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This has to be one of the best ever episodes – I would love to see him play his an­ces­tor in a movie. The story has ev­ery­thing: roy­alty, war, political in­trigue, court­room drama, ro­man­tic be­trayal, prison break and stun­ning lo­ca­tions.

On a his­tor­i­cal note, in 1691 the area near Shrop­shire was very Catholic and in­cluded lo­cal ma­jor landown­ers of the Gif­ford fam­ily. This is the op­po­site of the strong Protes­tant his­tory of the fam­ily. Maybe they were there to quell this? See wolver­hamp­ton his­tory.org.uk/ peo­ple/faith/ chris­tian/catholi­cism. mariegrif­fiths John Scott, Stir­ling bit.ly/1EFoTJa My grand­mother, her two sis­ters and brother were all found wan­der­ing the streets of Stir­ling in 1910, ap­par­ently aban­doned by their par­ents (their mother is found the next year liv­ing with an­other man and new baby). The three sis­ters were put in Stir­ling In­dus­trial School for Girls, but I have no idea where their brother was sent.

His name was John Scott (a com­mon name, sadly) and he was born on 17 Septem­ber 1904 in Denny. I know he was alive in the 1930s as my grand­fa­ther re­mem­bers vis­it­ing him as a boy when ‘Un­cle John’ lived some­where below the Stir­ling Cas­tle wall (in the old part of town).

Does any­one have any clue where an aban­doned young boy of six would be sent at that time in the Stir­ling area? With such a com­mon name I am hav­ing trou­ble find­ing any record of him at all. His father was also John Scott and his mother was Is­abella Wiggetts. sandyscott21

Min­ers mov­ing

from Stafford­shire to York­shire? bit.ly/1EFnMZK A num­ber of an­ces­tors on both sides of my fam­ily were min­ers who lived in Sed­g­ley, Stafford­shire, but moved to the East Rid­ing of York­shire be­tween the 1860s-1900s. They were still min­ers af­ter the move.

I was won­der­ing if any­one knew of any prob­lems with the mines in Sed­g­ley, or per­haps any ini­tia­tives to get min­ers to move to the East Rid­ing? Kirstyl­hall

Try­ing to trace

French mil­i­tary records bit.ly/1EFoAxU My grand­fa­ther served dur­ing the Se­cond World War. I have his medals and a “Rhin et Danube” badge, but I’m try­ing to find more de­tails.

Al­though French, he was born in Al­ge­ria. I have con­tacted the Cen­tre des Ar­chives du Per­son­nel Mil­i­taire (CAPM) and Ar­chives Na­tionales D’Outre-Mer, but have had no suc­cess what­so­ever. For many rea­sons he’s a hero of mine, so if any­one has any sug­ges­tions about how I can ac­cess records, that would be great.

His name was Henri Said, born on 8 May

OpDra­goon Dat­ing a paint­ing bit.ly/1EFooP9 This 20”x14” paint­ing (see below) is of my great grand­fa­ther, born 1855. There is no sig­na­ture or any mark­ings on the back.

What’s the best way to date it: the sub­ject’s age or dress? Also, can we tell any­thing about the cir­cum­stances be­hind such a paint­ing? The fam­ily were by no means well off. Any idea of the costs? When did pho­tog­ra­phy be­come a cheaper op­tion? GClark40

What are the best ways to date this por­trait?

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