Tracing ancestors, a users guide

Edited to add:
Some libraries allow free access online to Ancestry 'Library version', which is limited and sometimes slow but you might be able to get the set of records you need for nothing.
That's what I do and the prints cost 10p. One of things that niggles me is that they got the info for nothing in the first place. So be prepared for long pockets, alternatively long hours.

It's also worth knowing that there is now access to the 1939 register which was used to award rations to civpop and it bypasses the restrictions for the 1921 census. Long long trail assisted me in finding a marriage I never knew had happened and subsequent offspring. I also got copies of original documents about deaths by bombings that the council were responsible for there and Voters roles and Gazetteers. These allowed me to track movements. The only thing that stumps me is finding out if some one served without any other details.

Last suggestion, plan. Don't make search criteria to wide concentrate on one person. You'll be allowed 1 hour on some library computers so list what you want to check
 

HE117

LE
Having discussed this topic with SWIMBO, who is the genealogist in the family, she advises getting a good package to store all your stuff in.. She uses Roots Magic which is not the cheapest of packages around, but seems to be stable, has lots of features, seems to be a favorite amongst the professional genealogists, and is updated on a regular basis ( current version is 7).

Roots Magic UK Edition Genealogy Software

...other brands available!

The value of a package such as RM is that it keeps all the details in a structured manner, with all the who is related to who links intact. Once you have stuff stored in it, you can generate all sorts of reports and family tree charts. The package even generates read only CDs that you can give to members of the family. The package will also import and export genealogy data in standard GED format so that you can exchange data with other packages that adhere to this standard. Forget trying to keep this stuff on paper/spreadsheet/word files.. it grows like Topsy and soon becomes a nightmare.. so unless you have a full time clerical staff ( I just got a mental image of Sluggy there - Ooh err!).. get a package!

Be warned, genealogy is highly addictive.. SWIMBO has been messing about with our tree for years and it has well over 1000 names!
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
The 1939 Register is on findmypast.co.uk to which your library service may (Hampshire does) give free access. NB people who may still be alive are blanked out.

In Hampshire (can't speak for others) on ancestrylibrary.com once one gets through to e.g. a census image, you can email it back to yourself and save the 10p printing.
 
Does anyone know if their is anyway to pay the 30 pounds to the Army Personnel Centre for a service record other than by cheque? I am doing this from South Africa for a friend of mine whose grandfather served with the King's Regiment and SOE. I have success with King's College London who hold some relevant files which can be paid for online and sent in digital format, next week or the one after (hopefully) I should have a report on the Jedburgh team which this officer commanded.
 
Looking for details regarding my father who passed many years ago. Think I may be limited to requesting information from APC at Kentigern House but just thought I would ask here first.

All I know is obviously his personal data, he served in the Kings and was in the band circa 1950-1952 in Berlin based on some old black and white images we have.

Visited kings Regt Museum in Liverpool over Christmas and pretty much drew a blank as not much there at all.
 

Yokel

LE
Thank you for bumping this thread. My Mum wants me to have a go at tracing out family history. No idea where or how to start.
 
Talk to all of the members of the family, especially the older ones. Write down all that they tell you, bollocks or not, and scrounge as many photos as you can.

Buy a very big piece of paper. Map out what you've been told in rough horizontal layers for generations and vertical lines for parent-child links. If like my Mother's side, they breed like rabbits, you'll need more than one piece.

Go to Ancestry or a similar website - but as noted above Ancestry is free at local libraries - and play with it. You won't break it, and it's not yours anyway... Many local libraries, and if you're old enough the U3A, run family history classes, and there are lots of relevant books in said local library. Don't be afraid to ask librarians etc.

You will make mistakes - everyone does. You will also be told lots of bollocks, innocently and in good faith - set aside what doesn't fit - but don't junk it - it might later from a different perspective.

Good luck!
 
Talk to all family members, even the bollocks stories have a grain of truth behind them.

I vaguely recall a story of a country & western star in the family in some way. Last week I asked my mum, the only one left on that side. It turns out to be true! Names were given and verified on Ancestry, fame at last :)

Remember that everyone that tells you something has their own angle, so get the story from as many sources as possible. I have an aunt that won't acknowledge her daughters' husband as being a member of the family. Further on down the line, that will lead to our descendants missing out on a story.

Most of us have traceable family covering at least two big wars. A lot of inter family movement happened during that time. I have found a brother that was actually the dad, a dad that was actually an uncle, a spinster with kids that were brought up as the children of her brother, along with a couple of aunts and uncles that were not connected in any way. With the prevalence of divorce, the unfolding of a family history is getting more and more complicated.

So, do it now, before the people that can help are no longer with us.
 
Looking for details regarding my father who passed many years ago. Think I may be limited to requesting information from APC at Kentigern House but just thought I would ask here first.

All I know is obviously his personal data, he served in the Kings and was in the band circa 1950-1952 in Berlin based on some old black and white images we have.

Visited kings Regt Museum in Liverpool over Christmas and pretty much drew a blank as not much there at all.
Bumping above to see if anyone has any ideas before I get in touch with APC at Kentigern House. Anyone around with any info regarding Kings from early 1950s for example?
 

1&12

LE
Might be worth a visit to this site.
Although its an army badge collectors site there are at least two very knowledgeable Kings Liverpool's collectors there whose interest in the regiment goes beyond the cap badges.

The British Military Badge Forum
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Download the free version of MyHeritage. Enter all the family members you actually know about. If they are English or Welsh, use FreeBMD to find the associated births, marriages and deaths. If Scottish you can use Scotland's People (but you have to subscribe to that). Elsewhere try Familysearch. This gives you a basic tree from which to work upwards and outwards, and also to relate the tall and distorted stories living family members tell you (including, I found, a lot of gratuitous rank inflation).
You can probably get free access to Ancestry and Findmypast in your public library.

It's a wizard hobby because you can never run out of new people to research.
 
Oddball 'facts' appear all the time. My mother-in-law remembered clearly her father coming home gassed from the trenches. She was born in December 1917, he'd already been back in the UK about a year by then, allocated to 422 Agricultural Company of the Labour Corps based at Maindy Barracks, and wasn't gassed but deaf. It's all in his records, but would she believe it.....
 
Looking for details regarding my father who passed many years ago. Think I may be limited to requesting information from APC at Kentigern House but just thought I would ask here first.

All I know is obviously his personal data, he served in the Kings and was in the band circa 1950-1952 in Berlin based on some old black and white images we have.

Visited kings Regt Museum in Liverpool over Christmas and pretty much drew a blank as not much there at all.
1 King's Regiment (Liverpool) served in Berlin Feb 1951-Feb 1952
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
That's what I do and the prints cost 10p. One of things that niggles me is that they got the info for nothing in the first place. So be prepared for long pockets, alternatively long hours.

It's also worth knowing that there is now access to the 1939 register which was used to award rations to civpop and it bypasses the restrictions for the 1921 census. Long long trail assisted me in finding a marriage I never knew had happened and subsequent offspring. I also got copies of original documents about deaths by bombings that the council were responsible for there and Voters roles and Gazetteers. These allowed me to track movements. The only thing that stumps me is finding out if some one served without any other details.

Last suggestion, plan. Don't make search criteria to wide concentrate on one person. You'll be allowed 1 hour on some library computers so list what you want to check
A belated comment - Ancestrylibrary, at least in my local library, allows you to send images of, say, a census, to your email id and that costs nothing.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
DNA tests - I haven't done one, but this summer I had the pleasant surprise of contact with a chap who, at 72 - something of a facer - had discovered that he was the natural son of one of my great uncles and through him I have had a couple of new horror stories about that uncle's WW1 career which previously I only knew about via his military records in the National Archives. (The DNA match was to the grandson in Australia of another great uncle).

Ferreting about on my own behalf, I have recently found that two separate maternal ancestors had African descent. You wouldn't know it to look at any of us but I'm convinced that it's gen. Semper aliquod novi ex genealogy.
 
A belated comment - Ancestrylibrary, at least in my local library, allows you to send images of, say, a census, to your email id and that costs nothing.
I'll try that, if I still can. Locally they want to move the research section to Ipswich and I ain't going there for the odd half hour. Thanks again
 

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