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Major project will digitise postal spoils of war

The National Archives (TNA) has begun a 20-year-long project to research and digitise around 160,000 undelivered letters seized in mail-bags from ships captured by the British in the wars of the 17th to the 19th centuries.

Dating mostly from 1652-1815, the Prize Papers form part of the High Court of Admiralty collection (HCA 30 and HCA 32 series). Some of the letters are still unopened and finds so far include journals, sheet music, drawings, poems and artefacts such as seeds, glass beads and keys. Together they document the experiences of ordinary people during major wars, including the American and French Revolutionary wars, and the Napoleonic confiicts.

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Join us as we celebrate the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and more on your family tree. It's vital to research the female ancestors, otherwise you're only learning half of your family history. This issue we have plenty to help and inspire your research into women's history and so gain a fuller understanding of your family members and their lives in times gone by.