Unwritten History: Baby Loss Awareness Week

A brief post this to do my part to raise awareness of all those babies that never appeared on the birth indexes.

I don't often post very personal items here, but today I make an exception. Before my son was born this year we lost three babies, all at around twelve weeks gestation. As many as one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, which means even if you're not aware of it, the chances are that you know someone that has suffered at least one loss. In addition, far too many families still experience the pain of stillbirth or neonatal death. It's something individuals, and society as a whole, often finds difficult to talk about.

Whether they are recorded or not, those pregnancies are still part of our family history.

For support:




eBay Watch

Does anyone else have alerts set up on eBay for particular names, items related to particular places, etc?

I do.

So far, it's brought me the following with connections to my One Name Study:

- my own book (!)

- books on poodles, archiving, and 'Diana Dors: Only a Whisper Away'

- my cousin's treatise on the ovarian cyst (removal of, 1840s)

- another cousin's retirement as Queen Victoria's Consul in Cairo and associated presentation (recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine)

- a Lott and Walne sawbench!

It's also a great place to find everything from train tickets to postcards of particular places of interest.

Give it a go!


Norwich Mercury added to British Newspaper Archive site

As tweeted a few days ago, the Norwich Mercury has joined many years of the Norfolk Chronicle now searchable at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

According to the site you can now view and search the following years:

1727; 1846-8; 1851-1896; 1899-1904. 

The collection within these years appears to be fairly comprehensive (issued Wednesday and Saturday). 213 issues were added just today, so those dates may be subject to change.

Other local papers noted in previous blogs include:

The Ipswich Journal

Bury and Norwich Post

Norfolk News

Framlingham Weekly News 

Diss Express

Suffolk Chronicle

Visit the website for further details. Remember, if you don't have a subscription, you can access these, and the rest of the site, free of charge at your local library. 

Archant publications the EDP and Evening News are notable exceptions to the titles available, but having the alternatives above digitised means you can very often find the date of an event more easily in another paper. This date can then help you find the alternate report in person at Norfolk Heritage Centre without browsing through several months.

Of course, that doesn't work for more recent events as most (though not all by any means) digitised issues are a century of so old, but certainly it's helpful for Victorian stories.

Titles missing or unclear on the website may be found at NHC on microfilm or in print where microfilm is unavailable. See the Newsplan website (http://newsplan.liem.org.uk/) or contact heritagecentre@norfolk.gov.uk for availability outside the British Library.

Baby names 1904-2014

It's rather obvious that I might have been interested in baby names lately, but I thought some readers may be interested in the Office for National Statistics' compilations of the top 100 boys' and girls' names by decade 1904-1994:


The site also has more recent lists:


We chose traditional names for our son reflecting both sides of the family but it has been interesting to trace even those names up and down the charts. His first name has only just regained the popularity it had in the early 20th century while his middle name fell out of the top 100 altogether in the new millennium, despite riding high for all of the previous century. 

Of course, had he been a girl, the middle name would have been one on the verge of extinction. Perhaps if he's lucky enough to have a sister one day we'll still have a chance to use it!