Hidden in the archives


16 January 2022
Paul Chiddicks, author of Family Tree's Dear Paul column, shares a fun find sent in to him with nine nature-inspired names in one family...

Whilst doing some research for the Western Front Association Mike Akerman came across pension record cards for two brothers named Fern Leaf and Pine Leaf. 

A little bit of digging in the Census returns revealed the family comprised of:  

  • Rose 
  • Violet 
  • Lily 
  • Fern 
  • Daisy 
  • Adonis 
  • Nolana 
  • Vine 
  • Ivy 

One assumes that the family were keen gardeners or were they planting little saplings to grow on their future family tree? For those of you who don’t know who The Western Front Association are, some years ago the Western Front Association saved from destruction some eight million records relating to pensions awarded to men who served in World War I. These records give vital information for both those who survived the conflict and those who unfortunately died.  

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 The records have been digitised in partnership with Ancestry and Fold3 and they are also freely accessible to members of The Western Front Association. 

 If you have an interest in the First World War, or wish to learn about ancestors who served in the British Army in this war, then these records are massively helpful. The Western Front Association is a UK charity with a global membership and joining the association helps not only to keep the memory alive of those who served but also is the leading organisation for those who wish to learn more about the Great War of 1914-1918.   

You can find details at the Western Front Association website.

Text extracted from Paul Chiddicks' Dear Paul column in the February 2022 issue of Family Tree magazine. Get your copy here.