Genealogical Mailing Lists

Mailing List(2)

Created by Julie Goucher using

In the early days of the genealogical world online, the mailing lists were the way to virtually meet other genealogists, swap information and learn from each other. The world moved on to Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other methods. As I said last week, the demise of the mailing lists is sad, it is the end of an era, ironic when you think we are at the beginning of a new decade.

The lists have have begun migration, some to, others to Google groups, some to FaceBook and some will fold completely. There is a section on the archives page for each list which provides a space for the new URL for the replacement list. Of course, there might not be replacements for some lists. The archives are remaining on the current Rootsweb site, and whilst they are promised to remain, I will not be relying it on, and instead will be reading through the archives as fast as I can. The message boards ARE remaining, though I wonder for how long?

It is somewhat ironic that the demise of the list structure has for some lists been the most activity they have seen in a few years. Meanwhile, I have not currently made plans to move my own surname lists, but will likely do so. There are Facebook groups associated with both studies, and they are not terribly busy, but better to be in both places and provide opportunities, than in one place and miss out connecting with fellow researchers.

Posted in Genealogy, Miscellaneous 2020 | 1 Comment

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine – February 2020


WDYTYA? Magazine

I am always fascinated by the material folk left behind in the forms of diaries, journals, notebooks etc and the insight it provides to their lives or the communities they lived in.

This month, I share one of those resources with readers of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine (February 2020 issue). Booths Poverty Maps of London are a fascinating asset for those researching in the capital, although the notebooks are in many ways telling a one sided story.

You can see a glimpse of some of the article below, which forms part of the magazine’s Master Class series.

The Magazine is available in both paper and digital format – for more information click HERE


Julie Goucher and WDYTYA Magazine February 2020


Posted in Genealogy, Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA?) Magazine | Leave a comment

Genealogical Software and Applications


Created by Julie Goucher 2020 using

Ahead of the new Pharos course, Practicalities of a One-Name Study we are going to explore the subject of Software and Applications. Any posts will be categorised the same and will be found HERE.

The software or applications (apps) chosen by researchers will vary depending on what you are planning to do, how and why, in addition to what you are planning to achieve with the overall project as a whole.

In my experience, we often decide to undertake something, then start without considering the impact that starting will have on other things, the how of the project or keeping of the project, much less thinking about why bother the project. By far the most common question asked by Pharos students is about the keeping of a study. Many focus on using a spreadsheet functionality and that is fine, but what are you hoping to achieve?

Consider the aims of any study – do you want a website? and if you do, then you do need to consider how you are going to turn your data into a website without investing in lots of hours retyping. There is little point starting a study of say 50,000 individuals using index cards if you aim is to build a website. Index cards do have their potential place, but as a means to an end, rather than the end.

Like all things, evolution is wonderful. I did not always know the best way forward, I am not even sure that I know the best way forward now. What I do know is, what I wish had been available when I first started my studies. How I wish I had been more organised at the beginning, more contemplative of the way forward. 

We learn by doing, thinking, reflective and questioning behaviours and to some degree by exploring and essentially taking something for a test drive. We also can see reviews and read from the experiences of others. So, stay tuned over the coming weeks for the various posts.

The Practicalities of a One-Name Studies course, commences 17 March 2020, where it is part of the suite of One-Name Studies courses offered by Pharos Tutors.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Practicalities of a One-Name Studies Course, Software and Applications | Leave a comment

Demise of RootsWeb Mailing Lists

I do not generally speaking post news announcements, but felt that this one was worthy of sharing.

Earlier this week, RootsWeb shared the following information –

Beginning March 2nd, 2020 the Mailing Lists functionality on RootsWeb will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to send outgoing emails or accept incoming emails.  Additionally, administration tools will no longer be available to list administrators and mailing lists will be put into an archival state.  Administrators may save the emails in their list prior to March 2nd. After that, mailing list archives will remain available and searchable on RootsWeb

I suspect that many of us knew this day would come, but hoped not yet. The Guild of One-Name studies moved their RootsWeb list to another provider about two years ago, because the list was, and still is, a busy one and becoming unstable and losing activity for about two months was disruptive; members missed the list even though there are other methods for communicating with other members.  The archives at RootsWeb are going to remain available, at least for now.

Like many others, I have surname lists, which are linked to my One-Name Studies and will need to now ponder on what I am going to do now and going forward. Other lists are moving to Facebook Groups, some to have gone to Google groups, others to  Sadly though, not all groups have been thriving ones in the recent past and I suspect this, coupled with technology changes, and budgets has driven the decision. Either way, do consider posting to those lists, including the quiet ones, as doing so will mean that your contact information will be available to those who search the archives. If you are a current list admin, then consider the options available to you as alternatives.
Posted in Genealogy, Miscellaneous 2020 | Leave a comment

Rectors and Curates #GOONSblogchallenge – Post 2

As genealogists we spend a lot of time exploring the parishes our families or those we are researching have lived in. I have been very lucky to have ancestors who resided in two parishes where either the Rector or the Curate kept detailed notes, journals or manuscripts of the people who resided in the parish.

Charles Kerry

Charles Kerry, in later years – From the Puttenham Collection – Julie Goucher

Curate, Rev Charles Kerry was from Derbyshire originally. He spent around 7 years in the rural Surrey parish of Puttenham before moving to Topcliffe in Yorkshire. He eventually returned home to his home County, where he passed away on 1913.

Kerry kept a multitude of notebooks about the people of Puttenham and I was introduced to Kerry by a chap who lived in Puttenham and was active in the local history society there. Kerry’s notebooks can be found at Derby city library, with copies of the notebooks on microfilm at the Surrey History Centre, Puttenham and Wanborough history society and Surrey Archaeological Society.

By the time I was introduced to Kerry I had already researched my family who had lived in the village from the early 1700’s. The moment I mentioned that my several times great Grandfather was Henry Budd I was quickly told of Kerry and in particular vol 10 of his manuscripts. Volume 10 contains a pedigree tree, drawn by Kerry following his conversations with the people of Puttenham. The tree was substantiated by the parish records and other material that I had already located. On the pedigree, aligned with Henry it says “first of the Budd’s“. That small statement confirmed what I had already established, that Henry was from elsewhere. He had moved to Puttenham and began raising his family with his wife Martha. It was to take me another 8 years in total before I actually located the marriage, which was in Surrey but a town in the opposite direction from where I had looked, having systematically worked through every parish from Guildford to the border with Hampshire, then Guildford to the border with Sussex.

Charles Kerry volume 10

Manuscript – Vol 10 Charles Kerry

My own direct line stems from Henry, through to his son and grandson, both called Richard. This part of family links downwards to my maternal Grandfather, but the fascination did not step there. What I especially love about this, is the incidental details, the point that Richard could sing, and had a “fine tenor voice”. This is just one example of the manuscripts value to local and family historians.

The pedigree sat within my only family lines and I switched across to research my maternal Grandmother’s family, which by coincidence descends from the second Richard Budd’s sister, Mary the wife of Richard Bridger. The family connects to the families associated with the paper mills of Hampshire and Sussex owned by the Elstone, Pim and Bridger families who resided in Headley Hampshire.

The Rector of Headley, Wallis Hay Laverty was a character similar to Kerry. He kept and made copious notes of the lives of those who lived in Headley and the neighbouring parishes of Bramshott and Frensham, of which the latter is in Surrey, just over the border. The notebooks are online are again, a true value to local and family historians. My maternal Grandfather’s family through the descendants of the Budd and Ellis families which join with the Harris families and finally into the Butcher’s and are linked, with some featured on this page. A family in true style that gives me a headache as the Harris, Earle (Earl) and Woods families intermarry and then again for good measure!

It was only after I was able to view the scans a few years ago that I was able to spot another genealogical headache and I plan to cover that in a future week of this challenge and thus remove the item from my to do list!

The question of why these men spent hours and hours recording the lives and pedigrees of families they spiritually looked after is worth contemplating. Perhaps this something they found therapeutic, in much the same way we do, in creating these pedigrees. Without the invention of television, nights were likely long, especially in the winter. Perhaps it was also a way of retaining the snippets of information, who married to whom and when etc. Whatever the reason, I am very grateful that the notebooks were kept and they have stood the test of time.


Posted in #GuildBlogChallenge, Budd, Genealogy, Harris, One-Place Studies, Puttenham & Wanborough | 2 Comments

Family Tree Live 2020 #FamilyTreeLive

I can now share with you that I will be delivering two workshops at Family Tree Live in April 2020. The event will take place at Alexandra Palace on 17th and 18th April 2020. You can read about the event, book tickets and workshops via the website

I will be delivering the libraries workshop on 17th April and the surnames workshop on 18th April . Both sessions will take place at 11.30 am.

Workshops are listed in categories on the event website. You can find my session on libraries under research skills and the surnames workshop under next steps.

Book now as spaces are limited!

Posted in #FamilyHistoryLive, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Presentations | 1 Comment

Genealogical Plans for 2020

We are past the first week of the year and I should have shared this a week ago, but the days got away from me. I have spent much of the last week thinking and planning a few genealogical research matters. Firstly a series that will run over the summer and then a review of blog posts for the Guild Blog Challenge that I wrote about last week.


Courtesy of

I am using the Guild challenge to tackle some of the items on my to do list, some of which are easily a decade old (in the case of one, it’s even longer than that!) and connected to my own family history rather than my One-Name or One-Place Studies, but do tap into my studies.

As I type there is a rather large pile huge stack of papers that needs to be filed and sorted into surnames and the material either added to my database or transferred to my to do list and once that is done the paper digitised and then recycled. As luck would have it, the recycling was emptied this morning, so I have two whole weeks to make a significant dent in those paper stacks!

I am also planning to make a dent in the outstanding projects that I have currently underway, one of which has been bubbling away for several years and I am determined to conclude it. Lastly, I want to post a bit more frequently here, I am aiming for twice a week at the very least.

What are your blogging and research plans for the year?

Posted in Genealogy | 2 Comments

New Year, New Planner

As soon as Moleskine planners for the following year are available on Amazon I select a colour and wait for the price to drop. Whilst I love Moleskine daily planners they are expensive – £22 is extortionate. The feature I like the most is the usually, daily planners have Saturday and Sunday on the same page, Moleskine does not, with each day having a full page.

2020plannerMy 2020 planner arrived mid August, having paid a reduced price, somewhere in the region of £12, so a bargain! I normally select navy blue, green planners; or perhaps black but this year I went for snappy pink!

The first thing I do is add dates and bookings to the planners, taken from the future date log I keep at the back of the previous planner. I then flip through the planner moving any odd bits of paper etc from the planner cover or the inside pocket. I also check that all actions and to do’s have been done or migrated to a new date. Any that have not, I put them on a large post it note, fixing it in the front of the planner and work through them.

2019 was quite disruptive in many ways and there were a great many tasks that simply have not been done. Some research notes and ideas have found their way to the planner. Sometimes I have an idea and schedule it as a to do. Sometimes I achieve it and other days I migrate it to a different day. On occasions I complete the action and subsequently give myself another task. I always track my research, even if it’s a quick Google search, which might lead to interesting articles or a valuable research tip.

I usually set up my planner for the New Year by about mid November, as by then I start have started to accumulate commitments for the forthcoming year. For 2020 I set about organising dates much later than normal. I always keep the old planner in my desk in case I need to access it. The process for the incoming and outgoing planners, has not changed significantly in the last two decades, but there might have been the odd nip and tuck here and there!

What are your practices? Do you maintain a physical planner or is your planner digital or even a mix of both?

Posted in Filofax, Journals & Notebooks | Leave a comment

Rural Communities #GOONSblogchallenge – Post 1


From the Guildford and District postcard collection -owned by Julie Goucher

I spent some time a few days ago writing about the Guild blog challenge and shared how my software is set up with different trees. The first post in the series is about rural settings and we, as genealogists should never underestimate the power of a rural setting.

I have often been frustrated by my English family surnames, with several surnames appearing more than once and initially, thought I was “unlucky”. When I sat back and looked at those surnames, I could see patterns of behaviour forming and realised it was not simply the case of brothers and sisters marrying brothers and sisters in a different family as had occurred in my own family from rural Surrey, here in England. It was simply something that had been occurring for generations. My maternal Grandparents families, were simply following the pattern, even if they did not know of a pattern in the first place.

Casting my mind back to when I first purchased a genealogical software programme, I sat and began inputting the data into the programme. I began with my maternal Grandparents and their respective siblings, followed by their offspring and the generation aligned with my own. Then things became a little tricky. Grandfather’s sister married Grandmother’s brother, then became even more tricky, when the same Grandmother’s brother married for the second time to the wife and widow of Grandfather’s brother. Mum’s cousin’s changed surnames from Matthews to Butcher. Then there was another child, from the remarriage of said widow. I was tired and I had barely gone back more than a generation. I expressed irritation and my Mum said, it is likely to get worse you know. When I looked at her and said how? She replied that I should not be surprised. I accepted the comment as just that.

I then began working on my Grandmother’s parents line and selected Grandmother’s uncle Alfred Elstone, and immediately wished I had selected another sibling, because he had married a Rose Butcher. Each time I encountered another of these marriages, I doubled checked my data, just to be sure. It went on and on like this for generations. Sitting back and looking at the family groups, the geographical spread, occupations and migration (both inside the UK and abroad) I knew it was going to continue like this. Within a relatively short time, I established that my maternal Grandparents were sixth cousins. Every hour of genealogy resulted in a headache and frustration. I looked at the geographical spread and noted that within a 300 year time frame, both the families of my maternal grandparents had not moved more than 30 miles (and that is being generous!). The only exception was my Grandmother’s father came from Warwickshire.

Quite without thinking, I began collecting the individuals with the surname of Butcher throughout Surrey and Sussex. At the time I was living in my native Surrey, I had good access to the parish records and so began a lot of piecemeal work as I located a family and followed them. This was the days before laptops were financially commonplace, instead, everything was written and at some point drawn into a family tree.

When I deliver the talk, Tracing European Ancestors, I always recommend researchers obtain a map. Whilst that sounds flippant, it is not intended that way. Look at where you people are and look at what is around them in their time period. It sounds common sense, and it is, but sometimes the most obvious can be overlooked and that can be costly. So in those early days, I began keeping lists, mainly of places and surnames, so I can easily identify a place as a melting pot of a particular surname, especially for places in the borders of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

I had a few sticky moments, firstly involving the marriage of my 6th Great Grandfather, John Butcher to his wife Mary. He was illegitimate and was acknowledged by his father who went on and married his mother when he was six years old. I eventually located his marriage, not in Artington which is just outside of Guildford, Surrey, but in Arlington in Sussex.

The second sticking point was the birth place of my Great Great Grandmother, Mary Denyer who married James Elstone her birth was recorded in the Census in 1841 confirming she was born in the County (Hampshire). In 1851 and onwards, she advised that she was born in Bramshott or Liphook. Despite looking and looking (and looking….) she was not and no amount of my looking was going to magically make her birth appear in the parish records. Eventually, I located her birth in Lurgershall, West Sussex.

By the time I had married in the mid 1990’s I was keen to focus on my husband’s family. That would be easy, new territory in terms of geography. My in laws were able to produce some documents and photos of their ancestors. I was invigorated. I had been researching my husband’s family and came across the Goucher/Goacher cross over, The family were originally in Derbyshire, but by 1715 we had hopped over the Nottinghamshire border. I knew that I had come across the surname of Goacher previously and could not place where. I located the paper records of surnames in Surrey & Sussex and looked through to find the surname of Goacher and sure enough,  came across the marriage of one of the children of the brother to Rose Butcher who married Alfred Elstone. I have put the lid on Pandora’s box, at least for now.

I so wish I could say that my paternal line is any better, but it is not and if anything, it is worse! In Sicily, women retain their birth name even after their marriage. Upon marriage in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, women tend to take their husband’s surname and if they subsequently remarry then we can likely find the second marriages. In Sicily things are further complicated when traditional naming patterns are used. I have one such marriage, except I cannot be 100% sure that the marriage is the second marriage of the widow of an Orlando male, or it is a coincidence and another with the same name or did the brother marry his brother’s widow?

A family of a 1000 people began with just one and that is so very true, and even more so when the families are residing within a few mile radius. The world was still round and still a challenging place to live when our ancestors were living, but if we focus on the elements of family we might be able to look at the families in a different light. Life was hard. It did not just revolve around going to work,  but when market was, attending church and any events. Our ancestors likely met their spouses though family members, my Grandparents met because my Grandfather drank a swift half a pint in the pub where my Grandmother’s brothers drank. It is not a revolutionary way to meet a potential spouse, but probably typical of the times, in that instance, the 1930’s. Alternatively they knew people in common, in laws of in laws, attending the same church, working for neighbouring farmers. All very good reasons to think about when considering your ancestors.

Congratulations if you managed to read through to the end. I quite enjoyed recalling and pondering on those early marriages and research. Until next week.


Posted in #GuildBlogChallenge, Butcher One-Name Study, Elstone, Genealogy, Goacher/Goucher, Guildford, Surrey, England, Headley Hampshire & Frensham Surrey, Matthews, One-Name Studies, Puttenham & Wanborough | 3 Comments

Commonplace Notebooks

Following on from yesterday’s post, where I mentioned the lovely Tartan covered notebooks and mention of Commonplace notebooks. Despite keeping notebooks and journals since I was 12, I had never heard of Commonplace notebooks until I read the insert that came with the delightful book I book mentioned.

WaverleyBookFishUpon returning home, I did two things, the first was to find out what a Commonplace notebook was and the second was to purchase another of these books, this one in the large size and in a blue and orange design. This one made the cut because of the leaping salmon on the front as you can see here.

Commonplace notebooks contain and reflect the diversity and interests the author. The contents might appear as thoughts, lists, ideas, drawings and quotes. That material that has sparked reference material or the seeds of an idea might come from newspapers, blogs, magazines, podcasts and many other things.

There is a gradual distinction between a journal and a commonplace notebook. Journals record an individuals life, whereas a commonplace notebook compiles and demonstrates knowledge, likely located in a variety of places, some outlined here. Social media can also encompass the sharing of material, either by blog, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

As readers of this blog will perhaps note or recall from previous posts that I typically keep two books, a notebook, usually a Leuchtturm1917 where I capture things I want to remember, things that I am researching, article drafts, genealogical trees, lists and notes.

I also keep a planner, usually a Moleskine daily where I note appointments, my to do list, and other time specific information. By coincidence, my current Moleskine notebook was started at the beginning of November and is very much like these Tartan notebooks. They are sized between pocket and large Moleskin and have a mix of lined and plain paper. Upon pulling out my last four notebooks (because they were within arms reach) I can see that I do already keep what is referred to as a Commonplace book, in general terms.

I also have a separate book, using the Travellers notebook system which I wrote about HERE where I capture random notes – ideas for articles that occur to me when its 3 am or I am organising the washing! Yes, the notebook follows me around the house – (though since I wrote that post, B & M have stopped selling the pack of two A6 post its -:( how could they?) Whilst we live in an electronic world, and I love it, I am also a creature of habit and therefore my note taking is analogue and will remain so!

The physical structure and content of a commonplace notebook will develop and evolve overtime, Indeed I maintain such a notebook for broad and specific information relating to surnames. I can already see that this notebook, my moleskine planner and regular notebooks will evolve again over time.

Historically commonplace notebooks have existed since the 14th Century when they were created in Italy, likely for Italian merchants, where they were known as Zibaldone, but they didn’t reach popularity until the 17th Century. Some universities formally taught and required students the practice for literature and humanities classes.

Posted in Filofax, Journals & Notebooks, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course | 3 Comments