In 2017 I carried out over 60 projects
for clients from the UK, Ireland, Australia, USA, Canada, Kenya, South Africa, Iceland, Costa Rica and Belarus. These ranged
from simple requests for a couple of hours' work at The National Archives,
to large-scale projects developing pedigrees going back many generations.
I also carried out several projects involving in-depth research into particular individuals and historical events. Some of my clients were
pursuing academic research, some were writing a book or an article for a
journal. In some cases the family
history work was done as a surprise present to mark a significant birthday,
others wanted me to help them push their own research forward a little.
In all cases I have derived much satisfaction from the positive feedback I have
received from my clients regarding my professionalism, enthusiasm and
Researching military ancestors for Mrs H-S
This project started as a piece of research to
discover more about the military career of Mrs H-S’s great grandfather,
reputedly ‘drowned at sea’ on the way home from serving in India in the 1890’s.
None of his military records survived, but I was able to ascertain that
in fact he died and was buried in Malta. I also discovered that his
father had been in the East India Army, and by working my way through army pay
lists and muster books at The National Archives, I traced his career from
enlistment at age 16 to retirement in 1851. One of the things Mrs H-S found of
most interest was the amount of information contained in the soldiers’ records
– even down to a description of their tattoos. It's these little personal
details that so often help bring family history alive.
Delving into Chancery records for Mrs W
I have been working with my Californian client on various projects on and off since 2011, and her most recent enquiry sent me delving into the C19th Chancery records held at Kew. In a case worthy of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, we traced the progress of an inheritance dispute from 1825 to 1854. My client was delighted with the results, and submitted an article about it to a Genealogical magazine.
'I so appreciate your support and expertise' was her reaction on hearing she had been published.
Researching a family legend for Mr S
Mr S wanted to find out more about his family, who moved
from Hundon in Suffolk to Middlesbrough in the mid nineteenth century.
Legend had it that the family had some connection with the manor of
Stradishall, and had previously had a different surname. Through research
at Suffolk Records Office I was able to trace back seven generations
and discovered that the family had sometimes been called 'Halls' - a name with
a possible manorial connection. I also found Mr S's surname in manor
court rolls of the late 1500's, but could not convincingly bridge the gap
between then and the 1750's. However, Mr S was fascinated by the amount
of detail that I had uncovered, including entries in the Charity School
register of the 1770's.
unexpected spin-off from this project was that as a result of my research Mr
S's father made contact with some long lost cousins and spoke to an
old friend he had lost touch with many years ago. 'One of the nicest
things that's happened to me in ages' was his comment.