Researching family history

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by stameen_s, Dec 19, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Not entorely a military history query, but history nonetheless...
    Some time back there was a thread in Current Affairs or the Int Cell about the Bevin Boys Badge. I suspected at the time that my grandfather was eligible for the badge.
    He has since passed away but I would still like to do some research.
    So what do I know about him? Not a whole lot, actually. Unfortunately he didn't really talk a whole lot about his time in England. I believe he travelled over to England (from Ireland) in 1944 or 1945 and ended up in the Sheffield area, and moved back to Ireland in 1952 or 1953. He worked down the pits for a time but for how long I'm unsure. From the Service Personnel * Veterans Agency website I gathered a list of 13 pits used for the training of the Bevin Boys. My UK geography isn't the greatest but I reckon of those pits listed, he most likely was trained at Cresswell in Derbyshire- it seems to be the closest to Sheffield of the training centres. My uncle, who has been clearing out my grandfathers house, has not found anything relating to his time in England.
    So where can I go from now? I see that there was a census in 1951 but there's a 100-year rule on its contents according to Wikipedia. Is there a National Coal Board personnel records archive? My initial thoughts were that if I could find him in the census, his employers records would have been entered, and that would lead to his pit- but that seems to have hit a brick wall.
    My grandmother and grandfather I'm guessing met in England- she worked as a nurse in Sheffield around 1945. Unfortunately no idea where exactly. She passed away in 2000 so the clear-up has already taken place. Where would be the best place to start for her records- if they still exist?

    A brother of my grandmother's apparently moved to Africa at some point (I'm guessing the 1950s/60s) and became a mercenary. He later moved to South Africa and passed away in 1997/8/9. No immediate family of his that I'm aware of. It's a long shot, but is there any way of finding out about his history?
     
  2. There are a number of sites around were you might be able to get the details for a small search fee. By the way you pay the fee then you can search a pile of records on the net.
     
  3. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Start with your parents.
    Get a copy of their birth certificate, a full one, on there it will tell you the name & address of their parents. Long & sometimes expensive process.

    Use http://www.findmypast.com/home.jsp for some research online, birth & death indexes are on there.

    Have a look at this site, the people on their are very knowledgeable:
    http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php

    Good luck
     
  4. FREE! :wink:

    Birth, Marriage and Death indexes.
     
  5. If your grandfather was born in Ireland then you wont find his birth registration on Free BMD, brilliant site though it is. If he married in England you should find his marriage there. It would help to know a time scale for when he might have married, could your uncle help with that?

    There is a Bevin Boys Association (sorry don't know how to do a clicky thing)

    www.seniorsnetwork.co.uk/bevinboys/index.htm

    and if you wrote to the Vice President/Archivist he might be able to help you.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  6. As mentioned by the other contributors, start with what you know and work back. Take ages with a pinch of salt. My grandfather knocked 15 years off his age when he married No 2 wife, who was half his age (she added 4 years). Fooled me completely for a long while.

    A friend found that her father was a bigamist; again, the data didn't make sense until she followed through all the records. I might find the same, but I haven't found all the records yet.

    The electoral rolls are pretty good if you want to work out if someone was in a particular place in, say, the 1950s. You will have to visit the County Records Office because that will be the only place they are stored.

    Litotes