News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Libeahthe . . . is this Elizabeth or Liberty?

    Whilst undertaking some family history research in Somerset this week, one of our genealogists chanced across a baptism with a very unusual forename. Spelling variants are by no means unusual within parish registers, particularly when so many people were illiterate and would not have been able to correct the clergyman recording the information, although in this case it was a little unclear what name was meant.

    The baptism of one child, in 1785, seems to have foxed the person the recording the information and “Libeahthe” was recorded.

    Was this the minister’s spelling of the unusual forename Liberty, which he wasn’t sure how to spell? Or was the name Elizabeth being attempted but he was having an off day? Was he interrupted whilst recording the baptism, or were the parents clear that this was the name they meant?  For now, clearly more research is required in the parish register to ascertain her forename!


  2. Military Records day course

    Most of us will have ancestors who served in the armed forces at some time, and military records can provide information not only into your ancestor’s life whilst in the military but can also give essential genealogical information to help extend your family tree.

    Our sister organisation, the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, is holding a day course entitled “Military Records – Army, RAF and Royal Navy” on Monday 23rd April at our headquarters in Canterbury.  The course will cover the 18th to 21st centuries and will discuss both online and original sources. The day will be led by Les Mitchinson, IHGS Director of Education and Vice Chair of AGRA.

    Click here to find out more information, and to book a place on this course.

  3. Festive surnames – Easter, Christmas and Yule

    Easter is rapidly approaching, and our thoughts have turned to festive surnames.  In fact, the surname Easter is not that rare, with over 3000 Easter births registered in General Registration within the period 1837-1915.

    Like the surnames Christmas and Yule, if your name is Easter then it could be that an earlier ancestor was born on Easter day, or had some other connection to Easter.  However, unlike these other two surnames, Easter does have other possible etymological origins.

    It could derive from someone living east of somewhere, or it could be a locational surname from villages in Essex, whose name in turn probably derives from the Old English ‘eowestre’ meaning sheepfold.

    So if your surname is Easter, your ancestors may have been born on Easter day, they may have lived in the east, or near a sheepfold!

  4. Thinking of becoming a professional genealogist?

    If you have ever thought of becoming a professional genealogist, our day course entitled “The Professional Approach” may be for you. Run by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies together with other professionals working in the field, there are only a few places on this popular day course left.

    It seeks to cover all aspects of working as a professional family historian, from how to acquire clients to what to charge. Meet others in the same position, and share ideas and experiences. Click here to find out more.



March 2018
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