Posted in Ancestry, family history, Family Tree Maker

Ancestry to stop selling Family Tree Maker software end of this month!


Today I received an email from Ancestry stating the following


Dear Family Tree Maker™ community,

Ancestry is proud to have made a significant investment this year to bring valuable new content and records to the Ancestry site. In 2015, we’ve made 220 million searchable historical records from Mexico available, more than 170 million pages from the largest collection of U.S. will and probate records, among others. We’ve also introduced new features such as Ancestry Academy, and major advancements for AncestryDNA.

As we strive to provide our customers with the best experience possible, we are constantly evaluating our services and product offerings. True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide new content, product enhancements and support that our users need. With that, we’ve made the tough decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015.

We will continue to support existing Family Tree Maker owners at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™ will continue to work. Our Member Services team will also remain available to assist with questions or issues you may have.

These changes are never easy. But by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on continuing to build great products for our loyal Ancestry community.


Looking at the reaction on their blog this has not been well received. Personally I have been using Family Tree Maker since around 1999 if not before. I use the software so I have a copy of all my work on the computer rather than on Ancestry’s website only.  It also produces some very good reports which can easily be shared with the family either in printed form or as a pdf for emailing.

Working on a MAC computer at home there is limited choice with regards to genealogy software and of course I am not too keen to start learning a new product but I will if forced.

Maybe Ancestry should stop offering 6 months free membership subscription on the Family Tree Maker products then it would be more profitable.  Sadly rather than being passionate about genealogy they are passionate about profit. Very disappointed and I will certainly be reconsidering my subscription when it comes to renewal.

Posted in family history

Hooray – 1939 register due to be released 2 November.

Well I know what I will be doing this Monday, 2nd November! Thats of course if the site doesn’t crash. Its not a good sign that Findmypast dedicated 1939 page is already struggling to open.

The 1939 is a potential gold mine for family historians. It also helps take the pain away from the fact that there is no 1931 or 1941 census records, 31 lost in a fire and 41 was never taken due to the war.

The prices look quite steep at £6.95 per household – especially if there is only one person in the household however there is a special deal with a five household bundle costing £24.95. There appears to be discount for findmypast subscribers but what that will be is yet to be announced.  If you are a subscriber you should receive an email very soon.

The register will include the following information

  • Full names
  • Addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • Marital status
  • Occupations
  • Whether the individual was a member of the armed services or reserves

I’d like to say thank you to those people that have campaigned for the release of this information.  Luckily for us the census laws of 100 year rule do not apply to the 1939 register, but it has been a long campaign to get this agreed by the Office of National Statistics.

Anyway the wait is nearly over. For more details click 1939 Register

And don’t ring me on Monday – I will be busy 🙂

Posted in acid free storage, family archive, G Ryder, Ikea, wire stitched boxes

Keeping your archives safe for future generations

During a recent visit to a relative we were busy comparing photographs when she said “I know I shouldn’t keep them in this plastic wallet”.  Well that remark got me thinking.

I have spent over 25 years looking after the family archive including some very precious items. Thinking about all my documents and photos I realised that although they were residing in some pretty boxes – acid free they were not.  When I got home I resolved to change their ‘living’ conditions.

After researching on the internet I found a company called G. Ryder. The products I ordered were as follows.

Premium Archival Acid Free Wire Stitch Storage Box A4 – £5.82 inc VAT
These boxes are grey so if they are having to be kept on shelving the colour fits with most decor.  The slightly cheaper buff coloured boxes are very strong but not completely acid free. I really like the full depth lid – much more difficult for the contents to spill or be readily available to inquisitive fingers if you have grandchildren.

These boxes are almost a perfect fit for the IKEA Kallax range


Acid Free Storage Box Wire Stitchin their clearance line £3 including VAT
These boxes are quite square and I have found them useful for diaries, tickets, A5 programmes, There are only 9 left in stock so if you fancy one of these best to order asap.

Acid Free Wallets – in their clearance line – £0.90p including VAT (with postage work out approx £1.40 each)
These are dark grey folders which I have found very useful for holding quite a few documents. I also ordered some of the envelope style wallets but found that they only held one or two sheets safely.

Still have quite a bit of work to do sorting through notes and documents but I am definitely on a mission now.

Another big plus of the visit to Lynne was the discovery of a Christmas card sent to her Grandma from my Grandpa and Grandma.  As soon as I saw it I realised it had a hand painted cover done by my Grandpa.  She very kindly gave the card too me. Something else to treasure – how wonderful.



Posted in 1960's, Cinema, family history, sisters, Wild West

The story behind a photo

What stories are evoked by your photos. What memories do they hold? Have your shared your thoughts and memories so future generations know the ‘whole’ picture?

For the onlooker the photo below is just a photo of me and my sister but for me it reminds me of so much more.

me sis and cameraA. How my Mum, despite our 6 year age difference, would occasionally make the same clothes for me and my sister and make us wear them! I don’t remember feeling upset by this, it was just a fact of life.

B. How long they had to last (getting a tad short).

C. How clumsy I used to be. Originally I thought the bandage on my leg was a result of falling over on holiday. But digging back into my memory I now think it is when I spiked the back of my knee trying to climb over the school railings. This escapade resulted in a trip to hospital and three stitches. Surprisingly there was no blood as I walked home – still don’t understand that. I was told at the hospital it was very close to causing real problems. Clearly remember the nurse not being very nice and my Dad having to hold my leg as she stitched, as she didn’t use an anaesthetic (probably to teach me a lesson). This incident isn’t mentioned in my medical notes (yes I have viewed them – apply in writing to your GP – approx cost £10) but in retrospect it’s a very big bandage for a fall.

D. How I liked cameras and photography – who knew I would do it as a job for a while.

E. A lovely family holiday at a farm in Yeovil. Particularly remember the 5 sons who worked the farm – sadly I was a tad too young to attract their interest. IMG_6792This photo brings back memories of

A. Dressing up and playing being a cowgirl.

B. Having a cap gun and thinking the smell and noise it gave off when fired was wonderful.

C. Being allowed to play outside our house after being ill. Told in no uncertain terms – do not go down the street – STAY OUTSIDE THE HOUSE. But I had a new cap gun and wanted to show my friends. Boy was I in trouble for disobeying my Mum  (not for the first or last time).  I suspect I was recovering from chicken pox and probably still contagious!

D. Going to the cinema on a Saturday morning with loads and loads of other kids and watching the old Wild West movies at Evington Road Cinema, Leicester.


Posted in Ancestors, family history, The Workhouse

The Workhouse

Many of you researching will find a link to an ancestor that spent time in the Workhouse. Below are various websites with regard to workhouses together with a link to a newspaper article printed today about Bolton Workhouse and a memorial in honour of the paupers buried there. ( links at the bottom of the post).

I have also included some personal information about my ancestors who both died in the workhouse. It is to be noted that both had professions.


My 4x Great Grandfather George Pearson who died in a workhouse aged 58.

1841 – Windmill Lane, Foleshill

  • George Pearson, 40, Baker
  • Mary Pearson, 40
  • George Pearson, 15
  • Henry Pearson, 10
  • Louisa Pearson, 5
  • Sarah, 4

1851 – New Road, Foleshill

  • Joseph Hilton, Head, Mar, 62, Silk Winder, Foleshill, Warwick
  • Phoebe Hilton, Wife, Mar, 62, Silk Winder, Foleshill, Warwick
  • Francis Hilton, Son, U, 24, Silk Winder, Foleshill, Warwick
  • Wm Clarke, Lodger, U, 25, Brick Maker, Streeton, Warwick
  • George Pearson, Lodger, Widower, 60, Baker, Sowe, Warwick
  • Benjm Gilbert, Lodger. U, 28, Silk Cleaner, Foleshill, Warwick
  • H0107 piece 2066 folio 271 page 4

Despite the discrepancy in the age difference between the two census returns – rather than 10 years showing 20 it should be remembered that in 1841 the ages were rounded up or down by 5 years and actually he was around 45
So I do believe they are the same person – the profession is correct and the place of birth is correct.

Notes – 17th June 2011
On checking an online transcription of St Lawrence Church, Foleshill burial records a George Pearson is listed as being buried 5th September 1852. His age is given as 60 and place of death Foleshill Workhouse.

I called at the Nuneaton Registry Office who have the registry books for Foleshill. The lady said she had two George Pearsons (both as Bakers) listed for around that date and went off to check the registry book itself. She bought it back to say it would appear that the same person have been listed twice, a very rare occurrence.

The first entry the informant is the surgeon, the second entry the informant is the master of the workhouse. She let me look at the entries for these dates so I could decide which copy to order. What was striking is that on the page where the informant is the Master of the workhouse – there are five entries for the workhouse, all with the same cause of death ‘ diarrhoea’. I can only assume that there was either a food poisoning outbreak or a stomach bug.

Dying in the workhouse must be a very sad ending to ones life. Do the family get informed?

Notes – 24th June 2011
Extracted from Foleshill Warwickshire Minute Books, kept at The Herbert History Centre, Coventry

1st September 1852
The Guardian called the attention of Mr Richard Rudland the medical officer of Foleshill Workhouse to the cases of diarrhoea in the house and requested his opinion as to having further medical afsistance which he thought unnecessary as the inmates were all very old and everything was being done for them that could be required.

Rev Henry Bellaird

My 4x Great Grandfather was only 58.

There is an entry for the purchase of a quart of brandy – to be given to the inmates dealing with the outbreak of diarrhoea. I’m sure that helped!!


My 3x Great Grandfather in law, Richard Attenborough (yes a very distant relation to Sir Richard Attenborough) died in the workhouse in 1865.

In 1851 Richard is residing in Nottingham Workhouse listed as a pauper, married, aged 36 and a plumber by profession. His wife and children are living in Leicester.

In 1858 an entry in the Admission and Discharge Book shows that Richard was admitted on Thursday 11 November 1858 being of unsound mind brought from Leicester. How he got to Leicester, when, or if he managed to meet with his wife will never be known.

The 1861 census shows that Richard is still living in at the workhouse, he is listed as Rich Attenborough, Plumber and Glazier aged 47 – position in the workhouse is no longer listed as pauper but he is now listed as insane.

Richard died in the workhouse on 26th May 1865 from diseased gums and blood poisoning – he was 50 years old.

Bolton News 24th February 2015

General Information

Burton on Trent Workhouse

Derby Union workhouse residents in 1881 – including a nurse from Australia

Southwell Workhouse

Posted in Ancestors, family history, Photographs, railway, WW1

The heart break of WW1

Great Uncle Harold Scott 1896 to 1917
Articles in the Craven Herald

Article: 11 May 1917

SCOTT – April 30th 1917, killed in action in France, Gunner Harold Scott, R.F.A., elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Scott, Skipton, aged 21 years.

Scott, Harold in uniform-copy

We learn with regret of the death in action on April 30th, of Gunner Harold Scott, R.F.A., elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Scott, Skipton. He was only 21 years of age, and joined up two years ago, going out to France in January last. Previous to enlistment he was employed on the Midland Railway, and was a member of Skipton Baptist Church, and also a member of the choir. His parents formerly resided at Harewood, and for several years deceased was the head choirboy at Harewood Parish Church. Gunner Scott was a young man of much promise, and his genial disposition endeared him to a large circle of friends.

The sad news was received by the parents in the following letter, dated May lst, from Second Lieutenant E. H. Coleman:- “It is with the deepest regret that I am writing to tell you that your son was killed in action last night. I am afraid I cannot express in words the sorrow we all feel, and I can assure you that the whole Battery offers you its deepest sympathy. I am thankful to be able to tell you that his death was instantaneous, and therefore painless. He died a true soldier’s death – that is, firing his gun when a shell hit the bed and killed the sergeant, your son and another poor follow, and wounded two others. I am afraid all his personal belongings were burnt, as the shell set fire to the charges so everything was destroyed.”

Scott Harold with fiancee Eva Alderson

Harold with his fiancee, Eva

Mr. and Mrs. Scott have also received a letter of sympathy from an Army Chaplain, who mentions that their son was buried on the previous Tuesday (May 1st) in a military cemetery.

A memorial service was held at the Skipton Baptist Church on Sunday evening, at which the Rev. J. Greenwood (pastor) read a touching letter from the deceased.

Scott Harold death penny Scott, Harold medals

Article: 30 November 1917

On Tuesday afternoon a three days’ sale of work was commenced in the Baptist School, Otley Street, Skipton, in aid of the Soldiers’ Memorial Extension Fund, by means of which it is intended to extend the premises in memory of the young men associated with the place who have paid the supreme sacrifice in the war. Seventy young men belonging to the church and school are at present serving with the Colours, of whom two, H. Maudsley (deacon and Sunday School superintendent) and H. Birch have been missing since May 3rd and August 17th respectively, while the following have given their lives in the great cause:- S. Bishop, J. McIntyre, J. Duckworth, G.A. Wilson, H. Greenwood, D. Collins, B. Peel (Sunday School secretary), H. Scott, A. Bruce, J. Metcalfe, A. Gill, W. Barraclough, E. Platt and W. Ireland…

03 May 1918
SCOTT – In loving remembrance of our dear son, Gunner Harold Scott, killed in action, April 30th, 1917, aged 21 years.
“Peace, perfect peace.”
From Mother, Father, Sister and Brother, 10 Castle View Terrace, Skipton (late of Harewood).

SCOTT – To the dear memory of Gunner Harold Scott, who gave his life on April 30th, 1917, aged 21 years.
“Though death divides sweet memory clings.”
From Eva.

02 May 1919
SCOTT – In loving memory of our dear son, Gunner Harold Scott, R.F.A., killed in action April 30th, 1917, aged 21 years.
“Though death divides, sweet memories cling.”
From Mother, Father, Sister and Brother.

SCOTT – In loving memory of Gunner Harold Scott, who gave his life on April 30th, 1917.
He sleeps with England’s heroes
’Neath the watchful care of God.
Ever remembered by Eva.

30 April 1920
SCOTT – In loving memory of our dear son, Gunner Harold Scott, R.F.A., killed in action, April 30th, 1917, aged 21 years.
God will clasp the broken chain
 closer when we meet again.
From Mother, Father, Sister and Brother, and Eva.

SCOTT – In loving memory of Harold, who gave his life on April 30th, 1917.
Ever remembered by one who loved him, 13 Cowper Street, Skipton.

29 April 1921
SCOTT – In loving memory of our dear son, Gunner Harold Scott, R.F.A., killed in action April 30th, 1917.
“One of the unreturned heroes.”
From Father, Mother, Sister, Brother and Eva, The Ghyll Cottage, Embsay.

No words to add – their words say it all.


Posted in Ancestors, family history, Photographs


Do you have a pile of photographs carefully handed down from a member of your family? Do you know who they all are? Probably not. Sadly the beautiful sepia photos lovingly kept in that box / suitcase often are just that – photographs – with no clues as to who they might be.  But are we that much better today – how do you keep all your digital files? Are they captioned? Are they in computer folders? Is your computer backed up? Will they be lost inside your computer forever?

Maybe a task for the coming days, weeks, months is to create beautiful photo books, and / or start a cloud account with other family members having access? That way your descendants won’t be pondering over photos of unknown people in the future.

The oldest photo in my possession is of my Grandfather (b1888) and Great Grandfather (b1835) – both called Moses.  Luckily I know who they are – the photo was taken around 1900 and is on tin.

Moses and Moses c 1900

This photo is well who ??? – he looks a lovely young man whoever he is.

A Fearn?? photo taken by De Freyne, 1a Lorton Street, Liverpool

Maybe one day I will find out who he is – a letter to the local newspaper might help, I do hope so.