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Sarah’s TpTip

Catholic baptism records can also sometimes reveal marriage details s

As mentioned in Nicola Morris’ article on Irish Catholic records (see page 62), some baptism records include later marriage details in the margin. Proof of baptism is needed for Catholic marriages, and the church often made a note of the marriage on the baptism record itself. This can be extremely useful where marriage details are elusive, and of course is not limited to Irish Catholics.

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Except for some tricky Smiths, I’m fortunate because I’ve managed to get all of my main family lines back to the 1700s (and I’m determined to crack them eventually!). But it’s in that century that most of my research grinds to a halt, so it was helpful to read Else Churchill’s guide to the main records out there for tracing 18th-century kin (see page 17).

I’m also a big fan of A House Through Time, the BBC TV programme that has done for house history what Who Do You Think You Are? did for family history, and I particularly enjoyed the series based in Bristol because that’s my home town. So I was delighted to read on page 27 about the house on Guinea Street and what the consultant to the show Deborah Sugg Ryan discovered using the newly released 1921 census of England and Wales. It’s fascinating to find out who was living in your house 100 years ago, although my own house was disappointingly empty.

I had more luck researching my family using one of the websites mentioned in our guide to online school records on page 51. I even discovered that my grandfather came fifth in a school cross-country race. Nothing to be proud of as there were only five runners!

Finally, we will be at THE Genealogy Show again on 1–3 April (see page 9), so do come and join us for some great talks and a chance to pick up a few genealogy bargains. Happy hunting!

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Sarah Williams Editor


Else Churchill Else is the genealogist at the Society of Genealogists, and leads its education programme. She shares some of her tips for getting through the 1700s on page 17.

Deborah Sugg Ryan The on-screen expert on A House Through Time is also a professor at the University of Portsmouth. Learn what the 1921 census tells us about our relations’ homes on page 27.

Nicola Morris Nicola co-founded the genealogy research company Timeline, and has worked on many episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?. On page 62 she explores Catholic church records.


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