Judith Fitchet of the Nelson Genealogical Society gave a very interesting and entertaining talk to a group of enthusiastic family historians in the Tasman District Library on Saturday 4th August. She spoke of her time in England as an “Oxford Aunt” or home help, where board and lodgings is given in return for domestic services. There is a generous “time off” allowance which gave her the opportunity to trace the origins of her family in London and Oxford. Her talk was well illustrated with photos of churches and burial sites.
For anyone contemplating serious research she provided some useful tips:
British census records are available on-line from 1841 to 1911. These can provide much useful information if you look closely at the details. From 1837 it became compulsory to register births and deaths. Before this date, one has to rely solely on parish records. Kew holds the National Archives with records from the Domesday book onwards – except for Scotland . You can get an “Ancestry Visa” which gives you up to 5 years residency in Britain – but it does require a lot of paper work and is relatively expensive.
We all enjoyed Judith’s talk very much – she was certainly easy to listen to and I’m sure she would be more than willing to help anyone contemplating a visit to Britain with more helpful advice.