Do you have an interest in Jewish Genealogy?

Jewish genealogy is even more exciting than general genealogy, because it forces you to understand history, geography, new languages, new alphabets as well as social history. There were no Jews in this country between 1290 and 1657 so an ancestor of yours must have come to the UK from some other “old country” be it in Eastern Europe, Germany, Holland or elsewhere.

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My Father’s War

In May 1939 the Military Training Act was passed by the British Parliament. This required every man aged 20 or 21 to present themselves for 6 months military service. My father, Leonard Sidney Frank Walter was drafted into the Militia on 17th July 1939 – just after his 21st birthday. This is his story

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Lambourn Family and “Dear Ma” Postcards
To Ma from Attleborough

Lambourn Family and “Dear Ma” Postcards

When perusing about 160 postcards that had been in the possession of my paternal grandmother and her mother, from the beginnings of the 20th century, I realised that they held secrets and clues that other family history sources do not hold

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Women’s Suffrage: the cause in Reading
WSPU shop at 39 West Street, Reading. Courtesy of Reading Library’s Local Studies Women’s Social and Political Union or WSPU Collection

Women’s Suffrage: the cause in Reading

February 6th 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of The Representation of the People Act, which extended the vote to all men over the age of 21 and to those aged 19 and above in the armed forces. However, more significantly, it gave the franchise to women, specifically those who were aged over 30 and who met the £5 property qualification.

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Black and Asian merchant seamen in the First World War

In 1914 Britain had a maritime empire. Goods, people, materials and ideas moved by sea. Nearly 2/3 of the food and drink consumed in Britain came from abroad. This global maritime supply network – that fed and fuelled civilian and military populations – was key to the First World War.

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Brick walls in a lineage?

There are obscure documents which, if discovered through a name search in archival catalogues, can reveal remarkable details of a person’s character and life, and perhaps assist in breaking through a brick wall in the parish and probate records. This was my experience when seeking to ascertain the parentage of one of my 8x great grandfathers, Richard Pinnell of Upper Lambourn (Uplambourn in many early records).

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St Joseph’s Convent in Reading celebrates 125 years but some of its pupils are missing!

In October 1894 four nuns from The Congregation of Sisters, which had been founded by Mother Marie Madeleine Postel in Normandy, made a difficult journey to Berkshire. After landing at Southampton they took the train to Farnborough. The hard-working Sisters, facing some local discrimination, created their school in an old outfitters shop in about ten days; it was dedicated to St Joseph.

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