The Exploring Family History Tutorial

Session 1 - The Basics

The Horwood Family in London

Starting with Gladys Horwood - born 1891 - a series of online searches are carried out, together with purchases of appropriate certificates, to discover her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Apart from identifying Gladys, the search is carried out as if the Lewin Family Bible did not exist - so the steps taken would be identical to those which would have been taken with no prior knowledge.

The search includes examples from the 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses, using the Ancestry web site (and familysearch for 1881); birth, marriage and death register searches using FreeBDMand findmypast - plus the online purchase of certificates from the General Register Office web site; baptisms and marriages are identified and it is proposed to get (off-line) copies of the relevant register entries from the Metropolitan Archives and HALS. The approach taken can be applied to any family living in England during the 19th century. There are also help pages giving information on census returns, civil registration and parish registers.

Finally the results are reviewed, and compared with the Horwood entries in the bible, and some areas for additional research are identified.

Session 2 [under construction] takes a different approach - starting from the description of the Lewin family written in 1857 - and finding out what happened to its members and their descendant. It therefore demonstrates the problems of following cousin branches from the past towards the present. To avoid the task getting too big it the search stops once it has been established that a branch has moved out og Hertfordshire. Where possible information will also be gathered on their residences.

Session 3 [available shortly] looks in more detail at Hertfordshire records and deals with John Lewin who was associated with the Abbey Mills, St Albans. in the late 18th century, and his father Francis Lewin, of Bushey Hall, Bushey

Start Session 1.

Session 1 Tutorial Topics


Locate Gladys Horwood in the 1901 Census - to find out where the family was living, her parent's occupation and their place of birth. [Using Ancestry]

2 Obtain Gladys Horwood's Birth Certificate in 1891 - to find out exactly where she was born, to find her mother's maiden name and her father's occupation. [Using freeBMD and General Register Office]
3 Obtain the Marriage Certificate in 1889 of Gladys Horwood's parents - Thomas William Horwood and Florence King - to find the location, the couples. [Using freeBMD and General Register Office]
4 Locate Florence King as a child living with her parents in the 1871 Census & 1881 Census. [Using Ancestry & familysearch]
5 Locate the recently married Thomas and Florence Horwood in the 1891 Census. [Using Ancestry]
6 Locate Thomas William Horwood in the 1881 Census. [Using familysearch - as a search using Ancestry was unsuccessful]
7 Obtain Thomas William Horwood's Birth Certificate in 1863 to identify his parents and place of birth. [Using findmypast and General Register Office. In addition Google and the Digital Library of Historical Directories were used to sort out a difficult transcription.]
8 Get details of Thomas William Horwood's baptism from the International Genealogical Index (IGI)  [Using familysearch] - and also a search for the baptisms of his siblings. [Copy of baptismal register to be obtained.]
9 Locate Thomas William Horwood as a child in the 1871 Census, to fill in details about his parents and siblings. [Using ancestry] - Comparison with the Bible about the ease of finding infant deaths.
10 Obtain James Horwood's Death Certificate (between 1865 and 1871) to find out when, where and how he died. [Using freeBMD and findmypast and General Register Office. Also reference to online Dictionary.]
11 Obtain the Marriage Certificate (before 1863) for Thomas William Horwood's parents James Horwood and Mary Town. to get further details of the couple - and their fathers. [Using freeBMD and General Register Office.]
12 Locate Mary Town before her marriage for information about her parents and siblings. (1851 and 1861 census)  [Using Ancestry]
13 Locate James Horwood in the 1851 census & 1861 census.  [Using Ancestry - but with difficulties in 1861]
14 Locate James Horwood's first Marriage Certificate and the Death Certificate of his first wife, Mary Ann Critchley. [Using freeBMD and General Register Office.] [Copy of death certificate currently being obtained.]
15 Locate James Horwood's Baptism in the IGI index.  [Using familysearch] - and also a search for the baptisms of his siblings. [Copy of baptismal register to be obtained.]
16 Locate the Marriage of James Horwood's Parents Thomas and Elizabeth in the IGI index  [Using familysearch] and get a copy of the entry from HALS.
17 Summary of findings