Counting the People: Census Returns Online - A One-hour Lecture on 15 November

A census of England and Wales has been taken every ten years since 1801 and the surviving records now form one of family history’s key resources. The schedules for the years 1841 to 1911 are now easily accessible online but finding our ancestors isn’t always as easy as we like. Based on more than thirty years experience of working with census returns, this talk will introduce some essential  techniques for searching online databases and will provide some vital clues to help you track down your elusive ancestors.

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Treasures Tuesday: A 250 year old document pleading for clemency for Admiral Byng

Sometimes, here at the SoG, we open up a box of archived papers and a story comes tumbling out at us. This one opened up navy life in the 1700s. It’s just three small sheets of paper, handwritten, with the title Adml Forbes’s reasons for not signing Adml Byng’s Dead Warrant. Who was Admiral Byng and why was he being executed? Who was Admiral Forbes, why did he refuse to sign the death warrant, and did he save Admiral Byng?

John Byng (baptised 29 October 1704) was born in the village of Southhill, Bedfordshire. At 13, like his father, John joined the Royal Navy. He was a captain by the time he was 23, later becoming Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland, and an MP for Rochester.....

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