MUST READ BEFORE POSTING - Forum posting guidelines (Announce)

by admin ⌂, Forest of Dean, Sunday, February 17, 2008, 23:06 (5966 days ago)

To post a message go to the Forum front page and click on 'New Topic' but before doing so please read these guidelines as they may save you time and help produce a positive response.

Your query should be easy to read
Compose your new posting or reply in the traditional manner using:

  • Paragraphs
  • Punctuation
  • Upper and lower case letters

Do not use all capital letters looks like SHOUTING.
Do not use all small letters makes for laborious reading

Make your Subject line concise and specific

  • People must be able to look at your subject heading and know what the thread is about
  • Make sure that there is reference to the content of your query
  • Only use all capital letters on surnames only
  • Subject headings such as "Seeking Ancestor" or "Need help" are not good subject lines
  • Valuable information to include in a subject line is name, date or time frame, and location
  • A good subject format might be: William JONES born in Lydney about 1838

    Having descriptive titles makes sure that anyone who wants
    to come back to your question later will be able to do so.

Clearly state what information you are seeking
For example, if you are seeking your ancestor's parents' names, state that. If you are looking for a marriage record, provide what related information that you can, i.e. approximate year of the event and the possible location.

It is difficult for someone to provide an answer, if they do not clearly understand the question.

Put yourself in the position of the reader
Try to put yourself in the position of the reader on the receiving end - someone who knows nothing about the ancestor that you are describing. Make sure that the data and query would be understood by a "perfect stranger," because one of them just might turn out to hold the answer to your query or possess a publication, from which they could find the answer for you.

Have you searched the forum?
On this forum we have over 20,000 previous postings and it is possible that your query may have been asked by someone else and an answer posted.

Have you searched the Parish Records on this Web site?
When you register on this Web site you are able to post a message in the forum and also search through over half a million Parish and Non-conformist records of the Forest of Dean and surrounding places.

Be considerate to many people who answer queries on this forum of their time by first of all searching through the records yourself before seeking help with Baptism, Marriage and Burial details.

Keep to Forest of Dean People and Places
Only post messages relating to people and places connected in some way to the Forest of Dean or near by bordering places. Like the name of this Web site indicates, we specialise in the area of the Forest of Dean.

Do not use this forum in searching for Living Relatives
This forum is not the place to start looking for Adopted and Living Relatives as it can cause great misery and distress, and will not be allowed here. Read more...

Do not put an email address in your post
Having your (or other peoples) email address in your posts leaves you wide open to spammers and spam bots. We will delete email addresses in posts. Other people can contact you direct by using the Email button which is on any posts you submit. Read more...

Keep your query limited to one request
For example, do not ask a look-up person, for everything they have on the WILLIAMS surname, in the area. Asking for too much information at one time, may leave others feeling overwhelmed, thus decrease your chances for a response.

Be kind and polite in your posting
Do not "flame" others by being authoritative, narrow-minded, or biased, with a conviction that your opinion is the only valid one, which leads to a personal attack on anyone who differs or disagrees with your stand, on a particular issue.

Be considerate of other people's time and your own
If you have already searched specific records, regarding the information that you are seeking, include those source titles in your query, so people responding to your query do not search the same sources, only to provide you with information that you already have.

Before sending, carefully proof-read, for errors and detail
Correct all "typos," check to see that all words are, fully, spelled out, dates are in an understandable format, and that you revise any unclear statements. Determine if you included all of the pertinent information about your ancestor by answering the "Who, What, Where, and When" questions? Are there any other details that you might add to help others identify with your ancestor?

By following these simple guidelines
You can reap great rewards,it is a good way to make new friends, find relatives, and
produce valuable genealogical information.

"Real life" Guide lines from Slowhands

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Monday, October 27, 2008, 20:28 (5713 days ago) @ admin

I am new to entering on forums so not sure what to put on them.

You will find the official ones here >>

My own "real life" advice is ...

First search the Forum just in case your relative / question is already in a Thread - Don't be put off if you get a "Prior Thread" response - it has been put there to save time and help you.

{ on this topic , please do not ask the same / very similar question a second time in a new thread - it just wastes peoples time and willingness to help }

The usual advice is make the title clear and relevant, and then in the message add your question and as much context / background info to assist those who are trying to help you.

Please try to put the surname in capitals i.e. JONES, this is not considered shouting, it simply helps when scanning the index by eye

So if you have census and parish records , save for a gap , then state it !
If you are trying to link an individual to a specific branch , then mention that too :-)
If you are completely lost - dont hide it - we have all been there too

By doing this someone else may read that information and recognise an individual - not necessarily the one you are interested in , or an event, or some other fragment and be able to add to your knowledge.

Sometimes from a surprisingly small amount of context information to a question, we can generate a 100% hit and then a lot more information - however these are rare.

Occasionally the information we find may open up an unpleasant surprise; we try to avoid providing information about living people but sometimes that information is published. Our sources are public information.

Equally it will save time for the helpers who can struggle matching a "John Jones" from East Dean, when " John Jones, born mid 1850's , parents maybe William and Mary, in a later census (1881) he is from Redbean" will help direct the initial search to Ruardean / Ruardean Hill area etc etc .

... or " I think he was from Drybrook" without any reason Why you think that can slow things down - just to confuse you there are two Drybrooks in the FoD !

..or if the person was known to have moved away from the Forest , spending our time searching in Glos / Mon/ Hereford data is fruitless, when a note of this with the question would save valuable time and effort, opening the search globally.

....or after getting a reponse to a request, the original questioner, replies with " I knew all that" or similar !!!!

.... when tracing records between 1837 and 1874 bear in mind that from 1837 civil registration was voluntary, from 1874 it became mandatory.

.... Let us know if you think/know you have non-conformists roots - Methodist, Baptist etc - that may just be the reason you are having problems tracking your roots :-(

Whilst on my hobby horse (!) keep an open mind to spelling - DAVIES / DAVIS; GRINDLE / GRINDAL; HALE /HAILE, even WATKINS / WALKINS etc are likely to be the same family / person ..

and keep an open mind to ages too, its not uncommon to find a relative who gets younger with later census data !

In the 1841 returns adolescent and adult ages are often rounded to the nearest multiple of 5. Not always but can be very confusing !

Also, a word of caution - you may be fortunate to find "your" tree / branch on a Public web site - you can just accept this information and plough on. However my advice is to use this information as a guide and revalidate it against multiple sources and your own common sense. You may be surprised at how many assumptions have been made, which in turn cause you to reject parts of this information.

By the way, the same is true of any of the responses I provide on this Forum.

And yes, we welcome healthy balanced challenges to our research / suggestions..
we are not super human we make mistakes too :-)

Enjoy your research, good luck.


Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

Guide lines - What is the Forest ?

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Sunday, February 15, 2009, 20:03 (5602 days ago) @ slowhands

Another controversial topic !

The definition of Forest will mean different things to different folk :-)

Do we take a very limited view and take part of the "Free Miner" approach and only accept those who lived in the Hundred of St Briavels - Should we ignore those living in the Hundreds of Bledisloe or Greytree ?

or, do we say "Only those BMD's registered in Westbury on Severn" - Should we ignore those BMD's from Chepstow, Ross , Monmouth, and Newent ?

or, Gloucestershire West of the River Severn

or, administered by todays Forest of Dean council

or, the Parliament constituency

or, the modern Post code, or dialling code

When Dave Watkins and I first discussed this we agreed that broadly " 'Twixt Wye and Severn" was to be the focus of this Internet resource.
We did not define a northern boundary, althought initially drew an imaginary line between gloucester and Ross on Wye.

As the resource developed it became clear that the adjoining parishes - i.e. across the Severn at Arlingham, north towards Newent and Kemply, were home to ancestors who came to the traditional Forest areas.

Here is the Wiki definition :-

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. The forest is a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

I could give more examples, but I think these illustrate the challenge, each has its weaknesses - <rhetoric question> How do you capture the culture in a geographic definition.

So a simple approach / test is "twixt Wye and Severn" or broadly west of the Severn and Gloucestershire.

There is therefore no hard and fast "boundary" for this board, just apply some common sense. i.e. if the family you are interested came from Mid Wales , Kent or Lancashire , and you have no linkage to this area then you are probably best contacting a Forum that specialises in that area , or a general family History forum. Admin may lock the thread at this point .

Please take the boundary as soft and fuzzy - Tintern, Goodrich and Courtfield are over the Wye, but often debated on this board.

We generally try to help but our expertise / knowledge is in this core area and the further away the less the detailed knowledge we have.

If you look at Threads most will conform to the above, occasionally you will find a thread where the topic relates to a family that lived in the Forest for a short period of time - perhaps linked to the Railway, Tunnel construction or Mine sinking. Others perhaps have several geneartions of "Forest" before heading off to Wales or Yorkshire, some have Somerset or Cotswold roots before coming to the Forest.

We welcome healthy balanced challenges to our research / suggestions.
we are not super human we make mistakes :-)

Enjoy your research, good luck.


I am proud to be related to the ancient foresters of Dean.

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

Guide lines - What is the Forest? 2013 update

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Sunday, March 03, 2013, 23:42 (4125 days ago) @ slowhands

Attempting trace a notion of Forest bounday. Pre-Saxon times a boundary is hard to define that relates to the modern area.


Today's Forest of Dean District Council is responsible for an area heading up towards Ledbury.

You need to consider the sort of record you are looking !
Whilst village / place names have stayed roughly the same, you may be surprised at how administration boundaries have moved over the years.

Census / Enumeration - dont be surprised if parts of the Forest / Gloucestershire appear under Monmouthshire / Wales - this is not saying that the County boundary has shifted just the way districts were handledby the Census team

BMD - again you may find Ruardean records under Ross, Herefordshire, west Dean records under Monmouth and Lydney area under Chepstow. Again this is just how the BMD admin was handled, Lydney never became part of Wales !


Jefff offered a "Norman" definition in

"Between 1086 and 1228 the bounds of the juridical Forest were enlarged to include all the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire manors and villages in an area bounded on the south-east by the Severn from Over bridge, adjoining Gloucester, to the mouth of the Wye, on the west by the Wye from its mouth up to a ford between Goodrich castle and Walford (Herefs.), on the north-west by bounds, mainly trackways, running from the ford by way of Weston under Penyard (Herefs.) and Gorsley to Oxenhall bridge on Ell brook near Newent, and on the north-east by the main road from Newent to Gloucester."

From: 'Forest of Dean: Bounds of the forest', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5: Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, The Forest of Dean (1996), pp. 295-300.

URL: Date accessed: 02 March 2013.

Hundred was a Saxon administrative "unit", so for example Hundred of St Briavels predates the Norman definition.

Land between the rivers Severn and Leadon, which became the medieval forest of Corse, was probably in the Saxon period a patchwork of woodland, wood pasture and marsh.

In SAXON time this area was part of the kingdom of Hwicce


Ariconium ( Modern Weston Under Penyard ) was probably the town that governed the forest area, the Forest supplying Iron Ore , Charcoal etc to the Empire.


The Dobunni probably rooted more towards the Cotswold escarpment, and the Severn valley
whilst the Silures were rooted in what is today Monmouthshire; probably indicates that the Forest area
was on the boundary of two Celtic tribes.

Welshbury Hill near Littledean and Mitcheldean is believed to be a Dobunni hill fort

Broadly west of the Severn and East of the Wye, and as far north as the Leadon; there is no hard and fast "boundary" for this board, just apply some common sense. i.e. if the family you are interested came from Mid Wales , Kent or Lancashire , and you have no linkage to this area then you are probably best contacting a Forum that specialises in that area , or a general family History forum.

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

Advanced Seach Facility

by admin ⌂, Forest of Dean, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 05:44 (4719 days ago) @ slowhands

There is an Advanced Search link on the Search Parish Records Page.


Easily find all the children born to a James and Matilda GRINDLE

Select Baptism as the Event Type → click the Search link
Parents Surname: → change to starts with → insert Grind (to allow for spelling variations)
Fathers Forenames: James
Mothers Forenames: Matilda



If you want the table organised chronologically, just click on the "year" heading

Using the Advanced Search Facility with a little imagination you can often find records and information not normally found by using the standard Search.

Advanced Seach Facility

by mrsbruso @, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 13:05 (4718 days ago) @ admin

After I make an initial search with all the names spelled the way I think they should be, and make note of any initial "hits", I run a second search.

Less is Best !

On the second one I try to limit the names as much as I can due to spelling inconsistencie over time. Griffiths, for example, can be spelled several different ways, so I try to limit it to Griff. Clarke may or may not have the 'e'. Clark will find Clarke, but Clarke will ignore entries spelled Clark.

First names can be an issue as well. Elizabeth can be shortened in many places to Eliz, James to Jas, William to Wm or W[illia]m. So I use as few starting letters as I can. With W[illia]m for example, you have little choice but to stick with using only the "W". Phoebe is frequently spelled without the "o", so just typing "Ph" can help with that.

If you know the spouse's name, you don't get too many "hits" that aren't in some way related, especially if one the second run through you know the parish or some other limiting factor.

Travel and Emigration across the Atlantic

by mrsbruso @, Friday, September 28, 2012, 13:16 (4281 days ago) @ slowhands

Following some recent threads, I thought it might be worth reiterating that many times, folks travelling to or from the States often travelled through CANADA. The fares were generally cheaper than arriving in Boston or New York.

My grandfather's cousins travelled to the Forest from Missouri via Canada to Liverpool, so keep an open mind when conisdering ports.

Common ports in Canada included those in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Montreal (Quebec) via the St. Laurence.

Although you may not think you have Canadian connections, it may be worth considering looking at arrivals in Canada, and US/Canada border crossings.

Hope this is helpful to someone.


by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Monday, September 02, 2013, 13:17 (3942 days ago) @ admin

I am new to posting messages on forums so not sure what to include?
Some very useful tips from Slowhands of what to include in your posting: My own real life advice...

Further information about posting messages

MUST READ BEFORE POSTING - Forum posting guidelines

Guide lines from Slowhands

Do not use all UPPER or all lower case letters

Think twice before including your e-mail address in a post

Have you searched the Parish Records on this Web site?

Do not use this forum in searching for Living Relatives

Web site is specific to the Forest of Dean

Make sure you include: Name - Dates - Location

{Admin note - broken links repaired after site move/update}

Why Threads become Locked

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

MUST READ BEFORE POSTING - Forum posting guidelines

by Materialgirl, Saturday, September 24, 2016, 11:15 (2825 days ago) @ admin

How do I post a message. I have read the guidelines but can't seem to follow on with post

MUST READ BEFORE POSTING - Forum posting guidelines

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, September 24, 2016, 15:02 (2824 days ago) @ Materialgirl

Good afternoon and warm welcome to this friendly forum and website.
Thanks for reading the guidelines, not every new user does that.

As to posting a message, there are two ways;

If the post is a reply to an existing post, then click on the blue "post reply" button at the bottom L/H corner of that post. This will open a new window into which you can write your post. Then click on the "preview" or "ok submit" buttons at bottom of that page, and your post should display near the top of the forum index page. If you want to modify it at a later time, you can revisit it and use the "edit" button at bottom of that page, or even delete it entirely if no-one else has replied.
If possible it's always best to post in this matter, as then it will be displayed in the same thread as other relevant background info abt the same subject, so makes for easier reading and understanding by other users. The forum's been active for several years now so it's highly likely that someone else has already posted about the family or subject that you're interested in. Hence the forum thread's themselves become useful reference material.

If you're posting about a new subject, then when you access the main forum index page,

You will hopefully see a blue "new topic" icon at the top L/H corner ?. If it does, then click on it and the same will happen as above.

However, in my usual half-witted way I've just realised that you've successfully posted this query... I wonder if there's a delay before newly-registered users can post to the forum, I'm not a forum administrator and cannot recall my first post ?

Looking forward to seeing your posts soon, Jeff

PS should perhaps have mentioned, that whenever you see an icon or "button" displayed in blue on this site, this shows that it's a hyperlink and can be clicked on to access further information.

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