In the midst of UK Lockdown X, on a sunny February morning in 2021, the idea for the series was hatched, aiming to fill a gap in UK genealogy shows, and sitting somewhere in the shadows of Greg Jenner’s brilliant ‘You’re Dead To Me‘ and BBC Radio 4’s long-running ‘Great Lives‘ series.
The Family Histories Podcast aims to be a positive, conversational, fun show about family history and our family historians – the often un-sung heroes tirelessly breathing life back into our collective social history.
As the podcast’s creator, author, tech-nerd, and family historian of more than 25 years, Andrew Martin was the only choice to host the show.
His research has taken him back more than 430 years, over a distance of about 10 miles, in his native Cambridgeshire, England. Inevitably he is his own cousin, once removed.
This is a show for people who make sense of the census, go wild for Wills, go ga-ga for gravestones, or just can’t say no to an old newspaper.
Andrew Martin, S01,EP01
Each episode features a family history addict and follows a familiar format – itself three stories (hence ‘The Family Histories Podcast’):
Andrew interviews the episode’s guest, where he uncovers how they got into this wonderful pastime of genealogy, what their challenges have been, and all kinds of questions relating to their area of research. Every family historian’s origin story is different, often emotive, and wonderfully fascinating.
The Life Story
Relatively Speaking is the name of the Life Story part of the show – where our guest tells the story of one of their most fascinatingly good, bad, or just plain ugly relatives that they have researched. There have been some wonderful stories so far – plenty of goodies, and of course, some baddies too!
The Brick Wall
Everyone faces and fears a research ‘brick wall’ at some time in their family tree research, where the story hits a dead end. Therefore, the end part of the show is an opportunity to put a plea out for help in a hope that a listener has that little clue or scrap of information that cracks that wall and brings it tumbling down. The listeners can make contact with the guest via our Contact Us page or via the means given by the guest in the episode.
There is something in Andrew’s garage that every family historian would find very useful in their quest to demolish their research brick wall. Our guests get to try it out, and it’s even been known to be fairly reliable…