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Get it Right!

I am passionate about ancestry reports being more than a collection of dates and facts.

A report should be a story, built from the results of all the data available, using images of locations etc.
So many times I have seen so called reports that are just pages of black text on white paper, difficult to read with the emphasis on sources rather than interpretation.

What is needed is to:

1. Interview family members more than once to extract every last details, especially snippets of stories.

2. Gather pictures, medals, postcards, registration certificates, identity cards, passports, letters etc from the family and digitise them.

3. use sites like ancestry and genesreunited to make contact with lost cousins. Whatever you think, there will always be cousins with common ancestors from the 18th and 19th century.

4. Gather census data and use it to create a time lime of addresses, occupations, children (including any that disappear).


5. Research the history of towns and villages mentioned in the documents together with key events that happened at the time the ancestors were alive. 


In my own family history, some of my 19th century ancestors lived close to the Thames in London around 1860, so I included a bit on the "Big Stink"...

"This of course was the time of the Big Stink and William and his family would have suffered along with the rest of London who lived close to the Thames during the 1850's and 1860's. Part of the problem was due to the introduction of flush toilets, replacing the chamber-pots that most Londoners had used. These dramatically increased the volume of water and waste that was now poured into existing cesspits. These often overflowed into street drains designed originally to cope with rainwater, but now also used to carry outfalls from factories, slaughterhouses and other activities, contaminating the city before emptying into the River Thames.

During 1858, the summer was unusually hot. The Thames and many of its urban tributaries were overflowing with sewage; the warm weather encouraged bacteria to thrive and the resulting smell was so overwhelming that it affected the work of the House of Commons. The Government initiated a commission to investigate and recommend solutions. This led to the building of a massive network of underground sewers that we still use today"

Do we all agree?


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