Recent Posts

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NDFHS Wansbeck Branch meeting 1.30 pm on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at Pegswood Community Hub, Longhirst Road - talk by Liz Finch on "The Jacobites".
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Meeting of NDFHS Tynedale Branch at Gilesgate Community Centre in Hexham on Thursday 11th February 2016 at 7.00 pm will be a talk by Michael Greatbatch on "Big Houses of Benwell and their Occupants". 
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Meeting of NDFHS South Tyneside Branch at St. Hilda's Visitor Centre, Market Place, South Shields, at 1.30 pm on Wednesday 17th February 2016 will be a talk by Gerry Langley on "Irregular Border Marriages". 
Please come along - you don't have to be a member - but there are advantages in joining us, so membership application forms will be available!
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Newcastle Branch meeting on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 2.00 pm at Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle upon Tyne will be a talk by author David Williams on his books "Mr. Stephenson's Regret" and "We've Never Had It So Good". 
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There will be a meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 16th February 2016 at Briardale Community Centre, Briardale Road, Cowpen Estate, Blyth NE24 5AN, when Janet Brown from the North East War Memorials Project will be giving a talk on "Local War Memorials".
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North Northumberland Branch / REPORT OF USING NEWSPAPERS FOR FAMILY HISTORY
« Last post by Vglass on January 24, 2016, 04:08:30 PM »
TOPIC: NEWSPAPERS AND FAMILY HISTORY SAT 16 JAN 2016

Members contributed a host of examples where they have found information about their families in newspapers. Now these are available online the task has been made much easier than trawling manually through piles of newspapers. Some examples of the types of information which can be brought up are:
Birth, Marriage and Death announcements, Obituaries, sports events, horticultural shows, court cases (witness, victim and criminal), trades and occupations, accidents, inquests, bankruptcy, examinations passed general news stories.

We heard examples of many of the above during our discussion. There was the sad story of someone who drowned in the River Tyne from a rowing boat. Even sadder was the story reported in The Berwick Advertiser of Norman Bowles Holmes who had a distinguished service record in WW1. He disappeared mysteriously only for his body to be found in a quarry and misidentified as Harry Beal, stamp dealer. Norman appeared to have changed his name – but why?

Letters to the Editor can make fascinating reading as does the one from Mr Pendleton to the Alnwick Mercury. A tenant of the Duke of Northumberland, four of his children had died as infants in a house judged to be insanitary. The father penned a heart-rending and ferociously indignant response to the report condemning and blaming him for the state of the house. He spoke of “mendacious” officials.

Welsh newspapers now have their own free website and proved it was possible to trace an ancestor’s career and interests through the newspaper. The fact that the person in question had himself become a newspaper-owner may have had some bearing on the matter!

The advantages of additional information on Scottish registration certificates proved invaluable in tracing the life story of a relative. The Yorkshire Post reported a marriage and birth of child in St Petersburg. It always helps if an unusual name is involved!

A facsimile of a 1791 newspaper included an advert for a wooden washing machine with wringer, proved a surprise to most of us who had not realised such things were available so long ago.

Further stories included a newspaper report of a lecture at Carlisle by Frederick Douglas, anti-slavery campaigner, which was chaired by a member’s ancestor and a Trade Magazine viewed recently in the British Library, which featured his ancestor, described as “an authority upon curtain materials and all kinds of furnishing fabrics.”

Some practical tips were offered including advice to always search the whole page of a newspaper “hit”, not just the highlighted item and to search under the initial letter of the full title of the newspaper egg for Berwick Journal search under “I” for “Illustrated Berwick Journal”.

By the end of the meeting we were all convinced that we stood a good chance of discovering an ancestor hiding within the pages of The Times or Daily Mirror!

Our next meeting on Sat 20 February will welcome Margaret Fox to speak on “Facing Jeddart Justice – a look at cross-border crime” who will tell us about Northumbrians who committed crimes in neighbouring Roxburghshire and stood trial in Jedburgh. Will your ancestor be mentioned? We meet at 10 am at Bell View, Belford. Everyone welcome.

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North Northumberland Branch / FEB 2016 MEETING- Northumbrians tried at Jedburgh Court
« Last post by Vglass on January 24, 2016, 04:06:27 PM »
Don't miss our next meeting on Sat 20 Feb 10am at Bell View, Belford. Margaret Fox speaks on "Facing Jeddart Justice - a look at cross-border crime". During her research Margaret has come across several Northumbrians who crossed the border to commit their rimes and were tried at Jedburgh. Learn more on 20 Feb! Coffee available at 9.45.
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Tynedale Branch / Report of Tynedale Jan 2016 meeting
« Last post by Susanne on January 15, 2016, 07:17:42 PM »
Today’s Meeting:   11 members attended
   Members Forum     Family picture postcards
Everyone had either postcards or stories about postcards for the group.  Several themes emerged.  A number of the postcards were family member portraits printed with postcard detail on the back.  These were often taken for special occasions, like a 21st birthday, or to send to other family members.  Postcards were much cheaper than letters.  Many were not written on, presumably because one copy was kept at home - if there was no name or date then detective work was needed . For family historians postcards could be very useful - one set showed a family growing up and could be linked with their travels.  Another group was used to identify the different addresses abroad associated with a grandfather’s work.  Initials and names helped one member to confirm a family link she had not previously been aware of.   Not all the postcards showed family members - some were associated with their work eg wartime icebreakers (a topic that came up twice), a ship’s mascot tiger and a cartoon all came from a father’s time spent in the Royal Navy.   Some members had relations who went all over the world or around Britain and sent back or collected postcards from their travels, mainly in the inter-war period.  The star of the evening was a very old postcard album, several inches thick, full of postcards that had helped the owner to build up a picture of the grandmother she had never known.  It included cards from family members and friends, showing the places they lived, worked and holidayed and examples of their interests eg music hall stars.  Some showed her father, in his early teens, and his mother at the ‘popping stone’ near Gilsland where they were holidaying.
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The next meeting of NDFHS Tynedale Branch will be held at Gilesgate Community Centre, Hexham, on Thursday 14th January 2016 at 7.00 pm and will be a Members' Forum on the subject of "Family Picture Postcards".
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The next meeting of NDFHS South Tyneside Branch will be held at St. Hilda's Visitor Centre in Market Place, South Shields, on Wednesday 20th January 2016 at 1.30 pm.  This will be a Members' Forum on the subject of "Memories of Christmas" and you are invited to bring along a memento of one of your Christmases and tell us all about it!  Even though this is billed as a Members' Forum, as usual all visitors are welcome.  Please come along if you can.
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