Welcome to the Family History Social

The very latest news from the world of genealogy



The Family History Show, Online returns 20th February 2021

The Family History Show, Online, run by Discover Your Ancestors, is back on Saturday 20th February 2021. This online event builds on what were two previous successful online Family History Shows staged back in June and September last year. On both occasions many happy visitors logged on to enjoy a great day at the virtual event.


Online access to Saturday's show will mean that we are all able to safely enjoy many of the usual features of the physical show from wherever we are in the world, as well as making it possible for those that have disabilities to easily attend.



This show has some exciting new features including the following:

New Chat Features

  • Forum - discuss topics, seek help, or offer your own advice to others
  • Private Messaging - speak directly to exhibitors and other ticketholders
  • Browse Users - a list of all visitors that are currently browsing the show so you can socialise (please note that only those who have chosen to receive messages will be seen here)

Free Talks

  • Once you've logged in to the show, you will see the different areas of the show as tabs at the top of the page. Click on the "Lecture Theatre" tab and you will see the timetable of the talks. Once each talk starts it will be available to view on the page for 72 hours. You can pause, rewind and rewatch these talks and they will all be subtitled - just click the [cc] in the bottom right of the video to show the subtitles.

NEW Second Lecture Theatre

The Family History Show, Online now has two Lecture Theatres: a Main Theatre and an Exhibitor Theatre.

  • Main Theatre

Here will be specially commissioned high quality videos explaining different topics, given by acknowledged experts, Close Captioned to give access to all and now available for 72 hours from when they premiere.

  • Exhibitor Theatre

The second Theatre contains all videos and talks produced by our exhibitors. They are both informative and entertaining and once you have finished you can go to that Stallholder who can tell you more.

  • Ask the Experts

The ever-popular Ask the Experts sessions will be held via Jitsi, allowing you to talk face-to-face and get help with your research questions.

You can now book your time slot with an expert by clicking on the 'Ask the Experts' tab at the top of the page on the site. (Please note time slots are limited to one per visitor to ensure as many visitors as possible can benefit from this.)

Expert advice is available on the following areas: Apprenticeships, BMD Records, British India, Census, DNA and DNA Research Tools, General Family History, House History, Irish Research, Medical Ancestors and Disease, Military, Poor Law, Parish Records, Probate, Social History, South Wales Research, Seafarers, Ships' Passengers, Women at War, Women's History and Wills.

At the bottom of the Ask the Experts page, you have the option to submit your questions to the Ask the Expert Panel that will be streamed live at 15:30 on the Lecture Theatre page. You can submit as many questions as you like, and selected questions will be answered during the talk.

The Exhibitor Hall

You will be able to see what groups, societies and companies are available by clicking the 'Exhibitor Hall' tab at the top of the page when you are logged into the show. Some exhibitors will be available to video chat and there is a question feed where you can ask your questions either ahead of the day or on the day. You can browse and purchase exhibitors' products and discover more about the societies that are so vital to the family history community. This features Societies, Groups and Family History Companies.

They are here to help you with your research, and to give advice on products and services. Many stalls have free downloads and guides, those manning their stalls and available to video chat will be listed first.

Your Digital Goody Bag

Don't forget to get your FREE Digital Goody bag (worth over £10) by clicking the 'Goody Bag' tab at the top of the page. This includes 12 back issues of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical and a downloadable Family History Guide.

Buy your ticket now by visiting this site: https://thefamilyhistoryshow.com/online/tickets/



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Lloyd George Domesday Survey online top 800,000

Lloyd George Domesday Survey records on TheGenealogist top over 800,000 individuals with latest release 

TheGenealogist has just released the records for another 98,618 individuals from Southwark to increase the number of records to over 800,000 individuals in its unique online Lloyd George Domesday Survey. These property records are a fantastic resource for researchers searching for where an ancestor lived in the period 1910-1915.

The Lloyd George Domesday Survey is a massive project being carried out by TheGenealogist to digitise a combination of large scale Ordnance Survey maps and residential data field books from The National Archives. Using the records from the former Valuation Office Survey (known as the Lloyd George Domesday Survey) enables family history researchers to precisely pinpoint where an ancestor’s house had been on exceptionally detailed hand annotated maps from the period. These have been made even more useful to researchers as they have been georeferenced and are displayed as a layer in TheGenealogist’s powerful Map Explorer™.

Nelson Dockyard Rotherhithe from Lloyd George Domesday Survey maps


Family historians can often have problems when looking for where their ancestors lived. Even when they have located an ancestor’s address in the census, over time road names may have changed and many streets have been renumbered or bombed out of existence in the Blitz. With redevelopment the area can change substantially, adopting new layouts that make searching for where an ancestor lived using modern maps a frustrating experience.

With the Lloyd George Domesday Survey records on TheGenealogist, however, researchers will be able to:

  • link individual properties to pins on extremely detailed ordnance survey maps from the 1910s 
  • read information often giving a detailed description of the property in original Field Books
  • locate a specific house on the map from an address found in a census or street directory
  • search the records by surname, parish and street.
  • zoom down to show plots of the individual properties as they existed in 1910-1915
  • reveal modern map layers georeferenced to the survey maps to show the modern topography

The linked Field Books will also provide researchers with information regarding the valuation of each property, including the valuation assessment number, map reference, owner, occupier, situation, description and extent.

This mammoth project is ongoing with over 94,500 Field Books, each having hundreds of pages to digitise with associated large scale IR121 annotated OS maps. This release from TheGenealogist takes the total released so far to over 800,000 individuals and is available to their Diamond subscribers. 

This new release of records include properties situated in the following Southwark parishes:  Bermondsey Central, Bermondsey East, Bermondsey South, Bermondsey West, Camberwell, Camden, Christchurch, Dulwich, Dulwich East, Peckham North, Peckham South & Nunhead, Rotherhithe, Rye Lane & St Georges, Saint Peter, St George the Martyr East, St George the Martyr North, St George the Martyr South, St Georges East, St John by Horsleydown, St Mary & St Paul, St Olave & St Thomas, St Saviour 1, St Saviour 2, and Trinity.

Read TheGenealogist’s article about how the Lloyd George Domesday Survey Property records from the 1910s show us the Southwark home of Michael Caine’s family https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2021/property-records-from-the-1910s-show-us-the-southwark-of-michael-caines-family-1376/

To find out more about these records, you can visit their informative record collection page at 



About TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

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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.


We can also look for someone who died in the armed forces in one or other of the World War I and World War II Death Indexes which are on TheGenealogist. These resources provide us with an official GRO index reference which would allow us to then obtain an Overseas Death certificate at www.gro.gov.uk in the usual way.