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A great uncle was 18 years old in 1918 when WW1 started and bravely signed up for the army- but found that war so horrific  that he deserted and went home to his mum.  

 

His mother was afraid that he would be found, arrested, and shot - as deserters were in those days - so she persuaded him to re enlist, and he did that using her maiden surname and a variant of his first name. 

 

But though I have tried to trace his two different army records they were mostly destroyed by fire in a German bombing raid in WW 2 - so I only have the family story to go on. 

 

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2 hours ago, moorgate said:

But though I have tried to trace his two different army records they were mostly destroyed by fire in a German bombing raid in WW 2 - so I only have the family story to go on.

 

If he was unfortunate and didn't survive the war, you can trace him through https://www.cwgc.org/

A few years ago, I didn't have a clue as to where my uncle was buried.   The War Graves website led me through the search and even gave me the coordinates to enable me to find his grave situated in the middle of a corn field in the Somme countryside

 

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On 21/10/2020 at 20:12, Johnaldo said:


LTC, our local libraries (Cheshire) moved everything to on-line whilst they were locked down, so we were still able to use the family history sites by logging in at home with our library cards … and didn’t have a one hour limit 🙂.

 

I only found this out by accident, so it might be worth checking out with your local library.

 

They also gave free access to e-magazines and e-books.

 

John

Thank you for that. Suffolk confirmed to me to day that they were giving access at home but you need a user name and password and she was going to e-mail me the details but I haven't heard anything yet. I will get on to the library service again if I don't hear anything.

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25 minutes ago, LongTimeCaravaner said:

Thank you for that. Suffolk confirmed to me to day that they were giving access at home but you need a user name and password and she was going to e-mail me the details but I haven't heard anything yet. I will get on to the library service again if I don't hear anything.


No probs, LTC. I think the services provided by libraries is often underrated.

 

John

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18 hours ago, Johnaldo said:


No probs, LTC. I think the services provided by libraries is often underrated.

 

John

John, Suffolk libraries didn't get back to me and their office isn't open at the weekends. To access your Ancestry do you have to enter a user name and password? If so can you tell me how it is made up? I assume the user name is your library ticket number but the password doesn't seem to be  the four digit code I use to access the Suffolk website so I wonder if it something else.

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1 hour ago, LongTimeCaravaner said:

John, Suffolk libraries didn't get back to me and their office isn't open at the weekends. To access your Ancestry do you have to enter a user name and password? If so can you tell me how it is made up? I assume the user name is your library ticket number but the password doesn't seem to be  the four digit code I use to access the Suffolk website so I wonder if it something else.


LTC, just in case we’re at cross-purposes here - I have to access Ancestry and Find My Past via my Council’s  library website, not directly into the sites themselves. It’s the same log-in as I use for renewing books, making reservations, e-books, e-mags, etc - i.e. my library card number followed by my PIN. Once logged-in, I just click on the appropriate link.
 

John

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2 hours ago, Johnaldo said:


LTC, just in case we’re at cross-purposes here - I have to access Ancestry and Find My Past via my Council’s  library website, not directly into the sites themselves. It’s the same log-in as I use for renewing books, making reservations, e-books, e-mags, etc - i.e. my library card number followed by my PIN. Once logged-in, I just click on the appropriate link.
 

John

Thank you John that is what I thought but it didn't work for me. Mind you I was doing the pin from memory and it is a long time since I used it as it is saved on my laptop. I shall have to have a good think but thank you so much for your help.

 

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My wife has taken her family tree back into the 1700's and has bought several certificates. They can be bought from different sources either national or local authorities and you should  heck the cost to get the cheapest option.  If you are on Ancestry you can contact family members you find and swap certificates though. 

Do be aware of what you might find though as people on the programme do as some are quite shocking.  As I say about her family, they cannot keep the skeletons in a cupboard as they do not have enough cupboards. Her family would make a fascinating programme but they only pick on celebrities when others might have far more interesting families.

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Ancestry is undoubtedly the leader in this field. They have annual and monthly membership which is not cheap, but there is a way around it. Go dig in Expensive World or look on like for a copy of the Ancestry software which will knock you back about £30 or even less and will build a family tree for you as you progress. The good bit is that you get 6 months free membership of Ancestry included, and at the end of the six months you can renew for another six months at half the annual rate. This is the only way around the month/annual membership method and you can only get the 6 month offer once.

 

Military service data is also very useful for anyone who was in the forces or (IMSMC) did National Service. The only downside is that the RAF records were destroyed by a fire following the building being bombed in WW2 so research there is limited. There are also other records such as those of the railway companies which may only show, for instance, accident records but at least it can place your relative.

 

Finally there is FreeBMD which shows all records from 1837 onwards (when registration was introduced) up to about fifty years ago. However do be wary here as you will sometimes see the same person entered twice under different names or times as the entries have been transcribed from written records and it seems as though some of the transcribers were better at it than others.

 

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23 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

My wife has taken her family tree back into the 1700's and has bought several certificates. They can be bought from different sources either national or local authorities and you should  heck the cost to get the cheapest option.  If you are on Ancestry you can contact family members you find and swap certificates though. 

Do be aware of what you might find though as people on the programme do as some are quite shocking.  As I say about her family, they cannot keep the skeletons in a cupboard as they do not have enough cupboards. Her family would make a fascinating programme but they only pick on celebrities when others might have far more interesting families.

You do need to be open minded and accept that people of today are not responsible for the lives of their ancestors.

Tracing back one branch of my wife's line I discovered a man with two families. Ancestry enabled me to contact a descendant of the other family who flatly refused to acknowledge the issue despite the evidence. 

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23 hours ago, Johnaldo said:


LTC, just in case we’re at cross-purposes here - I have to access Ancestry and Find My Past via my Council’s  library website, not directly into the sites themselves. It’s the same log-in as I use for renewing books, making reservations, e-books, e-mags, etc - i.e. my library card number followed by my PIN. Once logged-in, I just click on the appropriate link.
 

John

John, I just wanted to say that I now have access by just scrolling down the library web page and not following the instructions the woman on the phone gave me when I rang to ask if they were allowing access at home. I paid out over £100 last week to renew my subscription to Findmypast as I didn't know you could access it via the library. Oh well, c'est la vie.  Thanks again.

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