Friday, 13 September 2019

Counties of England part 2


Knowing where the archives for these counties were found can be really useful as when researching family history we sometimes need to visit an archive to find out some information that cannot be found online. So I thought I’d put together a list of the counties of the UK with the location of their main archives for the county. So I’ve looked at the counties of Wales and I’ve done part 1 of England so on to more of England.
Counties of England
Counties of England 
1. Norfolk

Off to East Anglia. Norfolk has a population of around 900,000 and the county town is Norwich. The archives for the county are held in Norwich and the website can be found at: https://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/ If you have family from Norfolk I can highly recommend Norfolk Family History Society as they have fantastic records online.

2. Suffolk
Also in East Anglia, Suffolk has a population of around 758,000 and the county town is Ipswich. The county archives are in held in 3 places, namely Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds. The web address for the archives is: https://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/

3. Rutland
Rutland is a small landlocked county with a population of around 40,000. The county town is Oakham and this is where you will find the archives: https://www.rutland.gov.uk/my-services/leisure-and-culture/arts-and-heritage/records-and-archives/ . As Rutland as a county disappeared for a time some of the records are held elsewhere so you may need to go to the archives for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland: http://www.recordoffice.org.uk/

4. Cambridgeshire
Located in central England the population of the Cambridgeshire is approximately 850,000 and the county town is Cambridge. The archives for the county are in Cambridge and the website can be found at: https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/libraries-leisure-&-culture/archives/ . You may need to use the archives for Northamptonshire in conjunction with Cambridgeshire as they have swapped places between each other.

5. Northamptonshire
With a population of around 742, 000 Northamptonshire is found in the central area of England. The county town is Northampton and the archives are in the town. The web address is: https://www3.northamptonshire.gov.uk/councilservices/archives-and-heritage/northamptonshire-archives/Pages/default.aspx . Don’t forget you may need to use Cambridgeshire records for this county as well.

6. Warwickshire
Another of the central counties is Warwickshire which has a population of around 565,000. The county town is Warwick and this is where the archives are located. The web address is: http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/ . Also you may need Birmingham archives as Birmingham used to be separate and the archives can be found at: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/archives

7. Herefordshire
Off to west England now with Herefordshire. The county boarders Wales and has a population of 200,000. The county town is Hereford and the archives are in the town. The web site can be found at: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/archives

8. Worcestershire
Worcestershire is a landlocked county famous for the sauce. The population is approximately 590,000 and the county town is Worcester. The archives are in Worcester and the web address is: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20019/archives_and_research

9. Shropshire
Another of the boarder counties with Wales Shropshire has a population of around 500,000. The county town is Shrewsbury and the archives live in the town. Their address is: https://www.shropshirearchives.org.uk/ . Ebenezer Scrooge’s grave is in the county, really!

10. Staffordshire
In central England Staffordshire has a population of around 1,100,000 and the county town which houses the archives is Stafford. If you want to visit the archives then the website can be found at: https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Heritage-and-archives/homepage.aspx .

11. Leicestershire
Back into central England and the burial county of King Richard III. Leicestershire has an approximate population of 1,050,000 and the county town is Leicester. The archives are housed in Wigston at the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and the web address is: http://www.recordoffice.org.uk/

12. Lincolnshire
Off to east England now with Lincolnshire. The county town is Lincoln and the county has an approximate population of 1,080,000. A trip to the archives will take you to Lincoln and the archives website can be found at: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/lincolnshire-archives/ . Part of Lincolnshire used to be covered by Humberside so you may need East Yorkshire archives: https://www.eastriding.gov.uk/leisure/archives-family-and-local-history/

13. Nottinghamshire
Robin Hood’s county. Again in central England Nottinghamshire has a population of around 1,150,000. The county town is Nottingham (or Snottingham as it used to be called). The archives reside in Nottingham and can be found at: https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/heritage/archives/visiting-archives/

14. Cheshire
The final county in this section of Cheshire another of the western counties. Cheshire has a population of around 1,055,000 and the county town is Chester and the archives live there. You can view them at: http://www.cheshirearchives.org.uk/home.aspx . Some of Cheshire has fallen under Manchester at times so you may need to look at: https://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/448/archives_and_local_history .

In all of these counties don’t forget the local family history societies as well as the local libraries. These are also excellent sources of information.

So hopefully this will help you in locating where the information you need may be stored.


Friday, 6 September 2019

Counties of England part 1


In a previous blog I looked at the counties of Wales and where the archives for these counties were found. I did this as when researching family history we sometimes need to visit an archive to find out some information that cannot be found online. So I thought I’d put together a list of the counties of the UK with the location of their main archives for the county. This blogs is the first of 5 parts based on the counties of England. I’m starting at the top and working my way down.
Counties of England
Counties of England (codes denote places)
Northumbria or Northumberland (Light Blue)

Situated in the extreme north east of England Northumbria. It partly encompasses Tyne and Wear so you need to remember this when document locating. The population of Northumbria is around 330,000. The county town is Alnwick. The archive for the county is located in Ashington and also there is a record office in Berwick upon Tweed. The website for the county can be found at: https://www.northumberlandarchives.com
You may also need the Tyne and Wear archives in Newcastle upon Tyne which can be found at: https://twarchives.org.uk/

Cumbria (Orange)
Cumbria boarders Scotland to the north and is in the extreme north west of England. The population of the county is approximately 500,000 with the county town being Carlise. The main county archives are housed in Carlise and there are also branches in Whitehave, Kendal and Barrow. The website can be found at: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/archives/

County Durham (Dark Green)
County Durham is in the north east of England and has a population of approximately 863,000. The county town is Durham and the archives for the county are held here as well. The website address is: http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/article/8338/Home

Lancashire (Pink)
Again this is a county that has several regions. It is located in the north west of England. Lancashire encompasses Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Lancashire it’s self has a population of around 1.5 million. The county town is Lancaster and the archives are in Preston. The website can be found at: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-record-office/ You may also need the Manchester archive at: https://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/448/archives_and_local_history and the Liverpool archives at: https://liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/archives-family-history/

Yorkshire
The largest of the counties of England. It is split into 4 counties these days, but it used to be 3 ridings. York is the major town of Yorkshire as a whole. The entire population of the county is around 5.4 million.

North Yorkshire (Purple)
The most northerly of the counties of the best county in the country, Yorkshire. North Yorkshire has a population of around 1.2 million. The county town is Northallerton. The archives for the county can be found in Northallerton and the website is: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/county-record-office You will also need to consider the archives in York who’s website is: https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/archives/ and don’t forget the Bothwick Institue a part of York University at: https://www.york.ac.uk/borthwick/

West Yorkshire (Dark Blue)
As the name suggests the westerly region of Yorkshire, which in the past included South Yorkshire. The population of West Yorkshire is around 2.3 million and the county town is Wakefield. The archives for the county are spread over 5 locations in Wakefield, Leeds, Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees. The website for the archives is: https://www.wyjs.org.uk/archive-service/ Also don’t forget you may need the archives in York as well (see North Yorkshire).

East Yorkshire (Light Green)
The easterly county of Yorkshire and at one point part of the county fell under Humberside. East Yorkshire has a population of around 600,000 and the county town is in Beverley. The archives for the county can be found in Beverley and the website is: https://www.eastridingarchives.co.uk/ again you may need the archives in York (see North Yorkshire).

South Yorkshire (Red)
The south region of Yorkshire which used to fall under West Yorkshire. The population of the region is around 1.4 million. The county town is Barnsley (I thought it was Doncaster and I lived in the county for 27 years). There is no central archive for the county rather you have to go to the major towns and cities archives. Sheffield archives: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/libraries-archives/access-archives-local-studies-library , Doncaster: https://library.doncaster.gov.uk/web/arena/archives ,Rotherham: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/info/200062/libraries/718/archives_and_local_history , Barnsley: http://www.experience-barnsley.com/archives-and-discovery-centre . Also you may need the archives in York (see North Yorkshire) and Derbyshire as part of Sheffield used to be in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire (Black)
The most southerly county in the section. Derbyshire boarders South Yorkshire. The population is around 1, 050,000 and the county town in Derby. The main archive for the county is in Matlock and the website is: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/record-office/derbyshire-record-office.aspx

In all of these counties don’t forget the local family history societies as well as the local libraries. These are also excellent sources of information.

So hopefully this will help you in locating where the information you need may be stored.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Counties of Wales


When researching family history we sometimes need to visit an archive to find out some information that cannot be found online. So I thought I’d put together a list of the counties of the UK with the location of their main archives for the county. I’m starting with Wales as it’s a country of the UK which I haven’t done a blog about before.
The Counties of Wales
The Counties of Wales
1. Anglesey
Anglesey or Ynys Môn in Welsh is the only island county in Wales. It is located in the north west of the country and has a population of around 70,000 inhabitants. The main towns include Holyhead, Beaumaris and of course Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. The county town is Llangefni, not Holyhead as many believe. The archive for the county is also in Llangefni and the following is a link to the website: https://www.anglesey.gov.uk/en/Residents/Archives/Visiting-Anglesey-Archives/Plan-your-visit-to-the-Archives.aspx

2. Brecknockshire
Brecknockshire or Sir Frycheiniog in Welsh is located in the mid east of the country. Its current population is approximately 43,000. The main towns in the county include Buith Wells, Brecon and the smallest town Britain Llanwrtyd Wells. Today although still a county the governance falls under the larger ancient and preserved county of Powys. The county town is Llandrindod Wells (which is in Radnorshire). The archives for Powys and Brecknockshire are held in Llandrindod Wells and the website is at: https://en.powys.gov.uk/archives

3. Caernarfonshire
Caernarfonshire or Sir Gaernarfon in Welsh is on the west coast of the country. It has a population of approximately 122,000. The main places in the county are Betws-y-Coed, Caernarfon, and Conwy. The county town of the county is Caernarfon. The county falls under Gwynedd. The archives for the county are in Caernarfon and can be found at: https://www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/en/Residents/Libraries-and-archives/Archives-and-family-history/Archives-and-family-history.aspx

4. Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire or Sir Gaerfyrddin in Welsh is in the south west central region of Wales. It has an approximate population of 185,000. The main places in the county are Carmarthen, Pendine, St Clears and Llandeilo. The county town is Camarthen and the archive website can be found at: https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/council-services/libraries-archives/archives-family-history/#.XWfFUd5KiM9

5. Cardiganshire
Cardiganshire or Ceredigion in Welsh is on the west coast of Wales and has an approximate population of 76,000. The main places are Cardigan, Aberystwyth and Lampeter. The county town is not Cardigan as you may think but it is Aberystwyth. The archives website can be found at: https://archifdy-ceredigion.org.uk/

6. Denbighshire
Denbighshire or Sir Ddinbych in Welsh is found on the north coast of Wales and has a population of approximately 175,000. The main places in Denbighshire include Rhyl, Wrexham and Denbigh. The county town is Ruthin and the archive website is: http://archives.denbighshire.gov.uk/

7. Flintshire
Flintshire or Sir y Fflint in Welsh is on the north coast of Wales and boarders England in some places. It has an approximate population of 155,000. The main places of the county are Connah’s Quay, Flint and Mold. The county town is Mold and the archives website can be found at: https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/LeisureAndTourism/Records-and-Archives/Home.aspx

8. Glamorgan
Glamorgan or Sir Forgannwg in Welsh is on the south coast of Wales and has a populations of approximately 130, 500. The main places in the county are Cardiff, Swansea, Port Talbot and the Gower peninsular. The county town is Cardiff and the archive website can be found at: https://glamarchives.gov.uk/

9. Merionethshire
Merionethshire or Merioneth or Sir Feirionnydd in Welsh is in northern Wales and goes inland from the coast. It has an approximate population of 46,000. The main places in the county include Dolgellau, Bala and Harlech. The county town is Dolgellau. The county falls under Gwynedd. The archives for the county are in Caernarfon and can be found at: https://www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru/en/Residents/Libraries-and-archives/Archives-and-family-history/Archives-and-family-history.aspx

10. Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire or Sir Fynwy in Welsh is found in the south east of the country and boarders England. The population of the county is approximately 503,000. The main towns are Monmouth, Abergavenny and Chepstow. The county town is Newport. The archives fall under Gwent and the web address can be found at: http://www.gwentarchives.gov.uk/

11. Montgomeryshire
Montgomeryshire or Sir Drefaldwyn in Welsh is in central Wales and has an approximate population of 64,000. The main places in the county include Welshpool, Newtown and Machynlleth. The county town is Welshpool. The archives fall under Powys and can be found in Llandrindod Wells and the website is at: https://en.powys.gov.uk/archives

12. Pembrokeshire
Pembrokshire or Sir Benfro (the best of the Welsh counties in my opinion) is in on the south west Wales coast. The population of the county is approximately 122,500. The main places of the county are Haverfordwest, Pembroke, Milford Haven, Fishguard and Britain’s smallest city St David’s. The county town is Haverfordwest and the archives for the county are in Haverfordwest and the web address is: http://www.culture4pembrokeshire.co.uk/content.asp?nav=3

13. Radnorshire
Radnorshire or Sir Faesyfed in Welsh is in central east Wales and has an approximate population of 26,000. The main places of the county include, Presteigne, Knighton and Rhayader. The county town is Presteigne, although the county now comes under Powys. The archives can be found in Llandrindod Wells and the website is at: https://en.powys.gov.uk/archives

So I hope this helps people in their Welsh research in identifying which part of the county any records they wish to view may be located, but don’t forget there will be repositories of information in other more local places.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Castles


In my last blog I asked the question do you want to be a princess. I touched on the castle in this so I thought I would present you with a castles word search this week. It should give you about 10 minutes of escapism, and yes I know there is a spelling mistake in it and extra points if you notice.
Castle Word Search
If you like the idea of finding out more about castles I can recommend 2 books. The first is by Marc Morris and is Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain. This is a grown up book about castles. The second is Dark Knights and Dingy Castles by Terry Deary. This is a book for kids of all ages and is really funny.


Hopefully my brain should kick in and I should have a proper blog for you next week. Also I’m thinking of doing an ask a question blog at some point in the future so if you have and genealogy questions you want to ask please email them to me at sarah@familyhistoryresearchengland.co.uk

Friday, 9 August 2019

I want to be a princess


You hear this saying quite a lot these days from little kids playing dress up to brides choosing a dress. But would you really have wanted to be a princess?

Well I would think no unless it’s in modern times. Let’s face it the life in castle would have stunk. The whole place would have smelt of wood smoke in the winter, which isn’t bad but factor in the food smells, the smelly of musty fabrics and furnishing it would be a bit bad. No add into the smell of the people and it would be gross. No deodorant, body wash and shampoo! If you stunk you had to change your clothes and send them off to be washed. Except in reality only your under linen shift would be washed. The top dress would probably never be cleaned. Now add in the smell of chamber pots and toilets if you’re lucky. Versailles in France the people of court used to got to the toilet in the corner of the room and just leave their doings on the floor. I don’t want to be a princess.
Bodiam Castle.
Bodiam Castle.  A medieval castle
But it isn’t just the smells that would stop you from wanting to be a princess. Your life would be completely controlled. What you could learn, who your friends were and even what your interests were. So learning to sew, run a household and be a proper lady was high on the list of your day. Some princesses had more freedom than this, but not many.


If you’re Dad’s King (or brother etc), no choosing your own hubby, Daddy would do it for you and you would probably wouldn’t be too impressed. Lets consider the Tudor princess Mary Tudor the daughter of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Her big brother chose her first husband for her. He chose King Louis XII of France a 52 year old double widower for her. Mary was 18 years old. It was even worse for Isabella of Valois the daughter of King Charles VI of France. He married her off to the 29 year old widower King Richard II when she was 6 years old! So her you are packed off to another country (probably) to live with someone you’ve never met. Luckily you probably get to take your ladies with you, but they may also have been chosen for you. Mary Tudor had Anne Boleyn as a lady in waiting in France and she really didn’t like her.
King Henry VIII.
The biggest controller of them all, King Henry VIII.
Then there’s the little matter of woman’s duties. As wife of a monarch, heir to a throne or wife of a high ranking noble you had one job. Have children, in particular sons to carry on the line. Also you would probably have to put up with your spouse carrying on with his mistresses. Once you popped out your child if it was a boy – great celebration and if it was a girl your downfall may be plotted, think Anne Boleyn. If you were kept on as a wife then you would be expected to get pregnant again very quickly. Then was the fact you may well not survive childbirth. Also you may have been a child yourself when you gave birth. Queen Mary II was only 16 when she married her husband and possibly still 16 when she suffered a miscarriage. Now I know it was a different time but at 16 I was very much still a kid.

During your life as a princess you would be controlled by your father or other family member until you married and then controlled by your husband. Everything was controlled. Who you spent time with, what you wore (must look fashionable for your husband), what you did and even what happened to you. Think about Infanta Catalina of Aragon, later Queen Catherine of Aragon. She was sent away to marry, put aside by her husband and removed from court to a cold damp castle with no ladies and very little money and not allowed to see her daughter.

So still want to be a Princess? Maybe the expression should be changed to I want to be a Disney Princess.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Happy Birthday WWW



So in August 1990 Tim Berners-Lee started to develop the world wide web. What’s that got to do with genealogy or history I hear you say but it does.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Pre tinternet (Yorkshire for Internet) can you imagine how much more difficult genealogy was. No quick look ups. It’s a road trip to a records office.

So I want to consider how the internet has helped my genealogy journey.

Now I’ve always known my family came from around the country but just consider how difficult my research would have been pre 1990. As a by thought just doing my degree in the late 1990’s/early 2000 I didn’t really use the internet, jeez I feel old. So off track there. So my research would have started at the records office in Sheffield, but that would have only got me so far. On my maternal side I would have found no records.

On my paternal side I would have got back quite a way. Then I would have had to travel further afield to both Rotherham and Barnsley as well as Chesterfield. Next stop would have been up to West Yorkshire and then North Yorkshire. So it works out at about one record office per generations and probably 2 as couples are not necessary from the same place. If you consider my twice great grandparents James was from Leeds and Mary was from Barnsley. So this couple would be a trip to Barnsley which is a 40 minute journey and Leeds is an hour.

Now comes the secret side of my paternal line. OK, I have ancestors from Lancashire (help Yorkshire lass). Well they started off in Cheshire before they came to Sheffield so next stop would have been the registry office in Chester which is a good couple of hours away, and then it would be up to Preston in Lancashire.

So onto my maternal side. First stops would be Peterborough and Norwich. From here we would be off to Ipswich, Lincoln London and Nottingham. I’d also need to travel north to both Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne. Also calling in at Glasgow, Carlisle and who knows where the records for the Isles of Scotland are. I sound like a train announcer.

Now consider what all this really means. It’s not just the travelling to the locations. You have to factor in that you would have to spend probably days in the records office. You would have to go through each parish register one by one. Just because your ancestors lived in one place doesn’t mean they were baptised or married there. Also if you think about it if the census says your ancestor was from Leeds, how many parish records would you have to troll through. Then their sibling’s records may not be in the same place so that’s more searching and there may be siblings you don’t know about. So you’re going to need to stay probably a few more days than you thought.

Then there are visits to where our ancestors lived. You may want to visit the church your ancestors were married or where they were buried.

So I decided to add you all the miles between home and the archives I would have to travel to for my research and it comes to approximately 1500 miles.

The cost soon adds up as does the amount of time. So the internet takes all this away. You sit at home and clickety click away and up pop your ancestors for you (not really easy but you know what I mean). 
All the wonderful stuff on the Internet to make genealogy easier
All the wonderful stuff on the Internet to make genealogy easier
So you could say the internet along with the magnificent people who scan in the records and upload them, that Time Berners-Lee and the others have radically improved the process of tracing our families back through time. It also means I can watch youtube while I’m doing it, Count Duckula today I think!

Friday, 26 July 2019

Genealogy quotes


I often wonder how best to sum up genealogy and why we do it. So this week is a collection of quotes on the subject.
“It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestor” Plutarch
“Money doesn’t grow on trees but ancestors do”.
“A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots”.
“If we know where we came from, we may better know where to go. If we know who we came from, we may better understand who we are.” Anonymous
“We don’t own our family history. We simply preserve it for the next generation.” Rosemary Alva
Days gone by – “The special book upon the shelf, was made with many hands. Our ancestors who posed back then, all came from different lands. Their pictures were all tucked away, and rarely did we see, the importance of these treasures, the start of you and me. The history of our families, now here in black and white, preserved with special care and time, each page is done just right. When time permits we take it down and think of days long past. Our hopes, our dreams, our heritage all safe and made to last” Unknown.
 “To forget one’s ancestors is to be a book without a source, a tree without a root”. Chinese proverb.
“I am bond to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices. I honour their history. I cherish their lives. I will tell their story. I will remember them.” Unknown
“If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row, would you be proud of them or not? Or don’t you really know? But here’s another question which requires a different view. If you could meet your ancestors would they be proud of you?” Nellie Winslow Simmons Randall
 “The more you know of your history the more liberated you are.” Maya Angelou.
“The challenge I give you as a genealogist is to reach beyond the vital statistics to a new world of understanding, both of your ancestors and of yourself. Preserve those details of your family in written form that will bring understanding to many others and truly enable their hearts – along with your own – to turn to their fathers. Someone has said that there is little point in digging up an ancestor if your aren’t going to make him live. If that is true – and I believe it is – your job is not finished until you feel a bit of what he felt, have shared vicariously in his joys and heartaches – perhaps shed a tear with him in his sorrow, laughed at the humor in his life, and felt pride in his accomplishments.” Val D Greenwood
Dear Ancestor. “Your tombstone stands among the rest neglected and alone. The name and date are chiseled our on polished marble stone. It reaches out to all who care it is too late to mourn. You did not know that I exist you died and I was born. Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh and blood and bone. Our blood contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own. Dear ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago. Spreads our among the ones you left who would have loved you so. I wonder how you lived and loved I wonder if you knew. That someday I would find this spot and come to visit you.”  Walter Butler Palmer
“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton
“You’re never alone, even during what you think are your weakest moments. You have thousands of years of powerful ancestors within you, the blood of the divine great ones in you, supreme intellect and royalty in you. Infinite strength is always on tap for you. Know that.” Author Unknown
And know for my favourites the humour based quotes.
“Genealogists: I disturb the dead and irritate the living”
“My family coat of arms ties at the back is that normal?”
“Genealogy. It’s not the size of the tree that matters it’s the quality of the nuts you find”
“Genealogist – proving once and for all that insanity is hereditary.”
“Eventually all genealogists come to their census”.
“If you think your family is normal then you’re probably not a genealogist”. Unknown.
“Genealogy is not fatal, but it is a grave disease”.
“I regretfully decline your offer to interact socially, I’m doing genealogy”
“Genealogy is like a jigsaw puzzle. You’re always looking for the missing pi”

Counties of England part 2

Knowing where the archives for these counties were found can be really useful as when researching family history we sometimes need to visi...