Family Tree UK

Family Tree UK October 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.
setting sail with hope in their hearts for a better future

It’s been quite a year hasn’t it – and we’re only three-quarters in! Yet with the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to remember we certainly have a lot to look forward to on the family history front. We hope you’ll really relish this special issue, filled with snippets about the Mayflower story and ideas of how to trace your kin back to the 17th century. One of the reasons that the voyage of the Pilgrims has resonated down the centuries, on both sides of the Atlantic, has got to be the inspiring example that they set us, of courage and dreams for a better world even in the face of troubling times – something we can relate to particularly at the moment. If nothing else, the past…

9 min.

Earliest humans stayed at ‘oldest hotel’ in America 30,000 years ago A cave in a remote part of Mexico was visited by humans around 30,000 years ago – 15,000 years earlier than people were previously thought to have reached the Americas Archaeological analysis of the tools and DNA analysis of the sediment in the cave uncovered a new story of the colonisation of the Americas which now traces evidence of the first Americans back to 25,000-30,000 years ago. Chiquihuite Cave is a high-altitude site, 2,750 metres above sea level. Nearly 2,000 stone tools and small tool fragments, known as flakes, were discovered. DNA analysis of the plant and animal remains from the sediment packed around the tools in the cave dates the tools and the human occupation of the site to 25,000-30,000 years…

1 min.
your free records

WORTH £28! 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 genealogy records you can search today for free. 1911 Kelly’s Directory for Berkshire Explore Kelly’s Directory for the county of Berkshire. The directory is a great resource for tracing ancestors, particularly those employed within a distinctive trade, who may be listed as a tradesperson along with their full name, trade and address. The directory also gives background information on the people and places of the county, with details of prominent residents, chief landowners, shops and businesses and every day life. 1861 Radnorshire Census Explore the 1861 Census for the historic Welsh county of Radnorshire, a county created in 1542 and abolished in 1974. A…

10 min.
the mayflower story

The Pilgrim Fathers arrived at what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts on 11 November 1620. They were not the first European settlers of America, nor even the first British people to attempt to settle there. However, their lengthy journey across the Atlantic, their survival against the odds, and the way in which they conducted themselves inspired a nation. They founded the first permanent colony in New England, which they named Plymouth after their final point of departure from England, some 66 days previously. Yet it was not until two centuries later that they began to be known as the Pilgrim Fathers after an American politician, Daniel Webster, used the phrase for the first time. Who were they? The people who decided to cross an ocean to the new land of America were a…

1 min.
do you have mayflower ancestors?

FAMOUS CONNECTIONS A number of famous US citizens have ancestors that came over on the Mayflower including presidents Roosevelt and Bush, actors Clint Eastwood, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Gere, and the singer Bing Crosby. ANCESTORS IN COMMON You might be related to one of the early colonists if you have American forebears. Alternatively, you could have 17th-century English ancestors in common with one of the passengers. Many of the Mayflower passengers seem to have come from Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk, Kent, London and Middlesex. PASSENGER BIOGRAPHIES The website www.MayflowerHistory.com provides an online biography for each of the 102 Mayflower passengers (click on the ‘Mayflower Passenger List’ tab). Where known, it describes where every passenger was born in England, the date, and specifies their parents. The research is presented honestly, and where there is doubt about origins…

10 min.
mayflower modes

The Mayflower left Plymouth in September 1620, carrying 102 passengers including children and servants, and around 30 crew. The epic voyage of the so-called ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ has become romanticised over time, gaining near-mythological status. We can instinctively visualise the heroic departure, momentous journey and passengers’ eventual disembarkation, even though the iconic images that have captured the imagination of generations are largely 19th-century fabrications. Sombre-clothed figures with white collars and kerchiefs seem to symbolise the archetypal Puritanical look, and yet the emigrants were not Puritans but in many cases religious Separatists hoping to establish a new Church; others were the ‘Strangers’ – professionals and fee-paying colonists. So what was the reality, and how can learning about dress reveal more about those events of 400 years ago? What can the sources tell us? Studying the…