Other Articles

In this section of the website you will find articles that have been written by me for publication in various family and local history journals and magazines. In reading them, please bear in mind that the information included was believed by me to be correct at the time they were written, but some of it may have subsequently been found to need re-evaluation.

You can look at the articles by clicking the links below, or by using the navigation panel on the left of the screen.

It was in 1986 that my mother and I started our family history research with our first visit to Haberdashers’ Hall. One result of the excitement we both felt on coming to terms with the Bankes Pedigree was an article – John Banks Trust – 1716, which was a joint effort on our part, and was published in the Summer 1987 edition of the North West Kent Family History Society Journal.

By 1992 my research had moved on quite a bit. I had obtained a copy of the Will of John Bankes, and felt that I had enough material to be able to write a second article. The result was the publication of a piece entitled John Banks’s Will in the Dec 1991/Jan 1992 edition of the North West Kent Family History Society Journal.

As our research progressed, its scope expanded to encompass not just our direct branch, but all the lines of descent from the half-brothers and sisters of John Bankes. Of particular interest to us was a Welsh line – descendants of Deborah Rand (c1722 – 1765) and John Price (c1720 – 1756), who married and settled at Llanfihangel Ystrad, Cardiganshire. In 1995 I wrote an article treating this line of research, entitled The Banks Legacy – A Matter of Trust. This was published in the August 1995 edition of the journal of the Dyfed Family History Society.

In 1997 I participated in a national research project organised by the Open University entitled The decline of infant mortality in England and Wales 1871-1948: a medical conundrum. My work on this project resulted in an academic thesis, and an article entitled Infant Mortality in South Shropshire, 1891-1902, which was published in 1998 in the journal of the South-West Shropshire Historical & Archaeological Society.

As we have accumulated more and more information about various lines of my ancestry, it has become possible to add a comparative dimension to our research. By comparing data relating to different ancestors, their lives and environments, one can hope to better understand their lives. My 1999 article – North and South – is a product of this type of research. It compares the lives of Thomas Hunt, Doctor of London with his contemporary – Thomas Culshaw, Wheelwright of Farington, Lancashire, and was published in the journal of the Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society in 1999.

Since 1999 many of the articles I have written have not treated my own research, but have been on more general subjects, and have been published in the journal of my local family history society – Shropshire FHS. The first of these, published in the March 2003 edition, was entitled Corporation of London Record Office, and outlined the services on offer at that fine repository. I have had occasion to use the resources of the CLRO on several occasions, and their staff have always come up trumps.

Experience has shown me the importance of baackground reading in our hobby, in order to place our ancestors in their context, and my article Enquire Within, published in September 2003, treated what I regard as a valuable source of information re my forebears of the late ninetenth and early twentieth centuries. If you have not looked at the annual publications entitled Enquire Within upon Everything I sincerely commend it to you.

I have made great use of the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674 to 1834 website in my research, and my article The Rev Robert Foulk(e)s is derived from this source. It tells an seventeenth century tale of murder involving a Shropshire vicar, and was published in the journal of the Shropshire Family History Society in June 2005.

My article on Nineteenth Century Local Directories was aimed at people who are fairly new to family history, and also to draw the attention of more experienced researchers to Leicester University’s excellent Historical Directories website. The article was published in the journal of the Shropshire Family History Society in December 2005.

The Shropshire Research Guide was published in 2007, and was the first article that I wrote for a commercial magazine. It was aimed at providing outline information about the history of the beautiful county in which I live, and some of the research facilities that may be of use to people with Shropshire ancestry.

The three most recent of my writings were all written for Family Tree Magazine. When Michael Armstrong started this magazine in the 1980s I was just starting out on my research. I believe Family Tree was the first regular commercial magazine to be produced for family historians, and I have retained a strong loyalty to this publication since then. Thus, I am delighted to be able to contribute occasional articles. The three contributions that are displayed on this website are:

Livery Companies. In this article I share some of the experience I have gained in researching the records of the London livery companies, citing examples from my research.

Understanding the Gazettes. In my research I have made significant use of the London Gazette, and when the Gazettes Online website came into being, this wonderful source became so much more accessible. This article gives a brief introduction to the London Gazette, the Edinburgh Gazette, and the Belfast Gazette, and also makes readers aware of their online availability.

In 2009 I wrote a third article for Family Tree Magazine, Life and Death in the 19th Century. This dealt with some of the very serious environmental and health issues that confronted our British forefathers, and some of the ways in which the quality of life of the ordinary man and woman was improved. I followed this up in 2010 with another article for the same magazine. The Dose Makes the Poison was drawn from our research into the Bankes Pedigree. It dealt with the death of a wealthy young lady in early Victorian times, and the medical and legal controversy that arose from it.

I hope you will all be able to find something of interest among these writings, and will enjoy reading them. It is my intention to add to this section of Geoffs Genealogy as time goes by.

  • This page was last updated on Wednesday December 1st, 2010.