Family Tree UK

Family Tree UK January 2020

Learn how to trace your family tree! Every issue is packed with: family history research advice hands-on learning experiences to help you become an ancestor super-sleuth & step-by-step guides to show you the path to tracing the past. From vintage documents to the latest in DNA, we’re here to help you discover more! Get the latest in genealogy news, software, books, archives and expert answers. Plus enjoy those reader stories that remind what it means to trace your family story. Research & remember your roots with Family Tree!

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2 min.

DNA research is gathering momentum by the day, helping to make it more possible than ever to piece together our family histories, and the stories of ourselves, by combining DNA and traditional research. So if you’ve recently taken a DNA test, jump in, trace your family tree and see what you might discover. It feels like (and is) a whole new era for tracing our roots! And some of the anniversaries that are cropping up in 2020 show just how important it is to remember the lives of the kin who’ve come before us. From the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620, with the Pilgrim Fathers bound for new lives in a New World; to the 75th anniversary of VE Day 1945, when we remember the end…

9 min.

Email editorial@family-tree.co.uk MANUSCRIPT REWRITES KNOWLEDGE OF ELIZABETH I A manuscript penned by Elizabeth I has painted the 16th century monarch in a new light – thanks to her messy handwriting. Dr John-Mark Philo, an honorary fellow in English Studies at the University of East Anglia, made the startling find while looking for manuscript translations of the Roman historian Tacitus in Lambeth Palace Library. Dr Philo explained: ‘The manuscript features a very specific kind of paper stock, which gained special prominence among the Elizabethan secretariat in the 1590s. There was, however, only one translator at the Tudor court to whom a translation of Tacitus was ascribed by a contemporary and who was using the same paper in her translations and private correspondence: the queen herself. ‘The corrections made to the translation are a match for Elizabeth’s…

1 min.
your free records

WORTH £39! At Family Tree we’ve teamed up with UK family history website TheGenealogist.co.uk to offer you selected free sources from its extensive online collections. Read on to learn about the census and other genealogy records you can search today for free… 1911 Census search Search for your ancestors in Sussex using the 1911 Census. The 1911 Census is the first one actually filled in by our ancestors and includes the signature of the head of household. This is also a handy census as it records our families just three years before the start of the devastating First World War. Voter records Get free access to the 1852 Poll Book of the United Boroughs of Monmouth, Newport, and Usk. Browse or search for voters, the addresses of candidates and their speeches in the borough election,…

13 min.
20 top family history projects & tasks for 2020

We’ve come up with 20 achievable family history projects, many suitable for all levels of family history enthusiast, choosing tasks that will help you make the most of your time, become so much more organised, and enjoy many more new discoveries through the new year to come. Exciting times lie ahead! DNA discoveries DNA is definitely the buzzword of the age and is becoming ever more mainstream in the family history researcher’s tool kit. So whether you are thinking of taking a test soon or have already taken one, it’s well worth getting to grips with. The ideas to follow will help you learn more about DNA, gain practical knowledge about how to get more from your DNA test results, and piece together the story of your genes. 1. Gen up on your genes All…

22 min.
you can get back to the 1500s too (if you just know where to look!)

What mines of information Professor Google and all those rabbit holes can sometimes lead us to! This was my experience a few years ago when a research project unexpectedly revealed some unconventional early sources that I was able to use to supplement – and even compensate for – the absence of more familiar genealogical records. The treasures I found by online ‘fishing’ uncovered much more about the lives of the family members I was researching than the bare bones of a long-destroyed parish register could ever have done, while also revealing an entrepreneurial family spirit going back at least to the 16th century. Read on and see whether you too can use similar sources to find exciting new leads and missing information in your own research. So how did it all start? Researching the…

8 min.
dear karen

STREETS AHEAD IN ROAD SAFETY… Cast your mind back to our December issue and you may recall the story in this column about the origins of street bollards – it turns out many began life as cannons. Well, reading this historical snippet at Family Tree HQ prompted FT Editor Helen Tovey to confide a road-related tale about one of her ancestors. Says Helen: ‘My ancestor invented another piece of street furniture: pedestrian islands. They were named “Hastings Safety Lamps” after my Liverpool saddler John Hastings who came up with the idea for an island, with a street lamp on it, on which pedestrians could wait to safely cross the road. The Liverpool streets at the time were apparently pretty notorious for pedestrian perils and it was the death of one in…