Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Books, census, Genealogy, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Parish Registers

Having researched at Gloucestershire Archives for over twenty years, I am finally writing what I hope will be the definitive guide to tracing your Gloucestershire family history. I have learnt so much over the years and even more recently whilst researching this book. It has been designed as a basic family history guide but with specific details for Gloucestershire records and documents. It will have something useful for both beginners and experienced genealogists.

I am very excited to have finally managed to get the first four chapters of my forthcoming book “Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors” available online. They are:

1. Gloucestershire Born and Bred:
An introductory chapter for family historians with useful background information on the County of Gloucestershire and Diocese of Gloucester.

2. Civil Registration:
Chapter 2 includes details on civil registration of births, marriages and deaths, how to order certificates and where to find indexes to help with your search.

3. The Censuses:
This gives information on the 1841 to 1911 censuses and particulars and samples from the 10 pre-1841 Gloucestershire censuses.

4. Parish Registers:
As well as background information on parish registers and Bishop’s Transcripts, this chapter includes which registers are the oldest, where the gaps are in some parish registers, available indexes and which parishes are not on the IGI. Please check out: http://www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/books/discover-gloucestershire-ancestors/

This is a still very much a ‘work in progress’ so comments on the content of any chapter could still affect what goes into the final book. I would be delighted to be get some feedback on the chapters to enhance the content.

Self-publishing is a new experience for me so any advice on content, advertising and marketing will be much appreciated. (My previous book, A Rogues’ Gallery. Victorian Prisoners in Gloucester Gaol, was published by The History Press last year.) One of my main objectives of self publishing and particularly of publishing the individual chapters online was to allow this to be a “living document” where I can engage with the Gloucestershire genealogical community and receive feedback.

This has been a steep learning curve and I would love to get comments from others who have self-published and from Gloucestershire genealogists who have found unusual sources.

Nonconformist churches, chapels and meeting houses

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Genealogy, Parish Registers

You have searched the IGI and checked the parish registers and still you cannot find that elusive baptism.  Could it be that your ancestors were Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Roman Catholic ……?


Finding ancestors who did not conform to the Church of England religion is fraught with difficulty.  Many of the churches, chapels and meeting houses no longer exist and registers, when kept, have been destroyed over the years.  It is hard to know where to start as there is no list of all such churches for Gloucestershire.  I am endeavouring to fill that gap by creating a database of all known churches, chapels and meeting houses that existed or still exist in Gloucestershire and Bristol.

I am hoping that someone can help me extend my list, tell me about chapels that I have omitted or duplicated, anything that will add to my knowledge and, in the long run, to other people’s as well.  I have a long way to go but have made a start at:

http://www.hidden-heritage.co.uk/nonconformists/

Please take a look and send me any information that might prove useful.

Codes of Men and Armour for Gloucestershire

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Genealogy

The codes used in Smith’s Men and Armour for Gloucestershire in 1608 are as follows:
The figure (1.) shows the age of that man to be about Twenty.
The figure (2.) shows the age of that man to be about Forty.
The figure (3.) shows the age of that man to be between Fifty and sixty.

The letter (p.) shows that man to be of the tallest stature fit to make a pikeman.
The letter (m.) shows that man to be of the middle stature fit to make a musketeer.
The letters (ca.) show that man to be of a lower stature fit to serve with a caliver.
The letters (py.) show that man to be of the meanest stature either fit for a pyoner or of little other use.
The letters (tr.) show that at the time of taking this view, he was then a trained soldier.
The letters (sub.) show that the said man was then a subsidy man.

Welcome to Hidden Heritage

Posted by Liz Jack     Category: Hidden Heritage

Welcome to Falling Leaves, my new blog of genealogical thoughts on researching family history in and around the English county of Gloucestershire. After undertaking research for many years, I have gathered a vast amount of information on my area which may prove of interest to you in your online search for your ancestors.