Digital v Physical Archives: a Personal Account, Part 1 OR a Little Bit of Family History

 I began my family tree research in my late teens.  I sat down with my father and listed all family members past and present that he could remember.  Still only eighteen, I moved from Merseyside to Wimbledon and bought a copy of Tracing Your Family Tree, by Jean Cole and Michael Armstrong.  I was ideally placed to visit the capital’s repositories, but then hit a … Continue reading Digital v Physical Archives: a Personal Account, Part 1 OR a Little Bit of Family History

Gray Family History: a Brief Overview of the Mullins/Southwell Branch

Gray – maternal line My mother’s family, her parents and three older brothers, arrived in Liverpool in the mid-1920s. Her father was William James Gray (1885 – 1941) and her mother Anne Southwell (1899 – 1995), their marriage certificate states that my grandmother’s father was ‘unknown’. This is not strictly true: her birth certificate states that her father was John Mullins. However, I have been … Continue reading Gray Family History: a Brief Overview of the Mullins/Southwell Branch

Tracing my Boyland and Gray Ancestors

I started this blog to share fascinating stories from history. Not least of those, are my family history posts. I have researched my family’s history on and off for three decades, with more off than on, and usually with an intense burst of activity after travelling to a specific archive or record office.  This blog is now two-years-old and this is its 94th article! So I … Continue reading Tracing my Boyland and Gray Ancestors

RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

On the morning of 27 September 1950 an RAF twin-seater Meteor 7 aircraft crashed into the Irish Sea, off Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire. It was on its way from Jurby, Isle of Man to Driffield, Yorkshire. An RAF rescue attempt was launched immediately with assistance from those in the vicinity. It was briefly reported in some newspapers, where it was stated that one body was recovered … Continue reading RAF Plane Crash: Irish Sea Rescue Attempt

Using Postcards for Family History

In my article The Many Ways to Consume History, I gave examples of ways that I consume history, most examples were of public history and from a non-academic source. One of the ways I stated I consume history is by collecting antique postcards. This Easter Monday I visited a Postcard and Collectable Paper Fair that is scheduled for my local recreation centre once or twice a … Continue reading Using Postcards for Family History

Patrick Gray: Using Newspapers for Genealogy

Somewhere in my family tree files there’s a sepia-toned newspaper cutting that belonged to my grandmother and my mother passed it to me. On reflection it was probably my grandfather’s and he died in 1941. It was his father’s obituary from 1919. While away from home I decided to have a search on the British Newspaper Archives website to see if I could find it. … Continue reading Patrick Gray: Using Newspapers for Genealogy