This is where you can find free-standing articles. Some are published and some are university essays. There are links to them from relevant places.
James Byrne: the Blue Mountains Guide
In May 1813, Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson crossed the Blue Mountains with servants and dogs, guided by an emancipist whose name sounded like “James Byrne”. Who was he? See the Ancestry tree with full details. Or read my article:
Anthea Fraser Gupta, 2022,”James Byrne, the Blue Mountains Guide”, Traces 20, 36-38. (Read preprint copy and see the other suggestions made for who the guide was).
Stradishall to North Ormesby
Around 1870, the teenage George Bowyer left rural Stradishall in Suffolk, for industrial North Ormesby, in Yorkshire. Look at this graphic presentation to see what he thought of the two places. Or read this article about the many migrants from Stradishall to North Ormesby.
The “shameful” past
William Fraser did not pass on accurate stories about his origins to his descendants. Read this article to find out what he was ashamed of.
The wise choices of Hannah Napier
Hannah was born Hannah Napier, but by 1861 was using the surname Dryden. When she married Thomas Davies in 1862, she named her father as Thomas Dryden, schoolmaster. Read about the many changes in her long life.
A WWI soldier — of sorts
James Coates is my first cousin twice removed AND my second cousin twice removed. I don’t know of a single direct ancestors who served in the military. James signed up to fight in the First World War — three times. He also deserted three times and never left England. Read my fully references essay on him.
James and Albert: the reckoning
James William Shields is represented in my tree by an old whisky bottle. He was skilled at working with glass, but this story explains the main reason for my choice. It also explains why there seem to never have been any photographs of him.
A change of surname
Hugh Devine is a colourful character, who changed the family name to Shields in order to avoid justice. Family tradition is that he murdered someone. I was told he was born in Ireland, but in his census answers he says he was born in Scotland. Read about the evidence.
Class Mobility in Wombourne
All the Blewitts in the village of Wombourne, in Staffordshire, are descended from one couple: Thomas Blewitt and Mary Piggot, who married in 1740. Some of their descendants rose up the social ladder and others (including mine) didn’t. Read the article I published in in Wombourne History Group Newsletter in 2020.