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Welcome to the August Genealogy Archives. Search below for all the new you might have missed

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Genealogy online - News and Articles

Articles of the month - September 2006

Articles of the month - November 2006


Beginning Your Family History: There aren't many hobbies you can do which will provide a valuable legacy for your future generations.

So What Was It Worth?: Get to grips with your ancestors' wealth with a new online conversion tool from the National Archives.

Research Facilities: Planning a trip to the local Family History faciity? 10 questions in advanc of your visit.

Who Do You Think You Are? - The new series of WDYTYA kicked off this month on BBC1 with 8 TV personalities being filmed tracing their family history. Read about them below.

Barbara Windsor 

From Carry On films to Eastenders, Barbara Windsor is one of the most glamorous denizens of the East End of London. Yet although she was born and brought up there, she knew very little about her true heritage – partly because her mother 'thought she was better than she was'. Consequently, Barbara wanted to know more about her East End roots. More...

Robert Lindsay 

Robert Lindsay has enjoyed a long and distinguished television career, most recently with Zoe Wannamaker in My Family. This is rather ironic, given that Robert confesses that he knew very little about his own roots beyond the level of his parents. His voyage into his past made some very surprising discoveries. More...

Colin Jackson 

Colin was born and brought up in Wales, but knows that his parents came from Jamaica in the 1960s. Given the range of ethnic backgrounds associated with Jamaica, Colin's quest revolves around trying to piece together his mixed heritage. To help untangle his roots, Colin started his research by taking a DNA test.

David Tennant

Famous for playing the time-traveller Dr Who, David Tennant decided to abandon the Tardis and investigate his own history. At the start of his journey, he knew very little about his background, other than the fact that he and his family had been brought up in Glasgow, and that there was some Irish blood in his veins. This information came from his maternal grandmother, Nellie Blair, who had been born in Londonderry. She had met her husband, Archie McLeod, while he was playing for the local football team, Derry City. He had been lured to Northern Ireland by the prospect of being paid good money to play the game that he loved. Indeed, he was quite a success, having previously been awarded a cap for Scotland as a junior and eventually becoming Derry City's top scorer. He met and married Nellie, a beautiful local girl in the 'Posh and Becks'-style big romance of the day.

David Dickinson 

David makes no secret of the fact that he has had a colourful life, including a spell in prison. What is also well documented is the fact that he was adopted, though some of the circumstances around his natural family remain a mystery. He set out to uncover his real roots.

David's adoptive parents were Jim and Joyce Dickenson, who lived in a working class street in Cheadle Heath, Stockport. David only discovered that he was adopted when he was 12, though he says that he always felt different from the other kids. He left school early and went into trading in the textile business - just like his natural grandfather, Hrant Gulessarian, even before he knew his real background. He stumbled across the secret by chance, finding a document about himself and then confronting his parents. They claimed that they had found him as an abandoned child in Barnados, and said that his mother was Eugene (Jenny) Gulessarian, an Armenian woman who lived locally and whose parents were Hrant and Marie Adelaide. More...

Nigella Lawson 

Nigella knows quite a lot about her background, mainly because several of her ancestors are quite famous figures. For a start, her father, Nigel Lawson, was Margaret Thatcher's chancellor of the exchequer for many years, while her mother, Vanessa Salmon, was an heiress born into the Lyons Coffee House dynasty. As a British institution, Nigella is acquainted with the history of the company. Instead of trading in tea, they originally sold tobacco under the name Salmon and Gluckstein. But what can she find out about her relatives who started the business? And what about other branches of her family? Are there Jewish connections, as she suspects? More...

Jeremy Irons 

Jeremy Irons lives in Ireland, and feels a natural affinity for the place, in particular to the area around Cork. But he doesn't know an awful lot about his background, other than a story that one of his ancestors rode to Westminster on a donkey to present a petition on behalf of the Chartists and was subsequently imprisoned in Newgate. In the hope of uncovering some colourful characters in his family tree, Jeremy started by talking to his family.

A cousin was the custodian of the family archives, including a sketch of his great great grandfather, Thomas Irons, who is believed to be the man with the donkey. His marriage certificate in 1840 shows that at the time of his marriage, his profession was 'policeman', one of London's first 'Peelers'. He signed up in 1828, but was eventually dismissed in 1834 for deserting his post and being drunk. More...

Julia Sawalha 

Julia Sawalha is best known for her roles in Absolutely Fabulous and Pride and Prejudice. She has a very interesting and mixed background. Her father, Nadim, came to England in the 1950s from his native Jordan, where he met and married Julia's mother, Roberta. Julia had always felt quite strongly influenced by her father's side of the family, so decided to start her quest by investigating her less well known maternal links.

Roberta's grandmother was Gladys Dubock, and as a consequence of her surname assumed that there was a connection with France, possibly of Huguenot extraction. (The Huguenots were a group of Protestant refugees who first came to England fleeing from persecution in France in the 16th century.) Yet there was no proof for such a connection - a common problem for many people make assumptions based on the 'sound' of a name. So Julia's first task was to build her family tree, using certificates and census returns at the Family Records Centre, London.


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Getting Started

You might think that starting out building your family tree is going to be a daunting task. Well, it doesn't have to be. Below you will find the most common sets of records to help you start or finish your genealogy research and build that family tree. See Getting Started with Genealogy for more information

Census Records

A census is an official enumeration of the population in a particular area. In addition to counting the inhabitants of an area, the census generally collects other vital information, such as names, ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background. Each census can prove to be invaluable in painting a portrait of a family at a particular place and time.

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Birth Marriage & Death records -

Civil vital records—for Births, Marriage and Deaths —mark the milestones of our lives, and are the foundation of family history research. Chronicling the personal moments of our lives through the objective perspective of the public record, vital records can offer details often found through no other genealogical resource. They can be useful in proving or disproving other sources, give you a more complete picture of your ancestor, help you distinguish between two people with the same name, and help you find clues to earlier life events.

With these records, you can gain access to information regarding your ancestor's lives, such as the locations and causes of their deaths, the names of children or parents, their wedding dates and locations, and the many other details that help us record and remember the important moments in the lives of our families.

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Church -

Church records contain information about baptisms, marriages, burials, and membership. In addition to the name of the person, church records often provide information about family members.

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Cemetery -

Some of the cemetery records included are tombstone inscriptions, burial permits, and death indexes. These records usually show names, birth and death dates; sometimes, they include information on surviving family members.

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