Tag Archives: family

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 https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MY5JX9C

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.

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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: