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Old 20-02-24, 10:32
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Merry Merry is online now
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Location: Near Christchurch, Dorset
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I have bought a very small number of books on specific areas of FH research. Only one was really worth it - 'A Comedy of Errors', about the GRO indexing system. The info in it is out of date now, but really helped me understand the background of the indexing process and probably saved me a lot of money in the long run!

"Something has been filled in that I didn't know was blank" Matthew Broderick WDYTYA? March 2010
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Old 20-02-24, 11:43
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Anstey Nomad Anstey Nomad is offline
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Location: Coventry
Posts: 957

In the mid 1970s a distant relative researched one of my mother's lines and self published a book of the resulting trees. I saw a small item in the Leicester Mercury about this and wrote off to order two copies, one for my mum and one for me. I was surprised to find we were not in it, so I worked with him to add an addendum. At that stage, neither of us seemed to know very much about my mother's family, other than she thought her great grandmother's name might have been, you guessed it, Bodycote.

Ten years later, my Dad was coming up to 70 and had everything he wanted, but his mother had died when he was 12 and he only had memories of one grandfather, an aunt and a cousin, so I allowed myself a year to surprise him with a family tree!

I started off by going through the phone books in the Library and writing to everyone in the right area with the right surname. That gave me a start as I found a another of my father's cousins that way. Then I graduated to going down to London for work and taking the afternoon off to go to the old Public Record Office in Chancery Lane to look at census returns on microfilm.

I then left it for years while I was wrangling children, dogs and a bad relationship and picked it up again in the late 90s. I joined Ancestry and GR and the rest, as they say, is history.

I still don't know who Joseph Bodycote's parents were though and thirty years of research on one line is completely out of the window since I did the DNA test and discovered great grandma's indiscretion!
"Keep your dreams as clean as silver"
John Stewart 1939 - 2008
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Old 20-02-24, 15:55
Olde Crone Olde Crone is online now
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I've bought a few books along the way and borrowed quite a few more from the inter library service, including Jeremy Hunt's book Darwen and Its People. (I discovered later that it had been copied to CD, probably illegally, but heyho). It was a very difficult book to follow as it was as dictated, so huge long paragraphs full of "and his brother" (whose brother?? ) etc but after about 90 shots at drawing up a tree and checking his facts, I managed to produce a tree of about 5000 people - sadly I haven't yet proved I am on it, haha. Then a kind registrar told me quite casually that there was an unpublished manuscrjpt in the local library which had dissected Hunt's book. A kind stranger photocopied it for me and would not accept any payment - I have tried to pay the favour forward. It was very reassuring to discover that the deceased author and I had constructed the same tree. I felt quite sad that I couldn't tell him of a few blanks I'd managed to fill in.

I think the "how to do it" side of genealogy dawned slowly for me and so I retraced my steps many times. Fortunately I was born nosey, so I was always asking in research venues "what's that you're looking at?" which led me to the delights of bastardy orders, settlement orders, wills, marriage contracts and land transactions etc, which I would never have known about otherwise.

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Old 20-02-24, 17:23
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Margaret in Burton Margaret in Burton is offline
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Location: Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire
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I applied to Ashbourne register office for the birth certificate of what looked like my great grandfathers sister. I wasn’t convinced because of her age. When it came I was right and she was a half sibling born before her parents ‘marriage’. Another story but they didn’t marry and later researched baptism records in Matlock revealed her father’s name and yes a bastardy order.

Almost the same day as I received the birth certificate the Ashbourne registrar rung me. She said that someone else had applied for that same birth certificate almost at the time as me and would I like to be put in touch with them. Surely well out of her job description. I said yes and after a little correspondence it seemed that another relative lived very close to me. We met up and although we are only half cousins exchanged a lot of info and photos
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Old 21-02-24, 09:09
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Phoenix Phoenix is online now
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Originally Posted by ElizabethHerts View Post
I didn't buy one book or guide, but my mother purchased all sorts of literature on various subjects such as "My Ancestors were Quakers" (SOG), "Marriage laws, rites, records and customs", "The Victorian Workhouse", "The Victorian Cemetery", "Register Offices of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Great Britain and Northern Ireland" and "Probate Jurisdictions: Where to look for wills", to name just a few. She also bought books on places where our ancestors lived, so many for Hampshire and Cornwall. They are all mine now. Some still have her hand-written notes inside.

Gosh, I remember reviewing titles in those series. I'm amazed that Colin Chapman is still active and giving talks. He devised the Chapman codes- in the days when every keystroke counted - in the 1970s.
The chestnuts cast their flambeaux
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Old 26-02-24, 14:22
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Nell Nell is offline
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I still have the piece of card from an aspirin packet on which my Mum wrote the names of the Gray gravestones from Limpenhoe, Norfolk. My research found out who they all were and how they were related to eachother.

I also remember looking in the library at the sadly now defunct Family Records Centre in Islington. I looked up the name Mandry and found an example of it's use - it was my ex's grandfather!
Love from Nell
Chowns in Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire
Brewer, Broad, Eplett & Pope in Cornwall
Smoothy & Willsher/Wiltshire in Essex & Surrey
Emms, Mealing + variants, Purvey & Williams in Gloucestershire
Barnes, Dunt, Gray, Massingham, Saul/Seals/Sales in Norfolk
Matthews & Nash in Warwickshire
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