Tag Archives: family tree

Find Missing Births #familyhistory #adoptionreunion

Anyone researching their family history has to start with the two main life events: birth and death. Birth seems the obvious place to start, but finding certificates is not always straightforward. Adoption may be one reason, as Rose Haldane discovers in Ignoring Gravity,

Family tree

[illustration: @SandraDanby]

If you have hit a brick wall searching for UK records, try these tips by genealogist Laura Berry:-

Informal change of name: it is perfectly legal for a person to change name without officially informing the authorities. Add to that the confusion caused by people by interchanging their first and middle names, perhaps because they dislike it. Some names were simply mis-spelled, either by the record-taker or the person reporting the birth. If in doubt, search for the mother’s maiden surname.

A different quarter: until 1984, the GRO birth indexes for England and Wales were organised quarterly [after this it switched to annual]. Perhaps the birth you are looking for has been recorded in the next quarter. Parents at this time had 42 days in which to record a birth.

Common names: if you are searching for a common surname and common first name, try looking for siblings with more unusual first names. Search in the registration district covering the area of birth, around the birth date.

Illegitimacy: an area of much potential confusion, accidental and purposeful.The birth of a child born out of wedlock was usually registered under the mother’s maiden surname. The child may have acquired a stepfather’s surname at a later date, and that stepfather may have been recorded on further documents.  But the chance of finding the name of the birth father is slim.

Age confusion: the usual route to finding a birth comes from the person’s age stated on another document. But, people do not always record their age truthfully for a variety of reasons: for vanity, to enlist in the army, for employment reasons etc. Expand your search of birth records by 10 years, plus and minus.

Birth overseas: if you suspect your relative was born abroad, there are numerous overseas birth records are available at Find My Past and The Genealogist. Available are the India Office birth and baptism records, children born at armed forces bases, births of British nationals born overseas which were registered with the British Consul or High Commission in that country, and births aboard British registered vessels and aircraft.

Father confusion: perhaps the child in question was born legitimately but the father subsequently disappeared or died. The child may consider the man who raised it as its father, but was actually their stepfather. If this is the case, check for a re-marriage by the mother.

No baptism: not everyone was baptised at the local parish church but in one of the UK nonconformist congregations. Try instead the national collections of nonconformist baptism registers at The GenealogistFind My Past or Ancestry.

They are not in the GRO index: From 1837, Superintendent Registrars were responsible for registering all births. But this proved difficult in practice. In 1875, parents became responsible for registering their child’s birth, with a fine for non-completion, so after this date the registers become more reliable. Consider that your relative’s surname may have been spelt wrongly or missed out completely. You can apply to the local registration office where you think your relative was born, this is where the original local index are kept. Some regional indexes are going online at UKBMD.

Not born in England: perhaps your relative was born in Scotland or Ireland. Check the Scottish records at Scotland’s People. For Ireland, check Family Search or Find My Past Ireland.

This post was inspired by Laura Berry’s article ‘Search like a pro and Find Missing Births’ in the March 2016 issue of the UK’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine. 

For more articles about researching family records, try:-
Did your relative train as an apprentice?
The paternity question
Further information #Adoption #AdoptionReunion #HelpfulLinks 

I used these tips when plotting the birth mystery of Rose Haldane in Ignoring Gravity. For more about the ‘Identity Detective’ series of adoption reunion mysteries, watch the book trailer.
BUY

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Find Missing Births #familyhistory #adoptionreunion https://wp.me/paZ3MX-4J via #AdoptionStoriesBlog

Where to start your #familyhistory search #adoptionreunion

People searching for their birth family commonly find themselves researching alongside family historians and genealogists. In the last decade there has been an explosion of interest in the past and where your own family and home fit into 20thand 21st century events. For adoptees this is an intrinsic part of building a picture of the birth family. Piecing together the jigsaw is enriched with information about the place someone lives, their job, the time they lived in, historical events of the time which affected everyone’s lives. There is an immense amount of information easily available online, from official archives to how-to books and websites offering help and support. Some of it is free, some of it is accessible by a small one-off charge, some of the larger databases require subscriptions. It is worth considering joining your local family history society that have membership subscriptions to the biggest commercial archives, but also to network with experienced family historians who understand how to find records.

WSFHS Show Open Day 2019 - photo @SandraDanby

West Surrey Family History Society Open Day 2018 [photo @SandraDanby]

VISIT AN EXHIBITION
Dip your toe into the genealogical waters with a visit to a local event run by your local family history society. Check out the listing at the UK’s Family History Federation. Many have drop-in days for newcomers as well as annual open days and fairs. These are friendly low-key events and are a good opportunity at which to take your first step [above is the Open Day 2018 run by the West Surrey Family History Society].

There are a number of bigger regional and national exhibitions in the UK with a large selection of exhibitors including family history societies, specialist history, archives, family history projects, equipment and software suppliers, fiction and non-fiction.

February
Rootstech, Salt Lake City, USA

April
Family Tree Live, London, UK

June
The Yorkshire Family History Show, York, UK

The Genealogy Show, Birmingham, UK

July
The Family History Show South-West, Bristol, UK

Family History Show at Sandown Park 2018 - photo @SandraDanby

Family History Show at Sandown Park, Esher 2018 [photo @SandraDanby]

August
The London Family History Show, Sandown Park, Esher, UK [above]

October
Rootstech, London, UK

READ A BOOK
Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy: The definitive reference guide to tracing your family history by Dan Waddell BUY
Family History of the Net by Colin Waters BUY
Genealogy: Essential Research Methods by Helen Osborn BUY

BROWSE ONLINE
ANCESTRY.CO.UK UK website, part of the Ancestry.com global network of family history websites. Offers access to 1 billion searchable UK family history records, 9 million searchable records in the global network. Census, fully-indexed birth, marriage and death records, passenger lists, British telephone books, military and parish records. Membership fee. Follow on Twitter @AncestryUK

FAMILYSEARCH.ORG A US non-profit website sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access Family Search services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centres in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Follow on Twitter @FamilySearch

FIND MY PAST Start your family tree, online, now. Follow on Twitter @findmypast

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? THE MAGAZINE Subscribe to the UK magazine here, useful resource for starting to research your family tree. Follow on Twitter @wdytyamagazine

FAMILY TREE UK magazine and website. Follow on Twitter @familytreemaguk

FAMILY TREE MAGAZINE USA family history magazine and website. Follow on Twitter @FamilyTreeMag

YOUR FAMILY TREE UK magazine and website.

FAMILY TREE FOLK Supplier of equipment for research including binders, charts, dividers, storage and magnifiers. Follow on Twitter @FamilyTreeFolk

FIND MY PAST Start building your own family tree, online. Follow on Twitter @findmypast

LOST COUSINS If you’re searching for relatives and want to search online safely try the Lost Cousins website, which matches you with other people researching the same ancestors. It’s worth signing up for the Lost Cousins newsletter too.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Where to start your #familyhistory search #adoptionreunion via #AdoptionStoriesBlog https://wp.me/paZ3MX-1w