Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
Today we’re remembering all the brave men and women who’ve died in two world wars. Finding an ancestor who served time in the military can lead you to extraordinary stories of bravery, but from a genealogical perspective they can also be incredibly revealing. Service records can not only tell you exactly where your family member served but also more personal details like who their next of kind was or even give a physical description. A good place to start, if your ancestor was in the British Army, is the British Army Service Records. They go from 1760 to 1915 and provide detailed records of soldier’s careers. If your ancestor was an Air Force man why not try the Royal Air Force Muster Roll 1918. You can find out details about exactly what their job was and how much they got paid.
On this day in 1851, Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh. Born in Edinburgh to Thomas Stevenson, a lighthouse engineer and Margaret Isabella. He was christened Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson, his middle names in honour of his maternal grandfather, a Minister of the Church of Scotland. When Stevenson was 18 however, he changed the Lewis to Louis and four years later the Balfour was gone as well.
Every year, on the last Thursday of October, the Somerset village of Hinton St George celebrates Punkie Night. In a celebration that looks a lot like the Halloween customs we're so used to elsewhere, the children of the village march around with lanterns cut from a turnip – locally called a "mangle-worzel".
The 19th century was a time of enormous change in Britain. Technological advancements made during the industrial revolution led to massive urbanization, completely transforming the structure of British society. Millions of working class people, who for centuries had lived in agricultural communities, were forced to relocate to the booming cities of the industrial north and the arrival of the steam engine meant that increasing numbers of immigrants were also flocking to these cities. Slums expanded rapidly, becoming tense and overcrowded melting pots where different social, religious, ethnic and political groups were forced to fight for their place in the new world.
Have you been tuning in to Family Finders, the new series from the BBC that follows the work of professional genealogists – ‘family finders’ – as they track down lost relatives to bring families back together.
It’s always wonderful to hear back from our members about the marvellous discoveries they’ve made using Genes Reunited. Derek Cawser’s story is a fabulous inspiration for those who’ve believed they lost a part of their family forever, and a great example of family ties overcoming time and distance.