Our Spratt = Cruse Family History Website

Researching Our Family

On these pages we show the way we researched our family tree following the receipt of the family picture shown on the Southcombe page.   Clive wanted to know more about the family members shown and know a little about anuts, uncles and cousins he never knew as a child.

When we started on our family tree we followed the advice to work back in time from ourselves, and as we wanted to research both of our families we started with our son and worked backwards.   This was comparatively easy as we had our family birth, marriage and death certificates, and it did not take long to draw up a simple tree.   We also followed the advice to speak to our eldely family relations for as much information possible; Eileen knew her cousins, uncles and aunts which made research easier.  We asked everyone what they knew about their parents and so on which helped build up a picture of the family.

This was in the late 1970s, when most records were in central London; birth, marriage and death (BMD) records were in a large building on the corner of Kingsway and the Aldwich, in very heavy large red books of sometimes handwritten parchment pages and later early typewritten pages with the references needed to apply for a certificate.

Wills were in Somerset House south of the Strand with books of annual alphabetical listings of wills and administrations, copies of the wills could be obtained at 35p per page.

Census records were on Microfilm in Chancery Lane, down in the basement of a large building - it was interseting just visiting and seeing where the records were stored - there were a limited number of microfilm readers and you had to find a free reader and seat before you could order a microfilm with thousands of frames tosearch for the census record required. Census records are closed for 100 years after they are taken, so we could only research up to the 1881 census, and had to pay a fee of £30 for imformation on the 1891 census to confrim where Clive's grandfather lived.

ad not been invented and very few indexes to records existed. Fortunately, we both had ancestors in Essex, although when we started searching we did not know about them, but as time went on and we built up our family knowledge we found the Essex Record Office (ERO) a treasure trove of parish records. Eileen was able to go to the ERO each week and search parish registers, recording her results in notebooks that we still hold.





Page still under construction

  Page updated 14 February 2018