My name is Jessica Feinstein, and I’m a qualified genealogist as well as a family history teacher and journal editor. Follow me @genealogy_edu

I wanted to start a blog about all of the direct ancestors of my grandson Ari (b. 10 Feb 2017). His birth has given me an opportunity to focus on part of the family tree, looking again at all the records I have and searching for new ones. I am already amazed at how focusing on individuals in this way makes you notice things you hadn’t noticed before – small details as well as gaps and inconsistencies.

I know at least a little bit about 383 of his direct ancestors (13 new ones added since I started the blog!). They lived in places as far afield as: Memel (now Klaipeda) in Lithuania; Grafton Flyford in Worcestershire; Middleton by Wirksworth in Derbyshire; Corfe Castle in Dorset; Barrowden in Rutland; Kalisz in Poland; Svencionys in Lithuania; Johannesburg, South Africa; Gritsev in Ukraine; Parichi in Belarus; Fonthill Bishop in Wiltshire; and Hurstbourne Tarrant in Hampshire.

I will post about all of these people if I can, to try to bring them to life for Ari.

To see the full family tree, please go to or