Brougham Family History Blog

A new milestone for family historians

May 4, 2021

With the change in marriage certificates today for England and Wales bringing it in line with Scotland and NI, it marks another step forward in family history research.

In my last blog I spoke about how historians would look back and view the pandemic of the early 2020's, and yet today we are living through it and know the answers.  I wonder what family historians, will research their family history in 100 or 200 years’ time?

With the mothers name on the wedding certificate, it provides yet another piece of vital information that will enable people to compile their ancestry.  The other big change is the computerisation of the certificate at source.  We have had that now for many years with birth and death certificates.  We know ourselves; how much easier research has become due to computers and the internet.  We know that there have been significant initiatives that have helped us on our way such as the census, the civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages.  All these have made it easier to link the family branches together.

Going forward there will be no more difficulties reading handwriting, no more needing to send off for copies of certificates, no more people transcribing and indexing into valuable tools.  It will change and make it so much easier for anyone doing research.

The chances are though, that computers will do the searching for you in the not too distant future and will try to piece together family trees based on sophisticated algorithms and search criteria.  No more will we have to type in different spellings or wildcard characters to try and uncover a single item of truth.

The family historian of the future will find it easier to dig back to our current time, and potentially even back further now.

Will it though take out all the fun of the research, all the hard work and the ecstasy as you find a missing piece to your tree that opens up other great avenues of research?  Will that real satisfaction of achievement be gone when a computer does all the work for you.  This will undoubtedly be true.  However, it’s not just the doing and sense of excitement of doing it, but there is a real joy in uncovering and understanding what life was like for our family in years gone by.  A real connection with people of the past as you relate to their emotions as you uncover happiness and periods of great sadness in their lives.

It is great filling in the tree but this connection with the past is the greatest thrill of all.

The work we do now uncovering and contributing to this historical picture will enable generations to come to do likewise.  The paths and evidence we plot today are opening the historical knowledge for our ancestors of tomorrow.

So while we tread our own journeys, let us not forget, we are doing so for others yet to be born.  As digitalisation of the paper trail continues, so our enlightenment and connection with the future, just as much as the past, is forged in a new way.


An incredible period in history

January 9, 2021


After an incredible year - time to revive the blog.

2020 will go down as the year that everyone was united in wanting to forget.  2021 offers hope and although there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are not sure how long the tunnel is before we leave the darkness behind.

With light there is optimism and with optimism there is hope of a better future.  We long for the tunnel to end and the new spring to arrive.

In the meantime, we remain stranded in the tunnel and must play our part in m...

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Behind the stats of infant mortality

November 27, 2011

For any parent, the death of their child is undoubtedly difficult to handle. Close friends of mine lost one of their premature twins after only a few precious days of life. I know the pain and grief that they went through. In the developed world, fortunately, we know how these occurrences are now quite rare - but for those that are impacted the grief is devastating, no matter what the stats say. Regrettably, as we all know too well, in some countries around the world, infant death rates r...

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The Railway Broughams

August 29, 2011
Having worked for a railway company for 10 years I've never really considered myself as coming from a Railway family.  Indeed no where have I found the Railway's mentioned in any of my research.

Searching through old Railway Employment papers 1833 - 1963 on I discovered only 7 mentions of Brougham - confirming that the Broughams are far from a Railway family.

Does anyone know these Railway men I wonder?
  • W Brougham worked at Six-Pit Junction in the Coaching department sometime be...

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Leaving our historical footprints for tomorrows generation

July 23, 2011
As I prepare to move house you start to think about the good memories and of course, some not so good.  22 years is a long time in one house - a quarter of the average life.  Yet in the reaches of history it isn't really a pin prick.  In 1901 the Census reveals that Alice King aged 31, lived in my house with her 2 daughters, Doris W, aged 6 and Gladys R, aged 4.  Although Mrs King is described as married, there is no record of her husband.  Where could he have been I wonder?  Mrs King was a s...
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How to pronounce Brougham

April 9, 2011
This always seems to be the big question - how to pronounce Brougham?  We have a rich and varied language that has evolved over time with many influences and accents from around the world.  We also know that in the 1800's there were many who could not read or write so many names were not accurately documented.  Authors may also have put their own slant on names from their own experiences so names that were not Brougham may have been transcribed as such if they were similar. Different regional...
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A Gathering of Broughams

January 9, 2011
Peter Brougham Wyly devoted his life to researching the Brougham family history.  Along with his trusted friend, Peggy Stacey, they spent many hours in libraries and archives collecting information, long before the computer made life a little easier for the family genealogist.  Peter pulled his research together into 'A Gathering of Broughams but not a clean sweep' but this was never actually published.  Although Peter did send copies to many fellow genealogists his invaluable research was ne...
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The Brougham Clergy.

November 2, 2010

In my research to uncover the Brougham story I came across a very interesting and well put together site - Clergy of the Church of England Database or CCED for short -  The database covers the years 1540 to 1835,and although not complete is getting there.  At the time of writing the database reveals just 8 Broughams who went into the Clergy:

Brougham, Bernard (1692 - 1751)
Brougham, Edmund (0 - 0)
Brougham, Henry (1728 - 1728)
Brougham, Henry (1689 - 1696)

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A gathering of the Taylor clan

August 29, 2010
Family History is gripping - once you get started you get hooked!

Next weekend we have the gathering of my father's cousins from his mother's side - Taylor.  My grandmother had 9 brothers and sisters so there were many cousins.  Over time the cousins have lost touch, and some have even moved to New Zealand.  It will be great to meet them all and I'm looking forward to capturing all their relatives in our family tree.

These Taylors all descend from Fred Taylor (1880 - 1944) and were initially ba...

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Lord Brougham lays the foundation for an interesting week

May 15, 2010
What a week in politics we've had with the first coalition government for 60 years between the Tories and the Lib Dems. Over the channel the 2010 film festival has begun at Cannes in the South of France.  Both of these events have of course got links with the first Baron Brougham and Vaux.

Lord Brougham was a leading Whig in the early 1800s.  The Whigs being a forerunner to the Liberal Party who later went on to form the Liberal Democrats.  At the time it was the Tories, a forerunner to the Co...

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