Harry Potter and the Spanish Armada

September 22, 20207:48 amLeave a Comment

From time to time I’m delighted to feature a guest blogger on Seeking Surrey Ancestors. My friend and colleague Isabel Sullivan has worked for Surrey Heritage, in its various incarnations, for more years than either of us would like to remember. Isabel has spent many years working with pre-19th century documents and her experience of translating […]


September 18, 20206:46 amLeave a Comment

Have you ever done anything which makes you cringe with embarrassment when you think back on it?  No?  Lucky you! Last year we had a gentleman visit us who was requesting documents relating to various Surrey Poor Law unions.  I couldn’t help feeling that I knew him from somewhere but simply assumed that he was […]

Managing Expections

September 15, 20208:11 amLeave a Comment

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a lady who was tracing her family history and had found that her 3 x great grandfather had moved from Aldeburgh in Suffolk to Guildford between 1841 and 1851.  The man was an agricultural labourer and the main focus of her enquiry was that she […]

Fabulous and Free!

September 11, 20207:39 amLeave a Comment

When I first started doing family history, I was very frustrated by the amount of acronyms that were hurled around in conversation. “Oh yes, couldn’t find it in the BMDs so had to go to the GRO and the IGI” What were they talking about? Of course, as I became more experienced I realised that […]

Is it Right?

September 8, 20207:36 amLeave a Comment

It’s a match but is it right? This is the question which plagues all family historians at any given time and how often have we agonised over whether the ancestor buried in Ipswich is the ‘right’ person even though the family came from Bury St Edmunds? Well you’re not alone, if that’s any comfort, and […]

Lockdown Records on the Surrey HER

September 4, 20203:07 pmLeave a Comment

Five new things added to the Surrey HER in recent months. Since lockdown measures were introduced by the UK Government on 23 March 2020, much of the normal working life of the country ground to a halt. Not, however, the Surrey Historic Environment Record (HER). As a team, we’ve been working from home to ensure […]

National Library of Scotland Maps

August 28, 20206:24 amLeave a Comment

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – maps are a fantastic resource for family historians and the best repositories for old maps are always local record offices and local studies libraries. However, during these strange and uncertain times it is not always easy to travel and to visit such places and so […]

I wandered lonely….! The Cloud for Family Historians

August 25, 20207:08 amLeave a Comment

What does the word ‘Cloud’ mean to you?  Fluffy white Simpsonesque vapour trails or perhaps online storage?  It is no surprise that nowadays we tend to think of Cloud as a method of storage but there are still plenty of people who don’t know what it is or how it works.  This is a shame […]

Families in British India Website

August 14, 20206:29 amLeave a Comment

Has anyone ever used the Families in British India (FIBIS) website? This is one of those websites which, if you don’t have families who lived or served in India, would make you wish you had! First of all (and let’s not discount this) it’s a really easy site to navigate with clear tabs and links. […]

A very useful resource!

August 7, 20207:36 amLeave a Comment

Two of the most common questions I get asked as a genealogist are ‘how do I start’ and ‘what websites should I subscribe to?’ It seems to me that there are two types of family history website (rash generalisations here!): ones that offer you the opportunity to search a variety of databases, usually requiring payment […]