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2017 Family History Archive

    As we are all so busy during December we have decided not to hold a Meeting in December
From the Family History Group


 Being it is Armistice Sunday in a few days time I gave the group the names of 2 soldiers who  fought in WWI and asked them to search various websites to find out as much about them as possible, looking at their Short Service Records the information found in these records varies enormously, some records are very detailed giving lots of information i.e where they were posted with dates, injuries they may have received, whether they were hospitalized and where,  next of kin, who they married, sometimes children are listed, this all helps to confirm what you have already found of the man in your own research, Derek found maps which showed the trenches dug for British & German troops, he also looked at the War Diaries some of which are now online and found photos of some of the soldiers, the group were split into small groups so they could help each other search for the information, then after a cuppa each group talked about what they had found,it was a very interesting meeting.


This month we did our own  research, putting into practice what we learned last month from the GRO index, checking we had the right children entered into our research



After our long summer!!! break we started to get our little grey cells working again on family history, this month I explained how much easier it is to find birth entries using the Official GRO indexes against other on line GRO indexes because they have the Mothers maiden name listed from 1837 other on line sites only have them from 1911, so trying to find birth entries using the surname only (even if you know the child’s forename) can be a problem especially so when the surname is very common like Smith, Jones etc. and many children being born in the same year and Registration District.

I asked the group to find a child of my Grandparents who has died between 1902 and 1911 by finding the birth entries for the 2 children who were living in 1911 to determine their mothers maiden name, then to try and find the missing child, this excercise certainly got their little grey cells working  

Also the Official GRO site has age of death from listed from 1837 where other on line sites start in 1866 again this is a great help when trying to find the right death entry.



We had summer "Get Together" this year, the weather was sunny and warm, everyone brought along the food and drink, we had lots of goodies to eat, then we were entertained by some members of the Ukulele Group, my thanks to everyone for making it an enjoyable afternoon.



Today we had a very interesting talk on general Family History with Peter Finlay, he asked everyone how  far back they have managed to go with research, some have got back to the late 1700’s.

We also talked about the sites we use, be it free or subscription sites, and our preferences and ease of use for each one, again it’s a case of horses for courses, and how long you have used a particular one for, also how familiar you are with it, the problem is each site has its own way of searching and it can take a while to  work out how to go about it, which can lead to you not liking that site at all, then possibly not using it, but it may have the information you are seeking.

All in all it was a very good afternoon.

We are now on our summer break till the Autumn


This month we concentrated on DNA, Malcolm gave a very interesting presentation showing us a video on how DNA is formed into every living thing, also how it can be used in connection with genealogy,when the results of your sample are returned it shows markers (different numbers) if another person tested has the same markers as you (or very similar) it proves you have a common ancestor, therefore you are related, it doesn't tell you who that ancestor was, so you still need to research in the records to find that ancestor. It is not a replacement for good research.  There is no central website that carries everyone's results, therefore you are only tested against other people who have used the same DNA testing Company as the one you chose.

Lin was given an Ancestry DNA testing kit as a Christmas present, she found the results returned from Ancestry disappointing, she wasn't given any markers, (as shown in the video) only shown where her ancestors originally came from, and a list of possible connected people from the Ancestry Tree's. She is going to contact some of them, there was only one surname she recognized  as being in her tree, so this research is on going for her

There are various prices for DNA Testing Kits, the more you pay the more detailed the results, it can cost from about £70 to several hundreds of pounds.

Does it tell you much, I'm not yet convinced it does, also there are issues as to where and what is done with your DNA once it has been analysed by the testing company's, what control do you have once they have it. All things to ponder about



This month we had a very interesting talk given by Chris Batters on the Murder of Charlotte Dymond at Roughtor on Bodmin Moor.

Peter's talk was full of interesting facts & findings about Charlotte Dymond's mystery/murder. We spent a good half hour questioning & trying to solve the "whonunit" murder....Given another hour a so we might have had the case re-0pened!!....Fascinating a/c of the local families & influences at the time.


We had the first meeting at our new home this month, 3 new members joined us, hope they found the meeting interesting, we were talking about Family Tree software, be it installed on our laptops such as Roots Magic or an online based one such as you can use on Ancestry,how easy they are to use, what types of Reports, trees etc. they produce, Malcolm told the group about some free Family Tree software that can be downloaded, which is similar to Roots Magic, it probably isn't as powerful as paid for software, but nevertheless worth looking into if you want to give it a try before paying for a more powerful one.
To celebrate our 4th birthday we had lunch at Cloisters Restaurant, the room was buzzing with so many people, great atmosphere, fantastic food as always from the students, we all enjoyed the lunch very much.

We had an extra meeting this month at The Red Store in Lerryn, this is our new home, we did our own research to ensure the WiFi was strong enough for all our laptops/tablets.