Saturday, 30 June 2012

Family tree - Part 3 Parish registers

Parish registers are baptisms, marriages and burials these can be found via local
record offices, libraries, online and some churches still hold theirs. They can be a
great companion to certificates and before 1837 they are used instead of certificates.

Local register offices and libraries will probably only hold local records. Some do have
 holdings on microfiche/microfilm for other parishes, so please be aware of this before
 making a special journey. Contact each local record offices directly for information.
You will also need to contact the record offices to find out if they or the church hold
the records for the village/town or city you require. Libraries are great for local records
although check that they have the records on microfilm/microfiche that you require
 before attending.

Online parish registers are a bit hit and miss but they are growing everyday and should
always be backed up with seeing the original record. 

Online sources

Sussex OPC (FREE)
Devon OPC (FREE)
Cornwall OPC (FREE)
Somerset OPC (FREE)
Wiltshire OPC (FREE)
Hampshire OPC (FREE)
Dorset OPC (FREE)
Essex OPC (FREE)

Freereg (FREE)

WARNING there are many incorrect registers always check with the original record.

Find my past (Subscription or credits)
Ancestry (Subscription)
The Genealogist (Subscription)

To use Freereg to search for your ancestor type the forename, surname and/or year as 
highlighted, then choose up to 10 counties and press search.

There are quite a few records missing and coverage details can be found on the site.

To use Ancestry fill in as much or as little as you know, although the more you fill out the 
less matches you will receive. Please be aware of transcription errors so play around 
with the info you add ie changing spelling of surname/forename etc

As in all records apart from original records there is a margin of error so always check
 the original records where available.

Tomato ketchup cake

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Tomato ketchup cake
450g Plain flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1 1/2 Cinnamon
1 tsp Bicarb of soda
1/2 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
125ml Tomato ketchup
125ml Water
2 tbsp Red food colouring
175g Butter
350g Dark brown sugar
2 Eggs

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and bicarbonate
of soda. 

In a separate bowl add the ketchup, water and red food colouring and 
stir well.

Cream the butter and sugar until a creamy texture. In a bowl beat the eggs 
then add to the butter mixture. Add the flour and ketchup mixtures mixing
the mixture until it is well combined. 

Grease or line 2 9 inch round cake tins and divide the mixture evenly 
between them. Cook in 180c/Gas 4 oven for 30 mins.

Leave cakes for 10-15 mins before turning out on to cooling racks to
cool completely.

This may not sound appealing but it is a gorgeous cake.


80g Butter
50g Caster sugar
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
60g Golden syrup
2 Eggs
250g Plain flour
1tsp Ground ginger
1tsp Ground cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar until a creamy texture, add the bicarbonate of 
soda, golden syrup and eggs. Sift the flour, ginger and cinnamon then add
to the mixture and using your hands bring the mixture together with your 
hands to form a ball shape. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for
10 mins to firm up.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 cm thickness. 

Now taking a cookie cutter stamp out your biscuits and place on a lined baking tray.

Bake in the oven at 180c/Gas 4 for 10-12 mins.

Transfer onto a cooling rack to cool.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Lemon drizzle cake

Cake Ingredients
6 oz Butter
6 oz Caster sugar
3 Eggs
8 oz Self raising flour
Zest 1 Lemon
3 tbsp Lemon juice

Cream the butter and sugar until a creamy texture

Beat the eggs then add to butter mixture also add flour, zest and lemon juice.
Mix the batter well.

Pour mixture evenly into a greased or lined 1 kg loaf tin. cook on 180C/350F/ 
Gas 4 for 45-50 mins. 

Glaze Ingredients
3 tbsp Lemon juice
3 tbsp Golden syrup

place both ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat. when you 
take the cake out of the oven prick with a fork a few times and pour over the
glaze over the cake. Leave to stand for 7 mins

Remove cake from loaf tin and leave to cool. you can now decorate as you
choose I iced mine with simple icing sugar and water.

WARNING This is very yummy it won't be around for long.

French Fancies

12 oz Self raising flour
12 oz caster sugar
12 oz Butter
3 tsp Vanilla extract
6 Eggs

Cream the butter and sugar together until it's of a creamy texture.

Stir in 1 tbsp flour and 1 egg to the butter mixture until you have used
all of the eggs then add the remaining flour and vanilla extract and mix 

Grease a 25-cm X 35-cm baking tray or line with baking parchment. Pour
in the cake mixture spreading it so you have an even coverage in the tin.

Bake on 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 35-40 mins once cooked remove from 
the tray and place on a cooling rack to cool. Once cooled take a bread 
knife and cut into 35 squares.  

4 oz Butter (I use Trex)
8 oz Icing sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Cream the butter and icing sugar together well. Place in a piping bag and
pipe a small amount on the top of each cake.

Icing Ingredients
1 kg Icing sugar
100 ml Water
4 tbsp Sugar syrup
4 tbsp Liquid glucose
Food colouring as required

Mix all ingredients together until it is the consistency of stiff dough. At this 
point you can use three techniques to soften the dough: spoon it directly 
into a saucepan placed on a low heat; place the bowl over a saucepan of
water, simmering on a medium heat; or put the bowl in the microwave on 
a medium setting for one to two minutes. 

Separate the cakes on a cooling rack and spoon the icing over the top of 
the cakes letting it run down the sides. Re-heat the mixture as required.

Leave to cool if you can then enjoy eating them.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


 Here's a little something you may like to add to give your taste buds a little something
 to think about.

Sugar (sweetener) 
Mustard powder 
Chili powder 
Red and orange peppers 
Olive Oil.

             1) Finely dice the peppers.
             2) Take a saucepan and add a splash or two of olive oil and gently fry the
                 diced peppers.
             3) When the peppers have softened, and two tablespoons of vinegar, four- six
                  tablespoons of sugar a teaspoon of mustard powder and a teaspoon of Chili
                  powder. Stir together as cooking.
             4) Keep stirring and allow to simmer for five minutes. Taste and adjust the
                  ingredients to suit.
             5) Once cooked through, pour into a dish and allow to cool.

The end result should be a slightly chunky relish that is hot and sweet to the taste.
Works well with home made Lamb Burgers.


Here is an idea you may like to try out. It can be an alternative to the traditional fry -up 
for breakfast or as a brunch. It can be quite filling so those who have small appetites 
be warned!

 6 eggs
4 slices of bread (thick)
 six sausages (spicy)
Chilli flakes
black pepper
Olive Oil


                  1) Beat eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.
                  2) Cut bread into bite sized pieces and add to the beaten eggs.
                  3) Slice up the sausages and gently fry in Olive Oil. To this add a couple of pinches
                      of Chili  flakes (to say "How do you do" to your taste buds), salt, pepper. (allow
                      to carry on frying)
                  4) Slice mushrooms and add to the frying sausages.(until all ingredients in frying
                       pan are cooked)
                  5) Butter a large deep oven proof dish.
                  6) Now add the cooked ingredients to the soaking egg/bread mix and gently
                  7) Pour ingredients into the buttered dish.
                  8) Now place dish in the oven Gas mark 4 for approx 30-45 mins or until the meal is
                      firm to the touch.
                  9) Serve with a side order of your choice : beans, toms, chips or salad.
                 10) ENJOY.

The quantities for the ingredients will serve approx 4 people, so adjust  accordingly.
(remember you can add bacon to the mix as well if you so desire).

Monday, 25 June 2012

Family Tree – Part 2 BMD Indexes

I now have a small family tree. So how do I go further back?
How to use Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes.

1.       Verify the information you have is correct.
You can do this via the BMD Indexes it's a FREE website where volunteers have 
transcribed the indexes for you. Please be aware there are some records missing 
of which can be checked on the site.

You will know that your parents names are correct so start with your grandparents. 
To do this you need to search one parents name for example purposes we will work
 from your father.

1.       Search your father's name

2.       Note the maiden name of the mother on the indexes (only after 1911)

3.       Search a marriage of father surname and mothers maiden name

4. Verify the information on your paternal grandfather is correct

You can continue doing this to verify as many generations as you are aware of but once 
you get to a brick wall you then need to purchase certificates or find parish registers.

If the last person you know is your grandfather you will need to order the marriage as in 
picture 4 has details next to the name you will need these to order a copy from the 
GRO or you can purchase via the local register of where the marriage was registered.

You will see that it states the bride & groom their ages, residence, occupation. Father's 
name and occupation. Now that you have this information you can search for a marriage for
 his father as in picture 3 & 4. If he would have been born before 1911 you can search the
1911 census this will cost you but you can buy credits for Find my past or do a 28 day free 
trial on Ancestry.

To find the death for an ancestor search BMD Indexes 

You can now order certificates via the details next to the name as before.

Continue doing this until you get to 1911 or before. You can then use certificates in 
conjunction  with census records to really see your ancestors come to life.

To be continued 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Family Tree - Part 1 Getting started

Have you ever wanted to start your family tree but think it’s too difficult or it will cost too
much money well read on.

When starting you family tree the first thing you need to do is gather all the information 
you have on your family first., birth/marriage and death certificates, letters, cards, baby 
books, photos in short anything relating to your family you can find then starting with 
yourself map your family tree yourself, parents, their parents etc etc as far or as little 
as you can. It is now time to question your relatives make up some questions to ask 
so that you are prepared before hand, ie if you are questioning your parents you 
could ask:

                                         1.       Date of birth 
                                               2.       Place of birth
                                               3.       Their parents names with  step 1 & 2 for each
                                               4.       Their grandparents names with step 1 & 2 for each
                                               5.       Their siblings names with step 1 & 2 for each
                                               6.       Their parents siblings with step 1 & 2 for each
                                               7.       Their grandparents siblings  with step 1 & 2 for each
                                               8.       Are there any family tales or mysteries

These are just a few of the questions you could ask. Try to get the family together 
the older relations will have plenty of stories to tell and once they get together and 
are talking you will find out a lot more as they jog each other’s memories.

Family tree example

                             Arthur  Smith   =   Jean Willis              Henry Perry    =    Mary Jones                                
                              30/01/1917            06/8/1915               03/1/1912               12/11/21
                          Brighton, Sussex     Brighton, Sussex   Newhaven, Sussex     Falmer, Sussex

                                       James Smith                        =                    Anne Perry
                                        30/09/1937                                               25/3/1939                                                                                                                                                
                                Brighton, East Sussex                             Newhaven, East Sussex

John smith
 Derby, Derbyshire

You can then compile what you know of your family tree see example you can do
 this on paper or if you search the web you can find free programs which will map
 it for you.  To be continued  

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Good Food Show Summer at NEC Birmingham

We set off on the Saturday to stay in Holiday Inn, Redbridge, what a surprise when
we arrived all the staff were very welcoming and friendly and the room was
immaculate with a very comfy bed (always a must). We had dinner in the restaurant
at he hotel and the food was amazing. We then retired to our room of which had 2
double beds as we only took our youngest Charlie who is 9 he was very impressed
with having such a large bed all to himselfwhile Dylan our eldest who is 16 stayed
home to look after the chickens . We then sat down to watch sky TV for a while
before showers and bed. The next morning we were up early and went down for
breakfast at seven. It was a nice self service breakfast with a choice of cereals, toast,
pan o chocolat and a variety of hot and cold drinks to choose from. Just what we needed
to set us up for the long day ahead at the BBC Good Food Show Summer at the
 NEC, Birmingham.

We got to the show about half an hour before it opened and there were already crowds
of  people. We showed our tickets and as Kat has to use a wheelchair to get about 
 the officials at the show guided us to the front of the long line of people waiting to
get in to the show! Then to top it all the head of security allowed us to go into the show
with a head start of about one minute. There were variety of stalls with some missing
from last years show and some new stall holders . Charlie was in his element stopping
at nearly every stall to try something, he liked most of the foods/drinks he tried apart
from a hot sauce  (Can't imagine why he did not like it ha ha) and a bar called a 9 bar
and made no bones about telling the stall holder how horrible it was (one of those
moments hen you want to hide under something). We purchased cheese, cakes, yogurt
maker, Ice cream maker, lots of baking bits including glitters and flavourings the list
goes on and on we spent a fortune. We tried to look around the Garden sections but
the mass of people made it near on impossible for a wheelchair so we went round the
food section again and spent some more lol. Around 3ish we decided it was time for
home as its over a 3 hour journey to home so we grabbed some free goody bags which
came with some Baileys this year yippee and headed off home.