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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Watts, Worts, Woorts & all!

Sophie Pigott relates how the disappearance of a family surname she was researching was explained by a local accent…

VARIANTS & LOCAL ACCENTS

Alarge part of my motherin- law’s maternal ancestors lived in Norfolk, mainly in Great Yarmouth (Townshend) and Norwich (Watts). It is on that side of the family tree that I have been the most successful; in fact it is the only branch where I managed to reach the 17th century. By comparison, after 25 years researching the family, I am still stuck in London in 1813 with one of her paternal 2x great-grandfathers Abraham Farley, who married that year in Camberwell and died before 1840. I am still trying to find where he came from. London attracted so many people then as now… I knew nothing about Norfolk and quickly joined the Norfolk Family History Society (FHS), of which I am still a member. This was in 1995, before easy research on the internet. But even now, These local family history societies have much to offer and are invaluable with their local knowledge, often found nowhere else, as in the example below. So in 1995, I did my sums and found that hiring one of the local researchers advertising in The Norfolk Ancestor, the magazine of the Norfolk FHS, and paying for a few hours of research was cheaper than going to Norwich with my husband and staying there for a few days. The cost in the 1990s was £7 an hour! Today, all the data the researcher found then in different Norwich parishes are available online and indexed (not as accurately as the old handmade indexes, I must say). Images of the registers are also available (I used mainly FamilySearch and Ancestry) for most of the Norwich parishes. But still, because the main genealogy websites are centralised, even when they are not American, they miss some bits of information that can take down a brickwall when known.

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We're all busy in today's 24/7 world - but we've got solutions to help you make the most of that precious time and take your family history to the next level... 1. Discover how to transform your approach to your ancestral research in our 20-minute read by professional genealogist Susie Douglas. 2. Make that dream of writing up your family history a reality with our simple strategy for writing up your family history in #1,000words". 3. And never overlook the value of those core vital records. This issue we're exploring 500 years of marriage records and showing you how to use them on your family quest. Plus more than 25 websites to transform your Irish genealogy, memories of the moon landings in this 50th anniversary year, and so much more... Enjoy!