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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

New to family history – and stuck? Read on

So you’ve watched ITV’s Long Lost Family and seen how they’ve traced a family with even the scantest of details. Yet your own family history research has somehow got stuck. What can you do? Follow Katie Byrne’s simple steps for success to get you back on the road to discovery


As you undoubtedly know, researching your family history is an experience quite like no other. There’s no rhyme or reason to what you might find and the journey is uniquely your own. Whether you start from nothing or already have some kind of insight into the names and places scattered across the branches of the tree, discovering where you come from is a deeply personal – and very exciting – journey. And as we all know, it can also be incredibly frustrating, too. Don’t despair though. I’ve got some tips to help you climb over that research roadblock, or even smash it down. In family history we call these seemingly unsolvable problems ‘brickwalls’.

If you haven’t found yourself gazing at the genealogy brickwall before, know this much: it will happen at some point. That’s not a warning so much as it is a fact – and if you’ve been there, then you know exactly how infuriating it can be. It might hit you unexpectedly; the ancestor who you just cannot find in the 1901 Census, for example, or the marriage record that simply doesn’t exist, even though you know said nuptials almost certainly took place.

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About Family Tree

If a picture tells a thousand words – what stories can our old family snaps reveal to us about our kin from times gone by? • Learn how to date your old family photos and unlock the clues to your kin with our bumper guide on ‘How to date family photos’ by vintage photo expert Jayne Shrimpton. • Discover how to trace long lost family with Dr Penny Walter’s advice on tracing adopted family members and tracing your own birth family if you were adopted. • Travel back in time two centuries to the time of Peterloo – when innocent ancestors were slain on the street, simply for peacefully marching for their hopes for democracy in Manchester 1819. • New to family history? And stuck? Get simple steps to discover more about your family tree Find all this and more in the latest issue of Family Tree!