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Newsletter – 29th March 2024



LostCousins is FREE this Easter! ENDS WEDNESDAY

Save 30% on Findmypast.co.uk subscriptions ENDS 10AM MONDAY

Support LostCousins and get a bonus!

Certificate of Baby Loss

Country Life goes online

How to pronounce Irish names

Worcestershire records at The Genealogist

Family historian’s trouser trouble

Save on Who Do You Think You Are? magazine EXCLUSIVE OFFER

Peter’s Tips

Stop Press



The LostCousins newsletter is usually published 2 or 3 times a month. To access the previous issue (dated ) click here; to find earlier articles use the customised Google search between this paragraph and the next (it searches ALL of the newsletters since February 2009, so you don't need to keep copies):



To go to the main LostCousins website click the logo at the top of this newsletter. If you're not already a member, do join - it's FREE, and you'll get an email to alert you whenever there's a new edition of this newsletter available!



LostCousins is FREE this Easter! ENDS WEDNESDAY

From now until midnight on Wednesday 3rd April the LostCousins site will be completely free, allowing you the opportunity to connect with as many new cousins as you can – and unlike some other sites you won’t be asked to provide bank or credit card details.


All direct ancestors and other blood relatives you enter will count as entries for my next competition so it's not only a great opportunity to make connections with experienced researchers who are researching YOUR ancestors, but a chance to win a prize.


If you're new to LostCousins, or have forgotten how easy it is to enter relatives, see the Getting Started Guide on the Help & Advice page - and remember, all of the key censuses we use are available FREE online (see the Census Links page for a list), so to take part you won’t need ANY subscriptions for ANY sites. Although, as you’ll see in the next article, there is a subscription offer at Findmypast’s UK site – but it ends at 10am on Easter Monday.


Tip: even if you are unable add any new relatives you can take advantage of this offer to check for matches with your existing entries (click the Search button on your My Ancestors page).


It goes without saying that if you have friends or relatives who are researching their family tree, but haven’t yet joined, this would be a great time to tell them about LostCousins – no special codes are required, and they certainly won’t be asked for credit card or bank details! When the free period ends they will still have access to all of their data, they will still be able to correspond with the cousins they’ve found, and they will still receive my newsletters, but they won’t be put under any pressure to pay a subscription.


Save 30% on Findmypast.co.uk subscriptions ENDS 10AM MONDAY

Although family history is one of the cheaper hobbies, it can still be difficult to find the money for a 12 month subscription, even though annual subscriptions invariably provide a significant cost saving compared to shorter subscriptions.


So I am delighted that until 10am on Monday 1st April Findmypast are offering a 30% discount on their 3 month and 12 month subscriptions. Of course, the discount only applies to the first payment so if you can possibly manage it, purchase a 12 month subscription and lock in your saving for a whole year. As a 12 month subscriber you’ll also benefit from a 15% Loyalty Discount should you opt to renew your subscription, as many of you undoubtedly will.


The discount applies to all new 3 and 12 month subscriptions, including the Premium subscription – the only one that includes the England & Wales 1921 Census.


With a PLUS subscription you’ll have unlimited access to ALL of Findmypast’s billions of British and Irish records, including censuses up to 1911, Church of England parish registers for many counties, Catholic records, military records, ships passenger lists, historic electoral rolls, and the modern UK Electoral Register for the UK – which can help you track down living relatives, schoolfriends, former colleagues etc. With 30% off you’ll save over £40, bringing the price down to under £95 – less than £2 a week and (believe it or not) less than you would have paid back in October 2009, when there were far fewer records on the site. In those days there were no parish registers, no Catholic records, no 1939 Register, and even the census collection was still incomplete – so much has been added since.


The PRO subscription includes everything in the Plus subscription, as well as billions of records from outside the UK, and unlimited access to over 75 million pages from the historic newspapers in the British Newspaper Archive. In fact it includes everything that Findmypast has to offer, with the exception of the 1921 Census. With 30% off you’ll save more than £55, reducing the cost to a little over £129 – much less than you could have paid for Findmypast’s top subscription in 2009, even though it would have included fewer British records than you now get with a Plus subscription, NO newspapers, and NO overseas records.


With a PREMIUM subscription you’ll get everything that the Plus and Pro subscriptions offer, plus virtually unlimited access to the 1921 England & Wales Census – all for just under £140, a massive saving of £60. This is still less than you could have paid for Findmypast’s top subscription 15 years ago – even though you’re getting billions more records and around three-quarters of a billion newspaper articles.


The offer is open to both new Findmypast subscribers and former subscribers, and ends at 10am (London time) on Monday 1st April – don’t miss it by dilly-dallying, otherwise you really will feel like an April Fool!


Existing subscribers can’t take advantage of this offer – but hopefully you benefited from a special offer when you bought your first subscription. And remember, if you’re an annual subscriber, when your subscription comes up for renewal you’ll qualify for Findmypast’s Loyalty Discount, currently 15%.


Tip: don’t rush off to Findmypast just yet, because in the next article I provide the link you will need and explain how you can support LostCousins AND get a bonus for yourself when you purchase a new 12 month Findmypast under the offer. You could save yourself over £70 in total!



Support LostCousins and get a bonus!

Although the Findmypast offer isn't exclusive to readers of this newsletter, you’ll only be supporting LostCousins if you use the link at the end of this article – but don’t skip to the end as the next bit is important!


Please make sure that your purchase is going to be tracked - if you have installed any browser extensions with names that include the words 'ad' and/or 'block' this is a danger sign! (Beware: if you allow your children or grandchildren to ‘help’ you with your computer they may have installed something you don’t know about.)


I also recommend, based on past experience, that you don't use Firefox - I suggest you load up this newsletter in Chrome or Microsoft Edge before clicking the appropriate link below and making your purchase. All major browsers are free, so it makes sense to have a choice (especially since many problems can be solved by using a different browser).


I also recommend you use a computer rather than a smartphone or tablet, but whatever device you choose, please stick to it, as clicking my link on one device and then making your purchase on another definitely won't work.


In Chrome you'll find the 'Do not track' switch by going to Settings, then Privacy and security, then Cookies and other site data – the default setting is OFF, as shown BELOW, and this is exactly what you want:




The switch should be to the LEFT and appear grey. If the switch is to the right (and blue) then please move it to the left.


In Edge you'll find a similar switch in Settings under Privacy, search and services and it works in the same way. If it is set to the rightt, move it to the left. I also recommend turning off Tracking Prevention, at least temporarily.


Once you are satisfied that your purchase is going to be tracked, click the link and make your purchase, noting the EXACT time of the transaction (to the minute!).


Provided that we receive commission on your purchase of a new 12 month Findmypast subscription under the offer above you’ll receive a free LostCousins subscription worth up to £12.50 – you’ll get 6 months for purchasing a Plus subscription or 12 months when you purchase a Pro or Premium subscription. To claim your bonus forward the email receipt you receive from Findmypast, ensuring that the time and date of your purchase is shown. Alternatively send me an email stating the precise time and date of your purchase (to the minute), and the amount paid. As usual, my email address was in the email you received telling you about this newsletter.




Findmypast.co.uk        -            Save 30% on 3 and 12 month subscriptions – ends 10am Monday 1st April



How Findmypast could knock down your ‘brick walls’

If you’re one of those people who thinks that the big genealogy websites are all much the same, and that it’s a matter of personal preference which one to subscribe to, I suggest you re-read this article.


And if you’ve tried Findmypast before, but didn’t like it, see this Masterclass – which will explain why your experience was so much different from mine.


Although it was a DNA test that gave me a chance to crack my oldest ‘brick wall’, without the Catholic baptism records at Findmypast I’d never have knocked it down!



Certificate of Baby Loss

Since February this year people in England who have sadly lost a baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy have been able to apply for a certificate in memory of their baby. In Scotland you can apply for an entry to be made in the Memorial Book and a commemorative certificate is issued free of charge; arrangements are likely to be put in place in Wales and Northern Ireland in future.


You can read more about this topic in a recent BBC article. Although registration of still births is compulsory, there is a no obligation to apply for a baby loss certificate.


Note: registration of still births was introduced in 1927; since 1992 it has applied after 24 weeks of pregnancy; previously it was 28 weeks. There is additional information in this parliamentary briefing paper.



Country Life goes online

Historical issues of one of Britain’s iconic magazines went online this week – the British Newspaper Archive now has searchable digital images ofevery issue from the first, in 1897, up to 2009.


There are fantastic photos of country houses and gardens, and village scenes, such as the 1957 cover photo of the Stansted Mountfitchet village pump – Stansted Mountfitchet is, of course, the home of LostCousins.


Flicking through the issues you might come across the 1915 advertisement for the Amesbury Abbey Estate, which included Stonehenge – one of the world’s most recognisable prehistoric monuments (sold for just £6000, it was gifted to the nation in 1918). Country estates and town houses were frequently advertised in Country Life, but you will also find more humble properties for sale, perhaps as part of a larger estate.


Tip: you can also access the newspapers and magazines in the British Newspaper Archive with a Pro or Premium subscription to Findmypast.



How to pronounce Irish names

I may have discovered my Irish ancestors, thanks to DNA and Findmypast’s fantastic collection of Catholic records, but I still struggle with Irish names – especially the ones that look totally unpronounceable, like Meadhbh and Dearbhla.


Fortunately I came across this guide on the CNN news site, which explains why the spelling and the pronunciation are often so difficult for non-Irish folk.



Worcestershire records at The Genealogist OFFER ENDS SOON

I don’t have any ancestors from Worcestershire – to the best of my knowledge – so I wasn’t expecting to find any of them in The Genealogist’s new tranche of more than 120,000 transcribed records from the county.


What I didn’t reckon with is the unusual history of Daylesford, the parish where my great-great-great-great ancestors Thomas Butwell and Mary Benfield married in 1791. Although the parish is geographically located in Gloucestershire, the parish registers are at Oxfordshire History Centre, and until 1931 (when Daylesford had a population of just 82) it was a detached part of Worcestershire.


In 1788 Daylesford House was acquired by Warren Hastings, then the Governor General of India, but also a descendant of the medieval owners. I suspect Mary worked at the ‘big house’ but she’s currently one of my ‘brick walls’ as there are several people with the same or similar names born round the right time.


If you’re interested in finding out more about The Genealogist why not watch the Zoom presentation on ‘brick walls’ that Mark Bayley gave to LostCousins members recently – you’ll find it here. And if you’re quick you can still get a lifetime discount on Diamond subscriptions by following this link. (Note that if you are outside the UK you’ll be offered digital extras of  similar value to avoid the horrendous cost of international postage.)


Note: Daylesford House was on the front cover of Country Life in 1977 when it was put up for sale by Viscount Rothermere.



Family historian’s trouser trouble

Following the article about Miriam Margolyes in the last issue, another celebrity family historian made the news this week.


Alan Titchmarsh, a keen family historian who is also known to many as a gardening expert, has been censored by North Korea – or rather his jeans have. You can see a photo of his blurred-out legwear in this BBC article.


Whilst on the subject of clothing, did you see the 200 year-old Faroe Islands jumper that was discovered in the National Archives (if you didn’t, you’ll find a photo in this BBC News article)? It looks quite modern to me – but my tastes are more Fair Isle than Faroe Islands (as regular readers of this newsletter will know).



Save on Who Do You Think You Are? magazine EXCLUSIVE OFFER

I've been a reader of Who Do You Think You Are? magazine ever since issue 1, and I can tell you from personal experience that every issue is packed with advice on how to research your family tree, including how to track down online records, how to get more from DNA tests, and the ever-popular readers' stories. Naturally you also get to look behind-the-scenes of the popular Who Do You Think You Are? TV series.


There's an extra special introductory offer for members in the UK, but there are also offers for overseas readers, each of which offers a useful saving on the cover price:


UK - try 6 issues for just £9.99

Europe - 13 issues (1 year) for €74.99

Australia - 13 issues (1 year) for AU $125

Rest of the world - 13 issues (1 year) for US $89.99


To take advantage of any of these deals (and to support LostCousins) please follow this link.



Peter’s Tips

It’s not often that I get a refund from Ryanair, indeed, it’s not often that anyone gets a refund from Ryanair – but if you’re persistent and have a good case, you might be one of the lucky few.


Not long ago my wife and I took a flight, and as usual we paid extra for exit row seating (when you’re over 6ft 4in tall, as I am, it can be really uncomfortable otherwise). But the plane that turned up was shorter, so instead of rows 17 and 18 being the over-wing exit rows it was rows 16 and 17. As you’ve probably already guessed, we had chosen seats in row 18 – so we had a rather cramped flight.


It took about 6 emails to make any progress, but eventually a £38 refund was agreed, and showed up in my credit card account a few days later. At least we were luckier than the people who booked seats in rows 34 and 35 – there were only 33 rows on the aircraft!


When we were away we really appreciated our Ring doorbell – when the postman arrived with an unexpected package that was too big to fit in the letterbox we were able to speak to him and give instructions. We purchased the doorbell just after Christmas – with an outdoor battery-powered Wifi camera it cost £99.99, virtually half-price, but if you’re quick you can save even more by following this link.

Finally, the addition of Country Life to the British Newspaper Archive reminds me of an unexpected discovery made when I was flicking through an issue of the magazine a year or two back – the Bridge column featured a hand played by a chap who was my bridge partner over 50 years ago (if I remember rightly, we won a county competition for young players).



Stop Press

This is where any major updates and corrections will be highlighted - if you think you've spotted an error first reload the newsletter (press Ctrl-F5) then check again before writing to me, in case someone else has beaten you to it......



This newsletter is shorter than usual because I had to rush it out before Findmypast’s offer ends – but I‘ll be back soon with more news, tips, and articles.


Description: Description: peter_signature


Peter Calver

Founder, LostCousins


© Copyright 2024 Peter Calver


Please do NOT copy or republish any part of this newsletter without permission - which is only granted in the most exceptional circumstances. However, you MAY link to this newsletter or any article in it without asking for permission - though why not invite other family historians to join LostCousins instead, since standard membership (which includes the newsletter), is FREE?


Many of the links in this newsletter and elsewhere on the website are affiliate links – if you make a purchase after clicking a link you may be supporting LostCousins (though this depends on your choice of browser, the settings in your browser, and any browser extensions that are installed). Thanks for your support!