News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Awards Day 2016

    All of us here at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies and Achievements are looking forward to this Saturday, and celebrating the achievements of our students at Awards Day.  Students have studied an intensive programme of family history to pass various exams, and this is their well-deserved recognition.

    The weather forecast remains humid, with possible showers, so lets keep our fingers crossed it remains dry for the afternoon!

  2. Death by . . . .gravel?!

    An intriguing cause of death was found this week by one of our researchers on a Scottish burial record of 1845.  In the “cause of death” column, the word “gravel” was given.  Other people on the same page died of things such as “paralysis” and “consumption”, but what on earth was “gravel”?

    Gravel death description

    In fact, further research suggested that “gravel” was a word for the modern equivalent of kidney stones.  A good example of how family history can always throw up new terms to investigate!

  3. More interesting newspaper records . . .

    Following our post from last week about what type of information can be found in newspapers, here is another snippet.  Whilst researching the Yule family of Scotland, an advert was found for James Yule, selling “Upper Peruvian Guano”.  That certainly wasn’t stated on the census entries for James, who was more usually recorded as a farmer.  Such adverts and newspaper snippets can provide additional information on what occupations our ancestors were practicing, and how they were diversifying their businesses!


    Yule advert

  4. New series of Long Lost Family and Who Do You Think You Are?

    Evenings will be filled with genealogy on television this summer, with the return of the tear-jerking Long Lost Family tonight, and the announcement of who will feature in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are?

    The television guides promise an emotional start to the new series of Long Lost Family, whilst we cannot wait to see what hides in the family trees of the likes of Greg Davies and Ricky Tomlinson.  Roll on summer we say!

  5. Newspaper records in tracing ancestors

    Family historians will naturally gravitate towards records of General Registration and census returns when tracing nineteenth century ancestors.  These, of course, provide an essential backbone to any family tree, and a framework from which to work.

    It is always interesting to “flesh out” that family tree however, and newspaper records can be a really excellent resource.  As well as including birth, marriage and death notices, full obituaries may be found, detailing an ancestor’s life.  As well as this, advertisements could give clues to businesses which were run by our predecessors, or even if they were caught breaking the law. The results of local quarter and petty sessions were regularly reported on, and it is certainly interesting to see what type of offences were reported by the local newspaper.

    One of our genealogists has traced her own family in newspaper records, the results of which can be viewed here.  From wife abandonment to stealing turnips, newspaper records offer a varied and interesting view of our ancestors lives!

  6. Next available course on compiling pedigree diagrams

    Due to popular demand, our sister organisation the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies is laying on a second course this year on How to Draw a Pedigree Tree.  This will take you through all aspects of pedigree compilation, using Microsoft Powerpoint.  This is set to be a really useful course to genealogists, providing an accessible and flexible way to display a family tree.

    This is running on Saturday 12th November, and further information on booking and payment can be found  here.



July 2016
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