You asked - and we answered. Week 1 of Family History Month gave you the chance to ask your questions of Myko Clelland, Findmypast historian and genealogist. Myko focuses on England, Wales and Scotland, and you gave him some great questions!
Here's the summary.
Alethea asked... How do I get access to military records, but not from war time? Specifically, what can you tell me about the Irish Guards?
Myko: Service records for later periods (post WWI) are covered by privacy laws in the UK; if you've seen some of the earlier ones, you can understand why. They've got everything from disciplinary records to medical reports. Because this information is sensitive and whoever is documented may still be alive, they are kept by the Ministry of Defence and you can apply to them directly to get the records. You'll need to provide a copy of your grandfather's death certificate, but its a relatively straightforward process. You can learn more and apply here.
John asked... I've traced my family back to Cheshire in the late 1700s, but it looks like the church records that would get me back further have been destroyed. Is there anything I can do to keep this going?
Myko: Bishops transcripts are a second copy of all baptisms, marriages and burials in a local area sent regularly to the Bishop who supervised them. These second copies were designed for exactly this kind of issue, when records are destroyed or damaged the details within are not lost because they remain in the transcripts. Take a look at these and you just might be in luck. Findmypast has an exclusive partnership with the Cheshire archives and actually have them online already, so you can start exploring them today!
Elizabeth asked... My family came to the United States in 1860. I found them in the 1851 and 1841 census' but where is the 1831 census so I can find their parents?
Myko: The answer here isn't as positive as I'd have liked. Unfortunately there are no earlier complete censuses in the UK, although they were taken from 1801 they were largely destroyed. We've got a few fragments online from earlier census records and there are a few in local archives (it's worth a look always) but other than that you'll have to use other records to fill these gaps. If you know where your ancestors are from in the later censuses, start to comb through parish records from that area and where possible, look at land tax and electoral rolls to get that all important extra information.
Claude asks... My great grandfather came from Berwick in England, but I can't find him at all in the births. Where could I look?
Myko: The history of Britain is messy at the best of times. Berwick changed hands between Scotland and England repeatedly (more than a dozen times in just 400 years) and is something of an anomaly. The town of Berwick-upon-tweed is now in England, but the county of Berwick, Berwickshire is part of Scotland dating back to when the Scots owned the town. Berwick can also refer to that county and not the settlement. Look at Scottish records and you just might solve the mystery. If it's that recent the documents almost certainly still exist.
@mordra wants to know... Who Jacob Chatterton's parents are! Rumor it's a Sadrack, but no proof. Jacob marries Eliz Tuttle 2nd to Mary Lent in New York.
Myko: We'd probably need to know more about Jacob before being certain, but you've already started to pick up quite a paper trail! Inspect marriage records fully, are the witnesses siblings (often they can be)? It's great to not take rumors at face value, until you have the supporting documentary proof anything less than the actual document image you find online or hear should always be used as a guide only.
Next week, our "Ask the Experts" column will feature Paul Nixon, a leading expert in the field of British military history. Have those questions ready - it should be an excellent series!