Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The Dingles Blossomfield Road Solihull History

Just a quick blog today!

Came across this newspaper article in an April 1908 Birmingham Gazette

A large house in Blossomfield's road, Solihull was for sale by auction as the owner, Henry Weston Esq, was moving near to London. Called "The Dingles"

In fact the house extended to over 10 acres including the house, well laid out and beautifully planted grounds, lawns, gardening, stables, coachman's cottage and three fields of old turf

Of course the house and grounds are no longer long given up to the houses and roads that have been built since. 

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Clearance Sale June 2010

We are having a clearance sale, selling off the several thousand of out of print books that we have.
Books on history, autobiographies, local history, historical fiction, war, children's books including Enid Blyton and Ladybird in lots.

We need the room and have decided to stop selling most books except craft and jewellery books (on our websites).

So over the next few weeks on our shop on Ebay - they have to go. All items will get two listings and if not sold then passed to a local charity.


Weaver Family Books have sold on Amazon for many years with a 100% feedback, but we want to consentrate on our websites and so have withdrawn all our books and closed our account.

So please take a look............

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Births, Marriage and Deaths - Finding family history in England

Births, marriage and death certificates and the information they contain, are a must when tracking your family tree.
Without them it is impossible to have a tree that you know is accurate.They also help to move forward when you have hit a brick wall and can not find that elusive branch.

First find the birth, marriage or death (BMD) index if in England. The index is needed to easily order the certificate, you can use many online sources or visit your local library.
Details and indexes can be obtained from the local BMD registration office, but it is time consuming for the staff and will cost more money. Use when you are unable to trace an index through conventional methods. You may also find that because you have assumed that all your family were born in one place - it may not be the case.

My own grandfather and his siblings, I had always thought were Yorkshire born and bred in one place, but no that was not the case. His brothers and sisters were born in Birmingham, Shropshire, Stafford, Barnsley, Thurnscoe, Rotherham and Doncaster. I also discovered the oldest William Ward, was not a Ward but born several years before my great grand parents married. Never been mentioned to any of the family that are now still alive - quite a big shock!

Online there are many places to obtain BMD's information but these are my favourite.

Free BMD  

BMDs indexes are slowly being added from 1837 up to about 1930 (at present), a massive undertaking. Easy to use site that can produce a wealth of information. Thanks to all the guys who do this voluntary. Not all the BMDs are here yet but its a good place to start. Easier if you have an uncommon surname to find but difficult if it is something like Smith or Jones.
Also a trick if you want to find possible siblings. Enter the surname, mothers maiden surname, place and in the from date box March 1912.  Provided they are born after this time, the soft ware can show a list of births. Which will need to be investigated further by obtaining the actual certificates.
As the maiden names were also indexed from around 1912. Easier to find both marriage names, because from 1912, they were indexed together. Before then the place and index number should match, if the index is different then they are not then registered together and the marriage is probably not the one you are looking for.

ie. Feege Gustav  Southwark 1d 311
    Wannicke Anna Louise Southwark 1d 311

All the BMDs indexes will give you the name, year and quarter , place of registration and a reference number. With that you can then order/obtain the birth, marriage or death certificate.
If you order a certificate online from any of the National offices or companies. The certificate will be a copy completed by one of the staff. However if you order from the actual registration office it will be an actual photocopy of the original certificate - showing the actual signatures or marks.

BMD Index

There are many companies that carry the full BMD index that you can access for free. Just google "BMD free" and millions of pages are available.Try out many sites and see what suites you first before taking out any subscription.

The BMD indexes are also available in your local library on microfilm or free access on the computers to some companies like Ancestory. But check availability. My local library had the world wide subscription to Ancestry and so saved money.

The indexes are in year and quarter for the whole of England. With indexes you can view all BMDs registered in that year under any surname. Useful if you do not know where registered and possible to view the years if you only have a vague idea. Also you can look at different surnames. As said previously our William Ward was in fact registered under William Johnson.  


From this certificate you will get your ancestors full name, mothers name and possibly fathers. Parent(s) occupation. Where born and full date. Note if you have a time next to the date, possibly a multiple birth and needs further research.


Information on this certificate includes, both the full names, their age at marriage*, occupation, where lived at marriage, fathers names,** whether still living and occupation. Witnesses names and signatures***

* Can say "of age" or something similar meaning over 21 years. Not a lot of help and tends to be on the earlier certificates.

** Most of the time there is a fathers name. 
It may be the actual father if the name is not on the birth certificate. My grandmother and her sister have their fathers name on their marriage certificates, but he is not on their birth certificates. Also her sister married under her father's surname when in fact her birth certificate has her mothers name on only. 
Be also aware that it may be a false name, if father unknown. As being born out of wedlock was at that time very shameful.

*** Witnesses are mainly close family and friends. Take note of the names.
From a marriage certificate. I found a sisters married name and subsequent marriage.
But be aware that many used a witness present that could read and write - to be one of the signatures to be legal. It was usually one of the churches staff. More apparent when looking at the actual church registers - more of them in a later blog though. 
Up until the early part of the twentieth century, many could not read or write. They used a cross as a signature in front of witnesses on legal documents.


The information from this certificate can be fascinating and can be very useful. Well worth obtaining.
They show your ancestors name, where died, who registered the death*, what they died of and age**

* Often someone in the family one of the children or can be their husband or wife. Again more clues for tracing
** Age is given by the remaining family member(s) and may not be accurate

This is just a brief blog on BMDs and I will be blogging on other information available, including church registers and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Family Search) shortly




Sunday, 14 March 2010

Starting your family tree

Had so many ideas for this blog, but haven't managed to write anything lately. But today decided to get to work

Over the next few months, will look at tips to researching your family tree, as well as looking at historical places and various historical books.

I have extensively researched both mine and my husbands family trees. It had always interested me but never had the time. But 5 years ago I had a very long bout of vertigo/dizziness. With no choice but to sit in bed trying not to move my head, I started tapping away at our lap top to relieve the bordem. Thought I would just look up my grandmother's unusual name "Feege" and one thing led to another and now have researched back to the mid 1700 for some of my family!    

This blog is about getting started. You have thought about finding about your heritage but don't know where to begin? I'd suggest writting your tree down as much as you can remember. Buy a large note book and keep all your research. Talk to members of your family and keep notes.
In all families there are often "family knowledge" passed from father to daughter/son. Sometimes the truth is something near to the rumour, sometimes not as expected. Be prepared to find a few skeletons that have been hidden for decades.

My mother had always been told by her aunt Kit, not to tell anyone at Lilleshall Hall, where we were - as they would want us to pay for the upkeep!
Now I have found that my maternal grandfather's family were in Lilleshall, Shropshire in the 1800, but as for the upkeep nothing solid yet.

Look at old photographs and take copies. Look at any birth certificates, death cerificates, any old diaries, address books, any documents or written material that is around. it may mean nothing to you yet, but may in the future. Keep records and photocopies as you go along.
Any medals or papers relating to World War Two and One, look at in detail. Make notes of names, regiments, numbers and what the medals are.

By now you should have an outline of your family from yourself. maybe back to grandparents and great grandparents, some dates and places.  Include any brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc. It builds up a far better profile of your family and can help if you become stuck.

Check that your information is correct, obtain birth, death and marriage certificates as you progress back along your tree.

Next blog - looking at online sources for information