”Welcome to Your Family History – a magazine that bridges the gap between genealogy and your own unique personal heritage.”
Your Family History magazine is different from other genealogy magazines you might have seen in two important respects. Firstly, we’ve assembled a team of leading
experts, researchers and historians to show you not only how to discover who your ancestors were, but also guide you into the rich local and social
history that brings context to their lives.
Nick Barratt, a lead researcher from the BBC’s “Who do you think you are” series, is the
Editor-in-chief and is joined by a number of genealogy experts on the editorial team.
Your Family History magazine features a range of topics each issue, linking your personal research with local and national heritage themes through our connections with English Heritage, National Trust and the world of archives.
However, what makes us unique is that we want to feature YOUR stories, YOUR discoveries, YOUR mysteries and YOUR documents. To allow us to do this, you can contribute to the articles we’re writing, or suggest areas you would like us to cover in future editions – just click here to contribute now. You can join debates, submit your problems for our team to tackle, or add your own contribution to many of the topics featured in these pages. Many of our regular features will rely heavily on YOUR suggestions! We’re also creating an online gallery of family history resources for our subscribers to use.
We hope you enjoy the magazine and our experts look forward to hearing your stories soon.
Meet the Your Family History team who will be answering your questions, whose areas of specialist knowledge cover a very wide range of subjects, records, places and chronological periods! Many have worked for Sticks Research Agency, whilst others may be familiar from their existing family history profiles as writers, reviewers, practitioners and genealogy experts.
Dr Nick Barratt is Editor-in-chief of Your Family History.
Nick obtained his PhD in Medieval History from King’s College London in 1996, and worked at the Public Record Office – now The National Archives – until 2000, when he joined the BBC as a specialist researcher (2000-2002) and founded Sticks Research Agency (SRA). Having worked on projects such as House Detectives, Invasion, One Foot in the Past and the BAFTA nominated Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, he teamed up with Wall to Wall as the genealogical consultant and lead researcher on Who Do You Think You Are, also presenting the ‘how to’ section at the end of each episode for series 1 as well as ten short films for BBC Interactive.read more »
Since then he has lectured on all aspects of genealogy, personal heritage and local history, as well as written numerous books on the subject – ‘Tracing the History of Your House’ (TNA), ‘The Who Do You Think You Are Encyclopedia of Genealogy’ (Harper Collins), ‘Researching Your Family History Online for Dummies’ (Wileys) and the recently published and critically acclaimed ‘Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors’ Lives’ (Pen & Sword). Other television presenting roles have included ‘So You Think You’re Royal’ (Sky), ‘History Mysteries’ (BBC2), ‘Hidden House History’ (History Channel), ‘Secrets from the Attic’ (ITV) and ‘Live the Dream: As Seen on Screen’ (ITV), whilst he is the studio genealogist for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Tracing Your Roots’.
Nick has assembled a team of specialist researchers and historians to work with him at SRA, many of whom will be writing for this magazine and answering your questions. His own area of specialist knowledge covers the twelfth century to contemporary history, incorporating local, social and property history as well as genealogy. SRA has conducted all the genealogy for the first 4 series of Who Do You Think You Are and contributed material for series 5 and 6, whilst running the genealogy for the two Irish series as well as other overseas versions of the show, such as Australia and South Africa.
Laura Berry is Editor of Your Family History.
Laura has worked as a professional archive researcher for five years and been involved in numerous history programmes, articles and books, not least to mention her role co-ordinating the genealogical teams for ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ in the UK and Ireland. She studied History at Royal Holloway University of London and was trained in genealogy by Dr Nick Barratt who recruited her as a researcher for Sticks Research Agency in 2005.read more »
Since then she’s worked as an archive researcher for various television series, starting out tracing the service records and descendents of WWI soldiers for the Channel 4 series ‘Not Forgotten’, and providing archive research for ‘History Mysteries’ (BBC2), ‘Family Ties’ (BBC4), ‘So You Think You're Royal?’ (Sky), ‘Tracing Your Roots’ (Radio 4), and numerous national newspaper and magazine articles. In 2006 she was asked to co-ordinate the genealogical team for the fourth ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ series (BBC1), and went on to do the same for the second Irish series broadcast on RTE 1.
Laura has contributed to several publications, including ‘The Who Do You Think You Are? Encyclopedia of Genealogy’ (2008), Reader's Digest’s ‘How To Trace Your Family History on the Internet’ (2008), and Nick Barratt’s ‘Lost Voices From the Titanic’ (2009). She works with the Archival Research Techniques & Skills Scheme introducing History MA and PhD students to the sources available at The National Archives. More recently she’s focused on local history and specialised in property research for the private market, as well as working on The History Channel’s ‘Hidden House History’ series and ‘Nick Knowles’ Original Features’ by BBC UKTV.
Laura is now the Editor of Your Family History magazine and looks forward to hearing your questions and suggestions!
Jill Morris is Assistant Editor of Your Family History.
Having worked in publishing as a book editor and editorial manager for over ten years, specializing in religion and history,
Jill has also worked as a teacher, bookshop manager, book reviewer and in literature development.
“I’m very much looking forward to being part of this exciting new venture with the fantastic team that has been assembled.”
Dr Julia Hofmann – Your Family History Irish Records Expert.
Julia is YFH’S Irish Records expert, holding degrees from University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. While her initial specialism was 6th- and 7th-century France, she now focuses on Irish history from c1603.
Julia was the principal archive researcher for the second Irish series of Who Do You Think You Are?read more »
‘Family history has always fascinated me, partly because my own is full of unexpected skeletons in the proverbial cupboard. Mostly, though, it’s a way of getting up close and personal with the past: it’s much more real and much closer to home than general historical research. It is amazing how well you can come to know people even from civil records – people whose lives would ordinarily have fallen below the historical radar, but who battled through hardship and heartache, and are still there on the page. Irish records are less plentiful than those of other countries – the 19th-century census returns, for example, were pulped by the government during the First World War, and a lot of documents were destroyed during the Civil War – but those that survive give an incredible sense of what life was like in Ireland a century and more ago.’
Dr Jessica Lutkin – Your Family History Medieval Expert.
Jessica is our Medieval Expert and is here to help you work back far beyond those civil registration indexes. ‘My history background has been entirely academic, and always with a focus on the late middle ages. I was awarded a PhD in history in 2008 from Royal Holloway, University of London, specializing in the 14th and 15th centuries.’read more »
‘A major part of my research has been biographical – who people were, what they did and why they did it.’ Over the past few years I’ve been cataloguing a series of documents (WARD 2) at The National Archives, which are deeds and evidences relating to specific families and places in England and Wales, ranging from the 13th to 17th centuries. As well as a number of other research projects, I am also an associate lecturer in the history department at the University of Winchester.’
Chris Pomery has pioneered the uses of DNA testing to verify traditional documentary family history research and leads one of the largest and most complete surname reconstruction projects in the world. He writes for many family history publications, is the only UK based writer appearing on Dick Eastman’s genealogy blog (blog.eogn.com), and acts as a consultant for Family Tree DNA, the largest DNA testing company serving the global genealogical community. He’s a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies, the Society of Genealogists and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. He has published two books on the topic of DNA and family history with The National Archives.
Amber Strang graduated with an MA in French and German from the University of St Andrews but it was her long-standing interest in genealogy that influenced her decision to pursue a career in this field.
Amber joined Sticks Research Agency’s team a year ago, bringing nine years commercial experience in probate genealogy as well as a decade of personal and professional experience in general family history.
Dave Annal has been involved in the world of family history research for over 30 years, working at the Family Records Centre and The National Archives for 11 years, where he was the Principal Family History Specialist. He now runs a professional research business.read more »
‘I first developed an interest in family history when Uncle Tom came to stay with my family in the late 1970s. I was aware that he was related to my Granny but I had no idea how. When I asked him he kindly helped me to draw up a tree illustrating the precise relationship (he was my Granny’s first cousin), and although I didn’t know it at the time, that seemingly insignificant incident was to set the ball rolling on what has become for me a hobby, a career, and most of all an obsession. In 1990 I started Lifelines Research and over the next eight years I worked as a professional family historian and record agent. In 1998 I put Lifelines on hold when I took up a post working for the Public Record Office at the Family Records Centre.
‘In 2003 I wrote my first book, The Family Records Centre Guide to Family History: The Basics and Beyond, and was subsequently asked to write the second editions of several of the Public Record Office’s Pocket Guides. In 2005 The National Archives published my best-selling introductory guide to family history, Easy Family History. My latest book, co-authored by Peter Christian, is Census: The Expert Guide (2008). I give regular talks on all the basic aspects of family history research as well as more advanced subjects such as death duty records, nonconformist registers and problem solving for family historians.’