Nick Thorne of The Nosey Genealogist | Featured Genealogy Expert of the Week

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Nick Thorne of The Nosey Genealogist | Featured Genealogy Expert of the Week

We’re starting a brand new Featured Genealogy Expert series on Family History Daily this week. For this series, we’ve asked a variety of family history experts to answer the same five questions so that we can all learn from their years of experience.

Each has provided helpful tips, a selection of favorite resources and more. We’ll be posting answers from one expert each week, so keep your eye out for some great upcoming information!

We’re beginning our expert features this week with answers from Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist, who specializes in research in the British Isles.

Many thanks to Nick for taking the time to share this information! Enjoy.

1. If you could share just one piece of advice with fellow family historians, what would it be?

Learn about the various smaller record sets and other resources in which your elusive ancestor may be found by reading around the subject, or by doing a course such as the one I compiled for Family History Researcher Academy on English family history.


2. What do you think is the biggest pitfall new family historians need to watch out for when conducting research?

Making the assumption that the person found in the records, who happens to have the correct name, is actually their ancestor and not someone that simply shares the same name.

3. Can you share three of your favorite family history research resources?

(i) – for British Census and birth marriages and death family history research

(ii) – local record offices and archives and

(iii) – English & Welsh Tithe Maps from The National Archives available on These records and accompanying maps were created in a period from 1837 to the early 1850s as a result of one of the largest surveys into the usage, ownership and occupation of land in England and Wales since the Domesday book.

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4. Aside from research resources, what’s the most important tool that you use as a genealogist?

The brain, to think about what you have found and be aware of inconsistencies that point to it being the wrong person you have unearthed in the records. Also intelligent research requires lateral thinking to consider collateral lines and other documents that may unearth that elusive ancestor.

5. Please tell us about your most exciting personal family history discovery.

When I was starting out and had no idea about any of my ancestors, to discover that before 1630 one line of my family descended from Lords and Ladies who lived in various castles that could still be visited today.

Find more from Nick Thorne on his blog Help Me With My Family Tree or on Facebook.

Image: “Preparation for point rationing.” Washington D.C. 1943. Library of Congress

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  • olive donovan
    June 16, 2015 at 4:48 am

    How do I find a Greatgrandmother – I know she was born in Wicklow, but not the townland. Cant find her birth as it was approx. 1862 prior to the Irish record keeping of 1865. Have her marriage cert but does not list her parents address. Have her burial details but cant find the birth. Any suggestions please. Thank you.

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