Essential Reading

'I have been a family historian for more than 40 years, and a professional historian for over 30, but as I read it, I was constantly encountering new ways of looking at my family history....Essential reading I would say!' Alan Crosby, WDYTYA Magazine

Friday, 28 June 2019

Enjoying Anne Lister/Gentleman Jack ? - You Will Love Nelly Weeton

If you're enjoying the BBC's Gentleman Jack (the story of lesbian diarist Anne Lister) you will love Miss Weeton! 

Miss Weeton - a teacher, governess and traveller - was an equally fascinating character who also bravely challenged the role of women in her times and documented her struggles in letters and diaries. Her dramatic story includes tragic deaths, domestic violence, and family intrigue set against the background of early nineteenth-century Lancashire. 

Nelly Weeton lived and wrote at the same time as Anne Lister in the North of England. Her letterbooks and journals were found a century later on a Wigan bookstall. 


The book, edited by Alan Roby (and with an introduction by me), recently won the Alan Ball Award for  a Local History Book.





Miss Weeton, Governess and Traveller  ISBN 978-1-5262-0553-7


Written in solitude, Miss Nelly Weeton’s letters, journal entries and other autobiographical writings reveal a formidable woman as they vividly transport the reader through Georgian England.  With breathtaking cathartic candour, she reveals the sources of her protracted pain through years of betrayal, intimidation, humiliation and greed.
When her sea captain father was mortally wounded in the American War of Independence, her heart-broken mother removed from Lancaster to Up Holland village, near Wigan, to begin a new life with her two children.  At the age of 31, daughter Nelly finally broke free from the myopic discouragement of those closest to her.  Armed only with determination, a passion for literature and an unshakeable piety, she left the ‘licentious’ village of Up Holland, to eventually gain employment in the homes of the gentry.
With a penchant for excitement and adventure, Miss Weeton rivetingly describes her high risk ‘outside’ stage coach journey to and from London, and her walking and climbing excursions around the Isle-of-Man and North Wales. Her lone ascents of both Snaefell and Snowdon, supported only by a parasol and slippery-soled leather shoes, remain amazing feats of endurance.
On the 5th of June 1812, fortified by three boiled eggs, a crust of bread and wearing a slouch straw hat, a grey stuff jacket, with her map and memorandum book in a bag, she boldly ‘sallied forth’ alone for 35 miles . . .

                                                            Alan Ball Award (Details)

Wigan Evening Post, 11th October 2016
#MissWeeton  #NellyWeeton #ellenweeton #governess #Regency #Wigan #journals #letters #letterbooks #womenwriters #alanroby #ruthasymes #alanballaward #alanball localhistory #women'shistory #NellyWeeton #NellyWeetonSociety, #Anne Lister #journals, #diaries, #Halifax, #lesbians, #lesbianism, #GentlemanJack, #SuranneJones  #AnneWalker #lesbianhistory #listersisters

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Birthing a Royal : The Bicentenary of Queen Victoria's Arrival


See my article on the birth of Queen Victoria - 200 years ago this month  (May 2019) in 

Family Tree Magazine UK

OUT NOW IN NEWSAGENTS



Keywords: #Europeanancestors, #census, #England, #familyhistory #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familyhistorybooks #genealogy #ancestryhour, #ruthasymes #ww1 #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familytree #genealogy #ancestryhour #genchat #media, research services, family research, genealogists, #marriages #marriagecertificates #weddings #genealogytips #socialclub #symes #historicalsociety  #deathcertificates #deaths #secretlives #QueenVictoria #Discoveryourancestors #bicentenary #bicentenaryofthebirthofQueenVictoria #royalbirths

Another Royal Birth : The Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria



See my article: 


"'Happy Birthday (200 Years) Your Majesty:' The Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria," in May 2019's issue of 
Discover Your Ancestors online periodical. 

 By subscription at: www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk

OUT NOW 







Keywords: #Europeanancestors, #census, #England, #familyhistory #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familyhistorybooks #genealogy #ancestryhour, #ruthasymes #ww1 #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familytree #genealogy #ancestryhour #genchat #media, research services, family research, genealogists, #marriages #marriagecertificates #weddings #genealogytips #socialclub #symes #historicalsociety  #deathcertificates #deaths #secretlives #QueenVictoria #Discoveryourancestors #bicentenary #bicentenaryofthebirthofQueenVictoria #royalbirths

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Romani Ancestors?


Were Your Ancestors Travellers?


Today I'm answering a reader's letter about possible gypsy ancestors for Who Do You Think You Are? magazine.

You'll need to read the magazine in June to see my answer.

In the meantime, here is Charlotte Stanley - A Beautiful Gypsy. Line Engraving by J. H. Robinson (1852-1922) after Sir G. Hayter, Wellcome Collection.



Discover Your Ancestors 

annual bookazine 2019 

is out today 


It should be on the shelves at your local newsagent!


Brimful with fascinating articles! 
Hope you enjoy them all including my two on:

* the Victorian fascination with caving
* the bicentenary of John Ruskin, artist and philosopher!




discoveryourancestors 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Family History - Borrow or Buy?

Unearthing Family Tree Mysteries
                                                                    (Pen and Sword, 2016)


Borrowed 474 times from UK libraries in 2018 


Are you sure you wouldn't rather buy a copy? 






All my books:








The intriguing characters in these real family history mysteries include an agricultural labourer who left secrets behind in Somerset when he migrated to Manchester, a working-class woman who bafflingly lost ten of her fourteen children in infancy, a miner who purportedly went to live with the Red Indians and a merchant prince of the Empire who was rumoured to have two wives. This book shows how a variety of sources including birth, marriage and death certificates, censuses, newspaper reports, passports, recipe books, trade directories, diaries and passenger lists were all used to uncover more, and how much can be detected by setting the characters from your family tree in their proper historical backgrounds. This book is an updated edition of Ruth Symes previous book, titled Stories From Your Family Tree: Researching Ancestors Within Living Memory (2008).



Keywords:  #genealogy #familyhistory #househistory #newspapers  #archives #Europeanancestors, #census, #England, #familyhistory #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familyhistorybooks #genealogy #ancestryhour, #ruthasymes #ww1 #ancestors #ancestry #familyhistory #familytree #genealogy #ancestryhour #genchat #media, research services, family research, genealogists, #marriages #marriagecertificates #weddings #genealogytips #socialclub #symes #historicalsociety  #deathcertificates #deaths #secretlives #RootsTech2018 #eighteenthcentury #seventeenthcentury #sixteenthcentury #parishrecords #freefamilyhistory #ruthasymes #freefamilytree #freefamilyhistoryresearch #freegenealogy #womenwriters #familytreemagazineuk #womenslives #womenshistory #womensmarch #Victorianwomen

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The Meghan Markles of Yesteryear - How did the British react?

Out now - my article 'Dollar Princesses'



In which I look at what our ancestors made of visiting American women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

in Issue No. 69 (January 2019) of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical (online subscription magazine)


https://discoveryourancestors.co.uk/








Inside you'll find:
...
Rinking: an Edwardian craze: Roller skating as a leisure activity has a surprisingly long history. Jayne Shrimpton investigates this pastime, which peaked in the Edwardian age

La Belle Sauvage: Nick Thorne visits a coaching inn where the printing presses disturbed the guests

'Dollar Princesses': Ruth A Symes looks at what our ancestors made of visiting American women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries


#meghanmarkle #duchessofsussex #americanwomen #usawomen #usawomen'shistory #Meghan #royalbride #dollarprincesses #dollarprincess #henryjames #discoveryourancestors