Sunday, 23 December 2012

Family Tree News 23 December 2012

Was able to update the Dictionary of Old Occupations this week. I would like to thank Richard for getting in touch regarding the occupation of Drowner, which has been added along to the site along with a lengthier definition for Water Meadow Drowner.

Also, David C provided some useful information about the occupation Oliver Smith, a definition of which has now been added to the site. Many thanks to both Richard and David for contacting me and sharing useful information with us genealogy enthusiasts.

Christmas is practically upon us as I write, and I would like to send my best wishes to all my customers. It has been a pleasure to work with you all during 2012 and I look forward to continued family tree research projects in the new year.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Family Tree News 08 December 2012

In the news this week an interactive map is available both online and as an app. The map shows the locations of German bombs dropped on London during The Blitz. From an educational perspective this is a valuable resource. It is startling to see how densely bombs fell upon individual streets and homes. It highlights what a miracle it is that the city survived.

You can access the site here. There is also a BBC news article on the subject available here.

If you are interested in the WW2 Blitz I have lots of information about it on my own family researcher website.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Family Tree News 01 December 2012

Attention family tree researchers! The December 2012 issue of the Coventry Family History Society Journal is out now – Volume 9, number 4. Some really interesting local and family history in there this quarter, such as a great article about City College Coventry, the Freemen's Guild and some memories of the local library service in the sixties. Oh, and how lovely to see one of my winter photos adorning the cover of this issue!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Family Tree News 18 November 2012

Was able to add research findings into the deaths of a further six people sadly killed in the WW2 Coventry Blitz. You can find their details on the Coventry Blitz Resource Centre. The names of the people added are:
  • Herbert George Harrison
  • Lydia Ann Harrison nee Checklin
  • Emily Harritt nee Meakin
  • Cyril Herbert Glenister Hartup
  • Daniel Harvey
  • George Leonard Harvey

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Family Tree News 10 November 2012

I have not had much opportunity to update the website over the last month or so because I am working hard on assorted family tree projects for Christmas. I did find time for a short update this week though. With thanks to Gerry H for getting in touch ref his grandfather's occupation, I have added a short definition for Blast Furnace Slagger to the Dictionary of Old Occupations.

I had an enquiry from Anna M regarding her great great grandfather's occupation of Rubber Spreader, dating back to the last quarter of the 19th century / first quarter 20th century and possibly linked to India. If you have any useful information related to this old occupation it would be great if you could get in touch, and I'll pass it back to Anna.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Family Tree News 14 October 2012

This week I found time to research a couple more victims of the Coventry Blitz – two members of the Bradnick family - and added their details to the Blitz Resource Centre.

Christmas is on the horizon once again. Doesn't it come around quickly! I have taken a lot of orders from people commissioning family tree research projects to complete for Christmas which will become Christmas gifts for loved ones. Sadly, this means I am now fully booked with regards to large projects with a Christmas deadline.

However, if you are interested in commissioning a family tree project as a Christmas present for someone in your family then why not consider purchasing one of my family tree gift certificates ? It means you can give the certificate to the lucky recipient on Christmas Day, and I can work on their family tree either with them or with yourself in the New Year. Contact me for further details.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Family Tree News 30 September 2012

On Friday, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio station did a piece on tracing your family tree. They featured a mixture of people about to begin researching their ancestors and some who had been doing it for a while. I joined in briefly with the broadcast too, as an advisor.

If you are about to get started on your family tree, you can find more tips on my website at

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Family Tree News 09 September 2012

Alan B contacted me this week with a helpful suggestion to add the tasteful old occupation of Coprolite Digger to the Dictionary of Old Occupations. I was able to add a lengthy definition to the dictionary. Many thanks to Alan for getting in touch.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Family Tree News 02 September 2012

Thanks to Sue WM for getting in touch regarding two 1851 census occupations not listed on my site. I have added a definition for Marine Rope Dealer.

Am currently seeking info for Sue regarding the occupation of 'Grocer Biscuit Agent'. Please drop me a line via my contact form if you have any helpful info about this occupation.

With thanks to Terry who got in touch in August I have now added Pike Helve Maker, Spade Tree Turner and Spade Tree Maker to the Dictionary of Old Occupations.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Family Tree News 30 August 2012

Braved the torrential rain this week to visit Birmingham. Have begun the initial research work in my spare time which may lead to me producing a new free online resource regarding the WW2 blitz on Birmingham. It feels natural to expand my site about the Coventry Blitz to include neighbouring Birmingham.

This local history research project is another big commitment and will take some time to bring to fruition. You may want to check back over the coming weeks and months if you are researching ancestors from the Birmingham area or are interested in second world war history.

Sadly the downpour made taking good quality outdoor pictures nigh on impossible, hope to fare better on the next research trip!

All the best
Jane Hewitt

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Family Tree News 09 August 2012

Did you know you can get my Dictionary of Old Occupations in the US as well as in the UK? If you are in the US it is available in Kindle format as well as other formats.

I have been helping some reviewers set up a new music related website which launched a couple of days ago. If you fancy a break from genealogy then head on over to their all-new Rock Hard Reviews website for an interesting read. I see they have been kind enough to acknowledge my help on the site - thanks guys!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Family Tree News 02 August 2012

Finally managed to make the time to update the Coventry Blitz Resource Centre with new information:
Very special thanks to Anita for sending me such lovely flowers. It has been fantastic to have been doing research work for you for so long, and it does feel a bit sad to have finally reached the end. It has been thoroughly worthwhile, even if I will miss it!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Family Tree News 01 July 2012

I was able to add another couple of old census occupations to my online dictionary today. Thanks to Verity H for the information kindly provided about her ancestor's occupation listed as Bone Cutter in the census, and Ian P for getting in touch regarding Colliery Hangers.

Also spotted a line about my website in the June 28th newsletter from Cyndi's List. Not sure who submitted my Dictionary to their general resources page for occupations - I didn't - but it's lovely to see it deemed worthy of inclusion.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Family Tree News 24 June 2012

Wish I had spotted it in time! Sadly I missed out on the opportunity to attend "The Great British Story – Ancestors in the Archives" at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum yesterday. Sounds like there was a lot going on and I would have loved to have been there, but I didn't see any publicity for the event until too late. On the plus side, I managed to put in about 10 hours of family tree research yesterday so it was still a productive day!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Family Tree News 6 June 2012

Looks like the June edition of the Coventry Family History Society Journal will be out soon. You can read highlights of the contents by looking at the official website. I had a sneak peak at the cover today, and am delighted to recognise the cover photo on the June edition of the Journal – it's one I donated showing the Cook Street gate, part of the old Coventry City Wall.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Family Tree News 26 May 2012

Coventry Cathedral was in the news this week. It's been fifty years since the consecration of the new cathedral built following the blitz. Terrific to see the Archbishop of Canterbury and Princess Anne attending to celebrate the cathedrals golden jubilee. Brilliant that local schoolchildren got involved too. Click here for more info.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Family Tree News 12 May 2012

A couple of readers got in touch this week with queries about old census occupations they found. I was able to add definitions for closely related jobs to my Dictionary of Old Occupations: Composition Frame Carver and Dressing Case Maker.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Family Tree News 6 May 2012

I realised that it has been a long time since I updated my family tree testimonials page. Over the years I have received such nice feedback from so many people regarding my genealogy research that it makes my work feel very rewarding. I have collated a selection of comments and feedback from customers and added them to the testimonials page.

To all the customers who have taken the time to write to me saying such nice things – thank you all so much! Researching family trees for you has given me a lot of satisfaction over the years and I really appreciate your positive feedback.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Family Tree News 12 April 2012

Special thanks to Darren Bird for his support and donation, which enabled me to research the following names: Harold Cain, Desmond Callaghan, Lucy Callagher, Thomas Camp, Ethel Campbell nee Eaton, and Kenneth Campbell. You can find their details published on the Coventry Blitz Resource Centre pages on

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Family Tree News 01 April 2012

Demand for new family tree research projects has been very high over the last couple of weeks. Apologies to anyone I could not fit in straight away, I am currently working hard on several research projects and hope to catch up with demand soon.

I see London Road Cemetery has been in the news again this week. Following on from concerns about the way the communal grave had been tarmaced over a little while ago, which some people said made the area resemble a car park, the latest news story was about the digging up of pathways / roadways in order to squeeze in more graves. It seems that the council fenced off six ancient routes and got as far as digging up one route which dates back to 1837.

Glad to hear that the destructive work in this Victorian Cemetery has stopped now following a petition handed in by the Friends of London Road Cemetery. Councillor Foster was quoted expressing concern that families with loved ones buried at the cemetery (such as myself and my husband!) did not know anything about this issue until metal fences were put up. I think it would be good to see the Council working more closely with the Friends group in future.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Family Tree News 11 March 2012

The latest Coventry Family History Society journal will be out any day now, you can see some of the highlights on

Thanks this week to Peter S for getting in touch regarding the old occupation of Sawer, which has now been added to my website.

Malcolm C is asking for information about the following census occupations: Keu, Shambler, Tignar Impostor, Bersar, and Mueman. If you have come across anything useful regarding these occupational titles then please get in touch and I will feed back to Malcolm. Bersar may be a spelling variation of Bursar.

Julie G-F is looking for information related to the old occupation Silks Man, which she found in the 1841 Ayrshire census. She believes it to be related to flour mills in Liverpool around that time, and is looking for info about her ancestor's occupation and about the locations of Liverpool flour mills in the 19th century. Again, if you can help then please get in touch with me via my family tree contact form and I will feed back to Julie, as well as adding anything useful to the website to help fellow family tree enthusiasts.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Family Tree News 04 March

February was a busy month researching family trees, and March looks set to be the same. I have been ordering lots of certificates, so no doubt will be receiving a mound of old records through the post soon!

Thanks this week to Abby for donating a family photo and sending me details of her relatives who lost their lives in the Coventry Blitz. The photo and details for Margaret and Frederick Clare have been added to the Coventry Blitz Resource Centre.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Family Tree News 16 February 2012

Computers - who'd have them? Suffered from a bit of ICT pain over the last 10 days due to my computer failing to start. Turned out both motherboard and some of the memory had died after working perfectly for years. Still, back up and running now and grateful that (a) didn't really lose any research time, and (b) my backup procedures all worked fine.
Have added a couple of Old Occupations to my site: Farm Grieve, which I came across on a census return recently, and Billy Spinner which was suggested to me by Angela N. Thanks for getting in touch Angela!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Family Tree News 22 January 2012

Thanks this week to Neil K for getting in touch regarding an old occupation called Bower of Cows. It has been added to the Dictionary of Old Occupations. If you have any evidence to share about this occupation in 19th century Scotland it would be great if you would get in touch with me.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Family Tree News 15 January 2012

I was contacted this week by a family member requesting details about her relatives from the Oldfield family who were killed during the air raids on Coventry during the WW2 Blitz years. I researched details of these five family members (Edward, George, Harriet, Louisa and Mabel Oldfield) free of charge, and also added it to the Coventry Blitz Resource Centre, which I have built up over several years.

It’s a great place to look if you are studying history or researching your family tree and had relatives living in the Coventry area during the 1940s.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Family Tree News 2 January 2012

2012 is here and I will be resuming research work tomorrow. The other day I was contacted by a chap who works freelance for the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are magazine. He asked me to write a few words for a feature he is working on, which I was happy to do. He said my website gets a mention in the article – what a lovely way to start the New Year!