A Criminal Past: Tracing Victorian Criminal Ancestors

October 27, 20208:02 amLeave a Comment

Today we welcome my friend and genealogical partner in crime, Jill Hyams who has written this wonderful piece about her search for a criminal ancestor: Anyone who has attended Jane’s wonderful Family History workshops at Surrey History Centre will have appreciated the ‘Mad, Bad and Sometimes Sad’ session which looks at the records of prisons, […]

Delving into Deeds!

October 22, 20203:48 pmLeave a Comment

If any of you are lucky enough to get your family history back before 1800 (and I’m sure that many of you are!) then at some point you will have to face the challenge of reading and trying to understand a range of documents which often seem slightly alien in concept! When someone mentions deeds, […]

Food for Thought

October 20, 20207:03 amLeave a Comment

Is anyone else addicted to Bake Off? Now that it has started again, there has been the yearly rash of recipe exchanges among the staff here, some of which have been gleaned recently but many of which are family favourites, handed down through the years. I have a wonderful recipe for Bakewell tart (which I […]


October 15, 20204:28 pmLeave a Comment

It always annoys me when I find a really useful website – and then it becomes obsolete, is taken down or as in the case of the Hosprec Database archived. However, archived or not, Hosprec is still one of my absolutely ‘Go To’ websites for any information on hospitals.  Anyone who has tried to find […]


October 13, 202012:11 pmLeave a Comment

I was chatting to a friend the other day while she bemoaned the fact that the only thing anyone ever talks about these days is Covid-19 and how it is affecting us. She has a point but as I remarked, it’s probably because we’ve had to completely change how we live and work in order […]

TNA Research Guides

October 9, 20206:33 amLeave a Comment

There are many different types of family history website out there and quite a few of them, both commercial and private, fee-paying and free, include indexes and transcriptions.  These are great and can be an absolute boon for genealogists. However, in our enthusiasm for finding all those websites which encourage us to simply “type in […]

If you don’t want to know…

October 6, 20207:08 amLeave a Comment

As you may know if you read this blog regularly, I work with a fantastic bunch of people who have a depth and breadth of knowledge and passion for their work which never fails to impress me. My colleague Di Stiff is our Collections Development Archivist and has worked at Surrey History Centre for nearly […]

Black History Month

October 2, 20205:34 amLeave a Comment

I do love to discover new and interesting websites for either local or family history, and for me the two are inevitably intertwined! My friend and colleague Di Stiff (who you will be meeting on this blog next week!) has introduced me to an amazing website for anyone researching their Caribbean family history, the wonderful […]

One wife too many …!

September 29, 20209:24 amLeave a Comment

Whenever I want to cause a stir at cocktail parties I like to announce that my grandmother was a bigamist. This is a little unfair of me as it was not intentional. Grandma had assumed that when the War Office told her that her first husband (the two had separated some years previously when he […]

October is Black History Month!

September 24, 20203:43 pmLeave a Comment

Black History Month 2020 Surrey Heritage has supported this international awareness campaign for nearly twenty years now, acknowledging the need to preserve the history of Black lives in the county and raise awareness through our collections and outreach. However, the seismic impact of the Black Lives Matters movement this year reinforces the importance to not […]