Wales

Cat Whiteaway

Genealogist, presenter and BBC Radio Wales' resident 'gene genie'.

Blog posts in total 68

Posts

  1. Returning a World War One Photo album

    Last autumn I was asked by BBC Radio Wales to help return a very special set of World War One items to their original family. It turned out to be quite a simple search task but a true pleasure to be able to complete - and it unlocked a fascinating story.

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  2. The story of Owen Money's grandfather James Mittell in the First World War who was given a Miltary Medal for bravery at the battle of Vimy Ridge, much to Owen's surprise who believed that no-one in his family had done anything special.

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  3. Record showing Oswald Hinks attempts to enlist in World War One despite being only 15. Hinks was BBC Wales broadcaster Gareth Lewis’ great grandfather.

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  4. One of the questions I am most frequently asked is “what did my grandfather do in the war?”. Most people who have an ancestor who served during WW1 have an idea of their battalion or their service number but not always an idea of exactly where their ancestor went and which battles they fought.

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  5. In early June I took part in the filming of an incredibly moving story that was told on The One Show last night. Ruth Buckley had seen a previous reunion story that was broadcast in January and contacted the show for help fulfilling her late father's last wish.

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  6. At the end of my last blog I finished with a single question "How and when did Sapper David James Roach get injured"

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  7. The service files of several million WWI soldiers were destroyed during the Blitz in WWII. This is one of the many problems faced by historians researching the stories of soldiers who fought during WWI. Here, genealogist Cat Whiteaway explains how she overcame this issue when uncovering the story of one Welsh soldier.

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  8. In my spare time when I am not reuniting people I love to try and solve a riddle - and I'm not talking about Sudoko. This year it seemed obvious to me that the most poignant riddles waiting to be solved are those which involve WW1 medals.

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  9. Earlier this year I received a plea for help that I defy anyone to resist responding to and becoming emotionally involved in.

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  10. We are now just a few days away from 4 August and commemorating the centenary of the start of World War One. The date has been etched in my mind for a long time and I’ve been so busy researching and preparing for this time that I find myself looking forward to next week, whilst at the same time ...

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  11. My last reunion film for BBC One's The One Show was broadcast at the end of January and as usual a flurry (or perhaps more accurately I should say 'blizzard') of requests for help came flooding in via email and have kept me and my mind occupied ever since. One of the emails that caught my eye wa...

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  12. Cat Whiteaway reunites a bible with the five times great grandson of its original owner.

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  13. Back in February I wrote about my involvement with an art project linked to the British Home Children who were sent to Canada. At that time I spoke to Carol Black as part of a live broadcast for BBC Radio Wales and wrote her story in my blog.

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  14. Back in January, Philip John from Neath rang BBC Radio Wales asking for advice regarding his grandmother, Annie Gertrude John (nee Whiskerd). Annie had given birth to a baby girl in 1911. Baby Phyllis Whiskerd was adopted and Philip wanted to know what he could do to try and find out more about...

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  15. If you have never heard of the British Home Children (BHC) then prepare to be amazed by their story - a story that is soon to be told through the artwork of Nerea Martinez de Lecea and Michele Woodey.

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  16. Late last autumn while there was still a sun in the sky and warmth in the air, I paid a visit to one of the antique shops in Cardiff that sells World War One military memorabilia. Like a magpie I was drawn to the small shiny objects in the display cabinet and after much negotiation I walked away...

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  17. The tale of the three Sheppards from Tonyrefail continues and this update is from Anita Farrell, whose two great uncles and great great grandfather were featured in my blog last November to commemorate Remembrance Day.

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  18. Way back in 2002 when I first started working for BBC Radio Wales I was lucky enough (and still am) to be asked to appear on various live radio broadcasts; to showcase my people tracing talents as well as my family history research skills.

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  19. Back in the hazy summer days of August in between reuniting bibles and wedding veils with their original families something in The Hereford Times caught my eye.

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  20. Each year as people start to wear poppies and Remembrance Day gets closer my thoughts and research efforts become focused on helping others overcome their military based family history obstacles, and this year is no different.

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