1939 Registration Results


When I heard that Guy Etchell’s had applied for information from the 1939 National Register I decided to also apply and see if I could get information on my parents and grandparents. Today after about a 3 month wait and 6+ emails I got the results. Below is one of the entries

National Registration No: EDKL 263/1

Name: William ELLIOTT

DOB: 25/01/1863

Address: 93 Victoria Road, Farnborough

Marital Status: Married

Occupation: Retired Soldier on Pension

I had to supply name, date/place of birth and  town where they were living to get the information and as you can see I gained the full address, marital status and occupation. You might think that it isn’t worth the effort of applying, but imagine if this information was online and searchable by name as is the census and you can see the advantage of having access to this resource.

The database is held by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care http://www.ic.nhs.uk/ to whom application should be made.

To read more about Guy’s campaign to get this information freely available read the article on the BBC website http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8363341.stm 

I am sure I’m not the only genealogist who thinks that Guy should get some award to recognise his work on getting the early release of the 1911 census and also for his work towards the release of the 1939 Register.

Guy’s website is at http://freespace.virgin.net/guy.etchells/index.htm


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When is a relation not a relation?


I have my family tree on Ancestry.co.uk as well as keeping it on my home computer using Family Tree Maker. The trees on Ancestry are arranged so that I have 4 trees, one for each grandparent and I have opted to keep the trees accessible to guests only. That means that if anyone does a search for one of the names on my tree they will be informed they need to email me via Ancestry for further information. I like doing it this way as it means I get contact with fellow researchers rather than them just going in and grabbing my research and wandering off into the sunset!

I have made several very useful contacts this way and we have exchanged information to everyone’s benefit. I allow these people access to my trees and they can then take whatever research is missing from their own trees. I must say the odd time I have got an email along the lines of “I want all your research” without any indication of what their connection is with my families tend to get deleted without replying, so Mr. B from New York that is why you haven’t heard from me!

Just lately I have had a couple of emails which asked for information and the connection between their family trees and mine is that one of their ancestors siblings married one of my ancestors siblings so there was no blood connection. With the advent of so much information available online, particularly the GRO indexes and census, it has become relatively easy to research family members back in time, forward and sideways. We can now gather up siblings and cousins of all degrees removed and place them on our family histories, but when does adding a person and their extended family to your family tree become irrelevant?

In my opinion the point when you should stop adding in names is when that person isn’t a blood relation to you. On Family Tree Maker the programme has a facility to calculate the relationship of an individual to the “Home Person” which in most cases will be you. I am sure other genealogy programmes have similar facilities and the use of this will stop you adding hundreds if not thousands of people to your family tree that bear no relationship to yourself. The obvious exception is one name studies or parish reconstruction when everyone sharing the surname or living in the particular parish are of interest.

This is just my opinion and of course genealogy is done for the pleasure and enjoyment it give to us so if you want to go ahead and add the pedigree of your 5th cousin 10 time removed wife’s sister husband then who am I to stop you!

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Consolidation & New Year Resolutions



In the ‘old days’ of genealogy progress from one generation to the next was a slow business. Letters were written and daily hopes of a reply were dashed until finally a reply was received which either told you that nothing had been found or something had been found in a dusty old register, but it produced one answer along with five further questions. A day spent at a record office or Somerset House was dreamed of and planned weeks sometimes months in advance and was the highlight of the genealogist’s year.

How things have changed, now most of us sit at home, log onto Ancestry.co.uk or some such website and away we go. Ancestral information tumbles out of our printers, stores itself onto our hard drives and collates itself onto our family trees. Regular additions to the websites databases satisfies our hunger for more, but not for long. Give us the 1901 census and we want the 1911, give us the 1911 and we want the 1939 registration information. We want more and what’s more we want it NOW!

However having more and having it now isn’t always a good thing, How many of us have acquired screeds of printouts, discs of information and family trees of names, but not actually put the whole things together to tell the story of our ancestors? The reasons for doing genealogy are as varied as the people who indulge in it, but a common thread that runs through the reasons is that we want to find out the story of our ancestors. Who were they, what did they do, why did they do it and what was going on around them whilst they did whatever they were doing!

To achieve this the family historian has to take the time to look at what she/he has and to appraise, confirm and consolidate everything that she/he knows about that particular ancestor. So this year I have resolved to spend as much time consolidating my research as I spend on chasing more information and more ancestors. I shall work family by family and check that my information has been sourced, that my notes make sense, that all the different bits of information are pulled together and that the links from one generation to another are solid. I want to hand onto my descendants a family history that they are proud of and not one that is so shambolic that it gets consigned to the bonfire.

What about you, are you handing on to your children files and boxes of disconnected information or a genealogy that will stand the test of time?



Changes to the website


Hi everyone

I am trialling a different approach to posting onto the Madaboutgenealogy website. I will post news, articles and updates on the front page (blog) part of the site, but no longer publish each individual addition. Hopefully this will mean that more content gets added to the website more quickly. I’ll see how it goes.


So for today the update is that I have added lots of content to the Bedfordshire page, lots of links for all sorts of genealogical subjects.

To see the new links click here http://www.madaboutgenealogy.com/united-kingdom/bedfordshire-2/



Translation Help



Did you know that there are foreign language translation word lists on Ancestry.com ? They are under the Research Center tab at the top. Ancestry.co.uk doesn’t appear to have such lists, I suppose they assume that everything there is in English!!



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