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And its importance to the Family Historian

In the original Roman calendar the month of August was originally named Sextilis in Latin, because it was the sixth month in the original ten-month Roman calendar under Romulus in 753 BC, when March was the firstmonth of the year.
About 700 BC it became the eighth month when January and February were added to the year before March by King Numa Pompilius, who also gave it 29 days.
When Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar in 45 BC, two days were added giving the month 31 days. In 8 BC the month was later renamed Augustus in honour of the first emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus. (despite common belief, he did not take a day from February.
In the Southern Hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the Northern Hemisphere.

Looking for Canal Ancestors?

A recent request set me off to look for ‘Canal Ancestors’ and something I know very little about other than they are pretty water ways and big part of out industrial and early logistics. This is a very interesting website that is called Spellweaver and can be found here: This says ‘are you looking for your boat ancestors and if so good place to begin?’ I rang and spoke to Angela and she explained to me how the name of the website came about and the website its self due to her own interest. I suggested that she might have liked to join us on the 3rd of June but was unable to this year, but hopefully next year as she would be more prepared. This is what she says on the home page: Do you have canal boat ancestors? If so you have probably already discovered the difficulties in tracing them! Well. I’m no expert, but I do have canal ancestors, and I hope that some of the lessons I’ve learned in trying to trace them might be useful to other people. She then explains. The website is only 3 years old and so very much a work in progress. I would highly recommend a visit if you are looking for these ancestor or not, very interesting. She also says: One thing you can be sure of. The search for your ancestors will never be boring, and you will learn a great deal about a great many things. And you may well be surprised at your admiration for your ancestors and their way of life. The History of the Canal Network The canal network started to appear in the 18th century, in the days before the railways the canals were used to carry goods, people and documents around the country. The network continued to expand and linked the major industrial areas of the country together. As the forerunner to the railways and motorways of recent times, the canals provided employment for many people, the men who built the canals (called navvies, as the canals were referred to as navigations) would often find employment on the canal when construction was complete. Whole families would live and work on canal boats and raise several generations whilst living afloat. Many children were born on the boats so don’t be surprised to see a boat name on a birth certificate. By the 1850’s the railways started to take more and more business from the canal companies, the ability to move goods and people far more quickly allowed the railways to expand at the expense of the canal owners. The situation continued until in the 1940’s water carrying became nationalised, British Waterways took responsibility for operating boats and set about changing the appearance of boats forever. Gone were the highly decorated boats of yesteryear to be replaced by the blue and yellow livery of BW. The 1970’s saw what was in effect the end of canal transport, the canals (now in need of major investment) could not compete with road and rail competitors and commercial water transport had all but stopped. From Family Tree Forum


Do you belong to another History or Heritage society? Please encourage them to join us on the 3rd of June. Booking forms can be downloaded from our website or by emailing

Researching Your Own Theatrical Ancestors

We had an unusual request recently and not some thing I had thought of and I don’t have any of them in my family either. So I thought I would see what I could find. Hint and tips to find them can be found here:

Theatre – Chesterfield Library Archives: A small theatrical collection includes records of the former Chesterfield Civic Theatre. It includes a comprehensive collection of press cuttings, programmes and photographs dating from its opening in 1949. There is also a small collection of items relating to the Chesterfield Corporation Theatre. There are examples of theatrical printing work by George Allen of Brimington including posters of the 1930s and 1940s era, and programmes of the Hippodrome Theatre. Chesterfield Library Blog – Articles specific to the ‘Theatre’

Book – Who’s Who in the Theatre – 1922: Do You Have Any Theatrical Ancestors? If So They May Appear in This Directory.: Biographies of Actors, Actresses and … Writers and Workers for the Stage 1914-1918

Click here to view on Amazon

Average generation length

Average generation length is the average (i.e. mean) age of parenthood of a number of children, either in one generation or across several generations. For example: • If a man had three children when aged 27, 30 and 36, then their average generation length is 31 years ((27 + 30 + 36)/3 = 31). NB The average generation length may differ from age at birth of the middle child (in this example 30), and average age at birth of the first and last children (in this example 31.5). • If the same man was born when his father was aged 28, who was born when his father was 40, who was born when his father was 32, who was born when his father was 28, then the man’s patrilineal (i.e. father-son) ancestry has an average generation length of 32 years ((28 + 40 + 32 + 28)/4 = 32). • If the same man was born when his mother was 27, who was born when her mother was 31, who was born when her mother was 29, then his matrilineal (i.e. mother-daughter) ancestry has an average generation length of 29 years ((27 + 31 + 29)/3 = 29). • If ancestral research extends the maternal ancestry of the same man back a further three generations with motherhood ages of 24, 26 and 24, then the average generation length of his maternal ancestry changes to 27 years ((27 + 31 + 29 + 24 + 26 + 24)/6 = 27). Want to read more? This extract was taken from: ISOGG click link for more on this subject.

International Society of Genetic Genealogy Wiki

1024 Great Grandparents –  8 X Great-Grandparents

When calculating in each generation we have to double our grandparents, so two Parents, four grandparents. 8 great grandparents etc. So after 10 generations we each have 1,024 8 X great grandparents. That is unless you have a pedigree collapse. [This is when close relations marries] E.g If your granny married her first cousin(your grandfather) you will only have six rather than eight great grandparents. The affect of this is that you would then have 776 rather than 1.024 8 X great grandparents.

What is a First Cousin, Twice Removed?
First cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you.

Second cousins have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
Third cousins have in common two great-great-grandparents and their ancestors.
Once removed means there is a difference of one generation. Your mother’s first cousin would be your first cousin, once removed. She is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents.
Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. Your grandmother’s first cousin would be your first cousin, twice removed because you are separated by two generations.
What is a Double Cousin?
Just to complicate matters, there are also many cases of double cousins. This situation usually occurs when two or more siblings from one family marry two or more siblings from another family. The resulting children, grandchildren, etc. are double cousins, because they share all four grandparents (or great-grandparents) in common.

Did You Know Archive 2016

December 2016
Identify ancestors before buying a certificate!
The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales has released new online indexes that boost family historians’ chances of accurately identifying their ancestors, before forking out for a certificate. For the first time there is a search field for the mother’s maiden name for locating a birth registered between July 1837 and December 1915, and an age at death field for deaths registered between July 1837 and December 1957.


<<<<Scroll down 

  • August.
    And its importance to the Family Historian
  • Looking for Canal Ancestors?
  • Networking
  • Researching Your Own Theatrical Ancestors
  • Average generation length
  • 1024 Great – Grandparents –  8 X Great-Grandparents
  • What is a First Cousin Once  Removed
  • Did You Know Archive 2016