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Category: General Tips

Searching The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642

Searching The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642

The UK Protestation Returns of 1641/1642 are the closest thing that we have to a census. If you are lucky enough to have traced your ancestry back to this time and you know the exact parish that they lived in, then it could be worth taking a look at these records to see if their names appear in them. In 1641 by order of the House Of Commons, every adult male was asked to declare an oath of allegiance to the Protestant…

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How To Know Which GRO Index Is The Correct One

How To Know Which GRO Index Is The Correct One

This post relates to the Birth and Death Indexes in England & Wales. Often when searching the GRO Indexes or searching for people with particularly common surnames you might find yourself with a few, possibilities as to which is the correct certificate. Most people will guess and hope for the best, if it’s not one then they’ll buy another until they have the correct one. But there are actually a few tricks you can apply to figure out the correct…

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Validating Old Place Names That No Longer Exist

Validating Old Place Names That No Longer Exist

Often when looking for ancestors, you will come across a place name that you don’t recognise and when you try to look it up, it doesn’t exist anymore. Usually you’ll find these in places that have changed governments or allegiances to differ countries throughout the last couple of hundred years. It’s good practice to record the place as it was at the time that the particular record was written. Some steps you can take to get the correct, or most…

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Open Ended Questions to Ask Older Generations of Your Family

Open Ended Questions to Ask Older Generations of Your Family

Almost everyone will have older members in their family that might not be around for that much longer, so it’s great to ask them about their lives and the lives of their Siblings, Cousins, Aunties, Uncles, Parents and Grandparents. The majority of the time they will jump at the chance to give you what you’re after as long as you don’t go down the ‘survey’ avenue. I’ve seen a lot of posts on forums and online communities asking about this…

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What Sources You Should Be Looking At In 15th-17th Century English Research

What Sources You Should Be Looking At In 15th-17th Century English Research

Most people can trace their tree back to at least the 1800s using conventional methods such as Birth/Marriage/Death and Census records but not many realise they can go back a lot further than this using other record collections. Most records still need a visit to an Archive especially older more specialist ones as they aren’t often digitised, and when they are they haven’t always been transcribed to be searchable. Your best bet for sources are: 1 – Wills A great…

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Websites To Help You Find Old Local Maps

Websites To Help You Find Old Local Maps

Whilst it’s great learning about your ancestors, a lot of people neglect to learn about the places they lived or even the land they they might have owned or worked on. The majority of us will have ancestors that lived and worked in rural areas, be it in the United Kingdom, Europe or the USA. There are websites dedicated to preserving and displaying old local maps. 1. Old-Maps.com (USA & Ireland) Old-Maps.com has Maps from: Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode…

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Researching Family Trees Online On A Budget

Researching Family Trees Online On A Budget

Researching your family tree can become a very expensive hobby the further back you go and depending on the goals you set yourself you might find it starts to break the bank. Some people are only interested in a few branches of their tree and so can breeze through these without paying much in the way of purchasing certificates and subscriptions to online sources. Below are a few tips that can help you manage the money you spend on your…

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Understanding What Is Meant By “Second Cousin Once Removed” And Similar Relationships.

Understanding What Is Meant By “Second Cousin Once Removed” And Similar Relationships.

A lot of people and myself included when they start researching don’t know the actual meaning of relationships like “Second Cousin Once Removed” or “Third Cousin Twice Removed” and only know the simple stuff like great grandfather, great great grandmother etc. A few things first, in genealogy and on most genealogy related websites the “Great Great Great Grandmother” relationship type is often abbreviated to things like “3xGGM” and “5xGGF” Meaning “Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather”. You get the point,…

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Fooled In To Thinking Everyone Has A Family Coat-of-Arms or Crest.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Fooled In To Thinking Everyone Has A Family Coat-of-Arms or Crest.

The majority of people, when they first get in to Genealogy or Family History often (And me included) want to find out their “Family Crest” or “Coat-of-Arms”. If you google your last name followed by one of the two you’ll find countless sites which all want to sell you merchandise with “your” particular crest on. Having a Coat-of-Arms is a particularly rare thing to have and even if a branch of your family does happen to have one, being able…

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How to Properly Cite a Source.

How to Properly Cite a Source.

Not citing sources is one of the main downfalls the plagues amateur genealogists. It’s easy to forget to cite a Source when researching if you get in to the swing of things and are adding more than one fact to a person at once and yes, it seems tedious at first but once you start, it becomes second nature and will benefit you and anyone else looking at your tree in years to come. Like the majority of people, when…

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