Dig Up Your Ancestors

Every life story is extraordinary.

Blazing Dresses (Part 2)

In the 19th century, numerous women were injured and killed when their dresses caught fire, like my ancestor Eliza Maultby.

Blazing Dresses (Part 1)

A look at the dangers that fire presented to 19th century women, such as my ancestor Anne Benwell, whose dress caught fire in 1818.

My Bucks Posse

The 1798 Buckinghamshire posse comitatus gave me a valuable window into my deep Bucks ancestry.

Who Was Harriet Horlock? Part 2: The Skeleton in the Cupboard

In Part 1 of this story, I shared a genealogy journey that began years ago with a letter from my husband’s late grandfather, which included some very juicy stories about an elusive ancestor called Harriet … and finally led this year to the discovery of her place within the family tree. Harriet turned out toContinue reading “Who Was Harriet Horlock? Part 2: The Skeleton in the Cupboard”

Who Was Harriet Horlock? Part 1: A Genealogical Puzzle

I have a tantalising family legend I’ve wanted to tell, which includes generations of independent women, rumours of royal affairs, emigration to America, a letter to the President, and even the birth of the movie industry. However, the relationships between members of this family are so confusing that I have been hesitant to share it.Continue reading “Who Was Harriet Horlock? Part 1: A Genealogical Puzzle”

Wot No German DNA?

Last week I got my DNA results back from Ancestry.com. I’ve been doing document-based genealogy for 30+ years but I’m unfashionably late to the party with DNA testing. Unlike most of my American friends, whose DNA would be a colourful and exciting melting pot, I was fully expecting mine to be primarily English and quite boring.  However,Continue reading “Wot No German DNA?”


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