Category Archives: General

john doe logo for Locate My

Map Surnames with Locate My Name Website

john doe logo for Locate My

Locate My Name is a website that can give you a bunch of genealogical statistics about your first or last name. The site purports to offer first name information only as a curiosity and not for any professional purposes.

The surname search feature, however, can be used by historians to find valuable data about how peoples migrated from one area to another and where they settled.

A simple search option allows you to choose which country’s data you want to see, and clicking on your desired country leads to a new page containing a treasure trove of data.

The website allows you to see the recorded and estimated occurrences of your surname in your selected countries, a few other countries, and in the entire world. The site also gives etymological information for certain surnames.

When searching in a country, the tool will allow you to see in which parts of the country the name is most prevalent in.

Further still, the site gives you a list of Internet domain names which seem connected to the surname you searched for and another list for sub-domains and blogs. The last bit of information you’ll get is a list of first names that are commonly paired with your surname.

An interesting genealogical fact is that lots of families remain in the same area for generations, which means that surnames often have regional connotations. Of course, some surnames e.g. Brown or Smith are more common and are spread out more evenly than others, but such names are the exception rather than the norm.

Surnames that are imported into countries are usually clustered in port cities or huge metropolises. Where they appear in rural areas, they show that immigrants settled in particular villages.

The site also has translated sections in several other languages such as French, Italian, and many others.

So if you’ve been wondering where your ancestors originated from, give  Locate My Name a whirl, and you’ll gain a ton of information!

Do you hate salesmen?


Do you get annoyed with door-to-door salesmen?  Or cold-callers?  We have a particularly pesky one at the moment who insists on keep ringing us and giving us the silent treatment.  We know who they are and loads of other people have problems with them too, if the online posts we found are anything to go by.  It’s even the same now when you open up your emails isn’t it?  Seems everyone is trying to sell you something.  I don’t mind people who add their link into their email, you can make your own mind up then but when the copy is all about sell, sell, sell and them, them, them, it makes my blood boil.

I want to run a company that has a bit more street cred than that.  That’s why I like to ASK people what they want, what they are struggling with and how I can help them.  And that’s why I’m writing this week to ask you if you’d answer a few questions for me so that I can a) help you by knowing what you’re struggling with b) only be sending you information that you are interested in.

Our survey only takes a few minutes to complete, really easy questions and next week, I’ll announce the winner of completely free access to the whole of our “Creating Your Legacy” course.  A whole five week’s worth of training covering research, recording, preserving and presenting your family history.

Here’s the link

Thanks very much.

Let’s hope next week is better as this week I’ve been struggling with a nasty little virus that I’ve now managed to rid myself of (well, my computer I should say, not me personally).  Must have downloaded something that then set up an exclusion for a foreign ip address that was somehow sending me plugin disablers so that my office suite wouldn’t work, my internet wouldn’t load.  Glad I have a super awesome techy son who spotted it for me after our computer man sent it back scratching his head, knowing there was something wrong but not knowing what.

Anyone know of any techy jobs going as he’s currently on the lookout for one?  I’m serious!  Last Friday was his birthday and we all went out to see him handling owls, one of his major loves in life.  He really likes wildlife and birds of prey.  It was a bit of a drive over to the animal sanctuary but the weather held out for us and we managed to get some pictures and video of him flying a barn owl, his second favourite and a hawk, as well handling an eight-week old Bengal owl, I think it was.  I’ll try and sort out the pictures but with the computer being flakey all week, I haven’t had much chance.  Add it to my ever-growing list of “what mum’s do”.

Have a super awesome week and keep finding just a little bit of time each week to do your family tree, it really helps rather than leaving it and having a mega fest every so often.  I think it’s called Binge FTing – lol, bit like Facebook for family tree – LOL.

Till next week; don’t forget that survey, here’s the link again

with your chance to win a spot on our “Creating Your Legacy” course for free.

If you don’t win and you’re interested in finding out how to organise and manage your family tree paperwork and memoribilia and create something that will be treasured and passed down through the generations, then check out our the first module of our course HERE.  That module is free, but if you want to take a look over what you get for the whole course, check it out HERE.  It’s brand new, so I’m very open to constructive criticism.


Yvonne Richards holding John Allan's Freedom of the City of London

Did I steal this? Should I give it back?

Yvonne Richards holding John Allan's Freedom of the City of London

Yvonne Richards holding John Allan’s Freedom of the City of London

Did I steal this? Should I give it back?

Over 25 years ago, my husband and myself were avid antique collectors, we already had an impressive collection of coins and stamps and other bits of memoribilia, mainly family tree that had picqued our interest in all things old. We didn’t have children, seemingly had no intention of having any and were happy working and living our own lives. We regularly attended antiques fairs and began collecting pearl handled cutlery, Mah Jong tiles, land deeds and wooden items, which we both loved. On one such occasion at an antique fair in Stafford, we spotted a beautiful picture frame. We both spotted it at the same time, and both fell in love with it, the added bonus was what it contained.

The Freedom of the City of London, granted to one John Allan, a Spectacle maker in 1898.

This ticked both boxes for us, history and wood and the deal was done. The said picture was brought home and has sat on the same bit of wall on our hall, stairs and landing since then and has been lovingly dusted each week.

Recently, however, we felt the need to re-organise and re-structure all of the family memorabilia that we had and to clean our existing RootsMagic databases. During that process, we have wished many times that relatives had not given things away or sold them or even dumped them in skips or landfills.

And so, our attention turned to our Spectacle maker and his Freedom of the City.

“Many people assume that the Freedom of the City of London is purely an honorary award, presented only to the great and the good, or for particular bravery, for example. However, this is true of only a very small number of City Freemen. The Honorary Freedom of the City of London is indeed the highest honour that the City can bestow, but it is granted very rarely. The vast majority of City Freemen were, and are, admitted by other means, and represent a very broad cross-section of the population. Over the last 300 years, about 300,000 ordinary people have been made Free of the City of London. Even today, many men and women continue to be admitted to the City Freedom, although most of the privileges and practical reasons for doing so have now disappeared.Before the mid-19th century, the Freedom of the City of London was a practical necessity for those who plied a trade or made their living in the City of London. Indeed, certain groups of people were compelled, on pain of prosecution, to be Free of the City, including:” To read the rest of this article, originally published by London Metropolitan Archives go HERE

To put your mind at rest, no I didn’t actually steal it, I bought it quite legimately for about £30, if I recall. However, I feel like I’ve stolen a piece of this family’s history. Both of us were astonished that a family could actually put this on the market for sale, but then you never know people’s circumstances. Still, we would ultimately like it to be returned to its rightful family. We have done some research on it so we have a fair idea of its provenance but are drawing a blank on finding a family connection on Ancestry as none of the family names seem to tie up.

So we are appealing to the social media network and hoping that this post will go viral in the hopes that we will be able to reunite such a fabulous piece of family history with John Allan’s rightful descendents. There is no doubt that we should give it back, though it will be with a very heavy heart and its long-held place on our wall will never be quite the same without it. Suffice to say, that should we not find its rightful owner, we will continue to keep it as safe as anyone can keep their possessions in this day and age until such time as it can hang on the wall of his proud family once more.


Transcript: John Allan, Citizen and Spectacle Maker of London was admitted into the Freedom aforesaid and made the Declaration required by Law in the Mayoralty of Sir John Voce Moore, Mayor and Sir William James Richmond Cotton, Knt Chamberlain and is entered in the book signed with the Letter K1 relating to the Purchasing of Freedoms and the Admission of Freedom (to wit) the 22nd Day of December in the 62nd Year of the reign of Queen VICTORIA and in the Year of our Lord 1898. In Witness whereof the Seal of the Office of Chamberlain of the said City is hereunto affixed. Dated in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the same City the day and Year abovesaid.

What do you think?  Should I be trying to reunite this with its rightful owners or am I just wasting my time?  The family sold it once, do they really want it back?  Let me know what you think on our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter HERE.






Getting the family under control…

Do you have a handle on where every piece of paper is that belongs to your family?

After 40+ years of digging and delving into my ancestral line, my paperwork was in complete and utter disarray.  I have used a software program, RootsMagic for over 10 years and not even that was cleaned and cited correctly.  I was drowning in a sea of papers, not to mention a plethora of old photographs and memorabilia and I could weep at the 20+ years-worth of photographs and video clips that were neither catergorised or filed, just copied into numerous locations so that we eventually ended up with four copies of most things we owned.

Does this sound like you?

Twelve months ago, I made myself a promise, that I would not renew my Ancestry subscription until I had cleaned my RootsMagic database and my paperwork and memorabilia had been subjected to a radical overhaul.  I still don’t have that subscription, I make myself visit the local Archives and use their subscription purely and simply because it focuses me on simply getting the citations I need for the information I already hold.

How did I get in this mess?  Easy, I never did it properly in the first place.

Now, I have a super-duper new filing system where every generational family have their own file, it’s colour-coded and so simple to use.  It instantly highlights the important citable documents that I am missing, such as birth, marriage and death certificates and instantly provides me with copies of the census pertaining to the family’s residences.

Within the famiy files are separate pockets for each family member where I can add their certificates, if I have them, and easily keep all of my working papers for them together.  I could even extend the system to include an inventory of that person’s photographs or memorabilia if I decide to.

You can create a colour-coded filing system too in eight easy steps.

 Slide38  Slide39


Want a step-b-step video of how to do this, head over and watch the first Module of our Creating Your Legacy course for free.

What’s your biggest challenge in taming your family tree?  Let us know in the comments.

Here’s this week’s Tweetable:


Remembering Lilian Bowen


This happy family shot was taken on the 11th September, 1943 but the bridesmaid just to the right of the bride, her sister, Lilian Bowen was just 23 in this picture.

Today, she would have celebrated her 95th birthday.  A stroke marred her later years in life and whilst I only personally met her once, she struck me as a very kind and caring and funny lady.  She reminded me very much of my own mum.  She was down-to-earth and would help anyone.  So let’s raise a glass to Lil today.

Happy Birthday, Auntie Lil, may your day be filled with love, laughter and happiness as all your days were to those who knew you when you were alive.

Happy 95th!!

Do you have any photographs and memoribilia of your family?  If so, share them with us on our Facebook page HERE and if you want to preserve the photographs and memoribilia of those you care for (and cared for) then take a look at our Creating Your Legacy course where you can watch the first module for free.

Or take a look around our Youtube Channel at our Memory Box Videos that share stories of my family, but also give you hints and tips on how to care for your memoribilia.

Oral Histories…

Learn how to take an oral history.  Record the memories of your living relatives to pass down the generations.

Are you a jumbled genealogist?

Need more structure in your paperwork?

Never have time to do more than record what you’ve found?

Let us help you overcome the jumble of paperwork and memoribilia that you have.

Let us help you create a system whereby everything is at your fingertips and you, and more importantly, other members of your family, will know EXACTLY what everything is, the significance of it, who it belonged to and who they were.

Sound good?

Head over to our Creating Your Legacy Training Course at KajabiNext and watch the first module for FREE.


What Every Grandparent Needs to Know….

What every grandparent needs to know….about passing on their family tree.

You’re going to discover 5 easy ways to engage and inspire your grandchildren to be more interested in family stories that will hopefully lead to them being more open to the idea of eventually becoming a genealogist, or at least looking after what you have spent so much time lovingly crafting – your heritage.

How do you think you’d feel if you saw your descendents eventually throwing all of your hard-fought family tree research on the skip? Think it won’t happen? Go to any carboot sale or charity shop and you’ll see books with inscriptions in them dated back to the 1800’s. Go to any antique fair and you’ll find war medals with inscriptions on sale. One dealer I spoke to said he buys them up just so they won’t be melted down!

How sad is that?

But the truth of the matter is we don’t have space to keep these things right now.

But we need to hold space for those things because they are so important to us, they connect us to where we came from and maybe even where we’re going. The only way to guarantee that won’t happen is to engage and inspire your descendents with the stories and the emotions behind the memorabilia and then the paperwork sort of becomes a necessity, a bit like a provenance.

Are our children really interested in family? I firmly believe they are, nowadays children are far more connected via social media to their friends and family than ever before. And in this increasingly disconnected world we live in, there has never been a better time to nurture those family connections than right now.

But how to do it? Or even, more to the point, can I do it?

Yes, yes, and yes again, you absolutely can.

Whether you live around the corner or in different continents, you can absolutely keep in touch with your grandchildren and pass on family stories to them and it should be a priority to do so, which I’m sure it is.

Assuming you have a great relationship with mom and dad, you can work together to plan how you manage this whether local or long-distance. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the five how to’s.

  1. Skype each other. It’s free and you can even record the conversations. Set aside a time each week, or more frequently if desired, to talk to your grandchildren. You can even make it a celebration sometimes, perhaps you can celebrate a birthday online. Skype is such a fantastic tool for bringing people together. I couldn’t live without it, knowing that at any time I can speak to my son at university is absolutely brilliant.
  2. Set up a memory box. You can either do this online or physically. Get them to send photographs and scans of the pictures they draw so you can keep them, or maybe even scrapbook them and send that through the post or hand it to them when you or they visit. What a fabulous birthday present to get presented with a scrapbook of the previous 12 months of your life?
  3. Get involved. Are they currently involved in a history project at school? Can you contribute anything to that? Perhaps you could hook them up with an older relative for them to interview them about their experiences? Do they have themed book days at school, like Victorian Days. You could maybe find some pictures of your ancestors to give them some ideas about what kind of dress to wear for the day.
  4. Interview them. Yes, interview THEM. Make them feel important, they love to feel that their voice is being heard, get them to a do a scrapbook or journal of their life.
  5. Create a family cookbook. This is something that can be achieved physically or online. Gather recipes together and make sure you tell them that this one is Auntie May’s Magical Mince Pies or Grandma’s Gorgeous Granola (give recipes interesting names). Again you could print this out and send it off in the post, but both of you can print it out at home.

 So it’s not soo difficult to keep your grandchildren interested and engaged in family matters. Make it fun and be enthusiastic and they’ll come back for more.

Don’t make the mistake of ramming family tree connections down their throats, they won’t thank you for it and it will turn them off. Just gently ease them along getting them more and more interested in what’s happening in their own lives and it will create a sense of belonging and closeness that money just can’t buy.

What price for not having your stuff thrown on the tip or end up at the charity shop or carboot sale?

Only you know the answer to that.





Is Your Family Tree really a Magic Porridge Pot?

Are you drowning under a sea of birth certificates, bits of research, photographs, memorabilia, war records, the list goes on and on. If you’ve been a genealogist for any length of time, you have probably amassed a huge amount of data and paperwork. Would you like to turn that around and be the proud owner of a shiny new organised system? Here are four easy ways to start that process tonight but first; how do I know anything about organising your family tree?

Well, I’ve been researching my family tree for over 40 years and together with a husband who also researches his tree, our genealogy records have grown and grown and grown, a bit like the Magic Porridge Pot. Both of us have researched both sides of our families and so we have a potential 32 slots to fill with stuff, and boy are we making a good fist of it. The stuff that is. We were completely and utterly overwhelmed by it all. We organised it into boxes, of a kind, but even that didn’t go the full way to having anything like I would personally call an organised system. And having been a Personal Assistant and spent my days organising others, that really irked me. The PA in me couldn’t do it for myself!

I knew I had to do something. Hubby was way too busy to organise his paperwork, which left me to organise both families. So I decided to use the principle of just finding a few easy ways to begin the process. I began by going back to basics. Did I have everything in the same place? And if I didn’t, why not? Was everything segregated, digitised and recorded? The answer was a resounding no to all of those questions. Not everything was in the same place. With good reason, I hasten to add though. I kept all my books downstairs because there were only a few of them and to be fair, they were listed on an app I use on my phone so I did know where they were. The rest of the paperwork was upstairs in the office. And yes, I know, it’s a converted loft and I shouldn’t be storing things in a place where the temperature fluctuates, but to be fair, most rooms in our 1930’s semi fluctuate in terms of temperature. And some things were segregated, digitised and recorded but not all. So, to say I was fragmented was an understatement.

So here’s what I did about it and how you can easily do this too.

Make sure you bring everything together in one place, even if it is for different families or different branches of different families. To the best of your ability, just put it all in the same place physically and if you can’t – like I couldn’t with my books, keep a note of where things are. Use an inventory app such as InventoryDroid for Android – excellent and best one I’ve found.

Segregate everything into families with the exception of photographs, but organise papers and memorabilia into family piles.

Photograph, digitise and record every piece of memorabilia, each heirloom, all your priceless photographs and keep those records in your paper filing system.

  1. Bring everything together in one place
  2. Organise and segregate information into families, except photographs
  3. Photograph everything you own and make digital copies of papers and photographs
  4. Record where all your information is stored and who it belongs to

Finally, you can begin to really get your mind clear on what you have and know where everything is instead of stumbling around in the dark just adding more and more research to an ever-burgeoning pile. Wouldn’t that feel good? And if you want to take your organisation to the next level, be sure to check out our courses here at PerpatuaTree, where we teach you how to organise, preserve and protect your family documents and how to pass them on to your family.

Will you be able to finally tame your porridge pot, finally get to the bottom of it, scrape it clean and wash it up? Start today and make a pact with yourself to dedicate just 60 minutes of your day, each day for a month, to organising your family tree. Let me know how you are getting on and if you have any comments on questions on this post, be sure to post them below.


Preserve your mementos – let us show you how in our easy-to-follow course.

Are you a jumbled genealogist?

Need more structure in your paperwork?

Never have time to do more than record what you’ve found?

Let us help you overcome the jumble of paperwork and memoribilia that you have.

Let us help you create a system whereby everything is at your fingertips and you, and more importantly, other members of your family, will know EXACTLY what everything is, the significance of it, who it belonged to and who they were.

Sound good?  If so, head over to our Creating Your Legacy Training Course at KajabiNext and watch the first module for FREE.