2015 Blog Summary

I published 10 blogs in 2015, based on my research for my ancestors. Here is a review of each blog, the stories researched and sources of information that were invaluable to me. Have a look, and click on the title of those that take your interest, or that you have missed during the year.


November – Edward William NASH – a family story

Based on my maternal Great Grandfather, Edward William NASH born 17 November 1876:

  • – Metropolitan Police, and Police records in general
  • – How family stories improve our understanding of our ancestors and how they may lead to a better understanding of yourself
  • – A final mystery, that still needs to be solved


October – The cigar maker and the Hungarian-American Photographer

James Baker MORRIS born 3 May 1828:

  • – American connections
  • – Using genesreunited.co.uk to contact a living relative
  • – 1870 US Census
  • – Ellis Island and Castle Garden as immigrant staging posts


September – The Railway Man

Based on my paternal Great Grandfather Rowland John NEEDS born 23 September 1866:

  • – The United Kingdom Census
  • – Electoral registers
  • – UK Railway Employment Records
  • – Contacting the cemetery your ancestors reside in and the sobering thoughts on burial
  • – Using maps for your family history


August – What stories might you find in your family’s history?

A reflection on my first blog ‘We will remember them…’.

  • – Where can you start with World War One research?
  • – The Index to War Deaths 1914-1921
  • – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)
  • – World War One service records
  • – A surprise on checking back in my archive of photographs


July – The search for William

William travelled to the Gold Coast, immigrating to Perth, Australia in 1925. He married a school teacher. William left his family when his son was 5 years old. During World War Two William’s wife sent food parcels to William’s family in London. After the war the families lost touch.

  • – Tracing an ancestor to Australia and back
  • – The National Archives of Australia
  • – Western Australian Post Office Directories
  • – State Library of Western Australia
  • – Shipping lists
  •  – And the benefits of contacting a small, rural museum

If you know the whereabouts of William George NASH please contact me!


June – Malster to Mariner

How did my ancestor Edward PARKER move from Prickwillow to Colchester? From a malster to a mariner? Discover my unknown family story revealed through family history resources available to us all…

  • – The 1851 UK Census
  • – Ag Labs and Malsters
  • – Mariner and ship records


May – Hands-on in the archives

Having exhausted the Internet indexes and records, we must turn our attention to other sources of data on our ancestors:

  • – Using the local County Record Office
  • – Visiting your archives
  • – Parish Baptism
  • – Settlement
  • – Bastardy
  • – Military Records

Having exhausted the Internet indexes and records there is a wealth of other sources of data on our ancestors. Using your local County Record Office will help you tell the wider story of your family tree. Furthermore you’ll find a visit exciting, enlightening and eye opening; you’ll be able to touch, feel and smell history!


April – Making Sense of the Census

My grandmother, May Doris NEEDS was born 17th April 1902. What could I take from the Census to give me a further insight into her and her ancestors lives?

  • – The UK census
  • – The 1911 UK census excitement
  • – Wander up the street
  • – Just around the corner
  • – Missing from 1891?
  • – Key UK Census websites


February – Back to basics

This blog also takes the reader back to basics, the techniques we should all start with in charting our ancestors lives. Whether you are a seasoned family historian, or a ‘newbie’ this blog is for you.

  • – Marriage indexes and certificates
  • – Birth certificates
  • – The UK census
  • – Family stories and letters
  • – Death certificates and cemeteries

I will never forget my nan and with some official documents and family stories she will live on in our family and in our hearts.

January – Try to be prepared for what you might find

Try to be prepared for what you might find out, and try not to judge others by today’s standards is my motto, but sometimes you can’t be prepared for what you find and how you (or others) will react…

  • – World War II military records
  • – Desertion
  • – Medals
  • – Emigration plans
  • – Eddie’s last days
  • – Inquisition document

You never know what you may uncover in your family history. I hope Uncle Eddie’s story doesn’t put you off conducting your own research, or hiring someone to do so. Think about what and how you will share news of your findings with others; it will affect friends and family in different ways…


I hope you have enjoyed this years series of 10 blogs. Continue to follow me with my newsletter (register here) for further updates, and of course my free Top Tips for researching your family history.

Robert Parker is a Genealogist and Trainer, based in Cambridgeshire. He delivers courses, coaching, talks, and research services for those interested in tracing their ancestors. See www.myfamilygenealogy.co.uk for further details. Contact Robert to discuss your requirements without obligation. What stories could your ancestors tell?