Newsletter - 28th February 2019



More parish registers hidden at FamilySearch! EXCLUSIVE

1921 Census contract goes to Findmypast

Save 10% on Findmypast's top 12 month subscriptions EXCLUSIVE

Get a free LostCousins upgrade BONUS OFFER

Ancestry trialling powerful new DNA features

Following in the steps of Dickens

Do you have a bigamist in your family tree?

Perfectly natural - but illegal until 1907

Great scot! Was this bairn really naughty?

The see-saw search for Esau

Semi-identical twins

Doctor suspected of fathering up to 200 children

Lexicon: I'm a Dutchman

British-Irish dialect quiz

Buried 5 years before he died!

Can you identify this missing person?

Review: Marriage Law for Genealogists

Review: Barefoot on the Cobbles

Stop Press UPDATED



The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous newsletter (dated 16th February 2019) click here; to find earlier articles use the customised Google search between this paragraph and the next (it searches ALL of the newsletters since February 2009, so you don't need to keep copies):



Whenever possible links are included to the websites or articles mentioned in the newsletter (they are highlighted in blue or purple and underlined, so you can't miss them). If one of the links doesn't work this normally indicates that you're using adblocking software - you need to make the LostCousins site an exception (or else use a different browser, such as Chrome).


To go to the main LostCousins website click the logo at the top of this newsletter. If you're not already a member, do join - it's FREE, and you'll get an email to alert you whenever there's a new edition of this newsletter available!



More parish registers hidden at FamilySearch! EXCLUSIVE

Almost precisely three years ago I exclusively revealed that there were many parish registers for Sussex at the free FamilySearch site, but that they were so well hidden that nobody knew about them. Now I've found more parish registers hidden away - and this time they're registers for a number of Essex parishes.


As you'll know from recent newsletter articles, Essex parish registers are online (and have been for around a decade) - but instead of doing a deal with Ancestry or Findmypast they've set up their own website, with subscription prices that range from £10 for a day to £85 for a year.


The biggest problem for me isn't the cost - I have so many ancestors from Essex that I can justify buying a subscription when I need to view the registers - but the fact that the entries haven't been systematically transcribed, as they would have been if one of the big websites hosted the register images. Some records have been transcribed - try FamilySearch, FreeREG, and Findmypast (all of whom have different selections) - but many parishes seem to be completely unindexed, and when the ancestor you're looking for wasn't baptised in the parish where he or she married there could be 40 or 50 parishes that need checking. From 1813 when pre-printed baptism registers were introduced it's not too difficult, but entries in combined registers are not only harder to find, they can also be very challenging to read.


What I'm going to tell you now isn't going to solve that problem, but it will prove useful for researchers who have ancestors from specific Essex parishes. If you search the FamilySearch catalog for Essex parish registers that are online you won’t find any - only transcripts and a few printed books - but hidden away on the site there are, in fact, some register images. However you need to know how to find them.


The trick is to search for an individual parish, and - logical though it might seem - don’t restrict your search to records that are Online. You can see below the results I get for the parish of Hornchurch:



The camera symbols against the first two search results indicates that there are register images online for the periods 1576-1762 and 1763-1812. Great news if you have ancestors from Hornchurch - I don’t, but dozens of you reading this will. Other parishes which had online register images available when I checked included Great Hallingbury, Little Sampford, Canning Town, Barking, Little Ilford, East Tilbury, Orsett, Blackmore, Bobbingworth, Good Easter, Wimbish, Woodham Walter, and Thaxted. This isn’t by any means an exhaustive list - I didn't have time to check every parish.


Note: the image above shows what you get after clicking on 'Church records' within the results, and then on 'Parish registers for Hornchurch, 1576-1898' - for simplicity I didn't describe every single step.


I don’t know whether FamilySearch intend these registers to be available, but some of you are going to be jolly grateful that they are! My research so far suggests that all of the online images have been indexed, but the search results don't indicate that images are available - it’s only when you click through to the transcript that you see a message indicating that This record may have come from this image. You may need to look through several surrounding images if it does not appear on this image.


Tip: if you have Essex ancestors there's another source at FamilySearch you might not be aware of - Bishop's Transcripts (BTs) for more than 120 Essex parishes. Although BTs are often regarded as an inferior source, since they're copies of the entries in the registers, I've seen several instances where mistakes or omissions in a register were corrected in the BTs.



1921 Census contract goes to Findmypast

After months of waiting we now know that Findmypast have won the contract to digitize the 1921 Census for England & Wales - it will be available online in January 2022. I doubt that it will be included as part of a standard subscription - when the 1911 Census was released a decade ago it was originally available only through a dedicated pay-per-view website, and the 1939 Register was also pay-per-view for the first few months. You may also recall that in both cases the cost of subscriptions rose when the records were incorporated - so be careful what you wish for!


The delay in the announcement mirrors the delay in the taking of the census - originally scheduled for 24th April 1921, it was delayed until 19th June by strike action. According to the press release the original household schedules are bound in 28,000 volumes, making it an even bigger challenge than the 1911 Census - and the fact that the household schedules have survived is a pleasant surprise since the National Archives catalogue entry for RG15 confusingly refers to enumerators' schedules of returns:



What you won’t find in the 1921 Census is a repetition of the fertility census that proved so useful in 1911. This isn't such a disaster, since the original GRO birth indexes included the mother's maiden name from the 3rd quarter of 1911 onwards, and we now also have the new indexes which include this information from the start of civil registration in 1837.


Instead the 1921 Census has additional information that hadn't been requested previously - according to the Findmypast press release "householders [were asked] to reveal their place of employment, the industry they worked in and the materials they worked with as well as their employer’s name. Those aged 15 and older were required to provide information about their marital status, including if divorced, while for those under 15 the census recorded whether both parents were alive or if either or both had died. The 1921 Census also included detailed questions on education, and was the first in which individual householders could submit separate confidential returns."


Here's an example of how the entries might look:



To see the instructions to householders follow this link to the HistPop website.



Save 10% on Findmypast's top 12 month subscriptions EXCLUSIVE

To mark the momentous announcement about the 1921 Census I've negotiated an exclusive offer with Findmypast - until midnight (London time) on Thursday 14th March you can save 10% on a 12 month subscription to the Findmypast site of your choice when you opt for the Pro or Ultimate subscription - the very best that Findmypast has to offer.


Pro and Ultimate subscriptions provide virtually unlimited access to ALL of Findmypast's worldwide records and newspaper articles - billions and billions of them. We all have relatives scattered around the globe - before I began researching my tree I wasn't aware of a single relative living outside of Britain, but now I am in touch with dozens of living cousins in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.


Nor did I expect to find my ancestors and other relatives mentioned in the newspapers - my family aren’t rich or famous - and yet, time after time I discover snippets of information that add flesh to my family tree. Family history is so much more than drawing lines and boxes on a chart - it's all about people, the people who have influenced who we are.


This offer is EXCLUSIVE to readers of this newsletter, but please use the links below so that LostCousins can also benefit (sadly, if tracking has been disabled in your browser, or is blocked by your security software, your purchase won’t be tracked as coming from LostCousins):


All Pro & Ultimate subscriptions are the same. The offer is open to anyone who isn't an existing subscriber, which means that former (lapsed) subscribers as well as new subscribers can take advantage of Findmypast's generosity.


Tip: Findmypast offer existing subscribers a generous 15% Loyalty Discount when they renew, so if you take advantage of this offer you'll probably pay even less next year!



Get a free LostCousins upgrade BONUS OFFER

If you support LostCousins by using one of my links to buy a 12 month Findmypast Pro or Ultimate subscription as part of the offer above I'll give you a free 12 month LostCousins subscription worth up to £12.50 on top of the savings on your Findmypast subscription - so you could save nearly £30 in all. Your LostCousins subscription will be paid for by the commission we receive from Findmypast, so please make sure that tracking isn't disabled in your browser, or by some other program on your computer (such as an adblocking program, or Internet security program). If we don’t receive any commission then I'm afraid you won't qualify.


To claim your free subscription please forward to me the email receipt from Findmypast, ensuring that the time and date of your purchase is shown. If the email doesn’t arrive you can send me a screenshot showing your purchase, but you must also tell me the precise time of the purchase, ie to the minute. My email address is shown in every email you receive from me, including the one that told you about this newsletter - you won’t find it on the website (for obvious reasons)..


Your subscription will start from the day you buy your Findmypast subscription - unless you already have a LostCousins subscription, in which case I'll extend it by 12 months. The offer includes a joint subscription where required, so if you're researching your partner's tree, now is the time to open a LostCousins account for them, and link it to yours (by entering their membership number on your My Details page).


Note: you can have two LostCousins accounts at the same email address just so long as the passwords are different - indeed it’s usually the best option.



Ancestry trialling powerful new DNA features

Ancestry have long had the largest database of autosomal DNA results, but some users have been frustrated by the lack of tools, often turning to browser extensions that add additional features. But as readers of this newsletter will know, I tend to favour simpler approaches - which is why, instead of embracing add-ons I developed straightforward strategies designed to make the most of what Ancestry offers, without introducing an extra level of complexity. In my view DNA is quite complicated enough - what most people need is for it to be made simpler!


This week Ancestry invited their subscribers to try out some new features which are designed to make Ancestry DNA more powerful, but also simpler. I haven’t had a lot of time to try them out, but within a couple of minutes of enabling the new features I was able to figure out how I was related to two more of my matches, which was a great start. What really surprised me is that Ancestry could tell me who our shared ancestors were, even though they didn't appear in my cousins' very small trees. I strongly suspect that Ancestry extrapolated from the information in their trees using other online trees - something I could have done myself given sufficient time, and assuming that I chose to focus on those two matches out of the 16,000 plus that Ancestry have identified. So realistically, while I might have figured it out, the chances are that I wouldn't have done - so full marks to Ancestry for coming up with a way to improve results and save time.


You can find out more about the new features and opt-in to the beta test if you follow this link.


There is also an interesting discussion on the LostCousins forum which explains the new features in more detail - you'll find it here. You don't need to be a member of the forum to view the discussion, but you won’t be able to contribute unless you are a member.


If you have been invited to join you'll find a code and a link on your My Summary page. If you haven't, you can earn an invitation by entering more relatives from the 1881 Census on your My Ancestors page (although the two might seem unrelated, I created the forum as a reward for those who have made the greatest contribution to the LostCousins project).



Following in the steps of Dickens

In 1824, John Dickens, the father of the future author Charles Dickens (then just 12 years old) was forced by his creditors into the Marshalsea debtors' prison, an event that had a big impact on the young Charles, who was later to feature the Marshalsea in Little Dorrit. But what I didn’t know until Sunday is that just a few years later my own great-great-great grandfather, George Wells, was in another London debtors' prison, the Fleet. This snippet from the discharge book shows that he was released on 31st May 1831:


© The National Archives; used by permission of


More interesting to me than the date of discharge are the names of the creditors who put him there in the first place. My ancestor had been a grocer in Stowmarket - Pigot's 1830 directory shows that he had premises in Ipswich Street. Confirmation that this was indeed my ancestor came from a bankruptcy notice in the London Gazette which referred both to his business in Stowmarket, and the fact that he had spent time in the Fleet Prison.



Do you have a bigamist in your family tree?

Many readers of this newsletter will be familiar with the excellent books by Professor Rebecca Probert which look at marriage law from the point of view of a genealogist (see below for a review of her most famous book). But I hope that as many of you as possible will take part in her research project, whether or not you have read her books. If you do contact Professor Probert, please mention that you heard about her research in this newsletter:


Research project: Identifying bigamists who were never prosecuted


Professor Rebecca Probert is seeking the assistance of family historians in identifying bigamists who were never prosecuted.


This research project forms part of a larger research project exploring the incidence and legal treatment of bigamy since it was first made a crime in 1604. A key difficulty in ascertaining the extent of bigamy is the challenge of estimating how many cases were never prosecuted. Drawing on the wealth of knowledge generated by family historians who have traced bigamists in their own family tree provides a unique way of obtaining such information.


What information is being collected?


It is up to you to decide whether or not to share the name of your bigamous ancestor and his or her spouses. Please do consider whether other family members are aware of your ancestor’s bigamy and how they might react to details being published.


The key aim of the project is to ascertain whether those who were prosecuted differ from those who were not: did they travel further for their second marriage, did they wait longer, and was that second marriage more likely to last?


I am therefore collecting information on the following:

·       the date and place of the first marriage

·       the date and place of the second and any subsequent marriage

·       whether the bigamous spouse used an alias and whether they described themselves as widow(er), divorced, or spinster/bachelor

·       (if known) whether they remained with the second or subsequent spouse and whether they remarried legally when they were able to do so


If you would like to provide this information anonymously, you can do so via the following link:


If you would prefer to contact me directly, please do email me at with these and any further details you would like to share, or any questions about the project.


Please note that the information provided should relate only to historic bigamy and should not include any data on living persons. Any data relating to living persons will be deleted.


Emailing the information will be deemed to be consent to it being used as set out below. Taking part in the research does not pose any foreseeable risks to those providing information.


How will the information be used?


All data will be anonymised before being entered into an Excel spreadsheet on a password-protected computer. No identifying information as to the person supplying the information will be included in this spreadsheet.


The data will be collated to ascertain the average distance and time between first and second (and subsequent) marriages, how those remarrying described themselves, and what happened after the second (or subsequent) marriage.


The findings will inform an article in a peer-reviewed journal comparing the characteristics of prosecuted and unprosecuted bigamists and will also inform a monograph on the rise and fall of the crime of bigamy. A summary of the findings will be made available to all those who provided information and will be disseminated to the family history community more widely.


All personal data (eg email addresses) will be processed in line with the data protection principles under the GDPR.


Who has reviewed this study?

This project has been reviewed by the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Exeter (201819-031).


Further information and contact details

If you are not happy with any aspect of the project and wish to complain you are welcome to contact the University’s ethics team at


Thank you for your interest in this project.



Perfectly natural - but illegal until 1907

I don't have any bigamists in my tree - or at least, none that I've found so far - but my great grandfather broke the law by marrying his dead wife's sister in 1898. Such marriages had long been voidable, and after 1835 they were completely illegal. There were several attempts to change the law during the second half of the 19th century, but it was only in 1907 that the law was changed in England (although, as I recently discovered, it changed in some Australian states in the late 1870s).


Rebecca Probert's book deals with this topic comprehensively, but for a more in-depth discussion see the PhD thesis.


Note: it was not until 1921 that it became legal for a widow to marry her dead husband's brother; these days, of course, she'd also have the option of marrying her husband's sister.



Great scot! Was this bairn really naughty?

An eagle-eyed reader sent me a link to this blog article, which I found quite instructive - not for what it said, but for what it didn't say.


Do you think the blog writer's interpretation is correct? I don't, but as I don’t have any Scottish ancestry I'm going to leave it to you to decide who is right. I've opened up a discussion on the LostCousins Forum - you'll find it here. Please don’t email me about this story - post your theory or comments on the forum so that everyone can read them.


Tip: you don’t need to be a member of the forum to read most of the discussions, or to make use of the resources you'll find there - but you do need to be a member to post comments, or ask questions. If you've qualified for an invitation to join the forum you'll find a code and link on your My Summary page at the main LostCousins site.



The see-saw search for Esau

This article from LostCousins member Steve Price-Francis describes how he eventually tracked down his great-grandfather with the help of a professional genealogist - I hope you find it as interesting as I did.


"As a teen, I had been curious about the origin of my family name – Price-Francis. Family legend had the name “going back many generations”. If asked, my Dad would deflect the question, his eyes would mist over as he stared into the distance and recounted a romantic legend of bravery, love and tragic loss involving the 14th century Welsh Prince, Owain Glyndŵr. It was obviously pure fantasy.. or was it?


"45 years later, I became interested in tracing my family history, subscribed to and was quickly frustrated that I couldn’t locate the birth registration of my paternal grandfather, Joseph James Price-Francis. Nevertheless, a search on his full name had immediately located his 1913 marriage to my grandmother. To my surprise, the marriage certificate showed the groom’s father (my great grandfather) as: 'Joseph Price'. So, having confirmed my grandfather’s birth registration under Joseph James Price, I obtained his birth certificate.  This showed his father’s information as “Esau Joseph Price, Coachman domestic servant”, and his mother, my great grandmother, as Ann Maria Price (nee Pleasance).


"She appears in the 1881 England census at her father’s home with her 7-month old baby. There is no sign of Esau Joseph, which initially led me to speculate that perhaps Esau had died shortly after Joseph James was born - but I could find no relevant death record to support this notion. More troubling, there was no record of the marriage between Esau Joseph Price and my great grandmother Ann Maria Pleasance.


"By this point I was coming to the inescable conclusion that Joseph James had been born out of wedlock. This was finally confirmed when I located the record of Ann Maria’s 1903 marriage to a Frederick George Francis in which she was married under her maiden name, Pleasance. And the name Price-Francis? Obviously, my grandfather had simply combined his registered father’s surname with that of his step-father. Hey Presto! Mystery solved - no romance, no acts of bravery, not even a drop of royal Welsh blood.


"But now I was faced with the challenge of tracking down my great grandfather, the elusive Esau Joseph Price. Without considering variants, there are more than 22,000 Joseph Prices in the England & Wales Birth Index, so I was pleased to have the additional name Esau to narrow the search. However, the search suddenly became too narrow. There are only four Esau Prices in the Birth Index, but not one Esau Joseph Price and there are just seven hits on Esau Price in all England & Wales census records (again, no Esau Joseph Price). Many, many hours of research with these and some other name variants left me with no convincing candidates and I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I might never trace the male line in my family tree.


"During the next three years I would occasionally repeat my search for Esau Joseph. My Ancestry subscription was for the UK but one “promotion” weekend, I searched “All Collections” (worldwide) and came across 1900 and 1910 United States censuses entries for an Esau Joseph Price, born 1856 in England, living in Hartford, Connecticut. I couldn’t access the transcriptions but there was a link to a couple of United States family trees which included this person. These indicated that Esau Joseph was actually an Esau George Price born in England. There were no source citations for this information, but I was intrigued enough to locate and engage UK-based genealogist, Steve Thomas, with the challenge to definitively identify Esau Joseph Price and his origins.


"I upgraded to a worldwide subscription with Ancestry and, following Steve Thomas’s lead, started to build a tree for the Connecticut-based Esau Joseph. When I looked at his 1900 US census enumeration, I was amazed and excited to see that his occupation was 'Coachman'! Given the rarity of the name it seemed extremely unlikely to be pure coincidence but, of course, in family history anything is possible.


"Steve Thomas was researching both sides of the Atlantic and we traced Esau Joseph’s year of original entry to the USA (1880 – coincidentally the birth year of his son, Joseph James), naturalization record (1888), a passenger list for a return trip from England (1896), and his death in 1927. At the same time, Steve found extensive references to his coachman profession in Hartford city directories. Esau Joseph had also married in Hartford in 1885 and the couple had subsequently produced a daughter.


"We eventually built a detailed picture of this English coachman and his life in Hartford, Connecticut. The principal objective was to find a solid link back to Esau Joseph’s English roots beyond simple references to 'England' in US official records. In particular, we were looking for a birthplace or, ideally, names of parents.


"These details remained elusive, but Steve Thomas was pretty sure that the Esau George Price from Eltham, Kent, mentioned above, and our Esau Joseph Price of Hartford, Connecticut, had to be the same person – only one Esau Price had been born in England in the 1850s and that was Esau George.  Nonetheless, convincing evidence of this connection had still to be found.


"Steve had noticed from census and birth index records that Esau George had a twin brother, Jacob, and this apparent reference to the Biblical twins suggested that their parents were religious. Steve had not been able to find baptism records for Esau George so he searched for Jacob and THERE IT WAS! The twins had been baptized on the same day and the child registered at birth as Esau George Price in November 1855 had been baptised Esau Joseph Price in January 1856. The name Esau had been mistranscribed as 'Evan', which explains why we hadn't found it before.


"As a result of his research we were both convinced that Esau George Price of Eltham, Kent, and Esau Joseph Price of Hartford, Connecticut, were the same person. I set about tracing Esau Joseph’s descendants in Hartford, Connecticut, identified three living second cousins, wrote to them and was fortunate that one them turned out to be the family historian. He immediately responded with a large number of family photos including portraits of Esau Joseph and a picture of him at the reins of his horse and buggy – a beautiful confirmation of his profession.


"In addition, he sent a 1927 newspaper clipping that reported on Esau Joseph’s funeral. This piece stated that Esau was born in Lee, Kent, England. Lee was then in the Eltham registration district, the birthplace of Esau George. Finally, the loop was definitively closed.


"But while all the historical records fitted together I wanted to make absolutely certain, so in November 2018, I tested my DNA with Ancestry. The test revealed (as it does for everybody), many matches predicting distant familial relationships, but one match with was a 3rd cousin once removed who was descended from a sibling of Esau Joseph Price - my genetic link to Esau Joseph Price was now proven. I had finally found my great grandfather!"



Semi-identical twins

I'm sure many of you have already seen this amazing story, but if not it’s well worth reading.



Doctor suspected of fathering up to 200 children

A Dutch court has granted permission for DNA tests to be used to establish whether a now-deceased doctor used his own sperm when treating patients for fertility problem - you can read more about this story here.


Although many children conceived as a result of sperm donation have no right to find out the identity of the donor, consumer DNA testing is leading to many unexpected discoveries. And since the year 2000 the Donor Sibling Registry (based, coincidentally, in Nederland, Colorado) has been connecting half-siblings  - you can find out more about the organisation here.



Lexicon: I'm a Dutchman

I hadn't planned for this idiomatic phrase to be the subject of the second article in this new series, but after that previous story I decided to bring it forward.


The phrase "I'm a Dutchman" is used to emphasise how ridiculous a statement or concept is, and it seems to have been around for quite a time. According to the Historically Speaking blog by Elyse Bruce it was used by George Elliot in The Mill on the Floss (published in 1860), but could have originated in the late 1700s. Another similar phrase many of you will have come across is "I'll be a monkey's uncle".



British-Irish dialect quiz

I found this quiz on the New York Times website fascinating - it's well worth having a go. (Many thanks to John for sending me the link.)



Buried 5 years before he died!

At the Royal Parks website you can search the burial registers for Brompton Cemetery - but watch out for errors like this one:



It's not, as you might have expected, a transcription error - it's the handwritten register page which is wrong, showing 1927 when it should be 1932:




Goodness knows how this could have occurred - I imagine that the other entries on the same register page are also wrong. And it’s not because these records are free - you'll find the same error at DeceasedOnline. Nevertheless, it's a useful free resource - there are around 200,000 burials recorded from 1840 onwards.



Can you identify this missing person?

North Wales Police are investigating a murder after human remains were discovered at Clocaenog Forest, Pentrellyncymer in November 2015. I wouldn't normally publicise an appeal like this in the newsletter, but I understand that in this particular case the police are considering using DNA analysis in an attempt to identify the victim using publicly-available genealogical databases such as GEDmatch.


However, at this stage they're going down the more conventional route of printing posters and issuing appeals - after all, somebody must know who he is, and family historians tend to be more observant than most.


It is believed the man went missing between 2004 and 2010 (although it could have been earlier). Analysis of the remains has determined that he was born before 1950 so would have been over 54 at the time, and quite possibly a lot older. Do you recognise the facial reconstruction? If so please contact North Wales Police on 101 reference Operation TRACTILE.


You can read more about the case here - there's also a short video you can watch. And, out of interest, is there anyone reading this who has uploaded their DNA to GEDmatch, but wouldn't want it to be used for the purpose of identifying a murder victim?



Review: Marriage Law for Genealogists

When I first reviewed Marriage Law for Genealogists in 2012 I described it as "a phenomenal new book from Professor Rebecca Probert of Warwick University, which proves that many of the assumptions and assertions that have been made about marriage and related topics such as illegitimacy are plain wrong!" (I went on to comment that even Ancestral Trails, the book that taught me much of what I know about genealogy, and which was written by a lawyer, isn't completely absolved of blame.)


Professor Probert's book really was an eye-opener for me, as it must have been for everyone who took my advice and bought it. For example, if you've ever wondered about the status of clandestine marriages, then all will be revealed in the book - it really is a goldmine of fascinating information! And whilst we all know that divorce was rare until the 20th century, to discover that there were only about 300 divorces up to 1857 (the first being in the 1660s) really puts it into perspective.


Even before reading the book I already knew that when my great-grandfather married his sister-in-law in 1897 (after my great-grandmother died at the age of 36), he was breaking the law - but it would be surprising if you don't have at least one similar marriage in your tree. Indeed I found two more after reading the book - so there are at least three in my tree!


But, despite the title, Marriage Law for Genealogists is not just about the letter of the law - Professor Probert has carried out research to establish how people behaved in practice. For example, if the bride and groom gave the same address when they married did it mean they were co-habiting prior to their marriage - or are there other possible explanations? Again, you might be surprised by the answer.  


This is a book that every family historian who takes their research seriously should have on their bookshelves - so it's hardly any wonder that more than 6 years after publication there are no second-hand copies selling at bargain prices. Indeed, it's cheaper to buy a new copy that a used one! At around £10, less than the price of a marriage certificate, this book is a must-have purchase for anyone whose ancestors married in England or Wales - the only book that comes anywhere near it is Professor Probert's follow-up, Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved, which looks at how our ancestors' marriages ended.


You can support LostCousins when you use the links below - even if you end up buying something completely different.                                                    The Book Depository



Review: Barefoot on the Cobbles

Janet Few is a well-known name in the world of genealogy, with several non-fiction titles to her name, including the excellent Putting Your Ancestors in Their Place (which I reviewed here). But Barefoot on the  Cobbles: a Devon Tragedy is a novel, albeit one based on real people, real places, and events that actually happened - and as many of you will know, I'm not a great lover of historical fiction. On the other hand, this book came highly recommended by someone whose opinion I respect, and it is set in Devon, a county I've visited many times over the past 60 years - and where my great-great-great grandfather was born.


The story encompasses a 30-year period, starting in 1890 and ending just after the end of the Great War - it tells the story of two generations of a family as they struggle to make the most of their lives, but unlike most historical novels it focuses on the tribulations and trials of the women of the family.


Barefoot on the Cobbles recreates a world that is out of reach for us, but one that our grandparents would have known well - and whilst it is set in Devon, the happenings described could have taken place almost anywhere. I haven't changed my mind about historical fiction generally, but I enjoyed this book all the more for knowing that it was based on real events - and I'm sure you will too!


I read the Kindle version, which worked out really well for me (as I was travelling) - but it's also available in paperback for those of you who prefer the old ways.                     



Stop Press

Check out this blog post which details 6.7 million new records added to Findmypast on Friday 1st March - most relate to Liverpool, including both Catholic and Church of England records, as well as Poor Law records. I've also added the missing link to the 'Naughty' article and included some clarification in the leading article.



That's all for this issue - the Adoption Matters and Peter's Tips columns should be back in the next issue (there simply wasn't space this time).


Description: Description: peter_signature


Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins


© Copyright 2019 Peter Calver


Please do NOT copy or republish any part of this newsletter without permission - which is only granted in the most exceptional circumstances. However, you MAY link to this newsletter or any article in it without asking for permission - though why not invite other family historians to join LostCousins instead, since standard membership (which includes the newsletter), is FREE?