3 interesting websites for #FamilyHistory researches


At various times in my Family History researches I’ve found these websites interesting and useful.

The History of the Workhouse

image credit Dr Neil Clifton / Leeds Union Workhouse Leeds Union Workhouse Built in 1859 and now, since 1998, used as the Thackray Medical Museum.

Probably most family history researchers have found one or more of their ancestors ending their days in the workhouse. To find out more about life in the workhouse then a visit to The Workhouse – the story of an institution is a must.

It’s a massive website filled with information about every conceivable aspect of workhouse life but I’ve found that the most useful part is the directory of workhouse addresses with links to the pages of individual workhouses.

This is the link to the directory part of the site: ​http://www.workhouses.org.uk/addresses/
then just use the A-Z to search for the town you want and click its link.

Railways Archive

image credit Ben Brooksbank / A major accident on the ECML near New Southgate. 17th July 1948

If you think your ancestor might have been involved in a railway accident there may be some information at the Railway Archives website.

In 1947, my mother kept a diary and one day she recorded: “Mr Eaton was killed today on the Railway”. Her father worked on the railway so Mr Eaton’s death must have been particularly significant. The Railways Archive website has 32 accidents listed for 1947 but none of them seem as though they would have involved the Mr. Eaton mentioned in Doreen’s diary. Further scrutiny of the accidents recorded for 1947 show there were a staggering 111 fatalities and over 800 injuries. The worst accidents of 1947 were at Gidea Park (7 fatalities and 45 injured); Doncaster (18 fatalities and 118 injured); Burton Agnes (12 fatalities and 32 injured); South Croydon (32 fatalities and 183 injured); and Goswick (28 fatalities and 90 injured).
The causes of these terrible railway disasters were:
Goswick: excessive speed and human error resulting in derailment and the train splitting
South Croydon: signaller error resulting in derailment
Burton Agnes: collision with a road vehicle
Doncaster: signaller error resulting in rear collision and derailment
Gidea Park: fog, excessive speed and human error resulting in rear collision and derailment.
Reading these appalling statistics made me re-appraise what might have happened to Mr Eaton. I’d assumed he’d been killed while working for the Railway: now I’m not so sure.
Interestingly, sixty years later, in 2007, 54 accidents were reported on the railway in which there were 6 fatalities (5 were caused by collision with a road vehicle) and in the majority of cases there were no injuries at all.

The Railways Archive is easily and freely searchable and might provide you with interesting background for your family’s story.

Hansard On-Line

image credit By Adrian Pingstone (talk · contribs) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Hansard is the edited verbatim report of the proceedings of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in the British Parliament. It is a fantastic resource for adding detail to your family story. When I was researching the background to I Think I Prefer the Tinned Variety: The Diary of a Petty Officer in the Fleet Air Arm during World War II I was trying to find out about the Mobile Naval Air Bases (MONABs) that were set up to provide back-up for the British Pacific Fleet in 1945 and I found a fascinating reference in Hansard.

I also found a report in Hansard about a school that features in my family story which was most interesting.

Go to the Historic Hansard search page and enter the person or place you’re interested in. You’ll go to a page where you can narrow your search down or follow up on some of the suggestions. Well worth a visit!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Book of the Day


10 Tips for Writing a Daily Blog


I started writing this blog on March 20th 2017.

I’d set myself the challenge of writing a blogpost every day about something that interested me to do with gardening, healthy eating, books, music and history.

After my cancer diagnosis I stopped writing the blog for a while but resumed on November 3rd 2017. I’d found that my chemotherapy left me mentally alert but physically exhausted for several days; I needed things to do that would occupy my mind while confined to the sofa.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/wood-nature-old-plant-sofa-leave-3130656/

I’ve posted every day since November 3rd last year although some posts have been short and few have been more than 500 words.

I really enjoy researching and writing my blogposts. Receiving views, likes and comments is a real bonus and I thank anyone who’s read any of my posts and especially readers who’ve liked and commented. My blog averages 30 – 40 views each day but what really pleases me is that each day some visitors read several posts. And a very select group of readers – and you know who you are – read my posts every day. And I thank you for your support and encouragement.

image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/blog-internet-leave-blogger-489507/

Here are my Ten Top Tips for anyone planning to write a daily blog.

  1. Decide what you’re going to write about and stick to it.
  2. If you start to struggle to create content, extend your topic areas.
  3. Write a monthly blog plan.
  4. Post at the same time every day. This is discipline for you and your readers know when to expect your post to be available. I post at 10.30am every day which gives me time to write a post in the morning if I haven’t prepared in advance.
  5. Use the scheduler.
  6. Prepare a few posts in advance that you can use if you’re feeling under the weather or for those times when you need thirty six hours in every day.
  7. Collect ideas for posts. I use post-its and stick them onto my monthly planner and move them around as my ideas evolve.
  8. Reply to comments. According to this fascinating article there are way over 440 million blogs in the world. If someone actually reads one of your posts and is so engaged they leave a comment, they deserve a response.
  9. Be delighted if readers stay on your blog and read several posts. 8 visitors who read 46 pages are showing better engagement than 100 visitors who read 1 page each.
  10. Enjoy writing your blogposts. If it becomes a chore, stop and post once or twice a week until you get back into it. Unless you’re writing for profit and it’s your day-job; in which case grab another coffee and get on with it – you’re at work!
image credit:https://pixabay.com/en/wood-aerial-background-beverage-3157395/

Thanks for reading my blog today.

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