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February 2012

Issue 205

February 2012

Servants, Seamen & Suffragettes

Our February issue sets the record straight on servants' lives, discovers single-minded suffragettes of the late Victorian era and delves into the Royal Marines Museum's archives.

COUNTRY HOUSE SERVANTS  Jen Newby reveals the truth behind the Downton Abbey myth as she delves downstairs into the lives of servants. With millions of men and women once in service we look at the key research resources for discovering ancestors behind the green baize door. 

FLESHING OUT THE VICTORIANS Simon Fowler embarks on the final stage of his whirlwind journey through the Victorian era by exploring the divided world of workers on strike, while their bosses enjoyed prosperity.  

ALL AT SEA WITH THE MARINES Simon Wills takes a trip to the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth to unearth tragic tales and mountains of medals as well as revealing what the extensive archive has to offer family historians. 

LONELY ONLIES When large families were the norm, only children were an unusual occurence. Ruth Symes looks into why families chose to have just one and how to research a single branch in your tree.  

Thousands of Brits in the military passed through Gibraltar. Paul Blake reveals how to research relatives on 'the Rock'.

THE BAEDEKER BLITZ  Joe O'Neill looks back at the sinister bombing of Britain's historic hotspots by the German Luftwaffe in 1942.   

DEAR DESCENDANT...   Jacqueline Wadsworth explains how to make the most of the diaires and letters written by our ancestors as she journeys back in time through 130 years of never-before-published memoirs.

EXPLORING OXFORDSHIRE Paul Gaskell pays a visit to the brand new Oxfordshire History Centre to discover the wealth of resources on offer to genealogists.

THE FUTURE OF FAMILY HISTORY Hayley Chappell asks a range of genealogy experts to look into their crystal balls and predict what the future holds for family history. 

WHAT'S IN A NAME? Anthony Adolph looks at the origins of the surname Burton.
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Win British Newspaper Archive Subscriptions

Discover the genealogical goldmine that is the British Newspaper Archive ( with an online subscription. This recently launched digitisation project has four million pages of searchable family notices, advertisements, obituaries, letters and illustrations from over 200 historic local and national newspapers.

We have a one-year subscription (worth £79.95) to give away as well as two 30-day subscriptions (worth £29.95 each) and four 2-day subscriptions (worth £6.95 each). To be in with a chance of winning one, simply answer the following question. Send answers to or write to the usual address on page three, by the 15th March.

Q: Who invented the printing press in the Holy Roman Empire in 1440?