London resident Duncan Barrett is a writer and editor, specializing in biography and memoir.
He grew up in London and studied English at Jesus College, Cambridge. He is the author or co-author of several Sunday Times top-10 bestsellers, such as “The Sugar Girls,” and “GI Brides.” His most recent book (August 2014) is “Men of Letters: The Post Office Heroes Who Fought the Great War.”
After his grandmother, Helen Hudson, died in 2006, Duncan’s mother Michèle received a box containing documents and artifacts relating to his family history.
I had been familiar with the box all my life, but it was only then that I began exploring its contents. As well as objects – and associated stories – that related to ancestors I had never known, there was all the research work that my grandmother and my aunt had done into the family history, putting together family trees and organizing the material in the box. Looking through it made me feel closer to the grandmother I had lost.
Growing up, Duncan never felt that interested in the lives of his ancestors who lived before he was born – they seemed very remote, anonymous faces in photo albums. But he was able to get to know them quite intimately as he read through the materials in box, particularly through the letters exchanged among the relatives.
Ever looked at an old family photo of your grandparent or parent next to your own photo and seen a striking resemblance?
It's not surprising that we share looks with our relatives. Yet, sometimes we do a double-take, as if we're looking at the same photo.
See these fascinating look-a-like photos shared by members of the Huffington Post Parents Community.
Triple-take: 3 Generations
January 26 marks Australia Day, and is a celebration of everything “Australian.”
This is a fun day for families to come together and celebrate with barbecues and firework displays, but also an important day to look back at Australia’s history and its diverse society.
It celebrates the anniversary of the first settlement - Port Jackson - with the arrival of the First Fleet of convict ships from Great Britain, in 1788.
A nation made of immigrants, convicts and indigenous people, Australia’s different cultures reflect the nation’s history and its unique identity of what it means to be Australian.
Do you have Australian ancestry? Would you like to learn more about the lives of your Australian ancestors?
Search our Australian record collections and see what family discoveries you’ll make.
Wishing you and your family a Happy Australia Day! How will you celebrate?
How many people alive today can say they’ve lived through two centuries? Well, five women can put that on their checklist, as they’re the only people born in the 1800s still alive today.
From Japan to the U.S. to Italy, these women have lived through two World Wars, major historical events, and seen the development of technology first-hand.
Misao Okawa from Japan is currently the world’s oldest living person, born in 1898. Last March, she celebrated her 116th birthday! Her secret to a long life? Sushi and sleep!
Emma Morano, 115, from Italy holds the title for oldest person in Europe. She says her eating habits her doctor gave her in her 20s have helped her live so long.
After 60 years of searching, MyHeritage found the connection – in just two months - between Australia’s Ann Clare Meagher’s mother Hilda Welchman Moss, and Ann’s previously unknown maternal uncle, John Welchman, in the UK.
Ann’s mother, Hilda, died at 32, leaving six children, when Ann was nine. Her father, Fred Moss, was a British Army major posted to India, and Ann was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) in 1945. Her mother Hilda Welchman had travelled to India from England and she married in 1941.
As a teen, I often wondered about my grandparents, as I had no knowledge or contact with them. We moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1962. I became a nurse, and have been happily married for 43 years, with a wonderful husband and three sons.
Ann had spent years looking for any relative of her mother without success until she became a member of MyHeritage and found her previously unknown uncle. She discovered a story he had written about his life and was dumb-founded that he had been looking for his sister’s family for 60 years. He lives in Dorset, England.
We're happy to announce that Mac users can now download and use MyHeritage Family Tree Builder! Like the Windows version, it's completely free!
There have been frequent requests by our users to run Family Tree Builder 7.0 on the Mac operating system. Many of our users have switched in recent years from Windows to Mac and wanted to continue using Family Tree Builder, their favorite genealogy software.
We are in the advanced stages of developing a native Mac version of the software, with the look and feel that Mac users will appreciate. Meanwhile, until the new native version is ready, we have also created a version of Family Tree Builder for Mac called Family Tree Builder Mac Extension, that looks the same as our Windows version, and does not require Windows or any additional setup or configuration when downloaded.
It is important to record key events of our ancestors, including the date when each event occurred.
Usually several sources indicate an event's date. For example, for a death: the date may be indicated on a death certificate, a headstone, a newspaper obituary and in a Grant of Probate (which authorizes distribution of a deceased person's estate). However, those dates would have been documented using the calendar and recording conventions of the geographical location and time when the event originally took place, rather than the calendar and conventions with which today's researcher would be familiar. Failure to take into account the original context of an event or document often results in mistakes in understanding when an event actually happened.
The Global Family Reunion mega-event is only a few months away! Join well-known author, journalist, editor and genealogist A.J. Jacobs in a free webinar, as he talks about his mission to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest family reunion in history.
A.J. will discuss his family history discoveries on his genealogical journey, his quest to see how everyone is related, and give tips to jumpstarting your own family history research.
Register for free here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5784140710650302465.
Photographs are a great inspiration to see family similarities, past and present. Have you ever been told that you resemble an ancestor?
We often see old photographs and want to learn the stories behind the faces in our family tree. Christine McConnell decided to take this further and actually "become" her ancestors in a beautiful portrait series.
Honoring seven generations of women on her maternal lineage, Christine recreated these photos using herself and showed them side by side. The similarities are uncanny and demonstrate how family connections also extend to appearances.
2015 is here! Have you thought about what you'd like to accomplish this year in your family history research?