13:16 PM

An English Village – How to find out about a Place


For most of us, the ancestral homes of our forebears are dotted around in many places. The purpose of this blog is to show you how you can find out about a place, its history, its records and the sources that are available to research your family history, focusing mainly on those that are are free to access or of minimal cost. This is not an exhaustive list of reference material but it will hopefully give you some useful ideas.

The first thing to do when confronted by an unfamiliar place is to look at a map. If a picture is worth a thousand words, maps are worth a million! My next step is to look at trade directories. As well as listing the principal inhabitants and members of the community who had trades, directories can provide a short potted history of a place. 

I find old postcards of places where my ancestors lived rather irresistible. There are many specialist old postcard sellers, some also selling maps and books. These personal recollections give you a sense of what a place was like and the people who lived there in the past.