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Friday, 8 June 2018

Why do we study family history?


Dick Eastman’s Newsletter of 7 June 2018 asked the question ‘Why do we study genealogy?
Genealogy is defined as the direct descent of an individual or group from an ancestor.
It is a simpler question than ‘Why do we study family history’.
Family History I believe is to research not only our lines of descent but also the details of our family members, their occupations, the places they lived and the social influences that affected their lives. It is trying to understand what made them do what they did. One question that crops up as you discover more about them is why they survived to create the generations of our family. They endured war, disease, poverty and occupational injuries. Sometimes they were working with the law and sometimes they appeared on the opposite side or merely as witnesses. Every event creating a record of their existence.
So why do we study family history? It is because:-
  • It is curiosity.
  • It is the search.
  • It is the sense of knowing more about the family than other members of it know.
  • It is the discovery.
  • It is the puzzle as to where to look.
  • It is finding sources that add to the search.
  • It is the discovering characters that you like and wish you had known.
  • It is the discovering characters that you feel you would not have liked, but wish you had known.
  • It is the challenge of a ‘brick wall’ and the joy at demolishing it.
  • It is the history of the place that the family inhabited.
  • It is the history of the country that affected them.
  • It is the journeys they undertook and the reason why they traveled.
  • It is an addiction.
So why do you study family history?

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Fake Pedigrees


‘Genealogy and the medieval historian’ by Michael Maclagan from the paper presented at the 1978 English Genealogy Congress held at St Catherine College, Cambridge.

In a recent workshop at NWKFHS Society Library I explored errors, lies and other misinformation in records found in the commercial and government indexes online. There are also a number of fake pedigrees that are known within the genealogical community such as those written by Gustav Anjou between 1890 and 1942 [Online https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Fraudulent_Genealogies]. Michael Maclagan mentions a case of someone embellishing their Ancestry. Sir Walter de Norwich d 1329 became Chief Baron of the Exchequer and his son John Admiral North of the Thames became a peer in 1342. The pedigree compiled with supporting forged documents (Maclagan p12 quoting Bodleian MS Top. Gen.c.62 (formerly Phillips 3796)) claims to go back to a companion of William the Conqueror.

Pedigree Collapse


‘Genealogy and the medieval historian’ by Michael Maclagan from the paper presented at the 1978 English Genealogy Congress held at St Catherine College, Cambridge.

If you have any interest in pedigree collapse and that your ancestors may have been related by multiple descent lines, then you will find Michael Maclagan’s paper of interest. He stresses “the wide spread of family connections through the Middle Ages”.
He gives examples of marriages forbidden by canon law that took place either by a clandestine marriage or by papal dispensation. The marriage between relatives has continued since medieval ages as Michael admits to be a child of second cousins.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Bromley meeting 22nd September 2018 now 15th September


Due to an unfortunate sequence of events that were out of our hands, we have had to change the date of our September meeting from Saturday 22nd to Saturday 15th. The venue is the Methodist Church as usual. Meryl Catty will still able to visit us, but we have had to change the title of the talk, as Maureen Binks will be on holiday on the 15th. Meryl’s talk will be 'Our Newspaper Heritage': a light-hearted introduction to the history of the press enlivened with extracts from newspapers, humorous, tragic and macabre as well as the more mundane.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Insight into occupation records

Everyone of your ancestors had to earn a living to survive, no social services and little parish support. So if you want to learn more about occupational records then Jean Stirk's workshop on 21 March 2018 will help you.
Contact workshop@nwkfhs.org.uk. There are places available for members.
Sorry, due to lack of workshop space we cannot accept non-members booking applications at this time.

Friday, 9 March 2018

New Web site goes live

The new web site has gone live www.nwkfhs.org.uk. Its been a long time coming but I feel the content and new layout have been well worth while.
There is now a members area which adds to the experience for members. It contains data available only to members.
To access the members area you need to enter your membership number and surname in caps.
Then clicking forgot password and it will take you through the process of entering a new password that you can choose.
Enjoy the site.

If you have a problem it may be because we have a small teething problem with email addresses because there are instances of two members having the same email address. Its mainly family members who for convenience have the same email address noted by the Society. So please can you change it so both family members have different email addresses.
Please let the membership@nwkfhs.org.uk, webmaster@nwkfhs.org.uk or me president@nwkfhs.org.uk know of the changed email address with your membership number in a private email. Please do not add it as a comment. Thanks

Friday, 2 March 2018

Find a spouse only 6 miles from home

The Daily Mail today (2nd March 2018) in an article by Victor Allen (science correspondent) reported a study that the 'baby boomer' generation of post WW2 typically married someone who lived six miles away. This was compared to Europe where they married 18 miles from home and in America it is 60 miles from home. The study published in the journal 'Science' co-authored by Dr Yaniv Erlich from Columbia University whose researchers trawled genealogy web sites to create a large scientific family tree of data.  The family tree is 11 generations deep covering the period 1650 to 1950.
Why the British travel less is put down to better local economic opportunities, social norms and being a small island country with closer towns and hamlets than in Europe and America.
The article mentions that before 1850 marrying into the family was common to someone who on average was a fourth cousin.
The advent of rail travel; 1820-1875; enabled people to marry partners from further afield. As did other forms of transport such as the bicycle and motor car. The study also found that women in Europe and America have migrated more than men, but men travelled further on average.
Think only of your ancestors that went to the British colonies or hunted diamonds in South Africa or gold in Australia and America.