Every life story is extraordinary.
Browse my family history blog …
From 1764-1772, William Saword was the Clerk of the Royal Yacht Augusta, which conveyed the royal family of George III around Britain and to and from Europe.
According to family lore a mysterious relation called Harriet had a royal lovechild, Violet, who became a silent movie star. In 2021, I received a startling message from someone who could finally reveal the true identity of Violet’s father …
This is a true California story of heroism, murder, and tragedy — with a Hollywood ending.
When 19-year-old Hannah Maultby became an unmarried mother in 1866, her fiancé promised to marry her. But two years later, he had failed to keep his word, and Hannah’s mother Martha took him to court for Seduction.
Brothers Harold and Neville Underwood fought in WW1. One received a gallantry medal; the other was a POW. Only one of them came home.
Why did our ancestors sometimes give their children surnames as middle names? Here are five reasons I’ve found in my family tree.
I don’t have any valuable heirlooms but I have a very unusual one: a set of psychic portraits that belonged to my great grand aunt Marjorie.
My great grandmother Polly Smith worked as a domestic servant for Nicholas Gosselin aka ‘The Gosling’ — head of the Irish Special Branch.
Millicent Gifford left a mining family in the Forest of Dean to work as a cook for a singer, composer and organiser of grand Elizabethan style pageants.
Deodatus Eaton IV of Oxford (1819-1879) was an army surgeon, notorious bankrupt, scandalous divorcé, and Australian emigrant.
‘Wilfully murdered by his mother’: In 1851 Fanny Talmer was accused of murdering her nine week old son Henry in Amersham workhouse.
In 1867 Richard Talmer was charged with an ‘unnatural crime’ along with fellow workhouse inmate William Jennings.
A look at the dangers that fire presented to 19th century women, such as my ancestor Anne Benwell, whose dress caught fire in 1818.
In the 19th century, numerous women were injured and killed when their dresses caught fire, like my ancestor Eliza Maultby.
Alfred Munday led Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s orchid collection for 36 years.
The 1798 Buckinghamshire posse comitatus gave me a valuable window into my deep Bucks ancestry.
The life and career of George Read (1832-1919), a Detective Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Thames Division
Family lore said that Harriet Horlock was a nurse who had a baby with the King of England. But where did she fit in the family tree? Follow my journey as I unravel a truly tangled family tree.
Did Harriet Horlock have a royal baby? And did her daughter Violet become a silent movie star? I turn detective, and look for the truth behind our family stories.
Meet James Benwell, gardener in the Oxford Botanic Garden for nearly 40 years. Uneducated, yet an expert on Oxfordshire plants, a legendary leach-finder, and celebrated hollerer.
More blog posts to explore …
- A double murder attempt in Drayton
- The lightning rod of Esculapius Wood
- One wedding, one fake marriage and no funeral
- I’m a British Library reader, and you can be one too!
- Queen Alexandra and a progressive police orphanage
- Christmas cheer in the workhouse
- Wot no German DNA?
- Crowdfunding, Georgian style
- Geagle Badcock sniffs out a criminal
- Raised by an aunt and uncle; part 1: The mysterious locket
- Raised by an aunt and uncle; part 2: A transatlantic record
- A person unknown drowned in the Thames
Follow My Blog
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.