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2016 Family History Archive

December Meeting

Our Family History theme this month was “Christmas Past” we chatted about memorable Christmases we remember, there were laughs along the way, we also had two quizzes, Linda’s had various questions which she placed in a  bag, some Family History related, we all had to guess the answer, the winner(s) got a sweet as a prize, then Sue's quiz was “Sue through the years” she brought in 12 photos of herself which she numbered, we had to guess how old she was in each, I only got one right, (was only a year out on many), it gave us a laugh, we all brought in some nibbles, sausage rolls, mince pies and cream, nuts, crisps, pieces of Christmas Cake, strawberries and pineapple  on sticks, and Schlor, and of course Christmas Crackers, all in all we all enjoyed ourselves.


 And a Happy New Year to you all


November Meeting

We have a few members who have  "Ancestry World Wide" which gives access to records outside 

the UK, we had success looking for ancestors for Sue and Christine, they had some information 

already which we were able to follow up on, no success for Derek sadly, he will find out more 

information from family members, at a later date we can search again for him.

At the same time other members were looking for nearer folk on "Find my Past 1939 Register" 

this was started at the beginning of WII and listed everyone in Britain, so hopefully you can find 

where your parents, grandparents, aunt's and uncles etc. were living in September of that 

year, it also gives their date of birth, information which you may or may not have, the time sped

by, just as well we now meet for an extra half hour.

October Meeting 

Last month  we did our own research, some found their  researching techniques were a little

 rusty after the long summer break, so this month we went back to basics, looking at  some

 of the free sites which can be of help,  we looked at FreeBMD and how to narrow down who a 

person married if you don’t know the spouses name, then how to try and confirm your findings by

 looking on the census returns if the marriage took place between  March 1840 and

 March 1911, after that date it becomes a bit more difficult to find without buying

 the marriage certificate, another place to look is on the electoral rolls, some areas have been

 digitised and are on line but sadly not all, therefore the only other opinion is to purchase the 

marriage certificate.

We then looked at Family Search this site does have quite a lot of digitised early images of  

 marriage certificates, some areas are better covered than others, so it’s worth searching this  

 site to see what it has to offer.

Next month we will be looking at Ancestry worldwide, some of us have ancestors who went 

abroad, so this may be an opportunity to see if they can be found, we will also be looking at the

1939 Register on Find my Past, to see if we can find our parents, grandparents and other

members of our families, where they lived in 1939

September Meeting

After the summer break we had our September meeting at our new

venue in Bodmin,  to get us  all back into the swing we did our own

research,2 members have recently joined Ancestry, they are finding their

way around the multitude of records that site has to offer.

Sue brought in papers relating to a child that was adopted from birth, 

the Registrar had written 'Adopted' on the right hand side of the

 certificate, I have never seen this written before, but it gives light to his future

she also had the adoption certificate, what she wanted to know was 

could she find the name of the father, as no name was entered on the 

birth certificate, which usually means the child was illegitimate,

but unless there are Bastardry or Petty Session Records relating, I' afraid there is 

no way of finding out who the father was.

July Meeting 

After our discussion about our future venue, members spoke about some interesting things they have found while doing their research. 

 Linda brought in 2 photos of her 4 aunts, the first when they were children all dressed the same, we all wondered why this was and where they may have been when the photo was taken,  the second one when they were all mature women, she told us of the memories that the photos brought to mind.

Malcolm during his research found a photo on Google Street of the bungalow he was born in, he went on to tell us how he came by this information.

Christine told how she found some old maps on line which helped her locate the parishes her ancestors lived in, as the parishes were on the boundary of two Counties, it helped her enormously to find the records she was searching for.  

There were No Meetings in May or June

April Meeting
Chris Batters gave a very interesting talk and slide show on “The murder of Nevell Norway” on his way home to Wadebridge from Bodmin in 1840,  the Lightfoot Brothers were hanged for the crime at Bodmin Jail, Chris’s research came up with a theory that in fact the Brothers may not have been the guilty persons at all, as the detective sent from London had a reputation for not being completely honest in his duty, and was under instructions from London to find the murderer and get him hung for the crime. According to Chris’s research, the brothers maintained that although they admitted that they did in fact attack Nevell Norway with the purpose to rob him, he was still alive and shouted at them as they scurried away. The detective later planted some evidence at the scene of the crime, then spoke to each of the Brothers individually to get them to admit to the crime with his say so that they would not hang but would be deported or sent to jail for life. There was another man with a Terrier dog, following Nevell Norway all day, and was carefully watching what Nevell Norway did in the pub the evening of the crime, this man may have in fact been the murderer, he was never seen again but his Terrier dog was seen at the scene of the crime every day for a week after the fateful day. The true facts will never be known.

To make this talk all the more interesting for our group is the fact that the Lightfoot Brothers were the 3x Great Uncles of Christine one of our members.

Chris’s wife Jill has written a book about it, along with other books she has written, which were on sale, along with a video of the story which Chris has made.

This was a very interesting afternoon.

March Meeting

This month’s meeting started off with a bit of fun, we all brought in a photograph of ourselves as a baby or child, all photos were put into a bag so no one knew who had brought in which photo, they were then put onto a table with a number beside each one, we then had to guess which photo belonged to which person in the group, Christine was the winner guessing 8 out 16 very good effort.


We then continued our  search techniques from last month, to find difficult entries in the records, getting to know the various techniques on how to find who you are looking for, the example was to find the birth entry for my Mother  In Law, who’s birth entry was not easy to find, as the name she was registered with at birth wasn’t the name she thought it was, it was in the early 1960’s she found out what her true name was when she was in her 50’s, therefore her first name on her marriage certificate  in the 1930’s wasn’t her birth registered name. Even trying to find her on the 1911 census didn’t help, as her father entered her name which was nothing like either of the names she was given or known by, so without some personal knowledge her birth entry would have been almost impossible to find.


Who said Family History was easy!!!! The TV shows give the impression it is, but in fact it can be difficult, frustrating, but also extremely rewarding especially after months and sometimes years you eventually find the person or event you are looking for.

Our next Meeting is on April 14th when we are having a speaker to entertain us.

General Open Meeting Saturday 13th February

The Open Morning on Saturday was a great success, the Church Rooms was buzzing with activity, lots of people attending and  much interest was shown at all of the group tables, we had a lot of interest in our table, many people were interested in what we had on show, I explained the various information we had  especially with the research Christine had done on her notorious ancestors the Lightfoot Brothers William and James, who were hanged at Bodmin Jail for the  murder of Mr Neville Norway in 1840.

Malcolm and Linda made us a family tree, Linda hung lots of labels on it showing some of the online sites where we can obtain our research. 

Below is a photo of our Family History table

February Meeting

Firstly we had a dress rehearsal on putting our table together for the Open Morning on Saturday, we brought in boxes to give height for our exhibits, then draped a tablecloth over, we arranged our articles on it to give us an idea of what we wanted to achieve so we could display everything.

Then we did researching as a group, I gave the group details of a marriage certificate and asked them to find the marriage entry in the GRO index, then look for the birth entry of the bride and groom, we ran out of time so we will continue with this at our March meeting, it's the skills of researching which is the key to success  in finding your ancestors, mind you sometimes you cannot find them easily, that's when the hunt  really begins 

January Meeting

Happy Birthday to us, this was our 3rd Birthday Meet, I baked a cake for us to have with our cuppa.

To get us back into the swing of things we did our own research, also we planned  how we are going to present our Group at the forthcoming Open Meeting in the Church Rooms in February, a lot of useful ideas were discussed.