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
Next up is 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! Family history would be boring without them.
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 – a time machine! As a ‘thank you’ for taking part in the episode, our guests get to try it out to see if they can solve their brick wall first-hand. It’s even been known to work.
The Family Histories Podcast is an independent British podcast founded in 2021, that celebrates family historians all around the world, and the work that they do to piece together our collective social and family history.
It aims to do this with respect towards all guests, cultures, beliefs, and aims to take a factual or neutral view upon historical topics – allowing the guests to share and discuss their views in the context of their work. A guest’s viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the view of the podcast, nor of any, nor the entire cast or crew.
The podcast does not include advertisements, nor does it participate in paid promotions, sponsorship, or requests for funding. It also does not offer a paid-for subscriber model, and is not part of a podcast network. Quite simply, it is what it is, and it aims to continue as an independent podcast.
The show is available worldwide for free, unless podcast platforms or countries impose restrictions, and is currently listened to in 45 countries.
Our official other online channels are: