S01EP05: ‘The Quack’ with Valmay Young

The fifth episode of The Family Histories Podcast is now live across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all the other usual platforms.

In this episode we’re joined by guest Valmay Young – a family historian and archivist, with ancestors in the UK, Germany, North America, India and more! She tells us about how she got hooked on genealogy, and we hear about her work with the Families In British India Society (FIBIS), how an unusual phone call from Germany boosted her research, and how she copes with working (rather than getting distracted) for a county archives office.

Life Story – Richard Sheridan Wardley

Valmay chose her 3x Great Grandfather, Richard Sheridan Wardley as her Relatively Speaking life story.

As you’ll hear, Richard sounds like quite a complicated man – his regular vanishing acts, trips to the USA, his attempt to publish someone else’s work as his own, and most seriously, posing as a medical doctor, all made this story a fascinating one for Valmay to unravel.

Turns out he wasn’t the Irish playwright and politician, Richard Brinsley Sheridan after all!

“They had been investigating his qualifications and had come to the same conclusion that I was coming to!”

valmay young fibis
Valmay Young

The Brick Wall – Fred Beckwith

Everyone hits a blocker in their family history research sooner or later, and here Valmay picked out the case of her 2x Great Grandfather, Frederick Beckwith (known as ‘Fred’) as her Brick Wall.

Fred turns up to marry Selina Woolf on 1st May 1882 at West Ham Registry Office, stating that his father’s name was Henry. However, despite searching for him, the trail has run cold.

Was he using his real name? When and where was he born? Why are the addresses he uses seemingly dead ends? Do the rumours of a Romany family connection come via Fred? These are all questions that Valmay would love to have your help to answer.

If you think you have information that might help Valmay to progress this case then you can reach out to her either directly at her blog, her twitter, or via our contact form, remembering to select Valmay in the drop-down list.

Finally, Andrew tries to help Valmay make a breakthrough with her research with an irresistible offer of help, but they’re not alone in the garage….

Episode Credits:
Series One, Episode Five

  • Andrew Martin: Host and Producer
  • Valmay Young: Guest
  • John Spike: Sándor Petőfi
  • Eliot Lees: Foley Artist

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