Church yards are wonderful family tree resources with information on the gravestones that children can help you discover:
Once they can read you can get them to hunt down any gravestones that mention members of your family.
There is lots of fascinating information on them including dates of birth and death. You can challenge your children to work out how old a person was when they died based on these dates.
So why don’t you take your children down to the churchyard? You can create a grave scavenger hunt for your family:
- earliest/most recent date for burial
- youngest/oldest person buried in grave yard
- how many different occupations
- most common surname
- anyone born somewhere overseas
Just give your child a notepad and pencil and let them wander around whilst you do your own research!
Posted in Family History
Tagged ancestry, cemeteries, children, culture, family history, family tree, genealogy, graves, gravestones, records, sources
Last month I posted about finding my great grandfather’s medal record from ancestry.co.uk in this post. When the article came to the attention of my aunt and uncle I discovered that they had the actual medals! Today I got to see them and plenty of other memorabilia from my great grandfather.
It appears he was in the forces (maybe as a reservist?) as far back as 1913 as he had some medals for 3rd places in an army shooting competition at both 300 yards and a quarter mile. Both these medals are from the 5th Battalion the Hampshire Regiment:
In 1914 he was serving at the front in the 5th London regiment as a private. The proof for this includes a letter published in the local paper in Bickerstaffe:
He also had been given a box of cigarettes and tobacco by Princess Mary and her charity for Christmas in 1914:
There are still original cigarettes and tobacco in the box! Charles was himself a pipe smoker and his pipe from the war had his friends’ names carved into it:
For his service in 1914 he would receive the 1914 Star:
At some point before his wedding in 1915 he received a rapid promotion to 2nd Lieutenant. We need to get his full records to find out more. This meant he moved from a clay dog tag to a metal one:
Whilst he was an officer he had a notebook he used to record both important information on explosives and details of the mess bills:
Apparently he helped train troops whilst recovering on sick leave and on one occasion had to act fast when a recruit pulled the pin out of a grenade but forgot to throw it…
By the end of hostilities he had earned two more service medals:
I am just bowled over to have been able to hold these precious pieces of my family history. I feel so lucky that my great grandfather came through the whole war when so many others didn’t. Now the challenge is to see if I can find out more about his service…
So go and ask your family if they have something lurking in a tin or box in the attic.
Posted in Family History
Tagged ancestry, band, family, family history, family tree, genealogy, History, medals, people, personal family tree, world war 1
I have to say that since being given an iPad I’ve discovered how good the Ancestry app is. It never really worked for me on the iPhone but on the iPad it really shines.
Once you have downloaded your family tree from Ancestry on to your iPad it then starts looking for hints for existing members of your family. When you review each hint it brings up an image of the relevant data such as census page or sheet from a church record. You can then review the information and either accept or ignore. If you accept you can then choose which items get changed on your tree. The source information is automatically added.
A very useful app but be careful as you could be on there for hours…