1. Courses Coming in January 2022

    As we approach the holiday season you may be looking for gift ideas. Why not buy a Pharos gift voucher for the family historian in your family?

    Pharos Gift Voucher

    We are coming to the end of our courses for 2021 now but we have another bumper selection for you in January, including two BRAND NEW courses:

    Introduction to Medieval Genealogy

    Tutor: Gillian Waters
    Start date: 5th January 2022
    Course length: 5 weeks (4 teaching weeks)

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH*

    This course outlines some of the ways that you can break into medieval genealogy. It will help you create the foundations for researching medieval records, describe the nature of medieval records, on-line locations and finding guides that can improve your chances of finding direct or probable relations. It will also help you understand the geographical and political landscapes of medieval England, including general histories and the key events which generated records.

    Topics covered include using medieval pedigrees, heralds visitations and how to prove (or disprove) the genealogies given by using inquisitions post mortem, feet of fines, chancery and other government records as well as taxation, church and military records.

    Lesson Headings:
    * Starting out on Medieval Research- identifying families to track
    * Planning the move to Medieval Records-getting to grips with medieval pedigrees
    * Records of the Landed Classes- the structure of medieval society and the meanings of terminology
    * Reading week- a chance to do some background research
    * Medieval Church records, Military records and Taxation

    This is one of the courses in our Advanced Certificate programme but can also be taken as a standalone course.

    Using Printed Sources in Family History

    Tutor: Simon Fowler
    Start date: 3rd January 2022
    Course length: 3 weeks

    * BRAND NEW COURSE *

    The study of genealogy most often involves research using a variety of original historical documents, whether online copies or transcriptions, or copies or original documents in archives. You will often hear it said: make sure you look at the originals! We are so used to working in this way that it is easy to overlook the value and additional context that can be gained from printed sources.

    And you may think that your ancestors werent grand enough to be mentioned in a newspaper, let alone a directory or local history book. But stories from the lives of millions of our forebears have been captured in this way particularly in newspapers and magazines. There may be no other ways to discover them.

    This course looks at how to use printed material in your genealogical research. There will be a special focus on studying newspapers and magazines and also discuss biographical dictionaries, trade and street directories, record society transcripts and calendars.

    This course will provide background about the records how and why they were created as well as suggesting the best research methods to use online and in archives. There will be plenty of opportunities for students to explore the records for themselves.

    Apprenticeship Records

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 5th January 2022
    Course length: 4 weeks
    COURSE FULL 

    Researching Online for Advanced Genealogists

    Tutor: TBC very soon!
    Start date: 5th January 2022
    Course length: 4 weeks

    The internet is now an essential research environment for family history: many indexes to genealogical records are now available only online, and the internet provides access to a wealth of information and contacts for family historians. This course examines the main types of internet resource which are useful in carrying out research in English and Welsh family history and aims to improve your search skills so that you can be more confident with your search results.

    Lesson Headings:
    * Resource Discovery
    * Genealogical Records Online
    * Online Pedigrees & Genealogical Contacts
    * Reference Resources for Family History

    Building on a Solid Foundation – Genealogy methods and techniques

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 5th January 2022
    Course length: 4 weeks
    COURSE FULL but taking bookings now for May 2022

    Employment Records

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 6th January 2022
    Course length: 5 weeks
    LAST FEW PLACES

    This is one of the courses in our Intermediate Certificate programme, but can also be taken in isolation.

    Records of employment can do two things; reveal important facts for furthering the genealogical information about a family and provide vivid details of the way your ancestors lived. Many documents uncovered during our research indicate an occupation, perhaps several in which our ancestor was employed. This 5 week course examines what is likely to be found in official and unofficial sources and where and how the information can be used as further insights into the lives and times of our ancestors.

    Researching Ancestors in Continental Europe

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 17th January 2022
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Map of Europe

    * BRAND NEW COURSE *

    Have you found ancestors that originated in Continental Europe? This course introduces you to the broad context of Europe, offers advice for tracking European ancestors, expands your knowledge and assists in problem solving.

    During the course we will explore the similarities and differences across Europe and encourage the consideration of some practical factors when conducting your research. There are a great many resources that can be used to assist your research. This course is about creating a solid foundation to research in continental Europe. We will look at defining Europe and what countries are in Europe (it is not always as obvious as you might think!) We look further at the European Empires and the impact on migration to and from the continent. We look too at the borderlines and unifications.The course explores the standard resources across Europe, key websites, reading material and much more, providing the building blocks for robust and solid foundation research in Europe.

    We will consider the reasons for migration, e.g. work opportunities, emigration schemes, persecution, internment and following military service, in the context of historical events. We will also look the culture that the migrants brought with them from their native land, keeping those links alive.

    Discovering more about your Agricultural Labouring Ancestors

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 25th January 2022
    Course length: 5 weeks
    LAST FEW PLACES

    This very popular course from Janet Few is booking fast! This course might have been called “Finding your Agricultural Labouring Ancestors” but few genealogists have any difficulty discovering Ag. Labs. on their family tree. They jump out from census returns, certificates and parish registers with unfailing regularity. Agricultural labourers are not all the same. The labourer on sheep farm in Northumberland led a very different life from someone who worked on an arable farm in Lincolnshire, or a fruit farm in Kent. This course helps to set Ag. Labs. in a broader context and suggests sources that will reveal more about the lives of those rural ancestors and the farms on which they worked. The focus is on British farming from 1700-1950.

    Lesson Headings:
    * Your Farming Ancestors and British Agriculture in Context
    * Finding the Farms
    * Discovering about the Farms and their Workers
    * Working the Land
    * Farming Hazards

    So You Think You Know FamilySearch – A Guided Tour

    Tutor: Barbara Baker
    Start date: 31st January 2022
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Discover what you don’t know about English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh resources at the FamilySearch website with the help of an experienced guide. Barbara Baker has worked in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for more than 30 years and is an expert in FamilySearch resources.

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!

  2. Courses Coming in October

    The nights are starting to draw in. What better way to spend the colder evenings is there, than working on a Pharos course? We have a wide variety of courses coming up in October for you:

    Unlocking Heraldry for Family Historians
    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History
    Practicalities of a One Name Study
    Victorian Families – Your Ancestors in the Census
    17th Century Sources
    Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians
    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Carry on reading to find out more.

    Unlocking Heraldry for Family Historians

    Tutor: Richard Baker
    Start date: 4th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    Have you often wondered whether your family is entitled to bear a coat of arms? Have you seen coats of arms displayed on buildings or on hatchments in churches and wondered as to the story behind them? This course will help you unlock the language of heraldry, a fascinating branch of family history research.

    The course begins with an introduction to heraldry and the terminology. We will look at different types of coats of arms, and examine how they are being used for personal, civic and corporate identity. We will examine the components of an achievement of arms and the language of heraldry and you will learn to blazon simple coats of arms.

    In the second half of the course, we will move onto ways in which coats of arms are combined in families, how to begin to identify an unknown coat of arms and where to dig for more genealogical information.

    By the end of this course students should be able to:

    * Describe a coat of arms in the language of heraldry or draw a coat of arms from a description
    * Understand the different methods of marshalling arms
    * Identify marks of difference on a coat of arms and be aware of their meaning
    * Implement strategies to identify the bearer of a coat of arms

    Are You Sitting Comfortably? Writing and Telling Your Family History

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 4th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Writing your family history is the logical step after genealogical research, and sometimes while research is still in progress. To avoid gathering dust, a family story must be written to appeal to a broad spectrum of relatives and readers, to answer questions of relationships and to stimulate the sharing of knowledge. The history of a family blends a range of information: the ancestors and their stories, the places they knew, and the context of contemporary conditions and event. A good story, based on sound research, is a focal point of a family re-union, and it makes a great gift.

    This five-week course begins with advice on making decisions about what to write about, and what to include, and how to make some order out of the potential chaos of information. It goes on to discover the historical context and how to add interest into your story with background about what was happening nationally and locally and how this might have affected your ancestors. It looks at how knowledge about occupations can bring an ancestor to life, and how and why social history helps you to make sense of it all and frame your story. Finally in week five, you will discover how to add photos and other illustrations as well as options for publishing.This course is about acquiring skills that will help you to present your family history in a coherent and interesting way.

    The course is relevant to anyone who has researched a British or Irish family, with examples taken from English history and records but the techniques can be applied to families from elsewhere as well.

    If you wish to receive feedback and assessment on your writing, there is the option to submit a piece of writing of up to 3,000 words for marking. You will have two months after the course finishes, before this needs to be sent to the tutor.

    STUDENTS SAID: “The course has provided me with everything I could possibly need (and more) to sort out my main goals of prioritising family history, research, recording and writing up the stories during the coming year and beyond. I now know the way ahead and am very much looking forward to putting my plans into action.”

    Practicalities of a One Name Study

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 5th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This course sits between the two other one-name and surname study courses: Introduction to One-Name Studies (901) and Advanced One-Name Studies (902) and focusses on the practical elements of running a study.

    The course is designed to enable students to explore the practical steps of maintaining and developing their one-name study through a variety of mediums and to give some context to the various considerations they will need to explore.

    It is expected that students for this course will already have a one-name study or surname study registered, or will have identified a surname to register and begin working upon. They will be familiar with the material covered by Introduction to One-Name Studies and will have begun to collect data, or be at the stage where they are considering the options and would like further guidance.

    Lesson Headings:
    * Understanding and making the best use of spreadsheets in your study
    * Genealogical Software, what to consider
    * Online Trees and other software
    * The next steps: Preservation and Sharing

    Victorian Families – Your Ancestors in the Census

    Tutor: Malcolm Sadler
    Start date: 6th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    Victorian ancestors – we all have them but what do we really know about them? Facts from civil registration and the census tell us something, but say little about how they lived. But, interpreting the social and local detail half hidden in these vital documents, bring their lives back to us! This course takes you beyond the facts and explains what census records reveal. The census is a window on the Victorian family and this course helps you take a closer look at life – in fashionable streets, back alleys and the countryside, in large houses, town houses, cottages and tenements. It looks too at food, work, fun, life and death. You will learn to interpret what you have found, get to know your ancestors better, and realize the genealogical value of a close acquaintance with past lives.

    Lesson Headings:
    * A closer look at the census – finding your family
    * Investigating the neighbourhood – putting your family on the map
    * Inside the Victorian house – family life in the 19th century
    * The Victorian Environment – from slums to palaces
    * Knowing them better and taking it further

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 13th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    LAST FEW PLACES

    This is one of the courses in our Intermediate Certificate programme, but can also be taken in isolation.

    For genealogists the 17th century presents new challenges. These are not discouraging – if anything, challenges add interest and enthusiasm to research. Historically it is a fascinating period, and genealogically some familiar records continue to be used so the research is not with entirely new material. Themes within the course include: the structure of a gentry dominated society, the records created by 17th century civil and ecclesiastical government, and the problems created by the “Commonwealth Gap”.

    Manorial Records for Family and Local Historians

    Tutor: Sue Adams
    Start date: 14th October 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This is one of the courses in our Advanced Certificate programme, but can also be taken in isolation.

    Manorial records can be used to locate people within a community and to set them in their social and economic context. This course examines the place of the manor in the legal and social system, the records created by the manor, and changes that occurred through the centuries.

    You will get to understand the complexities as well as the background historical context, and how local customs can differ from place to place. You will read court rolls, look at court books and learn about property transactions, surveys, maps, accounts and even people’s wills that may not be recorded elsewhere. Manorial court records offer genealogists and local historians more than just a glimpse of local justice being dispensed.

    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 28th October 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    COURSE FULL
    but taking bookings now for April 2022

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!

  3. Courses Coming Soon

    We have some great courses coming up in August and early September:

    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond

    Tutor: Simon Fowler 
    Start date: 9th August 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED but booking now for later dates *

    First Steps to a One-Place Study

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 25th August 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    One-place studies are a fascinating blend of local and family history. They are frequently undertaken by family historians wanting to create a context for their ancestors. Through a one-place study, you can investigate the friends, neighbours and associates with whom your family may have interacted and you can begin to understand the community in which they lived.

    This course is designed for those who are just starting on their one-place journey and for more experienced one-placers who would like guidance or inspiration, or who are seeking a more organised approach to their study. It will also be suitable for those who may not want to undertake a full-blown one-place study but who wish to investigate an ancestral area in more detail.

    Lesson Headings:

    • Choosing and Discovering your Place and its People
    • Data Collection 1 – Using more Common Sources (oral testimony, diaries and memoirs; photographs; vital records of birth, marriage and death; gravestones, newspapers, directories and gazetteers, censuses)
    • Data Collection 2 – Further Sources (tax lists, records of land ownership, records of education and occupation, records relating to the movement of people, records of local government)
    • Connecting and Analysing your Data
    • Putting your Findings in Context and Publicising your Study


    Partnership offer:
    Students on our First Steps to a One-Place Study course, who are not already members, may claim free membership of the Society for One-Place Studies for their first year (details in the lesson notes). Existing members of the Society can claim a discount on the Pharos One Place Studies course (see member benefits section of their website).

    Scottish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton 
    Start date: 30th August 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    This course describes the major sites and record types that you will encounter in your research, and how to analyse the results. Most importantly it will inspire you to actively pursue your interest in Scottish genealogy and take it to the next level.

    Lesson Headings:

    • Understanding Scotlands People, FindmyPast, Family Search, Ancestry, and FreeCen
    • Essential Maps and Gazetteers
    • Civil Registration and Census Research
    • Searching in Church of Scotland Registers
    • Scottish Wills and Inventories
    • Take It From Here


    Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records

    Tutor: Linda Newey
    Start date: 6th September 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED but booking now for later dates *

    Organizing Your Genealogy

    Tutor: Barbara Baker
    Start date: 6th September 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    As you research your family history, you collect information, charts, copies of records, notes, lists of sources searched, etc. Whether you are just starting your research or whether you have been at it a while, it is important to be organized and have a record keeping system. It should be easy to file and store information when you get it, and to find it long afterward. Good organisation and record keeping will help you assess what you have, what you have learned, and what you need to learn. This three-week course is designed to help you get organised, stay organised and be ready for research online and on location by developing good record-keeping habits.

    Local History- Uncovering the Places and Communities connected to your Ancestors

    Tutor: Claire Kennan
    Start date: 6th September 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED but booking now for later dates *

    Building on a Solid Foundation – Genealogy methods and techniques

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 6th September 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED but booking now for later dates *

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!

  4. Dave Annal joins the Pharos Tutors team

    We are delighted to announce that we have been joined on the Pharos Tutors team by Dave Annal, a professional researcher with over 40 years’ experience.

    Dave Annal

    Many of you will know of Dave from his talks at shows like WDYTYA Live! and at the Society of Genealogists and, more recently, at virtual events such as Roots Tech Connect and The Genealogy Show. He is also responsible for running the Family Tree Academy in Family Tree Magazine.

    Dave is a former Principal Family History Specialist with the National Archives and he worked at the Family Records Centre for many years. In 2019 he was awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Genealogists.

    He has written a number of family history books including the bestselling beginner’s guide Easy Family History and Pen & Swords Birth, Marriage & Death Records (with Audrey Collins) and, with Peter Christian, he is the co-author of Census: the Family Historian’s Guide.

    Dave will be running the FHSS Intermediate Certificate course, Victorian Crime and Punishment – Courts, police and prisons, from February 2022.

     

     

  5. Book Review: Our Village Ancestors

    A review by Karen Cummings

    I was sent a review copy of Helen Osborn’s latest book, Our Village Ancestors – A Genealogist’s Guide to Understanding the English Rural Past, by her publisher and, given that Helen used to own Pharos Tutors, it seemed only right that such a review should be published on the Pharos Blog.

    Helen Osborn’s latest is very different to her previous book, Genealogy: Essential Research Methods. This is not a “how to research your family tree” book as such. Instead it encourages the reader to expand their family history research horizons beyond the study of the people in the family tree towards a study of the places in which their ancestors lived.

    As Helen says, you will often see this described as “putting the flesh on the bones of the family-history skeleton”, you might also say this kind of study adds context to your family history, it also makes it a far more fulfilling journey. It’s not just about your ancestors in isolation, within their place of residence, but using a study of the whole community to get a greater understanding of how your ancestors lived.

    We are taken on a journey through the looking glass over a 400 year period of life in rural villages, from the mid-sixteenth to the nineteenth century, and the development of those villages over that time. Your ancestors came from a town or city? In the majority of cases, families living in towns and cities had migrated in from the rural villages in earlier generations. By the time you get back to 1600, over 80% of the population lived in the countryside. In other words, there is most likely something relevant to all family historians here.

    When you begin to research a place you are, of course, taking steps away from the traditional outlook of the family historian into other branches of history “…there is much crossover between local history and genealogy, because in order to gather truly the evidence that we need to reconstruct families into genealogical trees, we should understand both the historical and local context as well as have a good under- standing of the documents used. Thus, local history and family history come together over questions of place and community”.

    We are told there is no such thing as a “typical” village as there were so many differences resulting from e.g. location, climate, types of farming, manorial customs and local history. Our journey through time therefore is based around a number of general themes that can be considered for any village:

    • The Rural Past
    • Parish and Family
    • The Land and the Farmer
    • The Church and the Tithe
    • Supporting the Poor
    • Work and School in the Countryside
    • The Whole Community: Lists of Villagers and the Victorian Census
    • Leaving the Village

     

    You will find that many of the sources used, as we consider our village, are those we would already use for family history, but using a slightly different approach. You ancestor not included in the Churchwardens’ Accounts? Use them instead to build up a picture of the village, the type of people who lived there, the people who would have interacted with your ancestors on a daily basis. The same with wills and probate, the items left by members of the community can add to your picture of the types of farming and the wealth of some of those who lived there. Some of the records that you will encounter are poor law records, glebe terriers, probate records, maps, tithe records, enclosure records, manorial records, court records, title deeds, taxation records and early military lists but this is not a complete list. You will also fine some records you may not have come across before, such as the King’s Book and the 1873 Return of Owner of Land.

    Even the humble census record is given a new lease of life. One of my favourite sections of the book considers the annual Registrar General census reports, using them to not only gain an understanding of the growth of the village in terms of population and houses lost or gained in a ten year period, but also migration patterns and occupation changes. You can find these at the ‘Histpop’ website.

    At every turn records are examined through case studies, comparing three different villages: Bredhurst in Kent, Datchworth in Hertfordshire and High Abbotside, a township in the parish of Aysgarth, Yorkshire.

    In each chapter a wealth of information is provided, looking at each theme in detail and building a picture of how our ancestors lived, through records in which they may be named, the history of the village in question, and records giving more general context. Each chapter ends with a useful “Starting Points for the Researcher” section.

    There are also some really interesting case studies, pieced together with a variety of records, such at the Eaves family of Datchworth, and a really interesting insight into the brewing process too!

    “Adding a deep sense of geographic place to the analysis of records, as is the practice of good genealogists, takes family history into a whole new realm. It is often slow research, with an emphasis on acquiring knowledge through a deep understanding of place and context, yet it is deeply satisfying as mysteries and problems are solved or at the very least made a whole lot clearer.” Helen Osborn

    I couldn’t agree more! This is a worthy book for the bookshelf of any discerning genealogist, and I can thoroughly recommend it to all of our students.

    If you are interested learning more about some of these themes, we have a number of courses looking at the partnership between family history and local history in the Pharos course list, including:

     

  6. Courses Coming in July

    As we approach the season of summer holidays, we have less courses starting in July than in earlier months:

    In Sickness and in Death – researching the ill-health and death of your ancestors

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 12th July 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    One thing that all but our most recent ancestors have in common is that they are dead. The health problems and deaths of our ancestors are an integral part of our familys history. This five week course will help you to set your ancestors lives in context by looking at the illnesses, disabilities and diseases that brought about their deaths or had an effect on their well-being. We shall discover a variety of records that might provide information about ill-health or causes of death for specific ancestors, or about prevalent threats to health in the past. The causes, symptoms and treatment of various illnesses will be investigated and significant medical developments of the last 400 years will be explored.

    Our other two courses starting this month: Before the Modern Census – Name-rich sources from 1690 to 1837 and Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond are fully booked already but are taking bookings for later dates.

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!

  7. Student Showcase: Telling Your Family Story – The Tilliduffs

    This is the third in a series of blog post from students of Janet Few‘s Are You Sitting Comfortably?: writing and telling your family history (216) course.

    Janet says: “I have been tutoring the course for several years. Three years ago the option to submit an assessed piece for feedback was added. Since then, each time the course has run, several students have taken this opportunity and have sent in a section of their family histories. They are given about six weeks after the course finishes to do this. I have been in awe of what they have produced in a comparatively short space of time. It is a pleasure to be able to feature some of their stories on the Pharos blog“.

    This offering comes from student, Christine Searle, and tells the story of Tilliduff Family

    The Tilliduffs

    The first mention of the Tilliduff name was in 1317 when John de Tolidef was up before the baillies in Aberdeen requesting that lands he had inherited from his mother Alice be passed to him. His half-brother Adam de Ran was keeping them for himself and had been overheard saying that he had done so.(1) The name comes from the former barony of Tillydaff, about 16 miles to the north-west of Aberdeen and the name is Celtic for “hill of the oxen” (2). The area of Tillydaff still exists as an organic vegetable farm called “Vital Veg”.

    Photo courtesy of Vital Veg, North Tillydaff, Aberdeenshire

    Tillydaff Barony

    The barony consisted of the areas of Tillydaff, (due west of Aberdeen) Rothmaise (near Rothienorman), and Logierieve, Orchardtown and Raniston, all close to Pitmedden.

    Once the family reached Fife in 16th century the name changed to variations of Tullideph. The Fife family were covenanters, and in direct conflict with the few remaining Tilliduffs in Aberdeen, which was a staunchly Catholic area, with William Seton, the son of Marjory Tullidaff, (d. 1616) aligning himself with the Earl of Huntly and the Catholics.(3)

    I have records of 143 people born in Scotland with the name, the majority being in Aberdeenshire, and then Fife, with a handful in Edinburgh and Perth, while there are 58 births in England, with just a couple in Cambridgeshire recorded as Tullideph, the rest being exclusively London and Kent, all but one recorded as Tilliduff and similar spellings. There are just 4 Tullideph births in Antigua and one Tilliduff in South Africa (the only place where the name still exists). The name Tullideph has been carried down several lines as a middle name to the current day (and in one case, still living, as a first name).

    And so to London…..

    The first member of the Tullideph family to settle in London was my fifth great-grandfather, Robert, son of Thomas, who was born in Dron, Perthshire, in 1731(4). A few weeks after his birth the family moved to Markinch in Fife, and in 1734 his father Thomas was appointed to Principal at St Leonards College, St Andrews, where Robert probably remained until he joined the army in September 1756, recorded as lieutenant in George Howard’s Regiment of Foot (the Buffs). This was at a time when there was a recruitment drive in Scotland to strengthen the army for the Seven Years War.

    The Buffs, National Army Museum (out of Copyright)

    Three months later in January 1757 Robert married Lilias Lindsay in Edinburgh.(5) It appears that he abandoned Lilias, as in 1758 he left the army and in 1761 he was in London living with Eleanor and producing a son, Robert Pitman Tullideph.(6) It is assumed that Eleanor’s surname was Pitman, although no marriage has been found – Robert was, after all, already married.

    Their son was baptised at St Mary’s Church in Marylebone Road, London, The church where he was baptised was demolished shortly after the baptism, a larger church being needed. The space remains as an area of rest, with the new church, built about 10 years later, seen just behind.

    A number of things indicate that Robert was disowned by his father Thomas. Thomas’s brother David left a will which specifically excluded Robert, leaving a bequest to “John, the only son of my dearly beloved brother Thomas Tullideph of Kilmany”.(7) Thomas had been the Principal of the United Colleges of St Andrews since 1747 and he was described as “tyrant, proud, selfish, usurping and tyrannical, very far from being a popular Principal”(8). The marriage with Lilias was maybe an arranged one as was often the case in Georgian times, and Robert was not happy about it. His uncle Walter, Thomas’s brother, lived in Antigua and while there he kept a diary.(9) He kept notes from time to time of when he wrote to the family at home, and in 1755 he noted that he had written to Robert – “dear cousin Robin, re his love affair, he the 1st son. My father had 5 children, his Estate was such that he could not give more to your father, although the eldest son, than he gave us”. It appears that Robert wanted to marry but his father couldn’t afford to give Robert an allowance large enough to keep the young lady in a suitable manner. Robert was packed off to the army in September 1756 and three months later married to Lilias, perhaps reluctantly.(10) He left the army as soon as he could, in 1758, just as his regiment was posted to the West Indies, and went to London.

    How would Robert have maintained himself in Georgian London? He was almost certainly well-educated, if not to university level, and perhaps taught the sons of gentry, or possibly he was a servant assisting a well-to-do family with their business. Lilias remarried in 1781 using both her maiden and her married names.(11)

    Nothing is heard of Robert after the birth of his son in London until he is back in Scotland in 1799 and living at Scoonie in Fife, his father having died in 1777. According to records in the archives of the University of St Andrews he is caring for David Hutton, the son of his late sister Cecilia, who had been wounded in the head while on the “Defence” in the service of the Royal Navy and was now suffering from severe epilepsy.

    The Defence at the Battle of 1st June 1794 (public domain)

    The record stated that Robert is farming and describes him as being “in much reduced circumstances.”(12) No burial record has been found. David entered the Royal Hospital in Greenwich later in 1799 and died there in 1812, being buried in Shoreditch on March 7th.(13)

    Meanwhile his son Robert was still in London, living in the City, on the baptisms of his children being recorded as married to Lydia and working as a cordwainer. However, there is no record of him in the Freedom Registers of the City of London for 60 years prior to his death, therefore although living in the City, he would not have been able to work in the city. Did he travel outside the City for work? Cordwainers were makers of fine shoes, usually making a last to fit a particular customer and making shoes to order as required, although they would also often keep a stock of shoes ready-made for passers-by.

    Some research on the family was commissioned by my great-aunt, a descendant of Robert, probably in the 1950s – 1960s, which gives information that no longer exists. The work contains no sources. The London Metropolitan Archives has said that a relevant batch of records was stolen many years ago and the information is no longer available, and many of the records are from this period. Three children are recorded for Robert and Lydia in this research, Joseph born 9th November 1788, Ann born February 11th 1793, and Samuel born June 14th 1795. The record for Samuel is still available,(14) together with the records of two more children, Alice, born 14th September 1797(15) and James, born 31st October 1799(16) – neither of these two appear to have survived babyhood. According to the research Lydia died in 1801, and Robert in 1809. The record of Robert’s death says “Robert Tilliduff, father of the aforesaid children, departed this life on Friday December 29th 1809, buried January 3rd 1810 in St Thomas Burying Ground near the spot where Lydia his wife lay”. This record is no longer available, but I have verified that December 29th 1809 was indeed a Friday. The LMA are unable to say which St Thomas Burying Ground it might have been – there is more than one in the area, and again the records no longer exist.

    Possibly the parish took care of the younger children after Robert’s death, as records for Ann and Samuel from Cripplegate School were available to the researcher, Joseph being of an age to have been already working at the time of his father’s death. Ann was enrolled into Cripplegate School on 21st April 1801, and from 11th June 1811 to 18th April 1820 she went to work as a live-in servant to Mr Hallam the grocer at £8 per annum. Two weeks after leaving her employment she married John Steel at St Saviours, Borough.(17) Samuel also started school at Cripplegate in 1801, and on 1st February 1812 he went to live with Messrs Smith & Holding & Co Ribbon Manufacturers of 35 Newgate Lane earning £8 per annum, to be raised by £4 annually. Joseph married in 1810 at St. Botolphs, Aldersgate, to Elizabeth Surrey Maria Prudden.(18) The church had recently undergone a major refurbishment at the time and has a magnificent interior.

    St Botolph without Aldersgate, Interior (geograph.org.uk)

    The presiding minister at the marriage was Arthur William Trollope, believed to be uncle to the author Anthony Trollope. Joseph worked as a merchant’s clerk throughout his life, although spending time in the workhouse due to illness on occasions. They had six children, Joseph Samuel 1811 – 1845,(19) Ann Lydia 1813 – 1876,(20) Elizabeth Surry 1815 – 1871,(21) Emily in about 1816 who probably died soon after birth, John Robert 1820 – 1887,(22) and Thomas Prudden 1824 – 1909.(23) The family moved around quite frequently, being recorded at a different address for each birth, around the Blackfriars to St Katherine’s Way area to the east of the Tower of London. Thomas was born in King Henry Yard, two blocks to the east of the Tower of London.

    John Rocque Map 1746 (public domain)

    Soon afterwards the area was cleared for the construction of St Katherine Docks, although the layout is still similar. The area was quite wealthy at the start of the 19th century, with wealthy merchants drawn to the district. However the arrival of the docks brought unskilled labourers and poverty. Elizabeth died in St George in the East(24) workhouse in 1861 aged 71, recorded as dying from “Climacteric decay”, which is defined in A Dictionary of Practical Medicine (Vol. 1) by James COPLAND, published in 1858, as “General decline of the vital powers, at the age of senesence, without any evident cause”. Joseph followed in 1863(25) aged 76, also in the workhouse, recorded as still working as a clerk at the Gas Works, and dying from senile decay. The workhouse was usually the only help available to ordinary working people at that time, whether they were sick or out of work, as medical fees were out of reach for most.

    Joseph and Elizabeth’s son Joseph Samuel became a compositor. A compositor would prepare the trays of letters ready for the printing press. Some of the terms they used are still in use today in computer language, such as “upper case” and “lower case”, which relate to where the trays of letters were to be found stored ready for use on the printing press. It was a time when printing was developing rapidly, with the art of printing illustrations improving, and the ability to bind books with a sewing machine developed. In addition a method of gluing with rubber called “perfect binding” was invented. But Joseph died of phthisis (pulmonary TB) in Bethnal Green in 1845 aged just 34.(26) He left a very detailed will,(27) leaving his bookcase and contents to his father, as well as a Scotch pebble, a gold mounted seal and a beaver hat. To his mother Elizabeth he left a tea-tray with tea service, two beds with bedsteads, and many other pieces of houseware, as well as his Waverley novels and his Johnson’s dictionary. Elizabeth must have been literate, and able to do considerably more than write her name. Joseph was careful to ensure in his will that if his mother were to remarry the items would remain hers and could not be used financially or sold by any future husband. He left a sum of money to both his brother John and sister Elizabeth, and all the remainder of his possessions to his sister Ann, who married two weeks later. Joseph had evidently been very well-off for a young man of 34 in the Bethnal Green area.

    Newgate Prison (public domain)

    At the time of Joseph’s death Ann had just been released from prison at the end of a one-year sentence in Newgate.

    In 1844 she had been found guilty at the Old Bailey of stealing three half-sovereigns and two watch seals from her employer.(28) She was lucky. Transportation would have been the usual punishment for theft of that magnitude, but the prosecutor recommended her to mercy, possibly because of her father’s situation, as he seemed to suffer from ill-health and was in the workhouse quite frequently. Ann was released from prison in 1845, and shortly afterwards married William Vaughan in Bethnal Green.(29) William and Ann had six children, Lydia (1846 – 1942),(30) Peter (1848 – 1922),(31) Ellen (1850 – 1916),(32) William John (1853 – 1855),(33) John (Sept.1856 – Dec 1856)(34), and William Francis (1858 – 1879) who died from accidental drowning in Otora Creek, Mangakahia, New Zealand, on 6th June 1879,(35) where he had been working as a logger, and slipped off the logs as he was freeing them to float down-river, a not uncommon cause of death. New Zealand was short of labour at the time, and the London newspapers had many advertisements for passages to New Zealand where there was plenty of work to be had.

    None of the Vaughan children had offspring so the line ended with them.

    The youngest child of Joseph Tilliduff and Elizabeth was my great-great-grandfather Thomas Prudden Tilliduff, born in 1824 in King Henry Yard, East Smithfield. In 1841 he was living with his family in Philip Street, St George in the East, recorded as an apprentice aged 17. In fact he was an apprentice blacksmith, and in 1851 he is living with his mother in Prevots Row, Stratford-le-Bow. His father Joseph was in the workhouse due to ill health. According to an old newsletter from 1987 by the East London History Society Prevots Row was a row of cottages in Old Ford Road, which still has some houses from around the right era. In 1852 he married Honor Clark in Bethnal Green.(36) and in 1853 their daughter Honor was born (1853 – 1879)(37) but in 1854 the mother died of cholera,(38) being recorded as living in Providence Street, one of the areas that was very badly hit by the outbreak for which the work of John Snow became well-known, instigating the construction of a new sewage system for London and making it one of the most advanced in the world at the time. The source of the outbreak had been traced to a pump in Broad Street, and John Snow removed the handle so that the pump could no longer be used.

    Thomas remarried in 1858, to a widow, Ann Wheal, nee Enever(39) and by 1861 they were living in Plumstead, Kent, where Thomas was working at the Woolwich Arsenal. The Arsenal had had a recruitment drive when ammunitions were needed for the Crimean War, and Thomas was no doubt very glad to move out of disease-ridden London and move his family to the countryside of developing Plumstead, which would remain the home of the Brown/Tilliduff family for the next hundred years and more. In 1861 they were living in St James Place, which would have been in the area of Burrage Road where St. James Church was built in 1855. Thomas and Ann had three children with them born in London, Honor, Eliza Ann (1858 – 1932)(40), and Elizabeth Surrey (1861 – 1946)(41). Four more children were born in Plumstead, Thomas Joseph (1863 – 1924)(42), Emily Mary (1865 – 1866)(43) who died of convulsions caused by whooping cough aged 8 months, Charles Prudden (1863 – 1953)(44), and William John, (1870 – 1928)(45) both of whom went to Australia with their families, but the name died out there with only daughters being born. Thomas Joseph Tilliduff’s son Frederick (1905 – 1981)(46) emigrated to South Africa after the Second World War, where his grandson is now the only person remaining with the name Tilliduff. As he has never married the name worldwide will die with him.

    Thomas’s daughter Honor died in 1879 while in service in Plumstead as a cook to a solicitor, Mr Marwood Kelly Braund. Her dress caught fire while she was cleaning the stove, and she and her fellow servant were so panicked they could do nothing. The flames were put out by Mrs Braund but Honor was “dreadfully burnt” and died from her injuries.(47) Women’s clothing of the time was not compatible with safe working conditions – according to the report Honor’s dress touched the hot iron bar around the hearth and that was enough to set her dress alight.

    Thomas retired in 1883 on a pension from the Woolwich Arsenal, and died in 1909 from carcinoma of the stomach(48). Thomas and Ann’s eldest daughter Eliza married John Henry Brown in 1881 in Rectory Place Chapel, Woolwich.(49) They had eight children, only one of whom failed to reach adulthood – Lilian, 1886 – 1900,(50) died of rheumatic fever in 1900, one day after her fourteenth birthday. My grandfather’s earliest memory was being called in from playing in the street to say goodbye to her. In addition there was Henry, (1882 – 1951)(51), Charles, (1884 – 1922)(52), Sydney (1889 – 1972)(53) Ethel, (1890 – 1972)(54), Agnes, (1892 – 1985)(55), John, my grandfather (1895 – 1990)(56), and Albert, (1897 – 1977)(57).

    My grandfather John Percival Brown gained a scholarship to Haberdashers Aske school in Lewisham, where upon graduation he started to study for a science degree, but an opportunity came up in 1912 when Heinz visited the school looking for candidates for a post as an industrial chemist and John was glad to accept. In 1915 his father John Henry was sent to the United States as Inspector of Armaments destined for the United Kingdom, and in order that he had a home to go to when on leave from the war my grandfather and grandmother, Lilian Henwood, were allowed to marry (58), although still young. His wife Eliza and Agnes, as their only unmarried daughter, went with John Henry to the US, and they appear to have enjoyed themselves, having the opportunity to travel around the US sightseeing during their stay.

    1917 John Brown and Eliza in USA

    References:

    1) The Miscellany of the Spalding Club Vol. V
    2) Celtic Place Names in Aberdeenshire – John Milne MA LLD
    3) http:// History of the family of Seton during eight centuries Volume 2 (George Seton)
    4) Scotlands People O.P.R. Births 345/00 0010 0244 DRON
    5) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XYM1-RLD
    6) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQY7-8YV
    7) National Archives Reference PROB 11/975/230
    8) Academic Patronage in the Scottish Enlightenment – Roger Emerson
    9) The History of the Island of Antigua Vol. 3 by Vere Langford Oliver
    10) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XYM1-RLD
    11) Scotlands People O.P.R. Marriages 706/00 0050 0063 DUNBAR
    12) https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/library/special-collections/archives/
    13) David Hutton Age: 45 Birth Date: 1767 Burial Date: 7 Mar 1812 Burial Place: Shoreditch, Middlesex, England FHL Film Number: 405140 Reference ID: Vol. 12
    14) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JW7G-KJL
    15) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQLN-KQ1
    16) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLP3-D74
    17) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGLZ-NDJZ
    18) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NVK1-DMV
    19) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NP35-343
    20) Film Number: 0374416, 0374417 Ancestry.co.uk
    21) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWQ5-QKM
    22) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JS1P-TZ1
    23) https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLQL-6ZK
    24) GRO Reference: 1860 M Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 390
    25) GRO Reference: 1863 D Quarter in SAINT GEORGE IN THE EAST Volume 01C Page 347
    26) GRO Reference: 1845 D Quarter in BETHNAL GREEN Volume 02 Page 16
    27) TNA ref IR27/283 Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records Record collection Wills & probate
    28) https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
    29) Marriage – Dec 1845 TILLIDUFF Ann Lydia – VAUGHAN William Francis Bethnal Gn 2 27
    30) Birth – VAUGHAN, LYDIA EMMA (Mother TILLYDUFF) GRO Reference: 1846 D Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 02 Page 458
    31) Birth – VAUGHAN, PETER WILLIAM (Mother TALLIDORF) GRO Reference: 1848 S Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 02 Page 446
    32) Birth – VAUGHAN, ELLEN JANE (Mother FILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1850 S Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 02 Page 475
    33) Birth – VAUGHAN, WILLIAM JOHN (Mother TILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1853 D Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 516
    34) Birth – VAUGHAN, JOHN (Mother TILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1856 S Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 534
    35) Birth – VAUGHAN, WILLIAM (mother TILLIDUFF) GRO Reference: 1858 J Quarter in STEPNEY Volume 01C Page 479 Death – https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz/ Reg No. 1879/632
    36) Marriage – Jun 1852 Clark Honor Margaret – Tilliduff Thomas Prudden Bethnal G 1c 545
    37) Birth – TILLIDUFF, HONOR SARAH (mother CLARK) GRO Reference: 1853 J Quarter in WHITECHAPEL Volume 01C Page 370 – Death – Mar 1879 Tilliduff Honor Sarah 26 Woolwich 1d 808
    38) Death – TILLIDUFF, HONOR MARGARET Age 28 GRO Reference: 1854 S Quarter in SAINT GEORGE (IN THE EAST) Volume 01C Page 380
    39) Marriage – Sept 1858 Tilliduff Thomas Rudden Bethnal Gn. 1c 601 Wheal Ann Bethnal Gn 1c 601
    40) Birth – TILLIDUFF, ELIZA ANN (Mother ENEVER) GRO Reference: 1859 M Quarter in LEWISHAM UNION Volume 01D Page 680 – Death – Mar 1932 Brown Eliza A Age 73 Woolwich 1d 1528
    41) Birth – TILLIDUFF, ELIZABETH SURREY (Mother ENOVER) GRO Reference: 1861 M Quarter in LEWISHAM UNION Volume 01D Page 702 – Death Mar 1946 Applebee Elizabeth S Age 86 Woolwich 1d 1081
    42) Birth – Jun 1863 TILLIDUFF Thomas Joseph Lewisham 1d 726 Death – Name: Thomas J Tilliduff: Sep 1924 Age 62 Woolwich Volume: 1d Page: 888
    43) Birth – TILLIDUFF, EMILY MARY (Mother ENEVER) GRO Reference: 1865 S Quarter in LEWISHAM UNION Volume 01D Page 768 – Death – TILLIDUFF, EMILY MARY Age 0 GRO Reference: 1866 J Quarter in LEWISHAM UNION Volume 01D Page 522
    44) Birth – TILLIDUFF, CHARLES PRUDDEN (MotherENEVER)
    GRO Reference: 1867 M Quarter in LEWISHAM UNION Volume 01D Page 866
    – Death – Date: 05 Jan 1953 Death Place: South Australia Page Number: 143 Volume Number: 792
    45) Birth – TILLIDUFF, WILLIAM JOHN (Mother WHEAL) GRO Reference: 1870 M Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 961 – Death – 1928 – The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848-1954) Wednesday 16 May 1928
    46) Birth – TILLIDUFF, FREDERICK CHARLES (Mother ELLICOTT) GRO Reference: 1905 Mar DARTFORD 02A Page 627 – Death – https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/48621/page/7292/data.pdf
    47) The Worcestershire Chronicle dated Saturday 22nd March 1879
    48) Death – Dec 1909 TILLIDUFF Thomas P 85 Woolwich 1d 647
    49) Marriage – Jun 1881 TILLIDUFF Eliza Ann – BROWN John Henry Woolwich 1d 1536
    50) Birth – BROWN, LILIAN ADA (Mother TILLIDUFF) GRO Reference: 1886 J Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 1230 – Death – Jun 1900 Brown Lilian Ada 14 Woolwich 1d
    51) Birth – Mar 1882 Brown Henry George T Woolwich 1d 1249 – Death – BROWN, HENRY GEORGE THOMAS 69 GRO Reference: 1951 J Quarter in GREENWICH Volume 05C Page 515
    52) Birth – Jun 1884 Brown Charles Frederick W Woolwich 1d 1225 – Death – Dec 1922 Brown Charles F W 38 Woolwich 1d 1116
    53) Birth – BROWN, SYDNEY CURTIS (Mother FILLIDUFF) GRO Reference: 1888 D Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 1247 – Death – Sydney Curtis Brown Death Age: 84 Birth Date: 21 Sep 1888 Registration Date: Dec 1972 Registration district: Lambeth Volume: 5d Page: 459
    54) Birth – Sep 1890 Brown Ethel Maude Woolwich 1d 1233 – Death – Ethel Maude Burrows Age: 82 Birth Date: 10 Jun 1890 Reg Date: Jun 1972 Reg district: Greenwich Volume: 5b Page: 1019
    55) Birth – BROWN, AGNES HONOR (Mother TILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1892 D Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 1234 – Death – Agnes Honor Brown Birth Date: 7 Oct 1892 Date of Registration: Feb 1985 Age at Death: 92 Registration district: Greenwich Volume: 12 Page: 1439
    56) Birth – BROWN, JOHN PERCIVAL (Mother TILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1895 M Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 1345 – Death – John Percival Brown Birth Date: 14 Jan 1895 Date of Registration: Apr 1990 Age at Death: 95 Registration district: Darlington Volume: 1Page: 792
    57) Birth – BROWN, ALBERT LESLIE (Mother TILLIDUFF ) GRO Reference: 1897 J Quarter in WOOLWICH Volume 01D Page 1254 – Death – Name: Albert Leslie Brown Birth Date: 29 Mar 1897 Date of Registration: Jun 1977 Age at Death: 80 Registration district: Hastings and Rother Volume: 18 Page: 0948
    58) Marriage – Sep 1915 Brown John P (Henwood) Woolwich 1d 3599 Henwood Lily E (Brown) Woolwich 1d 3599

  8. Courses Coming in June

    We have a BUMPER selection of courses on offer for you this June:

    Introduction to One-Name Studies

    Tutor: Julie Goucher
    Start date: 1st June 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    A one-name study is an exciting new journey into your surname’s past. Quite often started as the result of hitting a “brick wall”, a one-name study involves the collection of all the occurrences of a surname and biographical data about everybody who shares that surname. There are a variety of goals, study types and plans for the data. This course, written in association with the Guild of One-Name Studies, provides an introduction to one-name studies and is suitable for all genealogists who have developed an interest in learning more about their surname.

    You will learn about the history and study of surnames, which surnames are suitable for a study, what a one-name study consists of, and how to get started. We cover how to collect and analyse data from the core records, how to publicise your study and make sure your study is preserved for others in the future.

    You will also learn how the Guild of One-Name Studies guides and supports its members. Non Guild members signing up for the course will get FREE Guild Membership for the remainder of the financial year.

    Special blog only offer: use code BLOG10A to get 10% off the June 2021 course! Code expires 1st June 2021.

    Researching Your Welsh Ancestors

    Tutor: Eilir Daniels 
    Start date: 1st June 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    The course is aimed at those who have some basic knowledge of family history research in England and deals with those particular aspects of family history research in Wales which are different to that of England. For example, you will learn how linguistic, social and cultural factors shaped the day-to-day life of your ancestors and how they coloured the historical documents you will be consulting.

    STUDENTS SAID “I had hoped for some time that Pharos would run a Welsh Ancestors course and I have not been disappointed. The course was absolutely magical in its content and far exceeded my expectations. I hadn’t realised before, how complicated the Welsh history and culture was. It has certainly opened my eyes, has made me want to know more and made me realise why I may be experiencing some difficulties with my own Welsh research. Thank you Pharos and Eilir.”

    Lesson Headings:
    * Key differences between Welsh & English research
    * The Welsh language, place names and surnames
    * Nonconformity in Wales
    * Occupations, migration and emigration
    * Sources and records specific to Wales

    Your Military Ancestors

    Tutor: Simon Fowler 
    Start date: 7th June 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * ONLY A FEW SPACES *

    Part of our Intermediate Certificate programme, there is only one place available on this course.

    So You Think You Know FamilySearch – A Guided Tour

    Tutor: Barbara Baker 
    Start date: 7th June 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Discover what you don’t know about English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh resources at the FamilySearch website with the help of an experienced guide. The website provides access to many of the records, indexes and resources available at the Family History Library, which has one of the largest collections of published, microfilmed and digitised British and Irish records in the world. In recent years technological advances have made it possible for you to search and browse formerly inaccessible records, check geography and boundaries and obtain research advice anywhere, anytime. All this information is free to anyone with the knowledge and navigating skills to find it.

    This course guides you through the highways and byways of FamilySearch.org, offers tips about searching data and using the helps, and brings you to the point where you can say that you really know the FamilySearch website.

    Victorian Crime and Punishment – Courts, police and prisons

    Tutor: Antony Marr 
    Start date: 14th June 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED *

    Demystifying DNA for Family Historians

    Tutor: Karen Cummings 
    Start date: 14th June 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    DNA testing

    DNA testing is becoming an increasingly popular tool in genealogical research and has the potential to solve mysteries and brick walls, where other records do not survive. The more its popularity rises and the number tested increases, the greater the chance of success. However, with so many tests available and so many companies to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start.

    This course starts at the beginning, providing you with the tools to understand and demystify DNA testing for use in your own research. You will be guided through what to consider before testing, the different types of DNA, who can test and which test is the most appropriate in different circumstances. You will learn about how DNA is passed down the generations and why this is important, what haplogroups are, and how much you really can rely on ethnicity estimates.

    You will work with examples of real data and have the opportunity to work through techniques with your own results (if appropriate). At the end of the course you will have a toolbox of techniques to interpret your DNA matches with increased confidence.

    The course is suitable both for absolute beginners and those who have taken a test and are beginning to decipher their results.

    Employment Records

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 7th June 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * PLACES SELLING FAST *

    Many documents uncovered during our research indicate an occupation, perhaps several in which our ancestor was employed. Many will have followed their father’s trade or occupation, and their children will have followed them. Others will have broken away, perhaps from the land and headed for the town to learn new skills and enter a different trade. Those more fortunate, at least financially or by birth may have been destined for one of the professions.Records of employment will vary from the scant to the copious; much depends on the occupation. This 5 week course examines what is likely to be found in official and unofficial sources and where and how the information can be used as further insights into the lives and times of our ancestors.

    Lesson Headings:
    * The Professions
    * Merchant Seamen and Coastguard
    * Government employees
    * Town folk
    * Country folk

    That’s all for this month, happy studying!

  9. Courses Coming in May

    Coming up in May:

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 28th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    Not strictly in May, but almost, students completing this course will gain a broad understanding of the problems encountered when researching in 17th century records. They will be able to locate indexes and finding aids, document copies and transcripts, and original records. In addition, they will appreciate the research value and practical application of the information found. The course gives significant emphasis to local and regional differences within records as well as to historical context. For genealogists the 17th century presents new challenges. These are not discouraging – if anything, challenges add interest and enthusiasm to research. Historically it is a fascinating period, and genealogically some familiar records continue to be used so the research is not with entirely new material. Themes within the course include: the structure of a gentry dominated society, the records created by 17th century civil and ecclesiastical government, and the problems created by the “Commonwealth Gap”. Sources for 17th century research are found in many formats, from original documents to print to microform to digital. This course presents 21st century techniques for finding ancestors in Stuart England and Wales and teaches record interpretation, analysis and planning.

    Scotland 1750-1850 – Beyond the Old Parish Registers (302)

    Tutor: Chris Paton 
    Start date: 3rd May 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    This is an intermediate level course in Scottish family history for those who are going back beyond 1850. Watch the video from Chris for an introduction to the course and what to expect!

    Deeds and Disputes

    Tutor: Susan Moore 
    Start date: 10th May 2021
    Course length: 6 weeks (5 teaching weeks)

    Chancery document

    The courts of equity and particularly Chancery contain a wealth of material for the family historian, yet perceived difficulties in accessing the original records which are held at The National Archives, and in reading and interpreting them mean that they are relatively little used. This course aims to explain how to get to grips with Chancery cases from the end of the Tudor period right up to the start of the 19th century. Interwoven is information about title deeds to land and property, since so many Chancery disputes centre around property and a knowledge of deeds is essential for the interpretation of many Chancery cases.

    The first part of the course will concentrate on Title Deeds, followed by a reading week, and then the second part of the course will be a study of Chancery court records.

    This course is part of our Advanced programme but can also be taken as a standalone course with or without assessment.

    Professional Genealogist – Become one, become a better one

    Tutor: Karen Cummings
    Start date: 17th May 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * ONLY A FEW SPACES *

    Do you have ambition to become a professional genealogist? Have you already started taking on clients but are looking for guidance or want to check you have thought of everything? Whether you are already researching for clients or planning to do so, this 4 week professional genealogist course guides you through the professional skills that form the foundation for success, covering everything from starting up in business, answering client enquiries and report writing, working out your rates and marketing.

    This course was developed in association with the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA), the professional body for genealogists in England and Wales, and includes guidance on what AGRA requires of its members and the application process.

  10. Courses Coming in April

    We have some very popular courses coming up for you in April:

    Progressing Your Irish Research Online

    Tutor: Chris Paton
    Start date: 5th April 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for November 2021

    Organizing Your Genealogy

    Tutor: Barbara Baker
    Start date: 5th April 2021
    Course length: 3 weeks

    As you research your family history, you collect information, charts, copies of records, notes, lists of sources searched, etc. Whether you are just starting your research or whether you have been at it a while, it is important to be organized and have a record keeping system. It should be easy to file and store information when you get it, and to find it long afterward. Good organisation and record keeping will help you assess what you have, what you have learned, and what you need to learn. This three-week course is designed to help you get organised, stay organised and be ready for research online and on location by developing good record-keeping habits.

    Old Handwriting for Family Historians

    Tutor: Susan Moore 
    Start date: 12th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    * COURSE OF THE MONTH *

    This course takes a practical approach to reading and transcribing old handwriting, starting with the records of the 19th century and moving backwards in time. Students will be given the opportunity to examine handwriting styles and develop an understanding of how handwriting developed over the centuries. The course will then focus on Secretary Hand, a commonly used form during the Tudor and Stuart period. Historians will come across Secretary Hand in many types of documents such as parish registers, wills and inventories. The course aims to equip students with their own set of steps to being able to read, and successfully transcribe, the handwriting in old documents, enabling them to read documents which at first sight might appear to be written using a different alphabet.

    The course most suitable for those who already have some understanding and practice with old handwriting in their own family history research, and some familiarity with parish registers, wills and inventories, as many of the documents examined will be from the 16th and 17th centuries. No prior knowledge of Latin is required, although the final lesson introduces the kind of Latin found in 16th century parish registers.

    Nonconformity – Its Records and History 1600 – 1950

    Tutor: Alec Tritton
    Start date: 15th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for October 2021

    Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and beyond

    Tutor: Simon Fowler
    Start date: 19th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * Booking now for August 2021

    Discovering more about your Agricultural Labouring Ancestors

    Tutor: Janet Few
    Start date: 26th April 2021
    Course length: 5 weeks
    * FULLY BOOKED * New date coming soon

    17th Century Sources

    Tutor: Stuart Raymond
    Start date: 28th April 2021
    Course length: 4 weeks

    One of our Intermediate Certificate courses, students completing this course will gain a broad understanding of the problems encountered when researching in 17th century records. They will be able to locate indexes and finding aids, document copies and transcripts, and original records. In addition, they will appreciate the research value and practical application of the information found. The course gives significant emphasis to local and regional differences within records as well as to historical context. For genealogists the 17th century presents new challenges. These are not discouraging – if anything, challenges add interest and enthusiasm to research. Historically it is a fascinating period, and genealogically some familiar records continue to be used so the research is not with entirely new material. Themes within the course include: the structure of a gentry dominated society, the records created by 17th century civil and ecclesiastical government, and the problems created by the “Commonwealth Gap”. Sources for 17th century research are found in many formats, from original documents to print to microform to digital. This course presents 21st century techniques for finding ancestors in Stuart England and Wales and teaches record interpretation, analysis and planning.