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Family History Show hosts, Nick Barratt and Laura Berry, take you on another journey into genealogical discoveries and historical archives. In Episode 3, Nick and Laura visit the Institution of Civil Engineers. They have received letters from viewers, hoping to find out more about ancestors, who were historical architects and builders.

Episode 3 starts out with the top 10 tips on examining census records. 1841 to 1911 were whole family sets of census records, but before and after that time, these records may be somewhat limited. In England, Scotland and Wales, census records can be found online, but Ireland only features online records from 1901 to 1911.

tyne bridgeStart with the most recent ancestors from the 1911census. Once you have found this ancestor, try to find previous ancestors through parents and working back through generations. You can use registration information about marriages, births and deaths.

Laura points out ages can be off by 5-10 years, on census records. Before 1851, Parrish records may need to be used or you may need to personally go search name index records. Census returns are a snapshot of the time the information was gathered, so don’t rule out illegitimacy, if you find an unusual pattern, when tracing brothers and sisters.

You can go to the National archives or other census websites for free, instead of signing up for paid subscriptions. Consider variations in spelling, depending on accents used, especially if your family moved to a different area, with a different dialect.

The next segment starts with Laura at the Institution of Civil Engineers, explaining the archives. There are very large indexes, catalogued and computerized, but not found online. You can see printed versions, drawings and writings. If you know your ancestor was a civil engineer, it is a great resource to learn more.

Laura Berry shares a reader problem from Family History Magazine. She features a letter from Australia, with little information about the family. Ordering marriage certificates, finding her father’s birth and looking for aunt and uncles can be a clue. Nick suggests trying to go across and up or down the family tree to find other relatives.

The Family History Show points out you should try to find first and last names, marriage dates or middle names, to start searching online. Concentrate on a male branch, to look up marriages. Laura and Nick use The Family History Show strategies to locate records, online. Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.com are options for posting or searching for members in your family tree. MyHeritage.com is helpful for building family trees.

The Family History Show takes us back to the Institution of the Civil Engineers, to study 18th and 19th century civil engineers, with Nick. You can see newspaper clippings and find documents about canals, bridges, railways, ships and other civil engineers projects. Featured are journals of 1938 German modernization, under Adolf Hitler. The Institution of Civil Engineers is a fantastic resource for learning about your ancestors and how they worked or lived.

 

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Watch Each Segment Individually

Introduction to Episode 3

Episode 3 Top Ten Tips

Episode 3 Case Histories

Institution of Civil Engineers Archive

Interview with Mike Chrimes