News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Was your ancestor a star baker?

    Baking competitions have always been popular, especially as part of a village’s annual flower and produce show. Your ancestors may have been renowned for the quality of their bakes. Newspapers are a great source to find out if your family had a history of collecting prizes, as these examples show.

    Widow Stebbings was a formidable force at the Watton Annual Show “The competition for the best loaf of bread was keen….Widdow Stebbings again carried off first prize, her bread being all you could have wished for” [Norwich Mercury 23rd September 1899].

    Whereas at the Hendon Horticultural Society’s show in 1929 the vicar and his family had the competition all sewn up! [Hendon & Finchley Times 8th November 1929.


  2. Victorian Medical Advances

    Vaccinations have been around longer than you may think. The small pox vaccination, which had been available freely since 1841, was made compulsory in 1853 for children in their first three months of life. The local registrars gave blank vaccination certificates to parents of newly born children, who had to return them within the specified time, signed by a medical man to indicate a successful vaccination, or face a fine. Poor Law guardians set up the public vaccination service and the vaccinations were usually performed by the Poor Law medical officers.  Surviving vaccination certificates can be found in county record offices and can help in family history research. The records show the name and age of the child, the name of a parent (usually the father), the address, parish and name of person issuing the certificate.

  3. Pick up your family history research this Autumn

    As the nights get longer, and the days shorter, why not think about looking at your family history research once again.  It might be that in the past you have put away research after hitting a proverbial “brick wall”, or simply that other things in life got in the way of completing further research.

    Whatever your research needs, Achievements is here to help.  As professional genealogists, we have many years experience working on all aspects of family history, whether it is sorting out a specific problem, or undertaking in-depth research into a particular family going back several centuries.

    Why not contact us today to find out how we can help you with your genealogical research today.

  4. Planning next year’s genealogical diary?

    As the nights draw in, and the temperature (finally) drops, it might be that thoughts start turning to genealogical events taking place next year.  Why not look into the courses run by our sister organisation the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies?  It might be that you have thought about taking professional genealogical practice further, in which case our day course entitled “The Professional Approach” might be for you.  Alternatively, the course “Report Writing” might be of interest, running on 27th February.

    For a full list of the courses running next year, click here to find out more.

  5. Rogationtide and the “beating the bounds”.

    Rogationtide  was a religious festival held between the Monday and Wednesday before Ascension Day, and was  a period of fasting and prayer. It was accompanied by processions around the parish boundaries, and our ancestors in this procession would have recited the Litany of the Saints.

    After the reformation this lost it’s religious significance but the procession remained, often taking place on Ascension Day or Ascension Sunday. It became known as “Beating the Bounds” and was a way of preventing encroachment by neighbours, making sure boundary markers had not moved and were visible, and to pass on the knowledge of where the  boundaries were to the next generation.




October 2016
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