Ellen Jane Razzell

A Family Story  started life as a personal family tree.

The tree is still there, and continues to be updated, but the larger part of the site is focused on a study of the people of Desborough in Northamptonshire from the earliest times up to about 1920.

Desborough Study

Armed Forces: soldiers and sailors, military service records, and a Roll of Honour for those who gave their lives in the Great War.

Transcriptions: 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901 censuses; wills; BMD certificates; MIs; Extracts from the probate calendar.

From the surnames index you can pull up descendant trees, including biographical information, links to censuses and information from other sources.

A wives and widows index gives access to a woman's details where you don't know her maiden name. A forenames index lets you pull up a list in date order of all the individuals with a specified first name.

The "Church / Parish Records" section has brief biographies of the Clergy of Giles and an index of photographs of memorials. Several pages which list records added from the Parish Registers for baptisms, marriages, burials, and some of the more unusual details recorded. Records from Bishop's Transcripts. Photographs of memorials inside the church, and of some memorials from the town cemetery.

Jubilee Souvenir of the Desborough Industrial & Provident Co-operative Society. It includes many photographs of people and places.

The Health & Welfare section includes disabilities, hospital patients, prisoners, twins, and workhouse inmates.

Desborough's Neighbours will cover nearby churchyards and cemeteries  which may contain graves for one-time residents of Desborough. Photographs of all gravestones are being included, not just those relating to Desborough people. This work is being done in association with the Gravestone Photographic Resource website.



The small print ...

I've tried to ensure that what appears on the site is correct, but please remember that you should always go back to the source and verify information before relying on it to fill a gap in your own family tree.


A trip to Scotland showed me how little I knew of Scottish history, and led to several months work preparing Kindle versions of a 19th century 7 volume History of Scotland by Patrick Fraser Tyler. Vols 2-5 are now available on Amazon, with the remaining volumes to follow. I've also been feeding my interest in the Renaissance (sparked by Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles) by publishing other history and poetry books for Kindle.

I haven't abandoned the genealogy, though. This update includes newspaper transcriptions from 1844, and a change to the internal structure which has enabled me to show children born out of wedlock under the names of the putative fathers (previously you could find the father by looking under the mother or the child's name, not the other way round). This may lead to some unexpected discoveries for the "legitimate" descendants of those men.
11th August 2013

You can now find over 700 newspaper transcriptions connected to Desborough on the site. I have added an index so that you can browse by date.

Many of the articles relate to property auctions; these may seem uninteresting at first, but they often give the names of tenants enabling an ancestor to be located prior to or between censuses. As auctions often take place at pubs I've trawled these for the names of pub landlords.

Some of the reports are intriguing but, as yet, the final outcome has not been discovered - like the attempted poisoning of a whole family; some are sad - like the death of Charles Allen; some are bizarre - like the "curious epistle" that was copied by a number of newspapers in and out of Northamptonshire.

I've tried to identify the Desborough folk who appear in these articles, but do bear in mind that these are often just a "best guess" based on the totality of information I have to hand at that point. Remember also that newspapers sometimes contain misprints and errors, so names and dates may not be totally accurate.
25th March 2013

Earlier updates ...

Family Tree: 2330 people

Desborough study: 17392