Talk Catalogue

Family History and Genealogy

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Mirthy cannot guarantee the accuracy of information presented in the talks and we invite attendees to report any inappropriate content and behaviour by emailing alex@mirthy.co.uk

Family History and Genealogy

The Devil’s Daughter and Me

Talk Description and preview

Having discovered his own family history, it’s been very enlightening to find out that he is in very good company. Allow Ben to show you the underside of Victorian respectability through the eyes of some of his ancestors who had a devilish streak. There’s Aaron who broke with his religion and his community to be with the woman he loved. And Caroline whose passions for a dashing Parisian left her in total disgrace. Then we’ll travel to Mexico City in 1596 and see what the Inquisitors make of his non-conforming ancestors there. And finally, we’ll meet Melusine herself…

Talk length - 37 minutes.

Ben Nicholls

Ben Nicholls has been researching his own family history since 2001. His paternal grandfather was a shadowy figure who died long before his birth and one day Ben realised that he represented a quarter of him that he knew nothing about. Ben's journey started with his grandfather’s birth certificate. He has have been on many journeys back through the centuries to the middle ages, travelled on a tide of documents and stories across Europe, and traced pioneers across far flung exotic lands. Ben has met some truly wonderful characters in his personal history journey, from war heroes to Jewish millionaires, divorcees to lunatics, skilled artisans to adventurers, and artists to socialites.

Are You Descended From a Viking?

Talk Description and preview

Adverts for DNA testing kits are constantly on the TV-but what do you actually get? This talk covers areas such as understanding how the test works in very general terms, getting the most from the test (what the results mean) and how to use your results to overcome brick walls such as illegitimacy and validating paper resources. It also highlights the range and pitfalls of using DNA testing, particularly finding out where your family came from- Can you really be a Viking? I have tested autosomal DNA with several companies and used any of my family who stood still long enough!

Talk length - 48 minutes.

Karen Evans

After completing a History degree, Karen Evans taught in Primary schools before retiring in 2015. She has written two ‘Grim Almanac’ books for the History Press and currently write for Family Tree Magazine on all things genealogical! Karen's love and enthusiasm for history was the impetus for all her talks, be it Regency dancing or using DNA in her own research.

Tales from the times of the British Raj

Talk Description and preview

A light-hearted, different and enlightening view of the British Raj seen through the eyes of intrepid Parsi women who lived and flourished in it. This talk is based on Rukshana’s great-great grandmother’s autobiography and includes a brief history of the Parsis, along with many little known facts from the Raj, making it an informative and educational, though amusing, talk.


Talk length - 40 minutes.

Rukshana Masters

Rukshana was brought up in India soon after the days of the British Raj. She trained as a fashion designer and came to live in England with her husband in the 70s. In their spare time, along with their two young sons, Rukshana and her husband restored a ruin in rural France and had such a hilarious time! Rukshana felt she had to write it down, publishing her autobiography ‘A sparkling adventure through life on the bright side.’ More recently, Rukshana has discovered the stories her great-great grandmother collated in 1911 about her life living under the British Raj. She has turned her wonderful history into a biography called ‘A Cap for the King’.

My Mysterious Grandmas

Talk Description and preview

My Mysterious Grandmas is a genealogy talk with a difference. If you are hoping for a lot of serious information on the hows and the whys and the wherefores of tracing your family tree, David isn't your best port of call. What he's done in his usual laid back style is to weave a fascinating story that reveals the mysteries of his two obscure Victorian grandmothers - both women, in their day, had much to be mysterious about.

Talk length - 33 minutes.

David Clark

Born and raised in London, David Clark has lived and worked in Germany and Australia but returned to the UK in 1970 to live in Worcestershire where he is now retired. David has worked in shipping, been a rep for foreign newspapers and magazines. He's worked in theatre management, had two shops and ended up working for Age Concern. He was also a City councillor for 20 years and served as Mayor of Worcester!

My Noble Ancestors and Other Tall Stories

Talk Description and preview

“We are descended from royalty, you know!” “Our family came over with the Conqueror!”
Merely wild rumours passed on by a rambling old relative? Or a true claim of blue blood?
Join me as I share with you how I got to the bottom of some of these claims, even discovering that some were true!

Talk length - 50 minutes.

Ben Nicholls

Ben Nicholls has been researching his own family history since 2001. His paternal grandfather was a shadowy figure who died long before his birth and one day Ben realised that he represented a quarter of him that he knew nothing about. Ben's journey started with his grandfather’s birth certificate. He has have been on many journeys back through the centuries to the middle ages, travelled on a tide of documents and stories across Europe, and traced pioneers across far flung exotic lands. Ben has met some truly wonderful characters in his personal history journey, from war heroes to Jewish millionaires, divorcees to lunatics, skilled artisans to adventurers, and artists to socialites.

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