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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tuesday's Tip - Be brave and change your plans!

You might have noticed that it's been a bit quiet here at the Full Circle Family History blog recently and now that things are confirmed I thought I'd share a bit about my plans and the different direction I'm heading in.



Sometimes life throws you a curveball and you need to go with the flow. As  you may know my youngest goes to school in the autumn and my plan was to make Full Circle my full time job but then an opportunity came my way which was too good to turn down - a part-time job that fits in perfectly with our family life - so my plans need to change. I've decided that it's an opportunity to take stock of where I'm likely to go with Full Circle Family History.

I'm going to continue with genealogy as much as possible but not in a full time capacity.

I think my first priority will be to finish the Pharos Family History Skills & Strategies (Intermediate) with Certificate course which I am just under half way through, having completed 4 courses since January. I think that by slowing down and taking a bit more time between courses I will actually get more out of them. So far I have enjoyed them and my writing and analysis skills are much improved already.

Also, I will be able to focus more on family history rather than trying to build up a business. I have been surprised at the amount of time during the week that you really need to spend on admin/marketing/PR/socialmedia/IT rather than actual genealogy and this part will now take a back seat.

I'm definitely going to continue with the heir hunting side as it's a great way to keep my hand in and I'm discovering new records all the time in different parts of the country. It's also improved my searching on websites such as Ancestry and Findmypast.

My TILLIN One Name Study has taken a bit of a back seat recently and I'd like to take some more time on this and establish some of the main lines. I think I'm going to use part of the Full Circle website to publicise my one name study by including details of the families. Have you seen any great one name study websites recently? What did you like about them?

I'm intending to keep the blog going but may not be so consistent with the posts. What sort of posts would you like to see? I'm going to do some more organising of my personal genealogy and thought I'd share this along with any new discoveries I make. I'm behind on the 52 ancestors challenge and would love to get back up to speed with this - maybe I'll find a whole family to write about! The postcard book is an ongoing project which I don't have a deadline for so I'm hoping to do this in batches and then schedule the posts. Does anyone have any tips for scheduling posts in blogger?

So that's a little bit about where I am at the moment. It's also coming up to the school holidays which means lots of time with the children and out and about so the blog will be a bit sporadic but I won't have gone very far! I'll still be on twitter and facebook as they are easier to update - have you popped over to say hi?


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Friday, 27 June 2014

5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books

This week for 5 on a Friday I've decided to share 5 genealogy books that I find really useful.



As we've seen with the recent Ancestry problems sometimes you can't do everything on the internet. These books are all on my shelves and some I dip in and out of while others I have read cover to cover. If you are just starting out on British family history research I would definitely recommend some of these to help you get going.

Full Circle Family History Blog: 5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books Genealogy:Essential Research Methods by Helen Osborn




My first book is Genealogy: Essential Research Methods by Helen Osborn - this is one of the few "methodology" books that focuses on British research and I highly recommend it. There are tips for beginners and more advanced genealogists. Typically I can't find my copy today so here's the stock photo from Amazon.




Full Circle Family History Blog: 5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books  Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors by Ian Maxwell




My second book is Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors by Ian Maxwell. If you are like me and have ancestors from Northern Ireland this book helps explain a bit of the history and the reasons why some documents are not where you might expect them to be. I have the paperback but it is also available for kindle.

Full Circle Family History Blog: 5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers.



The third book on this weeks list is The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. A useful book of county maps showing parishes, diocese etc all in one place. The index is useful if you know the parish and want to find out what records exist and where they could be. My copy is second hand and I managed to get it from ebay for less then £10 so I would recommend having a look there. Amazon have the more recent version available. Ancestry have recently added it to their databases so you can always look at it online too.

Full Circle Family History Blog: 5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books Ancestral Trails by Mark D Herber


Number four on the list is Ancestral Trails by Mark D Herber. An all round guide to British Genealogy so a useful reference book to have on standby. Again my version is second hand from ebay for less than £5 but you can also get new copies from Amazon.

Full Circle Family History Blog: 5 on a Friday - Genealogy Books  The Parish Chest by W. E.Tait


The final book on the list is another second hand purchase - The Parish Chest by W. E.Tait - I have the third edition. If you think that you can only find out about births, marriages and deaths in parish registers then you are only reaching the tip of the iceberg of records available in the parish chest. This is well worth reading once you are trying to get past 1837 or want to add more flesh to the bones of your ancestors.









With all these books I would recommend trying to order them from your library first to see if they are of interest to you before you spend money on them. Also, try ebay/abebbooks etc for second hand copies as apart from internet/software updates the majority of the information is still valid and no book is ever going to be 100% up to date.

So, do you have any family history books you would recommend?

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday : Postcard Book Page 18 - Bournemouth, Isle of Man and Clacton


This is page 18 of the postcard book series I write for Treasure Chest Thursday. Please click on postcards in the tag cloud on the right to see more posts in this series.


The first postcard shows Boscombe Beach in Bournemouth



The second postcard on the page depicts Glen Helen on the Isle of Man. It was posted in 1907.



The final postcard was posted in 1905 and shows East Sands beach, Clacton-on-Sea.



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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tuesday's Tip - How I use.... Spreadsheets for Genealogy

As an accountant I have spent many years using spreadsheets so as a genealogist I haven't changed very much as I use Microsoft Excel all the time. This week I've decide to share a few of the ways I use Spreadsheets for Genealogy




Spreadsheets are more than just a way to add up a column of numbers. They can be used for a wealth of other purposes from simple lists to complex databases.

Anyone who worked with me will know that I spent many years complaining that people used spreadsheets for everything and they shouldn't always try to shoehorn all problems into a spreadsheet. My main reason for this was that spreadsheets do not have inherent controls. Unless you build in controls and checks to a spreadsheet you are likely to double up on things or make mistakes in calculations. Another problem I have with spreadsheets is that there is no universal process associated with them - everyone has their own way of using a spreadsheet which can make it difficult for someone else to understand it. Both of these points can be addressed within the spreadsheet but it's always good to remember them when working with spreadsheet software.

There are many types of spreadsheet software with the most popular probably being Microsoft Excel. It's definitely the one that I'm the most familiar with so I will be referencing it in this blog post. Other spreadsheet programmes include Quicksheet and Numbers.

My main use is to keep track of internet searches.

I have a main website index where I add links to databases as I find them and try to categorise them geographically and by subject. This is really useful if I find a new webpage but I don't have time to investigate fully.


Behind this I have started to keep track of searches on each individual database on an individual sheet per database.


I keep a Research Log in Excel for each couple (and familym that I am researching.  The database log cross references the research log for a particular family where I find valid results.


My research log also includes sheets for the husband and the wife to record their life events. I usually have a summary page at the front listing any files I have on the couple. I have a sheet full of source citation templates so that I can be consistent with my citations and filenames.


If I am using a timeline I like to create them in Excel - I wrote a post on this back at the beginning of the year as part of the 52Ancestors series..


I use Excel to create data uploads to Custodian, to keep track of the Bona Vacantia list, figure out workflows for processes, keep track of finances for the business, plan out training, submitting data to online indexes and all sorts of other purposes.

I try to always keep some sort of notes page on the front which explains what each sheet in the spreadsheet is for - this means if I send it on to someone else then they have a chance of understanding it.

On Pinterest I have a Genealogy and Spreadsheets board where I pin tips for people to follow and relevant articles or blog posts.



Do you use spreadsheets for Genealogy? Are there any spreadsheet functions you'd like to use but don't know how? Is there anything you'd like to see me write a Tuesday's Tips blogpost on? Please leave a comment or get in touch to let me know.


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Friday, 20 June 2014

5 on a Friday - More Facebook Genealogy Groups

Following on from last week's 5 on a Friday post here are another 5 Facebook groups.

FullCircleFamilyHistory - 5 on a Friday


The first group is for members of the Guild of One Name Studies but they also have a Facebook page which is open to all.
"The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world's leading genealogical organisation for One-Name studies. The Guild welcomes as members anyone who has an interest in the subject. Members who are carrying out a One-Name study may register their study with the Guild."

This week has seen the creation of a brand new group for Geneabloggers with lots of hints and tips.
 "GeneaBloggers is an online community of over 3,000 genealogy and family history bloggers committed to learning more about their ancestors and themselves"
FullCircleFamilyHistory - 5 on a Friday


Another group I check regularly is the Technology for Genealogy group.
"Discussion of technology used for genealogy purposes. Includes: software, apps, tablets, computers, gadgets, news, web sites. Topics must be related to technology and have applicability as a genealogy tool."
FullCircleFamilyHistory - 5 on a Friday

The Social Media for Genealogy group was highlighted to me on twitter by @geneaalacarte after last week's post.
"A resource for learning more about social media tools and practices. This group is open to all with an interest in genealogy and who want to leverage the power of social media to expand their genealogy research as well as promote their genealogy business."
FullCircleFamilyHistory - 5 on a Friday

My final group today is based on family history in Northern Ireland - the Coleraine Branch of The North of Ireland Family History Society - they are a very friendly and well informed group.
"An information page for the activities of The Coleraine Branch of The North of Ireland Family History Society"

As usual if you think I've missed some good groups please let me know.

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday : Postcard Book Page 17 - Winchester, Gosport and Heysham


This is page 17 of the postcard book series I write for Treasure Chest Thursday. Please click on postcards in the tag cloud on the right to see more posts in this series.

Full Circle Family History Postcard Book Page 17


The first postcard shows The Close in Winchester.

Full Circle Family History Postcard Book Page 17 Winchester

I think this picture is actually of the Priory Gate  as shown on the Winchester Cathedral website



The second postcards depicts Gosport in Hampshire.

Full Circle Family History Postcard Book Page 17 Gosport

The final postcard on the page is a picture of Heysham village in Lancashire.There are other views of Heysham on the Heysham Heritage website.

Full Circle Family History Postcard Book Page 17 Heysham



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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tuesday's Tip - How I use... Facebook for Genealogy

I think I should own up that it's very rare if I have a day where I don't visit Facebook - I use it to find out what's happening, organise events, catch up on reading, keep in contact with friends and family - the list is endless. So, this week I've decided to share how I use Facebook for genealogy following on from last week's post about how I use Twitter for genealogy.
 

Facebook is a social networking service where you have a personal profile, connect with friends and receive updates on all sorts of interests.

I have been using Facebook since 2007 and it's changed quite a lot in the last 7 years and now it seems odd to think about not using it everyday.

The most obvious way to use it for Genealogy is the groups - I have listed some of my favourite groups in my 5 on a Friday list last week. Groups are a great source of information and a way to communicate with like-minded people all over the world. There's an interesting post about using Facebook groups at the Young and Savvy Genealogists blog. They can be specific to a place or country or topic or anything!. There is a list of genealogy groups here - just download the file and follow the links.

You can follow the different providers such as Ancestry or FindMyPast on their pages. This is how I find out the latest record set updates or offers on subsciptions. Or find pages on places that you'd like to visit or where your ancestors lived.

Many blogs have facebook pages too  - including my own - often this is just a place to keep track of blog posts but sometimes they have different content and you can get in touch with the blogger directly if you want to. 

You can also find people on Facebook. This is not an area I have tried out but I know that other people have found this useful. Using the search function you can look for people with a particular surname, for example, which may be useful for your one name study or to find long lost cousins.

You could set up your own page or group for your family history - they can be restricted to the people you want to see it - and then use Facebook as a place to share stories and photos with your friends and family.

It's a useful way to put out a call for help or advice too. If you've hit a brickwall in your research why not post a question on a group or just on your timeline -  you never know who might be able to help.


On Pinterest I have a Genealogy and Facebook board where I pin tips.

Are you on Facebook? How do you use it? Why not pop over, say hello and like my page?


Come back next Tuesday when I'll be looking at how I use spreadsheets for Genealogy.


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Friday, 13 June 2014

5 on a Friday - Genealogy Facebook Groups

This week I've decided to share 5 Facebook Groups that I find really useful for Genealogy.



Facebook groups can be open, closed or secret. An open group is one where anyone can join and post to, a closed group is one where you need to send a member request to see the postings in the group and a secret group is one that you only know about if you are specifically invited.

All groups have their own rules and these are usually found at the top of the page. Be sure to check the files tab at the top of the page for lots of resources.

The Organized Genealogist - this is a closed group - lots of tips and discussions about organising genealogy.
Share your tips and tricks for organizing your genealogy. Links to products and services are acceptable. Let's all work together to get better organized!


Coleraine Branch of The North of Ireland Family History Society this is an open group and full of helpful people and tips about this area of Northern Ireland
An information page for the activities of The Coleraine Branch of The North of Ireland Family History Society

Genealogy Bloggers  this is a closed group - really useful if you have a blog.
A group of genealogy blogging friends, another way to connect, ASK questions about genealogy, research, anything really! :) We are an informal group who share information ALSO if you have any genealogy brick walls, feel free to post them here. One of the qualifications to join the group is a current interest in genealogy, history, blogging or any combination of those.

Kindle for Genealogy this is a closed group - do you have a kindle? This group is a great place to find out about genealogy and family history books - sometimes free ones!
Passionate about Genealogy? Passionate about your Kindle? Discuss genealogy uses for your Kindle or Kindle Fire. What apps do you use? Recommend genealogy books.


Ancestry UK this is a closed group - it's not anything to do with www.ancestry.co.uk but people do ask questions about it and everyone is helpful
A place for people to gather and ask questions, gain advice and share stories and pictures about their family history in the UK. 

I have another list to share in another week - facebook groups should definitely part of your genealogy toolkit. Do you belong to any?

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday : Postcard Book Page 16 Glasgow, Bromsgrove and Winchester

This is page 16 of the postcard book series I write for Treasure Chest Thursday. Please click on postcards in the tag cloud on the right to see more posts in this series.



The page has the usual layout and all of these postcards were posted around 1905.



The first postcard shows Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow - this is now one of the main shopping streets.


The second postcard is from "Billy P" (I think he was another patient!) and shows Church Steps in Bromsgrove. For some reason I really like this postcard - it looks like it should be the cover of a book.


 The final card on the page shows Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.






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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Dr John Loughridge


This photo has Dr John Loughridge and 1941 written on the back. 

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tuesday's Tip - How I use.... Twitter for Genealogy

While I'm not a twitterholic by any means I do find that I've fallen back in love with Twitter. This week I've decided to share how I use Twitter for genealogy following on from last week's popular post about how I use Pinterest for genealogy.
 
Full Circle Family History - How I use Twitter for Genealogy

For those that don't know Twitter is a social media network where all the updates are restricted to 140 characters or less.

I first started using Twitter over 5 years ago for general use - not for genealogy but for the latest news (I remember sitting up in the middle of the night watching twitter the night that Michael Jackson died as twitter was more up to date than the tv news), following events like the Eurovision Song Contest (guilty pleasure but don't tell anyone!) or just to catch up with the latest information. I was always more of a follower than a twitterer. But over time I got a bit fed up of Twitter - there was too much going on and I found it difficult to follow all the different things that were happening.

When I started Full Circle Family History I thought I would give Twitter another go. The first thing I did was set up my account - this took about 1 minute and @jofullcircle was live!

Then I needed to find people to follow. I looked at blogs I follow to find a few people and from there I looked at who they followed and who they followed etc etc. At first I wasn't a very selective follower but over time I have edited my list and now rarely do I find tweets in my twitter stream that aren't of interest.

Another way to find people to follow is to search on a hashtag for example if I search for #genealogy I find a long list of current tweets including #genealogy in them. This weekend I followed the #SCGS2014 hashtag to get up to date information on the Jamboree over in California - it was brilliant and from there I discovered the livestreaming and managed to watch a lecture too.

I have found that I find out about new releases of records and history related stories first on Twitter - usually before Facebook where posts are longer but tend to be less frequent - for example, when FindMyPast released their Devon records (mentioned in my 52 Ancestors post about John Tillen) I had gone to the collection, searched and started researching before it was mentioned on Facebook.

What do I tweet? Anything and everything to do with family history and my life. A lot of the time I retweet interesting tweets from others, or share a link to an interesting webpage. At other times I do a little tweet saying what I'm up to today or just say hello. I try to take part in Follow Fridays (#FF) where I tweet a small list of people I would recommend to others to follow. Anything goes!

Why do I tweet? I like to share information I find or sometimes I just want to ask a question. There are a world of experts online and I find twitter a quick way to get access to them. Everyone is very friendly and I've often found out the answers to questions within minutes. I like to share my blog posts so I always tweet a link to my latest post to get the word out about it.

On Pinterest I have a Genealogy and Twitter board where I pin tips or people to follow.

Are you on twitter? Why not pop over and say hi?

Are you stuck for people to follow? Why not take a look at my list of people I follow? Am I missing some obvious people?

Come back next Tuesday when I'll be looking at how I use Facebook for Genealogy.


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Friday, 6 June 2014

5 on a Friday - Genealogy and History videos on YouTube

Welcome to my new feature on the blog "5 on a Friday"  where each week I'll share 5 genealogy-linked things that I've found.

Full Circle Family History - 5 on a Friday - #genealogy Youtube videos


This week I'm going to share 5 you tube videos that I've enjoyed watching this week


This is a quick video with tips for using Baptism records from Ancestry.com.



An hour long video about Farmers and Labourers in Northern Ireland giving some background to my family history. (This is part of a series that I'm hoping to watch in the future).



Here Brian Bouchard shares how he uses Onenote for his genealogy.



The Society for One Place studies held their monthly hang out last week which includes a fascinating discussion about the servicemen who came back from WWI and how they tried to settle back into civilian life. (EDIT: Here's some follow up information and extra links)



And this is a bit of fun - watch how the countries of Europe have changed over the last 6,000 years or so



I hope you enjoy watching them? Have you come across any good youtube videos recently?

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday : Postcard Book Page 15 Whitchurch and Oxford

This is page 15 of the postcard book. Please click on postcards in the tag cloud on the right to see more posts in this series.



The first postcard was posted in 1907 from Whitchurch from a former patient of Nurse Hogg. The postcard depicts Church Street in Malpas.

Full Circle Family History - Treasure Chest Thursday Postcard Book 15 Whitchurch

The second postcard is also from Whitchurch but shows Watergate.

Full Circle Family History - Treasure Chest Thursday Postcard Book 15 Whitchurch

The 3rd postcard shows the Inner Quadrangle in All Souls' College, Oxford.

Full Circle Family History - Treasure Chest Thursday Postcard Book 15 Oxford

 Thanks for reading!

Full Circle Family History - Treasure Chest Thursday Postcard Book 15

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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Tuesday's Tip - How I use... Pinterest for Genealogy

I have used Pinterest for the last couple of years for things like shoes, bags, decorating ideas or productivity tip but recently I have discovered that it is a great genealogy resource and a place to keep track of interesting family history finds on the web.

Full Circle Family History - How I Use Pinterest for Genealogy


If you've not heard of Pinterest then it's basically an image based virtual pinboard for ideas, articles, thoughts that you see on your travels around the internet.

The fun thing about Pinterest is discovering other people's boards as you go along - this is how I've discovered new websites, new sources, new blogs or new techniques. There is a huge amount of information out there and this is a new way to find it. There's a search function so you can find things of interest and then as you start to follow people your stream of images will fill up and you can discover more.

Here are a few of the boards/pinners that I follow:


Recently I decided to create some Full Circle Pinterest boards as a way to keep track of all the things I find on the internet.

My plan was to be as focused as possible with my boards - rather than have one huge one with 1000's of pins on it and to date I have 50-something boards.

All of the boards have a genealogy theme of some sort (although sometimes the links are a bit tenuous!) and I've initially based them on my internet bookmarks. They have grown as I've discovered things on Pinterest and repinned them to my boards. I particularly like to find pins on organisation.

For example I have a board for Genealogy in Bedfordshire that started as a direct copy of links to websites that I'd already highlighted as useful in my internet browser (Firefox if you're interested) and then as I find interesting sites I will continue to add them.

But Pinterest is more than  a place to store a list of links - it's very visual so that's why I have some boards that are just pretty to look at - for example my Art board.

And sometimes I just look at the jokes/funnies that float around - you'd be amazed how much genealogy humour there is.

So are you on Pinterest? Do you have any favourite boards? What sort of boards would you like to see on Pinterest?



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Sunday, 1 June 2014

52 Ancestors #20: John Tillen (1815-1891) Devon, England and Ontario Canada - Is he an Ancestor?

This is the 20th post in my 52 Ancestors series.

On Friday I saw a tweet (follow me @jofullcircle) that Find My Past had added some Devon parish records as part of their 100 in 100 days promotion. I wasn't expecting much but on the offchance I did my usual search for TIL*N.

Full Circle Family History 52 Ancestors #20: John Tillen (1815-1891) Devon, England and Ontario CanadaI was unsuccessful in 3 of the datasets but the Devon Marriages produced a result for John Tillen in 1858 in St John's Church,  Sutton-on-Plym, Plymouth.

So, I took down the details added the names to my database and checked for duplicates - none appeared. The next thing I did was to search the 1861 Census records and found John, with his new wife Martha (nee Phillips) and their son Frederick William all living in Plymouth. Interestingly John's birthplace was given as Beenham, Berkshire - suddenly I was sure there must be some sort of connection to my main line of Tillins in Berkshire.

On the marriage record it showed John's father as William but I still couldn't tie him into any of the William's on my main tree. So I looked at the christening records on Ancestry and found a christening for John Tillin, son of William and Martha Tillin, in 1815 in Beenham. I was sure it must be him so now I knew his mother's name too.

I looked at my tree for any William's of approximately the right age and I found one. William, son of John Tillin and Elizabeth Bernard, was born in 1788 so would have been about the right age to have a son in 1815. He had also been baptised in Beenham in 1788 so I was sure that he was my man but couldn't prove it.

Marriage records will prove it I thought!

So I hunted in the marriage records for a marriage between a William Tillin and a Martha and there was only 1 - William Tillin married Martha Phillips in Sulhampstead Bannister on 23rd August 1812 but it's only a transcription and it doesn't note the name of the Groom's father so I can't be 100% sure that it's the right William so for now the link is a dotted line. If I ever get a chance I will try and look at the actual parish record to see if there's any more information on it - however, I'm quite convinced that they are the William and Martha who are the parents of John Tillen I found marrying in Devon. But how strange that father and son married women with almost identical names???

I've not had a chance to do a lot more research but it appears that John's son Frederick died in 1861 not long after appearing on the census. By this time the couple had another son Henry John. The next time I found the family (also including a daughter Alice)  was in 1869 on the ship Cleopatra heading over to Canada where I believe they spent the rest of their lives and appear on the 1881 census.

I found John on a few Ancestry trees and it seems like he died in 1891 but this is a detail I need to confirm.

I wonder if I'll ever find out if there is a connection and that John is my children's 1st cousin 7 times removed?



Devon marriages (£) on findmypast.co.uk
England & Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906 (£) on ancestry.co.uk
Berkshire Baptisms (£) on findmypast.co.uk
Berkshire Marriages (£) on findmypast.co.uk
Public trees on ancestry.co.uk

(Sorry, I've only used sites I have to pay for this week (£) - will try to add a few free ones in next time!)

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 14

Full Circle Family History - Postcard Book Page 14

This is page 14 of the postcard book. Please click on postcards in the tag cloud on the right to see more posts in this series.

This week we are going from the Isle of Wight to Scotland and then over the Irish Sea to the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Full Circle Family History - Postcard Book Page 14

The top card is from the Isle of Wight and shows Steyne Road.

Full Circle Family History - Postcard Book Page 14

The second card shows St Andrews in Scotland.

Full Circle Family History - Postcard Book Page 14

The third card depicts the Giant's Causeway - a place I've only recently visited.

Full Circle Family History - Postcard Book Page 14


This page is full of cards posted between 1903 and 1904 and they all appear to be from previous patients as everyone tells Nurse Hogg how well they are doing.

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