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Your Family History - March 2017

To paraphrase John Cleese in The Life of Brian, what did the Industrial Revolution ever do for us? That's the question Sue Wilkes answers in our cover feature this month, looking at both the positives and the negatives that resulted from this revolution in the way we worked and lived. It's something that many of us can identify with, tracking our ancestors from lives working in rural occupations to perhaps migration to cities and work in industry.

This month, we've tried to provide help whether you're researching ancestors at the bottom of the social ladder, or towards the top. So we have features on apprenticeships, Chelsea pensioners and wig makers, all the way up to Edward Dutton's guide to tracing more illustrious, gentry ancestors.

Elsewhere in this issue, Lucy Williams looks at the effect the Contagious Diseases Acts had on our Victorian ancestors’ lives, and how the fight to repeal them heralded the real start of the suffragist movement. Finally, we also welcome a new columnist this month. Mary Ann Davison is a working archivist, and she will be taking us through various aspects of her working life and experiences.

Our editorial contact address is – and you can always join in the conversations at https:// and

Finally, this issue has the usual range of free resources for you to download:

  • Sussex data
  • Case studies from our archive
  • Useful genealogy forms
  • An index of all our back issues

You can download them all here:

If you've missed any downloads from recent issues, you can find them