Where did Your Local History come from?


As a child, I was fascinated by the history of my family. How did I end up in a small village in Suffolk with farmers on one side and grain merchants on the other? Had all of my ancestors worked the land? Was my surname really so rare that people should have trouble spelling a five letter word?

What began as an interest turned into a passion for social history and a desire to learn as much as I could about the generations that came before me. I have been researching my own family tree since my early teens and in the process discovered landed gentlemen and their local gentry wives, domestic servants, silk weavers, agricultural labourers - even a palaeontologist and a ginger beer maker!

Before long I began helping friends and family with their own lines of enquiry and discovered that researching other peoples' history is no less exciting than my own. Having spent several years working with schools and running projects and events, I am using this experience to encourage other people to learn all about genealogy, their local communities and interesting local people and ancestors.

Having grown up in Suffolk and then worked and studied in Norfolk for the last decade I have a significant amount of local knowledge, broadened by the fact that many of my ancestors were resident in East Anglia. The local area has naturally become a specialism but I by no means limit my research to this area.

Qualifications-wise, I am studying with the University of Strathclyde in order to achieve my MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies (completed Diploma last year and now working on my final dissertation). I am registered with the ICO and am proud to hold real genealogical qualifications from a university running a unique genealogy course. I originally achieved a BSc (hons) in Environmental Science and post graduate qualifications in Development Management. Several years working in planning and education has served only to increase my interest in how areas have developed and what we can learn from them for the future. The key to how places developed is how people themselves developed their surroundings - how they lived, worked and loved. I have worked full time in an archive for more than three years and write and research in my free time.

I started Your Local History because I adore finding out more about the people and places that provide our roots. If I can help you research for yourself, point you in the right direction, alert you to an interesting story, then I hope I can inspire you to discover more about your past. This could be the start of a lifelong addiction...

I love the fact that with historical research, you never stop learning and making new discoveries. Hopefully this website will help you see what I mean!

What makes me different to other researchers? 

It's a cliche, but the genealogist has a somewhat stuffy image. I am determined to change that!

My name is Elizabeth Walne, I am 28, and I am also a genealogist - in time I hope to have resources for kids and young people on this website along with my blog, useful links etc. I am also a keen photographer and I love going on what my husband calls my "adventures"; finding out more about Norfolk and Suffolk and the wider history of this place we call home.