Crea and Co Genealogy

Where the past comes to life!

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Happy 65th Birthday to the NHS

It is the 65th anniversary of the NHS on Friday the 12th of July and to mark the occasion here is a list of my Top 5 Medical History pages. Not as exciting as visiting a local history library but just as helpful! It is useful to remember that some hospitals are the sole repository for their own records and defunct medical establishments, so it is best to search for the hospital individually at first. For instance St Bartholomew Hospital in London has its own museum and contains a very large collection of medical records.

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1. Voluntary Hospital Database

If you are unsure what hospitals existed in the area, and are starting from complete scratch, this is a good place to start. It lists all the hospitals in an area, for example somerset in map format so you can focus your research.

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2. The National Archive

The National Archive website is my go to site when starting research into anything! This particular search will tell you were the archives for the institutions are located, invaluable to any budding family historian.

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This database allows you to search the names of patients in 120,000 admission records in London and Glasgow between 1852 and 1914. Lovely stuff.

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4. The Wellcome Library

The Wellcome library is a fascinating repository of all things medical. The collections include a variety of things from medical treatise to hospital accounts and ledgers. It can be hard to find records though, try under archives and manuscripts to begin with.

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5. The Long, Long Trail

This site has information on medical treatment received in the military, interesting stuff.

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There are of course many other sites out there, and none of them beat the thrill of heading down to a local archive for a good nose. However if you feel you need more help, please contact us and we will try to help with a free 30 minute consultation! Happy researching people.

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The Internet Genealogist – Find My Past Updates

Find my Past has been updating me on their new records, and the updates i have recieved have been dazzeling!

The lastest update in records for Find my Past is a biggy, with over 2.5 million Irish court records added to the site.

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Another update on Find My Past includes has increased the size of the UK’s largest parish records collection with two million new Hertfordshire parish baptisms, marriages and burials dating from 1538-1990.  Debra Chatfield, marketing manager at, commented on the new release: “This collection of records is a wonderful treasure trove for anybody interested in looking into their family’s past in Hertfordshire. Publishing the records online for the first time will make it so much easier for people to find out if they have ancestors from Hertfordshire, as you can now search them alongside millions of other parish records from across the whole country”.

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They have also updated the parish records for Lincolnshire the largest county from East England,  . Councillor Nick Worth, executive member for libraries and culture, said: “Lincolnshire has a rich cultural heritage, and the county council has long sought to celebrate and enhance this through digital access.  The partnership with is a very positive development that will help bring these records to a wider, global audience, and hopefully encourage people to explore more of the county’s vibrant history.”

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All the help on the internet is wonderful, however if you are still lost please contact me and i will try to help you with a free 30 minute telephone consultation.

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All Aboard; Finding Ancestors on Passengers Lists

The saying ‘isn’t the world a small place’ is certainly not true when trying to find ancestors who emigrated or worked oversea. Thankfully in this age of on-line media and digitisation, the task has been made a little easier. With the recent addition of UK Outward Passenger Lists on Ancestry UK, along with the UK Incoming Passengers Lists 1878-1960 and the Alien Arrivals list 1810-1811, 1826-1869 this arduous task has become easier. Here are my favourite sites to use, but there are non-digitised sources which can be used, for instance The National Archives  and the National Archives Australia.

1. Ancestry UK Immigration and Travel – Subscription

immigration and travel

2. Find My Past UK Travel and Migration Records – Subscription


3. The Ship List – Free

Ship List

4. Scottish Historical Records – Free


I hope this helps, but if you need professional assistant tracing your ancestor, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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Fashionata : Dating Photographs Through Fashion

I wrote some time ago about how you could use photographs to help with your family history research. While I’m sure you enjoyed this, i though some hints and tips on websites which can help this process would be appreciated!! This is my Top Five sites which you can use to date your photographs through fashion, enjoy!

1. Fashion History 

A really useful gateway site for lots of links about fashion, all neatly placed in subject areas. The site can be a bit hit and miss as it was last updated in July 2010, but it does have lots of info!


2 . Wikepedia – History of Western Fashion

Another useful site, with lots of useful images in date order. However you must remember Wikipedia is updated by inviduals so may not be accurate. However it is a good starting point for your research!

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3. Fashion-Era

Don’t let the dated look of this site fool you, it’s packed fool of information for the budding genealogist! It even has a costume detective page which specifically shows you how to date photos through hairstyles, dress and more!

fashion era

4. V&A Dating Old Photographs

The Victoria and Albert museum is one of my favorite places to spend time, and with this site they have provided me with endless support when dating photographs. Have a look and i’m sure you will agree it is very well laid out with lots of useful tips.


5. Museum of Bath

Has lots of great content, i’m sure you will find it useful, the collection search is particularly helpful.

Bath fashion museum

there are of course many different sites and books which you can use, this is just a small fraction of what is avalible. I hope this has given you a taster of what is out there helps your genealogy quest, and if you need more help please contact me and I will see what I can do!

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Who’s the Black Sheep in your Family Tree….

If  you have ever wondered about whether any of your ancestors had any dark family secrets, or even just a morbid curiosity to have a look at our nations criminal past you are in luck. Thanks to the boom in armchair genealogy you can now search thousands of criminal records from the comfort of your own laptop, while having the obligatory cup of tea! If like me you love reading about the darker side of  history, the new collection of Criminal Records on Find my Past can reveal a wealth of information about the Criminal underbelly of the UK. The records currently span 1817-1931, but over the next few months new records will be added, eventually spanning 1770 – 1934.

Transcription page details from Find my Past

Transcription page details from Find my Past

Should you wish to see how it was reported to the press, Find my Past users can also check the British Newspaper Archive which has the largest collection of digitised newspaper on the web. I am a great fan of Oscar Wilde, ad couldn’t resist looking up his record. Have a look at the images to see what I found! If you need any help on finding out your family history, please contact me and I will try to help.

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Poor Records


How to find your….Poor Ancestors @AncestryUK @findmypastuk #poorlaw

Originally posted on Crea and Co Genealogy:

If during your research you have not found any ancestors who had found themselves penniless at some point in their lives, your family have been very lucky! The majority of researchers will have made use of the poor laws records at some point in their discovery of their ancestors past. But for those of us who haven’t used or know how to use them i thought a brief guide would help.

WorkhouseDiningHall1aThe English Poor Laws were a system of poor relief which existed from  the late medieval period before being codified by the Tudors in 587–98. The Poor law relief legislation was there to assist the impotent poor. That is to say those who could not help themselves before anyone starts making lewd innuendos! The poor relief law can be broken into two periods, the old Poor laLw passed in the Elizabethan period, and the new poor law…

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How to find your Orphaned Ancestors

Finding ancestors can be a tricky process, and finding ancestors who were orphaned can seem like a mammoth task. However if you follow these simple steps, it will seem like a walk in the park. To start with Institutions which looked after children who were orphaned, abandoned or in need of care due to other reasons date back to the 17th century. Children were a major inhabitant of those work houses, and during the 19th century these workhouses gained in prominence. Inspired by the work of Banardo’s, many others set up charitable organisations to care for destitute children.

1. Get the basics right

Before you do anything, make sure you have the correct information. Ask your family if it is a recent event, (i.e there is still someone alive who might remember that a family member was an orphan.) but remember it still may be a sensitive issue and stories may have been invented to cover up illegitimacy for example. Hopefully you will have a birth certificate for the child which will help find the person you are looking for in census records. You can find census records on many commercial sites such as Ancestry, Findmypast, and the Genealogist. There are some free sites you can use too, such as UK Census Online, so have a good look around if you are on a budget. Just remember that being a ophan didn’t always have the same connotation as it does now, just having one parent who was either dead or permanently absent could make you an orphan.

2.  Identify the Institution they lived in

I know it seems obvious but it can be tricky. For example the institution could have changed names or even it’s location. If you know the town in which the home was located have a look at trade directories such as Kelly’s Directories. When looking for directories, a little gem for genealogists and family historians is Historical Directories or you can of course use your subscription site if they have directories listed to search, I know Ancestry does.If the orphanage was run by a workhouse it will usually include workhouse or union in the title and not orphanage.

3. Workhouse Children

The poor law authorities encourage workhouses to have separate children’s accommodation away from the main workhouse from the 1840′s. This was apparently to spare to children the taint of the main workhouse. As every workhouse board kept their own records, you will now find them in the relevant county or metropolitan record office. In London you may find the records in the local history library, If you have identified the union that held the records you can find more information on The Workhouse website which has information on all the poor law unions. After they were disbanded in 1930, many of these institutions were taken over by the local authorities and continued to operate as orphanages.

4. Dr Barnado’s

Thomas Barnado opened his first children’s home in 1870, and was located in Stepney. These homes eventually numbered into the hundreds and even though the last one closed in 1989, the records survive. Barnado’s as a charity still exists; as you are probably aware, and offer various services to look up records. You can find more information on the Barnado’s website.

5. Religious Organisations

Many religious organisations offered their own versions of charitable organisations to help unfortunate parishioners. Here are some starting points.

  • For the Church of England check out Hidden Lives or email the Children’s Society at about records you think they hold. The Children’s Society was once The Church of England’s Waifs and Strays Society from 1881 and by 1905 they run 93 homes so definitely worth a shot really!
  • Action for Children was once the National Children’s Home founded in 1869 by the Methodist minister TB Stephenson and run roughly 50 children’s homes. For information on NCH records click here
  • Roman Catholic homes tended to be organised within the Catholic Diocese area. Some were run by branches of the Catholic Children’s Society. If you Google it, many different society’s will come up. Others were run by religious orders such as the Sisters of Nazareth. This website may help you identify religious orders which may be able to help as some premises are still occupied by the order and the records may still be on-site. Alternatively the order’s present day head quarters may be able to help, this site will help you identify the correct diocese.

6. Other Homes

The records for other types of homes are very limited and could cause a bit of a stumbling point for you. A very useful resource to track down these records is available on-line at the Access to Archives. Just type in a search term such as railway orphanages to see the results. The most complete records will be where the organisation which run the home is still in existence such as Coram which formally run the London Foundling Hospital.

I hope this information helps you, however if it all seems a bit daunting or you just don’t have the time just remember i do offer professional services to help. Please contact me for more information.


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