Dig Up Your Ancestors

Every life story is extraordinary.

My Bucks Posse

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

From Suffolk to Scotland Yard

The Life & Career of George Read, a Victorian Thames River Policeman In December 1888, Detective-Inspector George Read of the Metropolitan Police Thames Division (CID) retired after 33 years of service. So considerable was the respect for him in the local business community that a committee – which included everyone from shipping merchants to bargeContinue reading “From Suffolk to Scotland Yard”

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?”

Queen Alexandra, a Progressive Police Orphanage, and a Royal Affair

Last year my daughter found an algae-covered claypipe bowl head in the Letcombe Brook in Wantage. We cleaned it up and I realised it was the lovely face of Queen Alexandra (Alexandra of Denmark), who had visited Wantage in 1877 when she was Princess of Wales (a title she held for 38 years until theContinue reading “Queen Alexandra, a Progressive Police Orphanage, and a Royal Affair”

Welcome to my blog!

Hi! I’m Clare and I love genealogy, social history, and writing. Born in England, I moved to California in 2001 and stayed there for 16 years. I loved life in California but I always missed old buildings and graveyards! Since I returned to the UK in 2017 I’ve been spending as much time as possibleContinue reading “Welcome to my blog!”


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