors online magazine is out

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is a high quality monthly digital magazine delivered to your own personalised online account every month and there is a new one just out!

If you haven’t seen this publication yet then what you are missing out on is a well designed 30+ page online magazine that is packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice. This regular and affordable online magazine is highly recommended for anyone starting out in family history research, or for those with more experience but who have reached brick walls.

This month we have been reading in our copy the following great articles…

The best of times: Daniel Hewitt explores the history of horology through his Clerkenwell clockmaker ancestry
The quartermaster’s tale: Anthony Boulton presents a unique memoir of his grandfather’s WW1 experiences
From Longleat to the Tower of London: Nick Thorne delves into the history of Longleat and its illustrious inhabitants
Decoding Victorian jewellery: Victorian jewellery was rich in symbolism, as Kim Fleet explains
Woven into history: Caroline Taylor explores carpet-making in Kidderminster and resources in the town’s carpet museum
A fair hearing?: Jill Morris explains the Court of Chancery
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on boots

Regulars: News / Events / Books / Place in focus: Somerset / Classifieds

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical November 2015

To find out more go to their website here:

Online edition of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical for October

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical October 2015

Always enjoy settling down to read this great online family history magazine.

Check out this month’s articles:

Rebels with a cause: Tudor England was rocked by a wave of rebellions, as Jonathan Healey explains
Preserved for posterity: Nick Thorne explains the importance of storing your family history research properly
Salt of the earth: Sue Wilkes explores Britain’s salt industry
A patchwork of history: Ruth Symes explores the personal details hidden in patchwork of the past
Inside the Black Museum: For 140 years Scotland Yard has held a private collection of crime memorabilia
Passed down in the past: Jill Morris continues her exploration of online wills from the 14th to 19th centuries
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on shoes
Regulars: Letters / Events / Books / Place in focus: Liverpool / Classifieds

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical

Take a look at:

Another free to read article from Discover Your Ancestors

A day at the museum.

In this month’s Discover Your Ancestors Periodical Margaret Powling explores 400 years of museums.  If you want to read more about museums then take advantage of Discover Your Ancestors’ FREE sample article from this month’s Online Periodical, on their website.

Launched in May 2013 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. This regular and affordable service is a must have for anyone starting out in family history research or for those with more experience but who have reached brick walls.


To read the FREE sample article on museums pop over to the web page here:

DYA a day at the museum


Family History Abbreviations


Just a little confused by family history abbreviations?

John Smith,  bach;  MS. 

b: 1847   d: 1889


If you find an ancestor was “b 1847″ does this mean they were born or baptised in 1847?

What is the agreed abbreviation for buried, or if you find an ancestor in the records with the shortened word “bach” what does this indicate?

Or what does “do” mean?

If these and many other abbreviations are taxing you then take a look at this website here:

English Family Tree Assoc


Answers: “b” means born, “bur” is used for buried, “bach” is bachelor and “do” is Ditto.

August Discover Your Ancestors is out

History woz ’ere:
In this month’s Discover Your Ancestors Periodical Ruth Symes explores the personal touches left behind by our ancestors in the form of graffiti. You can read a FREE sample from this month’s Discover Your Ancestors Periodical by clicking here:

Other articles in the August 2015 edition

Bad medicine: Simon Wills looks at the medicines taken by your 19th century ancestors
Scanning on the go: Nick Thorne reviews a useful tool for family historians
Joining the circus: Nell Darby takes to the big top with a history of the circus, its performers and those who went along
Lost to the waves: Jill Morris looks at records of deaths at sea available online
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on sandals
Regulars: News & Events / Books / Place in focus: Bradford / Classifieds

Free Sample Article from Discover Your Ancestors Periodical

If you want to unearth those difficult to find ancestors and break down your brick walls, then one way to become more skilled is to read around the subject and learn where to look for your past family and how to use the records that they may be hidden within.

A growing number of in-the-know family historians are turning to the online magazine: Discover Your Ancestors Periodical and this month there is so much packed inside its digital pages:

Horatio’s last words: Explore Nelson’s last will and testament
The Welsh at Work: Emma Jolly follows occupational migrations in and out of Wales in the 18th and 19th centuries
Ancient roots: New DNA research sheds light on our origins
Lost in the war, found in the records: WW1 case study
The jester vs Jerry: How cartoonist Heath Robinson helped with the propaganda war against Germany in WW1
Message to the masses: Jill Morris follows the many journeys of John Wesley as he took Methodism to the people
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on umbrellas
Toughs in cuffs: Angela Buckley reveals how you can track down your criminal ancestors – assuming they were caught
Regulars: news + events / Books / Place in focus: Bristol / Classifieds

Even the most “respectable” families may have skeletons in the closet. Finding criminals in your family tree can be exciting and certainly add some colour so if you would like to read a full length Free Sample Article “Toughs in cuffs” taken from this month’s Discover Your Ancestors Periodical head over to their website here:

Discover your Ancestors Periodical 24

Discover Your Ancestors Magazine Issue 4 – Free UK Postage

Discover Your Ancestors Magazine Issue 4 – Free UK Postage

The “print edition” magazine from the Discover Your Ancestors stable is out and there is so much packed between the pages that I’m still reading it!

This is a really high quality 196 page bookazine that contains many new in-depth articles, research advice, social history, ‘how to’ features, case studies, places in focus, and much more.

In my view it really is ideal for both experienced researchers and those just starting out. Here is what you get:


  • 35 fascinating features about life in the past
  • 50+ types of records explored
  • The Georgians & beyond: Explore your family history back to medieval times
  • Celebrities: Daniel Craig’s French forebear
  • and much more!

Also included is a FREE Cover DVD with over £130 worth of resources! Including:

  • 3 Month Gold Subscription to TheGenealogist (worth £24.95!)
  • 3 Month Subscription to Discover Your Ancestors Online Periodical
  • Gazetteer of Great Britain & Ireland 1893
  • Bartholomew’s Atlas of England & Wales 1898
  • Topographical Dictionary of England 1849
  • Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1839
  • RootsMagic Essentials family tree software
  • Printable A4 Charts

To get your copy check out your local newsagent, or go now to:

I would also recommend to you the digital-only periodical that comes out monthly. There is one due very soon indeed, so do keep a look out for that as well!

Tithe Maps go Online.

Detailed Town and Parish Maps go online for the first time

Tithe map of Tinwell

This exciting information has just been released by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added maps to its comprehensive National Tithe Records collection.

All aspects of society were captured by this survey

  • Identify the land your ancestors owned or occupied in the 19th century

  • Get an idea of their working lives by the usage made of the plots by your forebears.

  • Fully linked tithe maps for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire with other counties to follow shortly

  • Geographically placing where your ancestors worked and lived

  • In partnership with TNA, TheGenealogist is making it possible to search over 11,000,000 records from across England and Wales and to view theses valuable original apportionment documents with linked maps on one website.

It’s always been a challenge to find where our ancestors lived, but now these records can help you explore the fields and houses in their home villages and towns. Never before have family historians been able search nationwide for these ancestral maps. We plan to have complete coverage in the next few months.

Tithe maps allow you to pinpoint your ancestors from our records. They show the boundaries of fields, woods, roads, rivers and the location and shape of buildings. The detail recorded within the maps and apportionment records will show you how much land they owned or occupied, where exactly in the parish it was, what the land was used for and how much tithe rent there was to pay.

Sir Robert Peel on Tithe map

The Tithe Commissioners maps are now housed in The National Archives (TNA). Due to their age and the materials used the original maps are often too fragile to handle. These were microfilmed in 1982 and some of the maps have deteriorated over the last 30 years. The first stage of the project is the release of these as online images.

There are over 12,000 main maps plus thousands of update maps as the boundaries of fields changed over time.

The second stage will be the delicate conservation and digitisation of the original colour maps.

Tithe records are a rich resource for family historians as they cover owners and occupiers of land from all strata of early Victorian society.

These maps can be three to four meters in length by several meters in width and have gone through a multiple levels of digitisation and processing so that the huge maps can load instantly, even on a mobile phone. This fantastic resource was created in the period from 1837 to the early 1850s as a result of one of the largest surveys into the usage, ownership and occupation of land in England and Wales since the Domesday book.”

Mark Bayley – Head of Online Content at TheGenealogist

Diamond subscribers to TheGenealogist are able to view apportionment records for all of England & Wales, with the accompanying maps now being live for Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Leicestershire. The maps for the rest of England and Wales will follow over the coming months.

See their page to freely search the records and learn more about them.

Here is an example provided by TheGenalogist:

Sir Robert Peel in the Tithe records.

We can look for Sir Robert Peel in Middlesex, a county that covered some of the area we would now think of as London. By selecting Landowner Records and then from the drop down menu Tithe Records we then enter Robert Peel into the name fields.

In 1854 Sir Robert, twice Prime Minister of the country and creator of the modern police force, was the occupier of land that was owned by the Earl of Listowell in St Margaret’s, Westminster.

By clicking on the Transcription icon we can then see the names of both the owner and occupier, the date it was entered into the records and the plot number on the plan.

Sir Robert Peel transcription

The image of the apportionment reveals that it is a house: No. 22 Princess Gate.

Sir Robert Peel apportionment

By clicking on the map icon will quickly zoom the researcher in to see the plot on the plan. You can then use the magnify buttons to move in and out to see the plots in relation to the full plan of the parish.

Sir Robert Peel on Tithe map

Tithes are a rich resource for family historians to find their ancestors within. The records and maps cover owners and occupiers of land from all strata of society in early Victorian times.

For a special offer of £20 off TheGenealogist Diamond Subscription go to:

Discover Your Ancestors online magazine for February

The latest edition of Discover Your Ancestors, the online family history magazine, is out and it makes for some  very interesting reading.

Articles this month include:

The sweet smell of history: Jayne Shrimpton sniffs out the interesting social history of perfume
A rogue in the records: Gill Hoffs on a convict who made his fortune in the goldfields of Australia, only to lose it again
The Mulberry madam: Another convict transportation story
Found in the muniments room: Melvyn Jones highlights more treasures in the archives of our great landed estates
All good sports: Keith Gregson explores what can be learned about amateur sporting ancestors in online records
Plying the waters: Waterborne trade in Somerset explored
Calling your ancestors: Jill Morris looks at old phone books
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on raincoats
Regulars: news + events / Books / Place in focus: York / Classifieds

Discover Your Ancestors February 2015

Check out: