I have three autosomal DNA kits to give away: two Ancestry kits and one MyHeritage kit. If you’re over 18 and a UK resident, then you can find details of how to apply for one of these below. Submissions will remain open until the end of April 2023, so get your application in as soon as you can.… Read the rest
Bringing Home the Bacon (Part 3)
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more…”
The confusion and displacement which Dorothy Gale voices when she steps out into the land of Oz for the first time in MGM’s iconic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz should resonate with many family historians.… Read the rest
Six Hats for Genealogy
Get your thinking cap on.
Throw your hat into the ring.
Wearing many hats.
The hat can be a powerful analogy for how we think and act. Changing our hat can transform our attitude: wearing a fedora might turn you into Indiana Jones, ready for perilous adventures involving snakes and priceless historical artefacts.… Read the rest
Let’s Make Genealogy Accessible
I’ll start today with a minor confession. Microfiche readers pose a big problem for me. Not because of their mechanics or the often poor visibility, but because of the intense backlight used to illuminate the film. Unfortunately I suffer from an aggressive form of migraine which presents exactly like a stroke (paralysis, loss of vision, hearing, speech), and – most unfortunately – is triggered by bright lights.… Read the rest
Autumn/Winter 2021 at The Parchment Rustler
You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet of late here at The Parchment Rustler – at least in terms of new articles coming out (believe me, the behind-the-scenes stuff never stops).… Read the rest
Mind the Gap!
Welcome to another article on my Negative Space methods for family history research! If you’d like to hear more, you can catch my talk on Negative Space at the Society of Genealogists in July 2023. Tickets available here.… Read the rest
Ancestral Hide-and-Seek in the Roaring Twenties
Where were YOUR ancestors on the evening of Sunday 19 June, 1921? It’s not long to go now before you can find out. Excitement is building in the genealogy world as one of the most hotly-anticipated record releases in a long while edges closer to public view, promising to unfold countless family history stories across the nation and beyond.… Read the rest
Review: The British Census
Ah, the census – a classic game of ancestral hide-and-seek: pages upon pages of names, ages, occupations, places of birth…sometimes illegible, sometimes containing little (or big) white lies to confuse us. Anyone who has researched their family history in the British Isles through the 19th and 20th centuries will know the wonder, joy and frustration of trying to hunt down ancestors within census records.… Read the rest
Bringing Home the Bacon (Part 2)
Dishevelled and worn down by life, the old man trudges through the streets, inspecting the floor for the slightest hint of dog’s mess he can collect for his pail. Once the bucket is full, he will make for the local tannery to sell the contents for the highest price he can obtain.… Read the rest
Bringing Home the Bacon (Part 1)
Oh, the times when it happens. A fresh breakthrough when searching the records leads you to a result for your ancestor. Momentary delight is rapidly displaced by a sinking feeling of puzzlement as the scrawled handwriting reveals an occupational term which is a complete mystery to you. Such frustration.… Read the rest