News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. The meaning of Advent

    Advent officially began yesterday, marking the period up until Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus.  The word itself comes from the Latin “adventus”, meaning coming or arrival.  It always commences on the Sunday nearest St Andrew’s Day, being the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and marks the beginning of the liturgical year, as it did for our ancestors.

    Traditions surrounding Advent including lighting an Advent candle and opening Advent calendars.  In terms of its history, the idea of Advent and the preparations for Christmas has been around since the fifth century.  However, some of the traditions associated with Advent, such as chocolate in the calendar, have more recent origins!


  2. Genealogy Christmas gifts

    There is still time to commission family history research in time for this Christmas.  What more unique gift could your loved one receive on Christmas day, than the history of their family?  We can undertake research based on as much, or as little, information as you know about the family, to create an unforgettable Christmas present.

    Contact us to find out more, and for a free quote.

  3. 1939 National Registration

    The 1939 National Registration has recently been released in digitised format, after much excitement.  It was previously under NHS administration, and only they could conduct searches of this useful twentieth century record.  But what information does it provide?  And why was it created in the first place?

    The 1939 National Registration represents a census-like document of all non-military personnel as of 29th September 1939, which records formed the basis for Second World War identity cards.

    The information given includes address, name, exact date of birth, marital status and occupation.  The key to genealogists here is that exact dates of birth are given, not just an age.

    As well as this, the 1939 National Registration fills in a gap in the genealogical records: the 1921 census is governed by a 100 year confidentiality ruling so will not be available for another six years, the 1931 census was destroyed in a fire, and the 1941 census never taken.

    Thus, the 1939 National Registration is an important document for twentieth century genealogical research.  Contact us today to find out where your relatives were living in 1939.

  4. Christmas gift ideas

    Family history research can make a really unique gift idea for Christmas, but also for birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations.

    As well as the research itself, we can also provide family tree diagrams, or pedigrees, showing your family tree.  We can print pedigrees any size up to A0, which can then be framed, or several copies printed off to give to relatives.  For further details about our family tree charts please click here, or contact us to discuss this further.

  5. Boadiceas in General Registration

    In any family tree research, surprises can await at any turn of the genealogical research process.  This week one of our genealogists was researching an Evans family in Wales and Somerset.  They were relatively mobile, but nothing out of the ordinary.

    But the 1871 census showed that the parents John and Eliza Evans had named their daughter “Boadicia”.  What prompted them to give their daughter the name of this historic Celtic warrior?  Whatever it was, it certainly makes genealogical research more straightforward when dealing with such a rare forename.

    In fact, searches of birth records of General Registration reveal that there were 120 children given this forename, from 1837 to 1915.  Spellings vary, including Boadicia and Boadicea, but the Queen of the Iceni from the 1st century AD has clearly been remembered in our ancestors’ naming patterns of the nineteenth century.

  6. Armistice Day

    On this November 11th, many family historians may be thinking back to those ancestors who fought, and indeed lost their lives, during the First World War.  As many genealogists may have already found, only around 40% of WWI army service records survive, due to bombing during WWII.  However, information can sometimes be gleaned from other sources regarding our ancestors’ military careers.

    One of our researchers, Elizabeth Yule, has been investigating her great grandfather, James Kerry, who fought in WWI as part of the Suffolk Regiment.  Like so many, he does not have a surviving service record, although his Medal Card shows he was awarded the 1915 Star.  Searches of Suffolk newspapers, also reveal that he was wounded in 1917, and this entry gives additional details about when and where he joined up.  Thus interesting snippets can be found, despite missing service records.

    James Kerry newspaper record


  7. Get ahead with Christmas presents

    Now that Halloween is over, Christmas is rapidly approaching.  Why not think about researching family history as a gift for that special someone?  Genealogical research is a unique present, and certainly not one that will be replicated by other friends or family!

    We can either complete research in time for Christmas, or provide a Christmas gift certificate to be given on Christmas day.  We can then work with the family once the surprise is over.  Contact us to find out more.

  8. Dr Baker made President of the International Federation of Schools of Family History

    Congratulations to our principal, Dr Richard Baker, who has been made made President of the International Federation of Schools of Family History.  This took place at the IX Colloquium of the Académie Internationale de Généalogie in Madrid, in October.

    The Federation was established in 2005, with the aim of bringing together leading international  schools of family history.




November 2015
« Oct   Dec »