Newsletter – 22nd November 2021



Time to save 25% on Findmypast subscriptions ENDS SUNDAY

How to support LostCousins and get a free LostCousins subscription

Another chance to hear Professor Probert FREE

Minimum marriage age to rise?

DNA solves mysteries – sooner or later

Save on Ancestry DNA ENDS SOON

MASTERCLASS: How to get the most from Findmypast

Who were Darby and Joan?

The redhead living in the Tower of London

Review: The Girl in the Painting

Out of time: a challenge for readers

Library book returned 73 years late

What the Dickens!

Review: A Picture of Katherine Mansfield

Do you remember Brown & Polson blancmange?

Less tea, vicar?

How to find the LostCousins Forum

Peter's Tips

Stop Press



The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous issue (dated 10th November) 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):



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!



Time to save 25% on Findmypast subscriptions ENDS SUNDAY

From 10am (London time) on Monday 22nd November until midnight on Sunday you can save a massive 25% on all 12 month subscriptions at Findmypast! This means you can get a PRO subscription, which offers unlimited access to ALL of Findmypast's records and newspapers at a price you’d normally pay for a PLUS subscription. At the same time the cost of PLUS subscriptions at the UK site drops to just £89.99 during the offer – a very competitive price considering that it includes all of Findmypast's British and Irish records (and by my calculations it's less than 25p per day).


Tip: you can also save on 1 month subscriptions, but the 25% saving only applies for the first month – by choosing a 12 month subscription you're locking in the saving for an entire year, and you'll also benefit from Findmypast's Loyalty Discount, currently 15%, when your subscription comes up for renewal next year. Findmypast don't guarantee that their loyalty scheme will continue indefinitely, but it has been in place for as long as I can remember. Of course, you can always cancel your subscription renewal if circumstances change – at Findmypast it’s easy to do.


The offer applies to both new subscribers and lapsed subscribers, so it's a great time to come back to Findmypast, one of the sites that I find indispensable for my own research – not least because they have images of the parish registers for CheshireDevonHertfordshire, most of KentLeicestershireLincolnshireNorfolkRutlandShropshireStaffordshireWarwickshire, much of Yorkshire, and most of Wales. They also have tens of millions of indexed records from other counties, many of them the result of Findmypast's connections with family history societies. However I'd also like to highlight the modern UK Electoral Registers, from 2002 onwards, which are a great way to find people you've lost touch with.


Please follow the appropriate link below so that you can support LostCousins when you make your purchase:


Note: the top subscription at the US site is called ULTIMATE, but I understand it's equivalent to a PRO subscription. 12 month PRO and ULTIMATE subscriptions offer the opportunity to save 10% on the 1921 England & Wales Census when it is released in January; lesser subscriptions do not confer any benefits. The 1921 Census will not be included in any subscription at any site for the foreseeable future – the only way to get 'free' access is to visit the National Archives in Kew, west London.


I'm also offering you an exclusive bonus - a FREE LostCousins subscription when you support LostCousins by using the link above to buy a new 12 month Findmypast subscription AND ensure that your purchase is tracked by following the detailed advice in the next article (read it carefully BEFORE making your purchase – afterwards nothing you or I can do will make any difference).


PROVIDED we receive commission on your purchase you'll qualify for a 12-month LostCousins subscription of a 12-month PRO or ULTIMATE subscription, or a 6-month LostCousins subscription when you choose a 12-month PLUS subscription. If you already have a LostCousins subscription I'll extend it by 6 or 12 months, as appropriate. I'm not offering any bonus on lesser subscriptions as they're likely to be unsuitable for an experienced user like you – though if you want to purchase a Starter subscription for a friend or relative you can still save 25% and support LostCousins by using the links above.


Your subscription will commence on the day you bought your Findmypast subscription, so please claim it immediately by contacting me using any LostCousins email address (including the one in the email that told you about this newsletter). I will need to know the date and time of your purchase (to the minute), and the precise amount paid.


Tip: if you are also researching on behalf of your partner or another family member you can link the two accounts together and get a joint subscription covering BOTH accounts. Simply enter the other person's Membership Number (found on their My Summary page, or in a Password Reminder email), in the relevant box on your My Details page.



How to support LostCousins and get a free LostCousins subscription

Unfortunately simply clicking one of my links doesn’t absolutely guarantee that you'll be supporting LostCousins when you make your purchase, because these days quite a few people use adblocking software, or have disabled tracking in their browser. Whether you've done this deliberately or inadvertently, it can have a big impact on small independent websites like LostCousins - in effect you’re telling the big website that you're buying from to ignore the information about which site you just came from. This prevents them from paying any commission on your purchase - great news for the big website, since it adds to their profits, but very tough on the small genealogy websites that depend on that income.


First make sure that your purchase is going to be tracked - if you have installed any browser extensions with names that include the words 'ad' and/or 'block' this is a danger sign! I also recommend, based on past experience, that you don't use Firefox - I suggest you load up this newsletter in Chrome or Edge before clicking the link above and making your purchase. All major browsers are free, so it makes sense to have a choice (many problems can be solved by using a different browser).


I also recommend you use a computer rather than a smartphone or tablet, but whatever device you choose, stick to it - clicking my link on one device and making your purchase on another definitely won't work.


In Chrome you'll find the 'Do not track' switch by going to Settings, then Privacy and security, then Cookies and other site data – scroll down until you see this:



The switch should be to the LEFT and appear grey, as shown above. If the switch is to the right (and blue) then please move it to the left.


In Edge you'll find a similar switch in Settings under Privacy, search and services and it works in the same way. If it appears blue with a white dot, move it to the left so that it is grey with a black dot. I also recommend temporarily turning off Tracking Prevention or setting it to Basic.


Once you are satisfied that your purchase is going to be tracked, click the link and make your purchase, noting the EXACT time of the purchase, otherwise I cannot confirm that you qualify. To claim your LostCousins upgrade  send me an email quoting the precise time and date of your purchase (including the time zone), and stating the price you paid for your subscription.





Another chance to hear Professor Probert FREE

On 8th December Professor Rebecca Probert, the leading expert on the history of marriage law in England, will be giving a one hour online talk about her latest book, Tying the Knot. You can book your free ticket by following this link.



Minimum marriage age to rise?

I wonder what Professor Probert thinks about the plans to increase the minimum marriage age to 18 in England & Wales – will children elope to Gretna Green to get married, I wonder? See this BBC News article for more information about the proposals.



DNA solves mysteries – sooner or later

Whatever you think of the way that DNA has changed the world of genealogy, there's one thing that comes through loud and clear: "DNA doesn't lie". I could have added the words "People do", but that would be unfair to those who have unwittingly brought up someone else's child, as in the case if the Californian couple I mentioned in the last issue. In that case the error was made by a fertility clinic, and the 'mother' gave birth to a child who was neither her daughter, nor the daughter of her husband. Another slip-up at a fertility clinic was uncovered in Utah, again thanks to DNA – you can read about it here.


A mistake at a Nottingham hospital in 1936 led to two mothers taking home the wrong child, as reported in this BBC article from 2015 – DNA eventually confirmed what the families had suspected all along. This story from the US goes back even further – it was more than a century before DNA uncovered the mix-up.


But most DNA surprises are more mundane – for example, the discovery of a half-sibling, or perhaps a half-aunt, that reveals a long-forgotten relationship for which no documentation exists. Two trees with no apparent connection, but which must somehow overlap – it's a genealogical mystery, but it isn't a novel!


DNA can be challenging, but for some people it’s far more challenging than it ought to be. Inevitably the vast majority of people who contact me with DNA problems either haven’t read my Masterclass, or have read it, but cherry-picked the advice – leaving out the bits they don't fancy doing, like a cowboy builder who doesn't bother laying foundations. Something else to beware is that here are lots of blogs and websites that provide tips and tools to 'help' you with DNA, but in practice they make it more complicated – quite frankly, if something's worth knowing about it'll be in the Masterclass, which is the only guide to DNA that makes life simpler, rather than more complex.


Tip: there are LostCousins Masterclasses on a wide range of topics – there are links to all of them from the Subscribers Only page.



Save on Ancestry DNA ENDS SOON

Ancestry's Black Friday Sale has started in the UK with their cheapest price of the year (indeed, of many years) for DNA kits, just £49 plus shipping. The offer runs until 11.59pm on 'Cyber Monday', 29th November. This offer is widely available buy you'll only be supporting LostCousins when you use the link below: (UK only) SAVE £30 ON DNA TESTS


Remember, you don’t need to decide in advance who is going to test, so it's worth picking up an extra kit at such a low price. Shipping also works out cheaper when you buy more than one kit.


Until 11.59pm (AEDT) on 22nd November you can save $40 on Ancestry DNA in Australia or New Zealand, whilst Canadian residents can save $50 until 11.59pm (ET) on Wednesday 24th November. Please use the links below so that you can support LostCousins when you make your purchase: (Australia & New Zealand only) (Canada only) 


Tip: the Ancestry DNA test is the only one I recommend, because it's the only one that allows you access to the world's largest database. You can transfer you Ancestry results to most other providers, but you can't go the other way.



MASTERCLASS: How to get the most from Findmypast

This Masterclass has been updated to reflect changes in design of the site.


I'm sometimes contacted by readers who don't get the same excellent results as me when they search at Findmypast - so I'm going to tell you how I transform their searches….


The first thing you need to appreciate is that there are two ways of searching at genealogy websites. One is to enter lots of data on the Search form in the hope that some of it might lead to the record you're looking for - this type of search can work well at Ancestry, where it typically produces lots of results (though most of them won't be relevant).


The other approach is to put the minimum amount of information on the Search form, see how many results you get and - only if there are too many results to glance through - filter the results so that you're only left with those that are most relevant. This type of search works best at Findmypast.


Because I'm so busy I prefer the second type of search - most of the time the record I'm looking for is on the first page of search results, so I get there very quickly. I even cheat by using wildcards rather than type long surnames in full - this has the secondary benefit of sometimes picking up records that might otherwise have been missed.


How minimal should your searches be? If I'm searching the census I'll typically enter just a forename, a surname (possibly using wildcards), and an approximate year of birth. I rarely enter a place of birth as this tends to vary so much from one census to another, but when I do I enclose it in wildcards, eg *London*


Different surnames require different tactics. The surname Smith is very unlikely to be spelled differently or mistranscribed - but you are likely to get lots of results, so you'll need to narrow your search in some way. By contrast, when I'm searching for my Vandepeer ancestors I'm more concerned about misspellings than anything else, so I'll typically search for v*d*p*r* and leave the other boxes empty.


Tip: even as you’re filling in the search form Findmypast are looking to see how many records they have that match what you have typed so far; a running total is displayed on the Search button so you'll know when there's no point entering any more information.


Put these tips into practice and you'll immediately see the difference. But don't stop reading, because I've got another, even more important, tip for you - one that even Findmypast won't tell you!


Did you realise that at Findmypast there can be three or more ways of searching for the same historical record? Would you like to know which of those three ways I use myself? Yes, I thought so…..


The gateway to all of the different approaches is the Search menu:



Let's suppose that you were hoping to find one of your ancestors in the 1881 Census - you could choose Search all records, or narrow down your search by clicking on Census, land & surveys. But I wouldn't choose either of those options - I'd go to the precise record set I'm interested in by clicking All record sets, the option beginners are least likely to choose (but the one I use 99% of the time). Choosing All record sets allows me to find out what record sets Findmypast has which are relevant to my research.


Why do I search specific record sets, rather than starting with a wider search, then homing in? Because it's usually the only way to access some of the key search options. For example, when I search the 1881 Census directly the Search form offers an enormous amount of choice:




But over half the fields - the ones I've highlighted in red - don't appear on the Search form when you choose Census, land & surveys. So do what I do - whenever possible focus in on the specific record set of interest, whether it's a census, a collection of baptism registers for a specific county, or one of the hundreds of other record sets.


Tip: one of the secondary benefits of using this approach is that you'll get to know the records better. Because they come from many different sources there are all sorts of quirks - for example, some parish register transcriptions will be very detailed, others very basic.


Here's a table of links that will enable you to jump straight to some of the key resources at Findmypast without going through the Search menu (all searches are free, so you don't need a subscription unless you want to look at the records themselves, though you will need to register or log-in):


1841 British census

1851 British census

1861 British census

1871 British census

1881 British census (FREE transcription)

1891 British census

1901 British census

1911 England & Wales census

1939 Register (England & Wales)

GRO birth indexes for England & Wales

GRO marriage indexes for England & Wales

GRO death indexes for England & Wales

Hertfordshire parish registers*

Cheshire parish registers*

Kent parish registers*

Leicestershire parish registers*

Devon parish registers*

Lincolnshire parish registers*

Norfolk parish registers*

Shropshire parish registers*

Staffordshire parish registers*

Warwickshire parish registers*

Yorkshire parish registers*

Wales parish registers

British Army Service Records

School Admission Registers

England & Wales Electoral Registers 1832-1932

UK Electoral Registers 2002-date


* these links will take you to the baptisms for the county – from there you can easily access other records


Note: there are a few record sets which currently can't be found by searching in the way I've described; for example, if you're looking for the Chelsea pensioner records you'll find them under British Army Service Records because Findmypast have grouped together all army service records. Other instances reported to me involve Australian cemetery records.


Finally, another useful tip - one that even regular users of Findmypast frequently miss. When you search an individual dataset you'll see a list of Useful links & resources to the bottom right of the page - and when the records in question are parish records there will usually be a link to a page with a list of parishes that are included, showing the dates that are covered.



Who were Darby and Joan?

When I was growing up my maternal grandmother lived with us, and when I was scanning some old photographs recently, I was intrigued by some that showed gatherings of old-age pensioners, or senior citizens as we are now known. Eventually I remembered that Nan used to go a Darby & Joan Club, but whilst I knew at the time that it was some sort of social club for older people, why it bore that name had always been a mystery to me.


Of course, in the 1950s we didn’t have the Internet – in fact we were lucky to have a phone, and that was a party line shared with our next-door neighbours. Nowadays it's so easy to find things out, though we still have to be wary of the sources we choose. Wikipedia is one of the best sources because anyone who spots an error can put it right – here's an extract from the Wikipedia entry for Darby and Joan (as at 19th November):



Most parish registers for London are online at Ancestry, so I was expecting to find a record of John Darby's burial in 1730 – I didn't. I then turned to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), which I can access free online through my local library – it's a wonderful source which is generally pretty reliable. There I found an entry for a John Darby who was a printer in Bartholomew Close – but he died in 1704, which doesn't fit; on the other hand the entry records that between 1664-66 he married Joan Dover, the widow of Simon Dover who owned the printing business. This must surely be the couple referred to?


On the face of it this makes the DNB a more reliable source than Wikipedia. However the Wikipedia article references another DNB entry, that for Henry Sampson Woodfall, grandson of the Henry Woodfall who had been apprenticed to John Darby. But which John Darby had Henry been apprenticed to? DNB states in the Woodfall entry that Darby died in 1730, but at the time Henry Woodfall began his apprenticeship in 1701 John Darby senior was still alive – and when he died in 1704 the business passed to Joan; it was only when she died in 1708 that John Darby junior inherited, and by then Woodfall's apprenticeship might well have been over.


The wording of the poem surely leaves us in no doubt who is being referred to. 'Old Darby, with Joan by his side' must be referring to John Darby senior and his wife – in 1701 John Darby would have been around 75 years old. So whilst the Wikipedia entry is wrong, it's only wrong because the DNB entry for Henry Sampson Woodfall is misleading.


Whatever its precise origins, over time Darby and Joan came to mean a happily-married older couple, as you can see in this article from the Leeds Intelligencer of 31st December 1754, which records the death at 98 of one Harry Thompson – he and his wife Nell are reported to have "been as loving and happy a Pair as Darby and Joan".


Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, used by kind permission of Findmypast


This British Pathι film records the opening, in 1942, of the Darby and Joan Club in Streatham, south London – according the commentary it was believed to be the first of its kind in Great Britain. And it's still going, though the club now meets at the Woodlawns Centre in Lambeth.


This colour film from the Lincolnshire Film Archive shows the Stamford Darby and Joan Club, but the most interesting footage is in this BFI documentary from 1964 in which members of the Stepney Darby and Joan Club in London's East End not only talk about the club but give personal details including names, ages, and addresses. I wonder if any of them are relatives of readers of this newsletter?


During my research I discovered that there was a Darby and Joan Club in Chadwell Heath, very close to where I grew up – so I'm pretty certain that this is where my grandmother went. The photo on the left might well show members of St Chad's Darby and Joan Club  – my Nan is at the front left, but she looks younger than I remember, so I suspect it was taken fairly soon after my grandfather died in 1954. Notice that there are many more Joans in the photo than there are Darbys…. such is life.


Valence House Museum in Dagenham has a photo taken in 1952 at the 6th birthday party of St Chad's Darby and Joan Club, so it must have been formed in 1946, the year after the war. I wonder if my grandparents are in that photo?


Searching the British Newspaper Archive (also available through Findmypast if you have a PRO or ULTIMATE subscription) I found a 1950 article from the Essex Newsman which reported a bequest to St Chad's Darby and Joan Club of £250 from Mrs Elizabeth Jane Jeacock "in appreciation of their kindness to me during the time I was a member". That was a very considerable sum at a time when the average new house cost under £2000, and the Old Age Pension was just 26s a week for a single person.


Did your parents or grandparents belong to a Darby and Joan club? Records of some Darby and Joan clubs are held in local archives – you might start your search using Discovery at the National Archives website.


Note: if you still belong to a Darby and Joan Club I'd be interested to hear from you – please contact me using the address in the email that told you about this newsletter .



The redhead living in the Tower of London

I mentioned in the last newsletter that my great-great-great-great grandfather Bryan Byrne(s) was living in the Tower of London at the time of the 1841 Census – he was one of hundreds of civilians living there, though I imagine that his previous service in the British Army had something to do with it. His grand-daughter, my great-great grandmother, gave her place of birth as 'Tower of London' in the 1871 Census – though she gave her birthplace as Poplar in 1861 and 1881, and Shadwell in 1901 – and this was a vital clue in identifying her father's baptism in 1817; the register entry showed that he was born in the Tower of London. I found the baptism in the enormous collection of Roman Catholic baptisms at Findmypast – it's one of many key record sets that have been added in recent years.


Coincidentally there was an article on the BBC News site last month about a young woman who lives in the Tower of London in 2021 – you'll find it here.



Review: The Girl in the Painting

Steve Robinson's latest book features an old friend – the roly-poly genealogist Jefferson Tayte, who takes on a fascinating problem posed by Nat, a student on a genealogy course that he runs. A Victorian painting of a girl has been passed down in Nat's family, but whilst Nat believes she know who the girl is, there's no trace of her in the records after the 1891 Census (a problem that we've all been faced with from time to time).


Can Jefferson Tayte confirm the identity of the girl and work out what happened to her? The complicating factor is that the portrait has been stolen, and the thief might be a murderer, so once again our hero must risk life and limb to get to the answers.


There are two stories in this book: the tale of Jess – the girl in the painting – and the modern-day detective story. I enjoyed both – though I suspect that some of you will notice a couple of flaws in Jefferson Tayte's research strategy. Still, we all make mistakes – it's whether we get the correct solution in the end that matters.


I bought the Kindle version which is priced at £2.99, but it's also available as a paperback. Good fun.                                                   



Out of time: a challenge for readers

One of the challenges of writing a novel where some or all of the action takes place in the past is the avoidance of anachronisms – things that would not have been known, or said, or existed at the time in question. Reading Steve Robinson's latest books (see my reviews above, and in the last issue) I noticed anachronisms in both of them, and I wonder whether any of you can spot them?


This challenge will not only test your powers of observation, it should add an extra level of interest to the stories! Please don't post your thoughts online as this will spoil the challenge for others; instead email them to me (you can use any of the LostCousins addresses, including the one in the email that told you about this newsletter). And remember to provide evidence in your email – no guesses, just facts.



Library book returned 73 years late

Last week it was reported by BBC Scotland that a book borrowed from Fife Library in 1948 had been returned through the post – had the accumulated fines been charged they would have amounted to £2847, thousands of times more than the original cost of the book! I'm afraid there were a few occasions when I took library books back late, but it was never more than a week or two.


Will they put the book back on the shelves, I wonder? You can read more about this story here.


The news from Wales last week was less encouraging – 400,000 second-hand printed works, including a book signed by Queen Victoria and a copy of the very first issue of the Radio Times, were lost in a fire that broke out on Tuesday. This article from BBC Wales has more details.



What the Dickens!

Charles Dickens left behind an amazing record of his work, and looking at this image of the first page of A Christmas Carol in Dickens' own handwriting I was awestruck. The Deciphering Dickens project led by the Victoria & Albert Museum aims to reveal how the author's mind worked by examining the way that he revised his works prior to publication.


Charles Dickens used shorthand in his work as a parliamentary reporter, but it was a unique system that he devised. The Dickens Code project at the University of Leicester is offering a prize of £300 to the first person who can decipher all or part of a letter written by Charles Dickens. There are lots of very clever people who read this newsletter – perhaps one of you would like to have a go, or maybe it could be a joint project on the forum? (See below for more information about the LostCousins Forum.)


By the way, the saying "what the dickens" has nothing to do with the author, since it was used by Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor; it's thought that 'dickens' was a name for the Devil, along the lines of 'old Nick'.


Christmas is just over a month away – it seems to have come around very quickly this year, though perhaps having our family Christmas dinner in July has something to do with that! This time last year I reviewed The Christmas Carol, by MJ Lee, one of my favourite writers of genealogical mysteries – you can see my review here, but please note that the introductory price on the Kindle version has now ended, the current price is £2.99



Review: A Picture of Katherine Mansfield

In 1973 I was captivated by a six-part BBC documentary drama about the life and works of the New Zealand-born writer Katherine Mansfield. Born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in 1888 she left New Zealand for England at the age of 19, becoming friends with literary figures such as D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In the 1911 Census she is married, but living alone, and gives her name as Katharina Mansfield:



© Crown Copyright Image reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England. Used with the permission of Findmypast


Although the census shows that she had been married for three years, it was only in 1909 that she wed George Charles Bowden using the name Kathleen Beauchamp. That marriage was never consummated – she left him before their wedding night (she was already pregnant with another man's child, and had been pushed into the marriage by her family). Her personal life was hopelessly muddled, and she frequently behaved selfishly, but like F Scott Fitzgerald she was wonderfully observant and wrote marvellous stories about people. After watching the series nearly half a century ago I went out and bought all of the Katherine Mansfield books that I could find!


I recently discovered that the series is available on DVD – and as my wife had never seen it, I deemed it a very worthwhile purchase at £7.99 – bliss!                                       


The DVD seems to be only available for Region 2 (Europe), so if you live elsewhere make sure you have a suitable player. Did I mention that the series stars Vanessa Redgrave, Jeremy Brett, and Annette Crosbie? Other famous names amongst the cast members include Michael Gambon, Phyllida Law, Judy Parfitt, and Ballard Berkeley – probably best known for his later roles as the Major in Fawlty Towers and Colonel Danby in The Archers, though he appeared in dozens of films from 1930 onwards. Don’t be put off by the dreary title music!


Note: also see Peter's Tips below.



Do you remember Brown & Polson blancmange?

As a young boy I loved jellies and custard, but blancmange was my favourite – and the only brand my mother bought was Brown & Polson, a name that has almost disappeared, though I understand their cornflour is still sold in Britain and India. My local supermarket doesn't sell any blancmange powder, and the only cornflour on their shelves is 'own brand'.


The flavours I enjoyed most were caramel, and chocolate – the latter being my favourite, especially when it was served with stewed home-grown pears (I think my mother added a spoonful of cocoa powder to the mix). Do you remember Brown & Polson blancmanges, and if so what was your favourite flavour? Please don't write to me - instead post your answers on the LostCousins Forum so that other members can see them.


Note: you can see a Brown & Polson packet from the 1950s here.



Less tea, vicar?

I've never been a fan of builder's tea, the strong black tea that Britons traditionally drink – it was only on my first visit to a Chinese restaurant, circa 1969, that I discovered tea that I actually enjoyed drinking. From Jasmine I progressed to Lapsang Souchong and Earl Grey, and more recently I discovered Chai.


But I know I'm the exception – or, at least, I was. Last week I read that Unilever are selling off their black tea brands, including Brooke Bond and PG Tips, because the market for them is declining; at the same time the coffee market is booming, though whether that's because people are drinking more or upgrading to more expensive alternatives, I'm not sure. Another article I saw last week reported research carried out in China, but using data from the UK Biobank, which found that drinking tea and coffee not only delays the onset of dementia, but also reduces the risk of strokes. I'll drink to that!



How to find the LostCousins Forum

You won't find the forum in the menu at the LOSTCOUSINS.COM – that's partly because it has its own site, at FORUMS.LC and partly because forum membership is restricted to LostCousins members who are taking part in my project to connect family historians around the world who are researching the same ancestors.


If you’ve already qualified there will be a link and a coupon code on your My Summary page – if you haven’t qualified yet, don't worry, simply add more entries (ideally from the 1881 Census) to your My Ancestors page. When your Match Potential (shown near the top of your My Summary page) reaches 1 the link and code will appear automatically.


You don't need to be a member to read what others have written in the open area of the forum – it's an excellent place to find hints and tips on a whole range of research topics. But you do need to be a member to start a discussion, post a reply, or view files that others have uploaded.



Peter's Tips

Although Black Friday is still several days away, most retailers have started their sales early. I don’t know about you, but if there's one thing that lockdown has taught me it's that I already have too much 'stuff', so I tend to go for e-books and other downloads. Audio books are a good compromise for those who aren’t ready to give up printed books – and they're a boon for anyone who wants to give their eyes a rest. Here in the UK Amazon are offering a three-month trial of their Audible subscription for just 99p – please follow this link to support LostCousins when you take the trial.


I haven't listened to them myself (yet), but this collection of Katherine Mansfield stories from the BBC read by wonderful actors such as Eileen Atkins, Emilia Fox, Andrew Sachs, Derek Jacobi, Hugh Bonneville, and Penelope Wilton has to be worth 99p of anyone's money! And anything narrated by Martin Jarvis is well worth listening to – you can see a selection here.


Goodness knows, we can all do with something to take our minds off what's happening in the world, wouldn't you agree?


Tip: I'll update this article with further offers as they come in.



Stop Press

This is where any major updates and corrections will be highlighted - if you think you've spotted an error first reload the newsletter (press Ctrl-F5) then check again before writing to me, in case someone else has beaten you to it......



I hope you've found something in this issue that's new to you, something that will help you with your research, something to get you thinking, and perhaps – with luck – something to make you smile!


Description: Description: peter_signature


Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins


© Copyright 2021 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? To link to a specific article right-click on the article name in the contents list at the top of the newsletter.