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A Family History Christmas

It's only two more sleeps until December, which is when our family starts to celebrate Christmas.  I've tried to establish family traditions for my children that I hope they will carry on. That's why the Christmas tree goes up on the 1st of December and down on the 5th of January (the 12th day of Christmas). Our nativity book has it's pieces removed day by day, remembering to alternate who starts every year so that it's not the same person getting baby Jesus out.New pyjamas are always in the parcels opened Christmas Eve - everyone looks great then on Christmas morning in the photos. Stockings are hung along with the key for Father Christmas to get in the house (we have...

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GRO - Have you tried the new ordering system?

The GRO are trialing a new system of ordering English and Welsh birth & death certificates. These will arrive via email as a PDF within five days (which for those of us outside the UK will be exceptionally speedy). They will be uncertified e.g. you can't use them for identity proof, but perfect for family history research and only cost £6 each. There is a limit on the trial of three weeks or 45,000 certificates and it will be interesting to see which comes first? Ordering a PDF So starting with a death certificate for Joseph Goodyer. The addition of the age at death before 1868 gives me more confidence that this is my Joseph Goodyer dying in 1840 aged...

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GRO Indexes - Solving mysteries

The mother's maiden name appearing on the GRO England birth indexes prior to 1911 is helping to locate children and solve mysteries. I knew from the 1901 census that Edward Hannam was married to Martha and that they appeared to have five children Source: Findmypast.com.au - Archive reference RG13 / Piece number 188 / Folio 5 / Page 2 Hannam is one of those surnames that has lots of variants, both from how it is pronounced and written down and how all the "ups and downs" in the middle of the name are transcribed. It was relatively easy to find Edward William Hannam marrying Martha Maud North in the September Quarter 1891 in the Holborn Registration district. That did however mean that the...

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GRO Update - Searching the England & Wales Birth and Death Indexes

The registration of births, deaths and marriages started in July 1837 in England and Wales. The indexes to these entries have been available for researchers on microfiche and online on various websites (Findmypast, Ancestry, The Genealogist, FreeBMD) for many years and some of us may have even lifted heavy books from shelves in London to view the indexes. As of today however the indexes for births and deaths are also available online via the GRO website www.gro.gov.uk. As a bonus they also included additional information for historical births and deaths. For births, mother’s maiden names have been available on the indexes from 1911, these are now available prior to 1911 on the GRO index (where possible). This will be helpful...

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House History - The Family Historian’s Viewpoint

It's a two way streak, when you research a family, where they live is part of their history; likewise when you research a house the people that live there create part of the houses story.  As part of Heritage New Zealand's seminars on Research Your House, I got the chance to give the perspective of the family historian. The talk covered a number of sources to find out information about your house by tracing the people that lived in the house. A handout can be downloaded from here. As part of a team delivering the seminar's I didn't go into the land records that are available from Archives New Zealand. But there is some information about Historic Land Records on the LINZ...

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