The guide to researching your family history.
Catherine Meades BSc DipGen QG
Cameo Family History
A series to lead you through the process of discovering your family’s story in simple steps, with some tips and tricks to help you through, round or over brick walls.
Part 11 – World War I Ancestors
World War I lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 and impacted the lives of everyone in the UK, whether or not they actually fought in the war.
Records of soldiers, other servicemen and other people involved in war work are mostly held at The National Archives (TNA) in Kew. However, this is not a major obstacle to researching your wartime ancestors as many of these records are now online either on one of the subscription sites or via TNA’s Discovery site. Also, following the recent activities related to the centenary of WWI, a lot of research has already been done based on names and places.
For example, check out the Durham at War website (http://www.durhamatwar.org.uk/) to see if there is already information on your ancestor. If there isn’t, perhaps you will want to add your findings at the conclusion of your research.
Often the starting point for researching a WWI ancestor is an item of memorabilia such as a medal, photograph or letter. Alternately, you may have a family story which you wish to learn more about. Each of these items provides its own set of clues towards identifying key pieces of information for researching a military ancestor – name, unit with which they served and, ideally, a service number.
Next month: Directories
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