I was delighted to be part of the latest AGRA (Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) Podcast, covering Family History research prior to 1837.  If you want some tips on how to progress your own research, it's well worth a listen. As well as fellow genealogists Sharon Grant, Simon Martin and Gill Blanchard, the podcast is hosted by Sarah Williams, Editor of Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. 


These last few weeks have been a whirlwind; so much has been happening. One event, in particular, I am really thrilled about.

I have been involved with the Cannington Shaw Preservation Trust in St Helens, Lancashire, for the past couple of years as their resident historian/genealogist.  I am now delighted to announce that I have been appointed Heritage Director for this Scheduled Ancient Monument, which is an important part of St Helens’ Industrial heritage.  I am looking forward to being part of the project to save the No. 7 Bottle Shop, which in 2017 was listed as in the top 10 of endangered buildings by The Victorian Society.

When we begin the search for our ancestors, we hope that we may find some famous or infamous character, who has a colourful story which we can proudly proclaim. While doing some digging this week into my husband’s family history, I came across the case of James Cheetham, who in 1890, appeared in court in Newton le Willows, Lancashire. 

I am fortunate that my Grandma was a hoarder, or should I say keeper of documents and family ephemera. Today I found a little scrap of paper, which ends with the line "A sure remedy for Rheumatica". The ingredients and method are:

We are living in extraordinary times and everyone is trying to play their part.  Whether you are on the frontline in the NHS or self-isolating, even just practicing social distancing, everything we do no matter how great or small matters. What role can a genealogist play? As well as helping neighbours, friends and family where possible, I want to do a very small thing and that is to post words of encouragement from the past to help us today. I will be trawling through my old family documents to find words that although written 100 years or more ago can encourage and inspire us today.  

Written by EM Davies on 29 August 1922 

“We cannot all be heroes and fill a hemisphere

With some great noble venture, some deed that mocks at fear

But we can fill our daily lives with kindly acts & true

There’s always noble service for noble souls to do”

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men”


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