Halstead & District

Genealogy and Family History

People are born, live, possibly get married and die but they are not forgotten

Our ancestors leave tracks and traces and memories, sometimes good sometimes bad but even those bad things don't seem so bad with the passage of time. They become historical events.

I observe a tinge of excitement when fellow family historians detect a wrong-un amongst their ancestors. It is one of life's paradoxes that the terrible things that people do to each other also form entertainment - just think of all those films and tv programmes that deal with death and destruction. How many of those gently presented Agatha Christie tales recall details of not just one murder but several or even a dozen. It is the stuff of life and death. And then of course there are war films; computer games that simulate horrific violence. I don't understand why we are like this but we are. We disclaim misdeeds and then later embrace them.

Authors turn these events into fiction to sanitise them. I remember a statement made by a writer, I think it was Lynda la Plante; "..the real thing is always much worse..". Her point was that things need to be sanitised to be acceptable.

Each of the members of this group will have different reasons for looking for dead people. That's the genealogical bit. Family history is about bringing people back to life by understanding how they lived and why they made the decisions they did. What events influenced their lives. It is this aspect of family history that draws me in and holds my interest. There are so many stories within and around our ancestors lives I now rarely read fiction.

On a practical note the group meets 1st & 3rd Wednesday mornings via Zoom from 10 am until noon. Just contact Group Co-ordinator via Pigeon icon above.

Proposed topics

  • Military records
  • Medical records - and records of medical staff and institutions
  • Court records
  • Manorial records
  • Using major genealogical databases - Ancestry, FindMyPast, FamilySearch, My Heritage
  • Genealogy in context - what events surrounded your ancestors' lives?
  • Planning and problem solving - overcoming brick walls
  • Using Family Tree Maker to record your research
  • Old Bailey Trials
  • Genetic genealogy
  • Records held by Metropolitan Archives
  • The National Archives
  • Charles Booths London Poverty Maps
  • Using the changing General Register Office to search and order vital records
  • Irish records
  • Scottish records
  • Migration in the 19th century (learn how history is repeating itself).
  • Overseas records - especially Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada.
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French Beginners French Language Improvers Genealogy and Family History German
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More Group Pages
Ambling Bird Watching
Board Games Book Group 1
Book Group 2 Book Group 3
Bridge Group Canasta
Card Craft Crochet
Discussion 1 Discussion 2
French Beginners French Language Improvers
Genealogy and Family History German
German Beginners Hiking
History 1 Knitting for Fun
Low Carbers Mah-Jong
Musical Discovery Photography Group
Science & Technology Sew and Chat
Social History Stitch in Time 2
Sunday Lunch Group Table Tennis
The Strollers Theatre and Plays
Walking