A historical visit to Oxford

From town to gown, Oxford has a history both of artistic and academic merit, and of surprising turbulence, as Nell Darby explores. The city of dreaming spires, Oxford is a beautiful yet compact city. From the circular architecture of the Radcliffe Camera and the Sheldonian theatre, to the pastel-coloured houses on the High Street, there … Read more

The history of penmaking around Britain

Colin Waters explores Britain’s penmaking industry, particularly associate with Birmingham. Vast fortunes were once made from manufacturing the humble pen nib. For example, Josiah Mason and Joseph Gilliot, from Sheffield, came from poor uneducated backgrounds but went on to make their fortunes in the trade. Mason used his fortune for philanthropic purposes, including founding Birmingham … Read more

Researching the Swing Rioters

Angela Buckley shares how to find out if your rural ancestors took part in the Swing Riots. Life was tough at the turn of the 19th century and many working families struggled to survive, especially in the countryside. Most of us have ‘ag labs’ in our family tree and in 1830, their increasingly difficult living … Read more

Lost pleasure grounds to open at Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle’s historic ‘glen’ will be accessible for the first time in over 100 years from the end of April. English Heritage has also invited young refugees to special workshops, with a new learning centre the first major building at the castle in 145 years. Part of Walmer Castle’s gardens, first laid out by William … Read more

A nonconformist family

One Buckinghamshire family was proudly nonconformist – despite the impact of war and loss on their lives, writes David Rolfe. Shepherds Lane in Beaconsfield runs from the centre of the Old Town, down the side of the White Hart pub, to the Amersham Road at the northern end. One hundred metres along on the left … Read more

Data: Kent parish registers released

Family history website Findmypast has announced the online publication of thousands of original Anglican parish registers in partnership with Kent County Council. The new records have been created from over 3,000 handwritten registers currently held at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. These registers have been scanned and digitised in full colour to ensure the … Read more

Data: Berkshire baptisms

New release from Findmypast: Berkshire Baptisms Index Over 31,000 additional records coving the parishes of Beenham St Mary, Bray St Michael, Cholsey St Mary, Kintbury St Mary, Reading St Giles, Reading St Mary, Remenham St Nicholas and Tilehurst St Michael are now available to search. Each record comprises a transcript of the original baptism register. … Read more

Data: Kent Poor Law and occupational records

New release from Findmypast: Kent Poor Law and Occupations Search for you Kent ancestors in this index of more than 2,000 poor law and occupation records. The records include church registers, alehouse keepers’ licenses and poor law documents that may reveal a variety of details relating to you ancestor’s birth, baptism, death, residence and occupation. … Read more

Exhibition explores heritage of Mary Rose crew

Were the crew of the Mary Rose white Englishmen or did diversity reign on board Henry VIII’s favourite warship? The Mary Rose at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is delighted to present The Many Faces of Tudor England exhibition which explores the latest scientific and genealogical findings into the crew of the Mary Rose. Held from 18 March … Read more