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Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Quiz genealogists, authors and staff from leading family history organisations in our weekly web chats. Post your questions in advance, or hop on each Friday afternoon to join the conversation live

Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby Jon Bauckham » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:52 am

Our first ever live web chat is with Miriam Silverman, senior content manager at Ancestry.co.uk!

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Miriam is responsible for acquiring new records to publish online for Ancestry.co.uk members to explore. She is passionate about family history and spends much of her spare time researching the ne’er do wells of her own and her husband's family history, having recently discovered that one of her ancestors was in the British Army and posted to Canada in the 18th century.

Miriam will be hopping on to this thread to answer questions about First World War and military history research posted both live and in advance between 12.30pm and 1.30pm (GMT) on Friday 2 May.

Please make sure that you put all questions in thread below.

General rules:

1) Miriam may not be able to answer specific research questions, but can give help and advice
2) Keep your questions brief and include all necessary detail, and please be polite
3) Miriam will answer your first question, addressing more when possible

To read our full web chat guidelines, please click here.
Last edited by Jon Bauckham on Fri May 02, 2014 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
I've now left Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Please contact wdytyaeditorial@immediate.co.uk regarding any forum queries.
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry.co.uk)

Postby Chadwi » Fri May 02, 2014 9:22 am

I want to track my grandfather's WW1 experience but I can't find him in Ancestry's records, either medal cards or service records. He was in the Post Office Rifles (not sure why as I'm not aware of any connection with the Post Office) and I think he was invalided back home after being gassed. I'm keen to know where to go to find out more. I did look on the National Archives website and found a few "Ernest Wilson"s listed, but no way of telling if any one of them is mine. Many thanks in advance for any tips you can give
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby Jackie123 » Fri May 02, 2014 9:25 am

Hi everyone

I have an ancestor who served in WWI, was wounded out in 1917 and received a Silver War Badge. His service record isn't available, but do you know where I might be able to find details of his war pension (given as a result of injury) ?

Thanks!
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Belgian Croix de Guerre

Postby Essexfamily » Fri May 02, 2014 9:26 am

Hello Miriam, my grandfather was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre but never told anybody why. I have since tried to find out but I can't find any advice on how to research Belgian gallantry awards. Apparently my grandfather said they handed them out left, right and centre. Is this true? Are there citations for Belgian awards and where would I find them?

Thanks!
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby JaneyH » Fri May 02, 2014 9:32 am

Hello Miriam,

The Western Front Association now holds 6.5 million WW1 pension records, as the MoD could no longer manage them and planned on disposing of them. It is wonderful that they have been saved for posterity. However, access to these records is limited - due to the fact that they are still in hard copy, and the WFA only has access twice a month to their remote storage location to do manual look-ups. Has Ancestry been in contact with the WFA to explore options for digitising this archive? With so much interest in WW1 at the moment, a fully digitised online archive would open up this wealth of material to many more people. Hopefully commercial terms could be negotiated that would benefit the WFA and enable them to expand their work too.
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby taloncab » Fri May 02, 2014 10:33 am

Hi Miriam,

If I have the basics on the medal index card - how do I find out more about the 'action' that my G-grandfather might have been involved in (WWI)?

Thanks,

C :D
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby sezuk » Fri May 02, 2014 11:02 am

Hi Miriam

I was wondering what the exceptions were for a man of age to be conscripted to the army.

My great grandfather would have been of age to join and as far as I know he was healthy, however I have no record or knowledge of him being in the army.

He worked for his wife's family (a German family) who ran a sausage skin making factory - several in the UK and Germany (many were sold off because of the Trading with the Enemy Act). My great grandafather for a few years owned the business in Birmingham, but records show it sold to him in 1918. Prior to that I believe he was a clerk/salesman for the business and travelled round the UK visiting the various factories. I don't think this would have been enough to exclude him from conscription to the army.


Also how would you trace British men signing up top the army in another country? I have a British born relative (from German parents) who signed up for the US Army - but as afar as I know never fought.
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby callbrian » Fri May 02, 2014 11:12 am

Hi Miriam,
Does Ancestry have any plans to add other service records to their site? If so what are they?
Regards
Brian
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry)

Postby Editor » Fri May 02, 2014 11:31 am

Thank you to Miriam from Ancestry.co.uk for joining us today for our very first web chat and thank you to everyone who has posted a query in advance. Do keep sending in your queries during the hour and Miriam will do her best to answer as many as possible.

Regards,

Sarah
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Re: Miriam Silverman (Ancestry.co.uk)

Postby miriams1 » Fri May 02, 2014 11:36 am

Chadwi wrote:I want to track my grandfather's WW1 experience but I can't find him in Ancestry's records, either medal cards or service records. He was in the Post Office Rifles (not sure why as I'm not aware of any connection with the Post Office) and I think he was invalided back home after being gassed. I'm keen to know where to go to find out more. I did look on the National Archives website and found a few "Ernest Wilson"s listed, but no way of telling if any one of them is mine. Many thanks in advance for any tips you can give



Hi everyone! It's great to be here on the WDYTYA forum this afternoon. I'll answer as many of your questions as I can-if I can't respond to everything in this hour, I'll do my best to get back to you over the next few days.

Hi Chadwi. It's quite unusual not to find at least a medal card but if he was invalided out, he may have received a Silver War Badge or have received a pension. We have those collections on Ancestry but if you can't find him there, then you can try the Western Front Association’s site-they have a large collection of Pension Ledgers and Cards from that period and they have a look up service-see link below.

http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/ ... quest.html

The other collections worth investigating are the Pension Files held at The National Archives in Kew. If they were disabled or an invalid, they will be in classes PMG 4 or PMG 9. There are also a selection of pension files in class PIN 24. Worth a visit!
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