Shakin’ Stevens and the ‘Echoes of our Times’

Posted by Kristen Hyde on September 23, 2016 in Site, AncestryDNA, United Kingdom

For a lot of people, researching their family history can be a huge undertaking that can span months, or even years. So when you finally reach a point of personal fulfilment, it’s natural to want to do something with all those findings. People often print and frame their family trees; produce coffee table books; write blogs; even stitch narrative quilts.

But when Shakin’ Stevens, 80s rock ‘n roll dynamo, came to us and said he’d produced a new album inspired by his family history, suffice to say we sat up with interest.

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Considered the Welsh Elvis, Shakin’ Steven (Michael Barratt) was the UK’s biggest-selling singles artist of the 1980s. Born in Ely, Cardiff, Shaky was the youngest of 13 children. But despite coming from a large family, Shaky knew little about his ancestors and their stories. If anything, his past was shrouded in mystery, hidden behind secrets and lies that had been long maintained by his extended family.

But through his research with Ancestry, and by taking the AncestryDNA test, Shaky was able to solve some of those mysteries, and uncover the history of his family. From tales of death and difficulty in the Cornish copper mines, to the loss of war, and spiritual Salvationists, Shaky’s new album ‘Echoes of our Time’ recognises and celebrates the stories of his ancestors’ lives.

We caught up with Shaky to chat about his new album and the impact of his family history research on his sense of identity.

Want to hear more from Shakin’ Stevens and ‘Echoes of our Times’? Join us as we go behind the tracks that made the album.

‘Echoes of our Times’ can be found on iTunes or ordered online at

Past Articles

A Confection Connection

Posted by Paula Stuart-Warren on September 21, 2016 in Research

This article originally appeared in Ancestry Magazine, November-December 2007. Family history clues can be anywhere. An old recipe card may note “these were always served by cousin Mary McGuire” or “Aunt Susie made this every Thanksgiving.” So where do you go from there? Start at the beginning. I was told that Bertha Christine Molzen Deschner, Read More

Find A Grave Community Weekend on October 7-9

Posted by Jessica Murray on September 16, 2016 in Site, Events, Find A Grave, In The Community

Announcing our 3rd Annual Find A Grave Community Meetup! We are hosting this global meetup starting on Friday, October 7 – Sunday, October 9th to fulfill hundreds of thousands of photo requests still outstanding on Find A Grave, and to document those cemeteries and gravesites that are not currently on our site. Cemeteries are incredibly valuable Read More

A Place in the County: Living at the County Home

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on September 16, 2016 in Site

Life wasn’t always dreamy–but, for a family historian, even the less-than-perfect times may have had silver lining. It is easy to romanticize the lives of our ancestors. We like to think of them as hard-working, independent people. Long hours in the field or factory earned them enough money to feed and shelter their family, and Read More

The value of searching Glasgow’s Electoral Registers (1857-1962)

Posted by Kristen Hyde on September 16, 2016 in Site, Content, United Kingdom

Susan Taylor, librarian in the Special Collections department of The Mitchell Library in Glasgow discusses the Glasgow Electoral Registers (1852 – 1962), now available on Ancestry.  Searching Glasgow’s Electoral Registers just got a whole lot easier. Over 100 years of electoral registers (or voters rolls) from the Mitchell Library’s extensive family history collection have been Read More

Are You a Descendant of a British Home Child?

Posted by Kristie Wells on September 8, 2016 in In The Community

From the early 1860s up to the 1970s, children who were institutionalized in ‘Homes’ across the United Kingdom were sent to countries across the British Empire (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa) to work on farms and as domestic help.  The majority of the up to 120,000 British Home children sent to Canada arrived between Read More