Wedding details of George Duncan and Ada Young

The wedding of George Duncan and Ada Selina Harriet Young happened on 11th May 1878 at the Register Office in Portsea Island.

George Duncan was aged 35 and a Surgeon

Ada Selina Harriet Young was aged 25

He was living at West Street, Fareham at the time of the wedding

She was living at Green Road, Portsea

His father was James Duncan, a Gentleman

Her father was Alfred Young (deceased) a Commander Royal Navy

The wedding was witnessed by (? illegible) Cleverly and J.W. Brough

Wedding details of William Cole and Blanche Young

The wedding of William St Clair Cole and Blanche Elizabeth Young took place at the Parish Church in Fareham, Southampton on December 23rd 1880.

William St Clair Cole was 25 years old and a Clerk

Blanche Elizabeth Young was 23 years old, both gave their residence as Fareham

His father was Robert Cole, a Clerk on Holy Order

Her father was Alfred Young, Captain Royal Navy

The wedding was witnessed by Mansel Young and Grace Amy Young, the brides’ brother and sister

Blanche Young was the sister of my great-grand-father, Mansel Young


Wedding details of Henry Homeyer and Grace Young

I thought I would document some of the certificates I have in no particular order.

Henry Charles Homeyer and Grace Amy Young were married at the Parish Church, St Mary the Virgin in Cardiff, Glamorgan, on May 29th 1889.

Henry Homeyer was aged 35 and a Boatswain

Grace Young was 27 and a Spinster

His address was the Steam Ship ‘Mark Lane’ (? illegible)

Her address was 77 Duncan Road, Southsea

His father’s name was Charles (? illegible) Homeyer, his profession was Secretary of Post Ofice

Her father was Alfred Young, Captain Royal Navy (dead)

The wedding was witnessed by Edward Gardiner and Amelia (? illegible) Gardiner

Grace Young was the younger sister of my great-grandfather, Henry Young.

Notes on executor’s application for money owed by the Royal Navy

My family history research has been quite quiet lately, real life takes precedence at the moment.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed there was free access of Ancestry which always makes me spend a little time searching for any useful information. As is often the case I didn’t find any new leads but I somehow ended up on the TNA website where I found a couple of possible records for Matthew Young:

ADM 45/34/477 (available to purchase)
Number: 477 Matthew Young, Commander Royal Navy, who died: 1 September 1855. Notes on executor’s application for money owed by the Royal Navy.

ADM 9/8/2650 (not digitised)
Name: Matthew Young; Rank: Lieutenant; Date of Seniority: 13 Feb 1806.

ADM 6/242/6 (not digitised)
Greenwich out-pensioners applying for admission into Greenwich Hospital as in-pensioners (after service in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines or the Naval Dockyards)
1835 February 5

I purchased the first record as it was the only one available in digital format. There wasn’t much information on it but as above, it is Notes on executor’s application for money owed by the Royal Navy.

Matthew Young died on 10th September 1855. On the 24th September 1855 a claim was made by Charlotte Young, of Dunmore East, Killea, County of Waterford who was the Executress of his estate.

Apparently he had a will dated 2nd June 1854, it would be really interesting to get hold of this.

I’m not really sure what the outcome of this document means, there are a few dates on the form but they are pretty meaningless to me.

Findmypast launches ‘Hall of Heroes’ to celebrate the heroes in everyone’s family

Leading family history website, has today announced the launch of its Hall of Heroes. The Hall aims to celebrate the heroes from our history, from unsung underdogs to First World War medal winners.

Findmypast is asking people to help create a ‘Hall of Heroes’ that truly reflects the heroic figures from our own history by inviting everyone to submit their own heroes from their family history to be chosen for inclusion in the Hall of Heroes. For every real-life story published Findmypast will donate £10 to charity.

To mark the launch of the Hall of Heroes, has also released four new record sets including Victoria Cross Recipients 1854-2006, the Royal Navy 1914 Star Medal Roll 1914-1920, the Marriage Registers of the British Royal Marines 1813-1920 and the Falklands War British Deaths 1982 to allow more people to discover the heroes in their family. The Victoria Cross (VC) collection includes the 1,349 people awarded the highest military decoration for valour in the face of the enemy during conflicts such as the Crimean War, the Boer War, Indian Mutiny, and both World Wars. The VC is a simple bronze cross. It has been awarded only 14 times since World War II.

Included in the ‘Hall of Heroes’ today is Rip the rescue dog, a World War Two rescue dog with an extraordinary talent for finding people buried amidst the debris after bombing raids. Rip died in 1946 after a courageous life as the service’s first search and rescue dog. He was awarded the Dickin Medal for bravery in 1945. Rip was originally found in Poplar, London, in 1940 by an Air Raid warden. He is credited with saving the lives of over 100 people.

First World War medal winners

A ‘Hall of Heroes’ wouldn’t be complete without commemorating some of the well decorated soldiers from the First World War, and included in the launch are the records of Captain Noel Godfrey Chavasse. Chavasse is one of only three people ever to have won the Victoria Cross twice, and the only person to be awarded both the Victoria Cross and bar during World War One. He won his first VC for his actions at the battle of Guillemont, part of the Battle of the Somme, after coming within 25 metres of the German line. At this point he rescued three wounded men and continued to search no-man’s land for injured soldiers before the enemy line for four hours. In total Chavasse saved the lives of twenty badly wounded men.

His second VC was awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in action’ in 1917. Though desperately wounded while carrying another man, Chavasse insisted on remaining in action for a further two days. Faint from his injury and without food he continued to search for and retrieve the wounded even under heavy fire, and was crucial in saving the lives of many more who would otherwise have succumbed in the field.

Visit for more information on these heroes and to submit your own story.


Who Do You Think You Are? Story

Family history has been one of my hobbies since I was at school and it’s grown substantially over the years, so much so that I started this family history blog as a place to record my research alongside my family history database.

I love how much easier it has become to research your family history. I used to spend my lunch hours at the old Family Records Centre or my weekends at the National Archives in Richmond. With large-scale digitisation projects you can now research from the comfort of your own home and I’ve been enjoying using lots of new record sets, websites and ways of sharing and exploring my own family history.

In celebration of the 10th birthday of celebrity genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, Findmypast and Wall to Wall have recently launched Who Do You Think You Are? Story, a website that allows fans of the show to create a personalised, visual journey through their family history. The site is still in its beta phase, so extra historical facts and context will be added over the next week or so, but there’s already loads of interesting historical detail to colour in your history.

Oop over to to get started. It’s simple to sign up and completely free. You can check out Matthew Pinsent and Larry Lamb if you want to see how the site works, or just get started by adding your own details.

There are 3 stages to the site:

Step 1 – Tell us about your relatives

Enter key information and upload family photos. You don’t need every detail, but each fact makes the story richer.

Step 2 – We’ll add in events that affected their lives

For example, we’ll show you what was happening in society at the time your grandfather was born.

Step 3 – Expand your story

Add in your own events such as marriages, memories or even scandals. You can keep your story hidden or share it with family and friends.

A couple of things that are good about the site:

you only need to add a minimum amount of data – full name, birth date and birth location

but you can upload an image and add more facts if you want

the animated retelling of the family story is great and I love the way it’s interspersed with significant contemporary issues

there’s a timeline at the bottom of the page which includes the key historical events, so it’s really easy to see your story unfold

I like the form you can use to email a relative if you are missing a piece of information

Room for improvement:

The only thing I would like to see improved is being able to upload your data from a GEDCOM file. I’ve worked hard on my family tree, it contains nearly 700 people, and have stored the information in this format for years. Other family tree websites use it and I find it a really useful way of sharing my information with other people.

As WDYTYA has been around for 10 years it must be watched by both existing and new family historians. I’m hoping this feature might be added as in this electronic age I think it makes sense to make it easy for people to upload their information.

Don’t forget you can take a look at the Who Do You Think You Are? Story and start your own tree for free.