Welcome to my website

Here you’ll find mainly local and family history. You may also be interested in

My Latest Posts

  • 1 Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

    1 Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

    1889 Census John Morgan – newspaper article 1891 Census John Morgan – No 1 Canal Locks – Toll Clerk Coventry Canal 1911 Census – The Canal Office – a five room cottage John Morgan, age 62, a canal toll clerk working from home for the Coventry Canal Company, his wife Mary Ann, age 58, and…

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  • 2 Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

    2 Lock Cottages (Top Lock)

    1891 Census Peter Allsop – No 2 Canal Locks – Canal Clerk Coventry Canal 1911 Census – a four room cottage Peter Allsop, age 59, a widower, Toll Clerk for the Coventry Canal Company, and three of his five surviving children (six had died young): Arthur, age 27, an iron moulder, Alice, age 23, a…

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  • Bottom Lock Cottage

    Bottom Lock Cottage

    On this page I am collecting evidence for the history of the cottage. 1901 census Arthur Crowshaw born approx 1862 – Bottom Lock House – to add other residents. 1911 Census – The Locks – a five room cottage Arthur Croshaw, age 50, a canal labourer, his wife Emma, age 46, and six of their eight…

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About me…

Research and Writing

I am a local and family historian, with a particular interest in canal and coastal heritage. My books include the series ‘Wootton Bassett 100 Years Ago’, the ‘Family History Record Book’, and the ‘Narrowboat Log Book’. I am currently writing the autobiography of Margaret Whitehead, a WW2 VAD nurse, and a book about the history of teasmades. I have researched hundreds of families, particularly focussing on the WW1 era. My books include the series ‘Wootton Bassett 100 Years Ago’, and the ‘Family History Record Book’.

I am happy to help with local and family history questions, but I no longer work as a genealogist.

Estate Agency

I am a homefinder and estate agent specialising in canalside homes.

Canal & River Trust Volunteering

I used to volunteer as a ‘greeter’ on The Admiral, the Canal and River Trust’s widebeam boat, moored at Caen Hill Locks in Devizes. I have now moved to Tamworth, where I am volunteering with the CRT again on the Towpath Taskforce.


I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Local and Family History which included the following modules:

  • Skills And Sources for Family And Local History In England
  • House History
  • The Theory and Context of Recordkeeping
  • Archive Management Principles And Practice
  • English Palaeography And Diplomatic
  • Public History
  • Oral History

I also have an honours degree in Social Psychology. I am a qualified Suzuki Violin Teacher, a qualified Shoe Fitter, and I have a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.


I have worked professionally in archives, including several contracts for the Royal Voluntary Service Archives. Below are some examples of work I am proud to have undertaken:

  • Contract as an Archive Image Metadata Assistant at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives (2019), reviewing and entering metadata for the Archive’s digitised image collection using Adobe Lightroom. Created a logfile in Excel to report on progress. Logged found errors throughout the process. Completed metatagging of 2884 images.
  • Contract as an Archive Assistant Digitisation Officer at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives. Digitised approximately 7250 narrative reports. Responsible for planning and implementing social media activity during the project. Corrected cataloguing errors throughout the process. Wrote a digitisation guide for my successor.
  • Contract at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives conducting archival research for a high profile national fundraising campaign. Selected archive photographs and text with strong media potential, researched copyright status, and obtained the necessary clearances for use from copyright holders. This content was published in the national press, including the Mail Online and the Guardian. Reverted to volunteer status at the end of the contract. Filmed a supporting “behind the scenes” video. Solely responsible for planning and implementing the archive’s social media activity throughout the campaign.
  • Volunteer archive assistant at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives, participating in a variety of management and routine activities, including answering internal and external enquiries, responsibility for the archive’s Twitter account, where I increased follower numbers from 72 to over 1800, accessioning and appraising new material, cataloguing using CALM, and developing a database for searching legacy Access/Excel catalogues and managing loans.