Family History/Genealogy

  Stephen Berry   Phone:
01633 677520
Meetings:   Friday, 1.15 - 3.15, weeks 1,3,5

The Family History group met for the first time early in 2017 and we presently have twelve members. Their genealogical experience extends from some who have done very little research as yet to others who have been researching for over 40 years - and who are still learning!

We use the vast banks of data now available on the major genealogical internet sites - Ancestry, Find My Past, The Genealogist, Genes Reunited and Family Search - and a number of more localised websites serving specific areas of the country. Although we research whatever family individuals have an interest in, we do so in a way which helps everyone to acquire research skills that they can use for themselves, either at home (if they choose to subscribe to websites) or in public libraries where such sites can be used free-of-charge.

One of the major pitfalls in compiling a family history is the danger of choosing a person of the correct name but who, in fact, turns out not to be an ancestor at all. This usually happens because more than one person of that name was living in the appropriate area at the right time - and this fact is not picked up. We therefore encourage the use of a whole series of sources to corroborate anything entered as a fact and some of these sources can provide fascinating insights into the lives of our ancestors. A recently-checked Census entry revealed a family of eight living in a house of modest proportions - three bedrooms, two reception rooms and a kitchen - along with a second family of six and two lodgers! One can only struggle to imagine just how the accommodation was shared out!

If you would like to join the ever-growing number of people who are fascinated by their family history, there has never been a better time to take up the hobby. The internet has made vast numbers of records easily available, numbers which are being swelled on virtually a weekly basis. Do come along and join us and experience the thrill of getting back yet another generation - however, I must warn you that this hobby can easily become addictive!

If you do intend to come to a meeting, please telephone or email me in the first instance so that I can ensure you have the correct date and venue - these are sometimes subject to change from the usual pattern of meeting on the first, third and fifth Fridays of the month at 1.15pm.

Stephen Berry
November 2017

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