Lea Valley U3A

Family History






Leader: Mary Cole

The group aims to assist members to research their own Family History by getting to know the various resources which are available to members of the public.

For several years, we have met as a group approximately once a month to discuss problems with tracing our ancestors and to plan visits to local archives etc. We make use of the expertise and experience within the group, and regularly use the LVU3A projector to link to online sites to help people break through their ‘brick walls’.

Meetings take place on the first Monday morning in each month, (except for August and Bank Holiday Mondays) at the Hoddesdon Methodist Church Hall, Middlefield Rd., Hoddesdon, EN11 9ED. There is normally ample car parking space at the Hall.

To ensure sufficient money is to hand to pay for the hall hire, there is a fixed annual group membership fee, which is currently 12 per person (2016).

Recent Events

In April 2016 a group of us visited the Society of Genealogists, where we were given a tour of the library and told about the most helpful kinds of record that they keep there. Afterwards, some of us stayed on to do some research, and indeed a couple of us decided to join the Society for a year.

For the main July meeting to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, we put on a display entitled “They Served the Crown”, which drew a lot of visitors. Different members produced photos and/ or write-ups of grandparents and other relatives who served in the Royal Navy, the RAF and the Army and in conflicts from the Boer War, through WW I to WWII.

In October about 8 of us joined a coach trip organised by Broxbourne U3A Family History Group to the National Archive at Kew. This was an excellent trip, and we were all delighted with what we found out.

Also in October, Ian Waller gave an Interest Afternoon entitled “Whatever Happened to Lucy?”. This was about what happened to unwanted children prior to the Adoption Act of 1927. It attracted a large audience, and our Family History Group produced a small exhibiton describing family stories involving love, courage and sacrifice to care for children under difficult family circumstances. We also offered a help-desk to anyone interested in pursuing their family tree.

In November, we ran a trip to the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). Once again, those of us who went managed to find some useful information and documents.

December Meetings

Since 2012 we have used our December meetings to do something a bit different. We have booked a speaker to talk about a light-hearted aspect of Family history, and followed the talk with Christmas refreshments.

2012 – Russell Martin talked about his interesting family

2013 – Maggie Radcliffe spoke on “A Lady and Her Spitfire”

2014 -  Tom Doig talked on “Folk Cures and Remedies”, but was happier to deviate into more family-history orientated paths.

2015 – Ian Waller spoke on “Bread, Gruel and Dumplings – Life in the Workhouse”. This was not exactly light-hearted, but very interesting, and helped us appreciate our Christmas food.

This year, we have booked Mike Brown to speak on “Christmas on the Home Front”, to take place on Monday 5th December at 10 am.

For more information please e-mail us via :- lvu3a@live.co.uk




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