Search for content in message boards

general advice for UK search - please!

general advice for UK search - please!

Posted: 1235565160000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1325859508000
My apologies if I'm posting this in the wrong place but this is all new to me and we all have to start somewhere.

I've just started researching my family tree and going back through time is off and running but my question relates to coming forwards in time.

For example, my maternal G-G Mother had several siblings I never knew about but with UK online census records stopping at 1911, can some more experienced user please advise me on the 'best' way to find out who their descendents were/are, when/who they married, children they had, where they are now?? What are the most useful resources out there either online or that I can get to locally? I'd really like to find some living relations for my elderly Mother but as a newbie and with so many places on the internet to look I would really appreciate some pointers from someone who has been there. I hope some kind soul will help! Thanks.

Re: I need some general advice for UK search - PLEASE!

Posted: 1235599337000
Classification: Query
Here are some things to try:

Check the electoral rolls, either online (search Google) or in the library.

Post on the Topics/Lost Family & Friends board about the relatives you seek. Best to limit each post to a single surname. Be sure to mention the location(s) in which they may live.
Post on the relevant surname boards. Provide the latest information you have and asl for help finding descendants.

Place a small ad in local newspapers, either in print or online. For example, the Manchester Evening News has an "In Touch" section where people post about lost friends and family. See

Use Google to search for online telephone directories in your areas of interest. Obtain the names and addresses of those you think may be related to you and write to them. Be sure to carefully explain that you are just trying to connect with possible family and be sure to enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope so that the person can reply.

Hope that helps a little.

Re: I need some general advice for UK search - PLEASE!

Posted: 1235649315000
Classification: Query
Thanks mi2early - much appreciated, especially the pointers on which boards to post on. That facility in itself is pretty confusing to a newcomer like myself!!

If anyone else out there reads this post and can add any additional resources they would also be very welcome.


Re: I need some general advice for UK search - PLEASE!

Posted: 1235997861000
Classification: Query
If you know the names of siblings from 1911 census, look on freebmd website for possible marriages. You can then look for children by inserting mothers maiden name in the search box.

Good luck

Re: I need some general advice for UK search - PLEASE!

Posted: 1236021014000
Classification: Query
Thanks - I appreciate the extra help.

Re: I need some general advice for UK search - PLEASE!

Posted: 1324523606000
Classification: Query
Moggyman - How did you make out in your search for descendants? I am i the same boat and have been searching with not a lot of luck. Just wondering if you found one particular method that worked well for you.


Re: general advice for UK search

Posted: 1325057382000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1325082263000
Why not post your problem and see if anyone can help??



Re: general advice for UK search

Posted: 1325070869000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1325082284000
Working forwards from 1911 to the present day can be very challenging indeed, so don't think that you are missing something or doing something wrong!

Success depends to a very large extent on how distinctive your relatives names were. A really unusual surname can often be traced through BMD records. Unfortunately, full middle names were replaced by initials in the indices after 1910, and this limits the "spotability" of distinctive name combinations thereafter. The inclusion in the birth index of mother's maiden name after July 1911 and the indexing of marriage partners after 1912 are some compensation.

The odds are also better if they had relatively uncommon trades or were professionals of some kind. Street directories are useful in this case, and some professional bodies (such as those for accountancy and the law) may be of help if you are lucky enough to have those sort of ancestors.

Their attachment to a geographical location also plays a part - families that stayed close together in a village are easier to trace than those who moved around the country and/or lived in cities.

Electoral registers are of limited value if you don't have an actual address or a very small, defined area to search.

One resource which should not be overlooked for those born around the turn of the century is First World War records. Although many service records were destroyed in the second world war, the surviving ones, as well as pension records, are available via Ancestry. These are often very detailed.

As I said before, the really crucial factor is the family name. If you have a John Smith who worked in a factory in 1911 then the chances of correctly identifying his family back down to the present day are, frankly, very slim.

Best wishes


Re: general advice for UK search

Posted: 1326059255000
Classification: Query
I have actually done this for all my grandfathers siblings when I was trying to find out what happened to him after he disappeared in 1908. I didn't find it very difficult. The surname was Johns which is a very common name and I was going back to the 1870's. This is how I went about it-

First I looked on Free BMD to trace their marriages and where neccesary I ordered certificates. Then I used the same website to trace any children by using the surname and then adding the mothers surname. From there I traced their deaths and ordered the death certificates, I did this as many times as was needed to bring me up to the present day and to find an informants name. I then looked for the informants names and addresses using telephone websites.I wrote to them all also adding my email address.
Without exception I received a reply and I had found the right descendants. There was only one problem, one had disappeared but at least the person who bought his house replied to let me know.

Incidentally, I still didn't find out what happened to my grandfather.

I hope this has been of some help and you are able to follow my explanation.

Good Luck and I hope it works for you.

Re: general advice for UK search

Posted: 1326224800000
Classification: Query
What I am not following is: you say you used BMD to trace any children using the surname (Smith in my case) and then adding the mothers surname. You lost me there. I don't understand where you add the mother's surname and why??

Thanks, Lisa
per page

Find a board about a specific topic