June 12, 20206:27 amLeave a Comment

It’s a bit of a conundrum really. How can being apart bring us closer together?  If the last few weeks have taught us anything it is about staying connected.  The TV adverts are full of it; we are being exhorted to keep in touch – to reach out to our family and friends, and it’s […]

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Family History

June 9, 20206:39 amLeave a Comment

You know how doctors never admit to their occupation at parties lest they get cornered by someone describing their varicose veins (or worse!)?  Well, the same could be said for genealogists.  However, in my case I quite enjoy that as I love to hear stories about other people’s families as they are invariably more interesting […]

For what it’s worth!

June 5, 20206:04 amLeave a Comment

My grandmother had a tin moneybox which was divided into 6 compartments labelled:  Rent, Gas, Electricity, Food, Transport and Sundries.  Every time she came back from shopping she would empty her purse and carefully put the change into one or other of these slots (she presumably had a system that I was unaware of) or […]

Reading the Instructions!

June 2, 20206:20 amLeave a Comment

I blogged a week or so ago about algorithms and how they can influence how we search on genealogical databases.  As I suggested, often factors completely beyond our control can impact on the way we search and retrieve information. However, quite a lot of the searching we do on genealogical databases can be greatly enhanced […]

Surrey Boundaries!

May 29, 20206:23 amLeave a Comment

Last year I was working away in the History Centre when a lovely American couple pitched up in reception with that excited and keen look on their faces which any family historian will recognise – yes, a follow enthusiast! They were so delighted to be with us and yet we had to deliver them some […]

Love Your Local History Society!

May 27, 20205:50 amLeave a Comment

Whenever people contact us to ask about a specific area in Surrey, often following a vague or ambiguous reference on a census return or in a legal document, one of our first thoughts is “Does this area have a local history group?”  Why?  Well, because members of these groups have conducted hours of research, in […]

Creating a Family History

May 26, 20205:55 amLeave a Comment

Without wanting to sound too grumpy this morning, some things do make me cross and one of these is the notation that history is something “best kept to the experts”.  So what (or who) is an expert? It is a sad fact but up until quite recently, many record offices and local studies libraries regarded […]

A Grave Concern!

May 22, 20206:51 amLeave a Comment

One of the many jewels in Surrey History Centre’s crown are the glorious plate glass negatives from the Sidney Francis collection.  I’ve mentioned Sidney before, a commercial photographer in Woking and you can find out more about his life and work on the Exploring Surrey’s Past website. However, we have also received another set of […]

Celebrating trees in London and beyond

May 19, 20202:09 pmLeave a Comment

The 2020 Urban Tree Festival, organised by the Museum of Walking, is online from 16-24 May 2020. Julian Pooley, Public Services and Engagement Manager for Surrey Heritage, based at Surrey History Centre in Woking, has contributed a talk and blog which explores trees, landscape and memory in the Surrey Archives. For Julian’s talk and guest […]

Peace of Mind

May 19, 20205:53 amLeave a Comment

Regular readers will know that I dislike the term ‘brick wall’ in family history, as it implies that the family have simply vanished rather than that we just can’t find them.  Perhaps a hedge might be a better analogy, because it has lots of gaps which we can poke genealogical sticks through! Sometimes, however, an […]