News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Tour of the library

    We are pleased to announce that a virtual tour of the library is now available http://www.ihgs.ac.uk/streetview.

    Follow the tour through the library rooms sand see our collection of published pedigrees, pre 1858 will indexes, professional and military lists, trade directories, county holdings and our unique heraldic collection. And so much more.

    Not only is this genealogical and heraldic collection an invaluable resource when we conduct family history research  but it is also open to visitors.

  2. Oral Wills

    It was perfectly valid for a will to be made orally until 1837, when the right was restricted to soldiers on active service or sailors away at sea. Indeed it has been estimated that around a third of wills were oral or nuncupative as they are known. So these wills are invaluable for family history research.

    Many wills were spoken verbally because they were made on the deathbed of the testator. The Statute of Frauds of 1678 specified that they had to be made in the testator’s own home in their last illness. Three witnesses were also required to be present who had to write down the words within six days and after fourteen days, present the will at a probate court. Genealogist can find these wills in local archives

    Many of those in their final days would have been incapable of handwriting their will (holographic) or organising a lawyer to write out a will on their behalf for them to sign. Many could not read and write and women, particularly widows, made a high proportion of nuncupative wills.

    Not surprisingly, many of these wills were the subject of dispute in the ecclesiastical courts. Relatives who received nothing would argue that the will was not valid, for if an administration was ordered, they could receive part of the estate. Records of these disputes often contain information that is of genealogical value. and give us a clue to the the thoughts and feelings of our ancestors

  3. IHGS – Awards Day

    The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical studies Awards Day took place yesterday amongst the sun and showers. It was good to catch up with so many friends and to watch the students receive their awards.

    Ann Ballard receiving the Licentiateship of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, presented by Lord Lytton and IHGS principal Dr Richard Baker.

    Ann Ballard receiving the Licentiateship of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, presented by Lord Lytton and IHGS principal Dr Richard Baker.

    It was especially pleasing to see the Institute’s highest qualification, The Licentiateship in Heraldry and Genealogy, being awarded to Ann Ballard for her thesis on The Heraldry of  the Parishes of Marshfield, Cold Ashton, Swainswick and Woolley, Gloucestershire.. Ann, who is a tutor with the Correspondence Course in Genealogy and Heraldry, has been working on her thesis for over two years and was praised by the examiners for the quality of her research and presentation. One examiner described it as “… an almost perfect blend of heraldry with genealogy, with each discipline lending support to the other”.  Our congratulations go to Ann on her achievement.

    The day also saw the Diploma in Genealogy awarded to Christopher Broom and Jane Sheehan. Jane was the first student to receive a distinction at this level.

    Jane Sheehan on hearing she was the first student to ever receive the Diploma in Genealogy with Distinction.

    Jane Sheehan on hearing she was the first student to ever receive the Diploma in Genealogy with Distinction.

    Chris Broom, Diploma in Genealogy

    Chris Broom, Diploma in Genealogy

    Chris Broom, Jane, Sheehan, Ann Ballard, Richard Baker, Jane Southern and Pamela Smith.

    Chris Broom, Jane, Sheehan, Ann Ballard, Richard Baker, Jane Southern and Pam Smith.

    The Higher Certificate in Genealogy went to Neil Littleales, Pam Smith & Jane Southern.

    Despite the rain a great day was had by all and we were pleased that Sharon Grant, Chair of AGRA and Else Churchill, Society of Genealogists, were able to join us for the celebration of our students’ achievements.

    Else Churchill, Richard Baker and Sharon Grant

    Else Churchill, Richard Baker and Sharon Grant

    AGRA members Paul Carter, Ann Ballard, Jane Sheehan, Celia Heritage, Pamela Smith, Sharon Grant [Chair], Elizabeth Yule [Director of Research Achievements and Les Mitchinson [IHGS Director of Education and AGRA Vice Chair].

    AGRA members Paul Carter, Ann Ballard, Jane Sheehan, Celia Heritage, Pam Smith, Sharon Grant [Chair], Elizabeth Yule [Director of Research Achievements and Les Mitchinson [IHGS Director of Education and AGRA Vice Chair].

  4. Adil Ray – Who Do You Think You Are?

    Adil Ray  best known as the writer and star of Citizen Khan identifies traces his mixed Asian and African ancestry across Kenya to Uganda. On the trail of rumours of a link to African royalty, Adil meets African relatives for the first time in the traditional kingdom of Buganda and is amazed to discover the truth about his lineage.

  5. Who Do You Think You Are? Clare Balding

    Clare Balding Sports presenter and broadcaster investigates a family rumour.  Her maternal great-grandfather Sir Malcolm Bullock was said to have been involved in a family scandal and the ‘thing that has been sort of whispered in the family – could he have been gay?’ Getting to the truth of the matter is a challenge when all the evidence comes from a time when homosexuality was illegal.

    Her father’s family tree takes her to New Jersey and New York, where she uncovers an extraordinary dynasty and American roots stretching back generations.

  6. A back to front surname

    Every day you discover something new in genealogy. Research revealed that George Nyleve an artist was the illegitimate son of John Evelyn, a rather wealthy gentleman. He was named Nyleve which is Evelyn backwards.

  7. Who Do You Think You Are? new series starts tonight

    Charles Dance discovers he has two sisters born 50 years before him in this opening episode to the 14th series of of Who Do You Think You Are?.  Charles’ dad who he knew little about served with the Royal Fusiliers in the Boer War and was much older than he thought. He was 72-years-old when the actor was born.

    A tearful Charles says in the episode: ‘I have a sister, I see. I have to say this is quite moving, because I know so little.’

    The episode will be broadcast tonight at 9 pm on BBC 1

     

  8. Who Do You Think You Are? 14th Series celebrities revealed

     

    The new series starts Thursday 6 July at 9pm and will be broadcast in two five-episode blocks. bbc-wdytya

    The celebrities for this series are:

    Actor Charles Dance

    Clare Balding, OBE is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author, 

    Big Brother presenter Emma Willis,

    Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood

    Fearne Cotton, television and radio presenter

    Actor, director and producer Noel Clarke

    Lulu

    EastEnders star Lisa Hammond

    Comedian Ruby Wax

    Adil Ray, star of Citizen Khan

  9. A sad entry found.

    The following poignant entry was discovered whilst indexing our collection of Monumental Inscriptions. St Mary’s Church Doddington “Mary wife of John Richards died 30 June 1771 on her wedding day before she left the church”

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