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”


Tracing Your Ancestors in Lunatic Asylums (A guide for Family Historians) by Michelle Higgs.

Published by Pen & Sword, 2019

In this book, Michelle Higgs provides information that will suit all levels of genealogical competence, whether you are just starting out or have a wealth of experience.

Great British Family Names and Their History (What’s in a Name?) by John Moss

Published by Pen & Sword Books, 2019

Having very kindly been provided with a copy of this book by Pen & Sword, I was intrigued to see if it was indeed a “fascinating guide for genealogists and budding family historians wanting to learn more about their name and its history”.

Although as a Genealogist, family history is my job; sometimes we can forget that the facts we find are other people's family. I was reminded today of how much joy genealogy does bring to families. I carried out a research project for a client last year and today I received further news from her of how the work I had done was still bringing happiness to her family:

"I thought you'd be delighted to hear that I'm sitting here right now with two of my other uncles... looking at the family history and they are absolutely loving it! It is so special to be able to sit with them and share this so may I say thank you so much again."

Grace Ancestry - spreading the Joy of Genealogy.

Rather than me write about this; I asked my hubby to do it, as it is his story after all...…. It was the morning of the dreaded sort out. The garage/office awaited packed to the rafters with old family heirlooms, memorabilia, furniture and all manner of junk. Emptying the expensive storage unit had seemed like a great decision, there was a holiday in what that cost to keep; however, looking at the huge mountain whose foothills met me at the door of our outbuilding, the wisdom no longer seemed so sound. Down at the storage facility it was out of sight - out of mind, no difficult decisions to make about what to keep, what to sell or what to throw. At 9.30am on a sunny Saturday morning the prospect of a weekend of tackling emotions linked to all sorts of paraphernalia was just not appealing.