During Fort Wayne Ancestry Day's Ask the Experts Panel, we received so many questions that we were unable to answer them all during the event. The following are questions asked and The Genealogy Center staff's responses.
How do you overcome the problems in English genealogy for the period from 1911 to the present without paying huge fees?
Well, define "huge fees." Twentieth century research can be very difficult due to privacy issues, and not a lot of information is available. Here in America we are fortunate to have our Social Security Death Index and 1930 census information. I'm afraid there is not as much available online for England for the same period. British vital records for the twentieth century are kept in the General Register Office. You will either have to contact that office for certificates or hire a researcher to do so.
An ancestor abandoned his wife and children in Louisville, told his family he was going to fight in the Boer War. He disappeared. They never knew what happened to him despite searching and using, I think, a private investigator. How can I find out if he did join the British Army, went to South Africa, and died there. I never found a death record for him.
Records of the Boer War are held in the National Archives (of the United Kingdom), formerly known as the Public Record Office at Kew. If you type "Boer War" in the search field, it brings up a guide to searching for the records of soldiers. I don't believe the service records are available online, so a search of the archives will be necessary.