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Family history: Getting back into the groove

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 12, 2013

TALK: Nick Barratt, who edits Your Family History.

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AS 2013 begins now is the time to get back into the groove with your family history research.

Grab all those notes that you made when talking to your relatives and search for what you need to place people on your tree.

Now is a good time to buy a Family History Magazine as most of them have a beginners' guide and more relevantly they cover the latest websites and major updates to existing ones.

They will also give information on TV programmes and books as well as providing case studies, photographic queries and features on particular areas.

At the Gloucestershire Family History Society Centre in Alvin Street we hold all the latest issues in our library as well as Journals from other FH Societies.

However, there is nothing like sitting at home and digesting the latest information at leisure.

Whilst I find all the magazines good, a particular favourite of mine is Your Family History, edited by Nick Barratt.

Many of you may know Nick from his frequent visits to Gloucestershire and his eloquent talks about Family History.

He is the President of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) and always has his finger on the pulse. Nick will be speaking at the GFHS Open Day at Gloucester Rugby Club on May 4.

Check out the latest YFH edition at www.your-familyhistory.com. Interestingly it features the best free sites and the top five sites for beginners. Look for the article on deciphering maritime photos and the feature on the British Newspaper Archives.

Two things needed in family history are patience and persistence and I would like to share something that I turned up after 25 years of searching.

I have a Richard Powles baptised in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1764 and I have always thought it likely that he died young like all his siblings.

This week I was searching wills on The Genealogist website (www.thegenealogist.co.uk) and I found him.

He had died in Swansea in 1846 and, not having any immediate family, had dispersed his not inconsiderable wealth among the children of his cousins, many in London and others in Liverpool, and most were also described by their occupation.

He also left instructions to be buried in Cowbridge, Glamorgan with his late wife Rosa and there were several bequests to servants. From that information I was able to trace him and his servants in the 1841 census, locate his address through the Pigots Trade Directory of 1830 and his marriage in 1791 and the burial of his wife in 1823.

The wills in question are the PCC (Prerogative Court of Canterbury) Wills series PROB11 at the National Archives.

These cover the period 1384 to 12th January 1858 and individual wills are downloadable from TNA at £3.50 each but if you are after several The Genealogist works out cheaper, being included as part of their subscription.

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