Search the blog

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.

Why not subscribe to the blog and keep up to date with all the latest news from Full Circle Family History.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wordless Wednesday - A future momento of 2014

Full Circle Family History - Wordless Wednesday - Future Momento of 2014

Why not subscribe to the blog and keep up to date with all the latest news from Full Circle Family History.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tuesday's Tip - Where is your surname from?

Last night I watched the most recent Australasia and Europe hangout for the Guild of One Name Studies. They were discussing synthesis of a one name study and mentioned the world surname profiler.

So I googled it and headed over to the public profiler website.

The website asks you for the surname you are interested in, email address and gender then it produces a map showing areas where the surname exists.

This map shows that the majority of people with the TILLIN surname are mainly found in the UK, with a few in the US and Spain.

I also have the surname TILLING registered with the Guild as a variant of the TILLIN surname, here is the TILLING map.

It looks like there are a lot more TILLINGs around - I'm particularly interested in the fact that there seems to be quite a few in Canada and Sweden. I've noted it down for research in the future.

My final variant is TILLEN.

Again there seems to be some sort of relationship to Sweden.

Have you ever looked at the distribution of one of your surnames? Maybe take a look and see if it confirms what you already believe about the origins of your family.

I'd love to hear if you make any discoveries - leave me a comment below if you do.

Why not subscribe to the blog and keep up to date with all the latest news from Full Circle Family History.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Kick Start your Genealogy

This weekend is a bank holiday (for those of us in England at least!) and that often gives us the opportunity to meet up with friends and family.

If you've been thinking about starting to research your family tree then use this weekend as an opportunity to do so.

This is the chance to chat to an old family member or friend - take some notes but don't worry too much about the format. Listen to their stories as that is the really interesting part.

Or ask the children to describe a relative - then in a few years time take out the list and see how they would change it. Or have it made into some word art as a present. You're creating a piece of history for future generations to find.

Maybe you'll find that you have a bit of spare time and can try something you wouldn't normally do. For example, it could be the ideal opportunity to visit one of the genealogy data providers, take up a free trial if needed and then plug in a name. You never know what the results might be.

How about sitting down with a cup of tea and a piece of paper and writing down all about you? In the future someone may be researching you - what would you like them to know? How about your favourite things? I've turned that into the cover of my ipad!

Or try to sketch out what you know about your family. I find that once I start to see a diagram I can then visualise relationships and new names, dates and facts pop into my head

It could be that you are planning to do some decluttering this weekend - why not take that box of old photos and have a quick skim through? Take a moment to make a note on the back of who's in the photo or even scan the photo into your computer which means you can share the photo and save soem space in your home.

And then once the bank holiday is over how about finding out about the next steps. At Full Circle I offer a Kick Start service where I take what you know and turn that into a pdf chart and a summary report . This also includes ideas of where you could take your research next.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have a fab weekend whatever you do!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 13 Can you solve the riddle?

Here is the latest page in the postcards series and we're up to page 13.

The top postcard was sent in 1907 to Nurse Hogg and is from Sister R - possibly someone she worked with? It depicts the Longstone Rocks, Mottistone on the Isle of Wight which is now owned by the National Trust.

The next postcard shows a picture of Tintern Abbey in Wales taken from Chapel Hill. Interestingly the postmark on the back of the card shows that it was actually posted in Clacton-on-Sea.

The final card shows Swiss Cottage, Cassiobury Park, Watford.

On the back of the card is a riddle - can you get the answer?

Up and down the road it goes or over fields instead
Nothing of its body shows it travels on it's head
What is it?

Monday, 19 May 2014

52 Ancestors #19: Woral Edward Robbins (1889-1981) Gibraltar and Woolwich, Royal Garrison Artillery

Find My Past have just released a new record set called Royal Artillery Attestations1883-1942 as part of their 100 in 100 promotion. The information is

taken from enlistment books which were maintained by British Army regiments during the period under consideration. Each record includes an image of the enlistment book and a transcription. (

My children's great-great-grandfather, Woral Edward Robbins, was in the Royal Garrison Artillery so I decided to take a look and see what I could find out as part of this weeks 52 Ancestors post. The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) was the part of the Royal Artillery responsible for manning the guns of the British Empire's forts (e.g. coastal artillery batteries, heavy guns attached to infantry divisions etc).

I found his attestation record quite quickly by searching for the firstname Woral even though he signed up as Edward Woral Robbins and is indexed as Edw. Woral Robins. (Just goes to show you shouldn't be too specific in your searches!) I jumped straight to the image where there appears to be a wealth of information about him. I was able to download the image to my hard drive with no problems and then I set about analysing what I had.

Here is a transcription of the record (which is really difficult to see but if you double click on it you should be able to see it bigger?)

This confirms many things I knew but also firms up the dates of birth of some of Woral's children and where they were born (Gibraltar or Woolwich.) It also give me the place of Woral and Teresa's marriage - King's Chapel, Gibraltar - which I didn't know.,_Gibraltar
It looks like sometime between 1920 and 1925 the family moved from Gibraltar to Woolwich and then stayed in that area. In 1944 he was a witness at this daughter Ada's wedding and gave his occupation as Postman and address as Eltham Park, Woolwich.

Woral passed away on 5 April 1981. also hold other Royal Artillery records - Royal Artillery Honours & Awards, Royal Artillery Military Medal Awards and Royal Artillery Other Ranks: Casualty Cards. I haven't found any records for Woral in these yet.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

52 Ancestors #18 David Thomas William Boxall (1822-1898 ) Bermondsey, London

The thing with participating in the 52 ancestors blog challenge is that it is making me go back to some ancestors that have lain forgotten in my Family Historian database. Today I've chosen to take a look at David Boxall who is a member of this group as I don't think I've spent any time on the Boxall family in years!

So what do I know?

  • David Thomas William Boxall was born in 1822 in Whitechapel. He was the 5xGreat Grandfather of my children.
  • He married Mary Ann Pearce in 1843.
  • They had 7 children.

Not much really!

This is where I realise the difference that a few years genealogy experience shows. For example my source for David's birth reads 1861 Census and that's all!!! At least I knew enough to put some sort of source but it was a pretty poor one. From other links to this census I see that they were in Bermondsey in 1861 so I have now tracked down the census and added a better source citation.

So after a look around Ancestry, including the London Metropolitan Archive collection that has been added since I last researched David, I now know a bit more.

  • David was born on 20th April 1822 in Whitechapel, Middlesex and baptised on 15th September 1822 at St Dunstan's in Stepney(1)
  • He married Mary Ann Pearce on16th April 1843 at Trinity Church in Newington(2).
  • They had 8 children not 7 - I believe the eldest child Sarah died but I can only find a record of her baptism but not a burial and she didn't appear on any of the census returns.
  • He appears in all the census from 1841 to 1881 as a Fellmonger.
  • Mary died in 1875 and David got remarried to Sarah Ann Oldenshaw on 27 Dec 1875 in Bethnal Green.(3)
  • David and Sarah lived in Bermondsey at 19 Abbey Street in the 1881 and 1891 Census.
  • David passed away in 1898 - his death is registered in Apr-Jun quarter of 1898 and registered in St Olave Southward registration district.(4)

I then skipped over to wikipedia as my first question was "What is a Fellmonger?" and this is what it says(5)

A fellmonger was a dealer in hides or skins, particularly sheepskins, who might also prepare skins for tanning. The name is derived from the Old English ‘fell’ meaning skins and ‘monger’ meaning dealer. Fellmongery is one of the oldest professions in the world and since ancient times, man has used the skins of animals to clothe himself, and for making domestic articles
Leather Exchange 19th century from Lyons Family website
Bermondsey was well known for leather and tanning so this makes sense that David would have taken up this kind of career. You can now take a walk around Bermondsey around the places David must have worked. His father is also shown as a Fellmonger on both his baptism and first marriage certificate so it was passed down. I wonder if any of his children took up the same trade? Do you have any careers that have passed down through the generations?

As a member of the Guild of One Name Studies I'm always on the lookout for a name that someone is studying and Boxall is a registered name so I'm going to contact the holder of the Boxall study. Do you know any Boxalls?


(1)  "London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906",[database on-line], ( : accessed 11 May 2014) London Metropolitan Archives, Parish: St Dunstan Stepney Church: All Saints, Register of Baptism,  12 Sep 1822 - 15 Sep 1822 p 280 Item 3
(2) "London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921",[database on-line], ( : accessed 11 May 2014) London Metropolitan Archives, Southwark, Newington Holy Trinity; 16 Apr 1843; David Thomas William Boxall Mary Ann Pearce
(3) "London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921",[database on-line], ( : accessed 11 May 2014) London Metropolitan Archives, Bethnal Green, St James the Great; 29 Dec 1875; David William Boxall Sarah Ann Oldenshaw
(4)  "England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index, 1837-1915" [database on-line] ( : accessed 11 May 2014) Apr-Jun [quarter] 1898 BOW-BRA

What to do with those Ancestry suggested records

Sometimes when I'm working in Ancestry I only have a limited amount of time and this is usually when Ancestry provide me with lots of potential leads for someone I'm looking for. If you don't use Ancestry then what happens is that I look up one record e.g. an 1861 census entry for David Boxall and they produce a whole list of other potential record matches down the side (in the green circle below.

Part of me then wants to click through all of them straight away, see what they are, have I got them already..... etc but often this sort of thing happens at 3pm when I've got to head off to pick the children up from school.

But this is where my research log spreadsheet and "copy and paste" skills come into use.

Step 1 is to highlight the title of the first selected record.

Then copy it - I press the CTRL and C buttons to copy whatever I've highlighted with my mouse. This is standard windows functionality and means that the text is now added to my computers clipboard.

Then I head over to my research log in Excel and start a new line. I add todays date, describe the question as a link for future info or similar and then in the Record/Action Name column I paste the information. I usually select the cell and then put my cursor in the editing box at the top then press the CTRL and V button to paste the information.

The next step is to actually click through the ancestry link but making sure that I open it in another tab. I do this by right clicking and selecting "Open in new Tab" or I use my firefox addon that automatically opens links in new tabs.

In the new tab I highlight the Ancestry transcription and copy it as before.

Then I paste it into the Transcript Extract column of my spreadsheet.

The final step is to copy the web address from my browser.

Then I paste this into my spreadsheet as before in the Link column. Then I select the cell and press CTRL and K to bring up the hyperlink box. Then I use CTRL and V again to paste the web address into the hyperlink box then press return. This means that in the future I can click on the web address in my spreadsheet and it will open up the web page in my browser for me.

On average this takes me about 30 seconds per link and I've got a record of where to look next when I come back to this family. It really helps me to stay on track with the record I'm actually analysing at the time and stops me going off at a tangent!

How do you keep track of the records Ancestry suggests?

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Postcard Book Page 12 Seaside cards

So here we have the next page from the postcard book. (For previous posts click on the postcard tag).

At the top of the page we have a view of the promenade in Blackpool with the Blackpool Tower in the distance. The postcard was sent in 1907 and on the back there is a bit of a nag from Cousin Dorothy as it would appear that Nurse Hogg isn't writing back!

Below that we continue the seaside theme but move from the north east of England to the south coast with a postcard of Marine Parade in Eastbourne. This card was posted in 1905 and is another thank you card from an appreciative patient who hasn't forgotten his "attentive night nurse".

The final postcard on the page is completely different and show the town hall in Blackburn, Lancashire. This one was posted in 1905 and someone (possibly Francis) is arranging to meet Nurse Hogg on the train and tells her to not buy a return ticket.

Next post is away from the seaside but starts on the Isle of Wight.