Examining Migration & Researching Migrants in the British Isles Webinar

This webinar will be broadcast live at 8pm US Eastern time (or 1 am UK time) on 12/13th September. The presentation will be available to all for one week before being made available to Legacy Webinar subscribers only. A comprehensive syllabus is available to subscribers. You can still register for the live event and to receive reminders HERE

Examining Migration & Researching Migrants in the British Isles

Posted in DNA & Surname Projects, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Presentations | 4 Comments

Family Tree Magazine (UK) – Research Rarities Series

FTMAs my 2018 series, Research Rarities, draws to a close I was delighted when the October 2018 issue of the UK genealogical magazine Family Tree arrived with me last week. You can see the full series of articles below in reverse order, although there is also a November issue which is to yet to be published.

The reason I was so delighted was that my late father in law served on the Arctic Convoy and it was that museum that I choose to feature in the October 2018 issue.

It was only after my father in law passed away did we really fully appreciate the ordeal these soldiers went through as they navigated their way through not just a war and the challenges that brought, but also the plummeting temperatures and weather conditions.

  • Russian Arctic Convoy Museum ~ October 2018, pg 86
  • One Place Study Directory ~ September 2018, pg 63
  • A Royal Wonder St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle ~ August 2018, pg 76
  • Two Remarkable People ~ July 2018, pg 69
  • Irish Soldiers Records (National Army Museum) ~ June 2018, pg 67
  • The Men who Said No ~ May 2018, pg 67
  • Oxford Archivists’ Consortium ~ April 2018, pg 74
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Heritage Hub ~ March 2018, p69
  • Prefab Museum UK ~ February 2018, p87
  • Rare Book Society of India ~ January 2018, p56

What this feature has revealed is there are SO many places online that hold genealogical material and can add further depth and information to our research and that is just the places online let alone the wonderful resource rich archives and libraries amongst other organisations.

I will update the list with the research rarity for the November 2018 issue and reveal the 2019 series, so stay tuned!

Posted in Genealogy, Web Wednesday | Leave a comment

Favourite Book(s) #35 – Tracing Your Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings by Ruth A Symes

Letters and Personal WritingsThis made it to the favourite’s list for whole host of reasons.

Our existence can be tracked in paper from the moment we are born, through education, employment and taxation records. Houses we buy and sell and even articles we write. In the modern age we write blogs, send tweets, upload holiday snapshots to Facebook. On reflection the list is endless in the modern world of things we leave behind, whether they are reams of paper and notebooks or 140 character tweets.

Our lives are made up of more than just dates and places. We potentially may tap into letters, notebooks, journals of our ancestors. Perhaps we even write our own, I certainly do. This book arrived and sat on my desk buried under a pile of papers for about a week. I had made the deal with myself that I would read the book once the papers had been filed or recycled. I confess I cheated and merged two piles into one and picked up the book!

The book is divided into 11 chapters, each one concluding with questions that we might consider when reviewing our ancestors written legacy, along with a list of further reading material and websites. The book concludes with a bibliography and index. My copy of the book is covered with post it notes and this is one of those books that I would take to a desert island, along with my own notebook and pen. It did make me reflect not only on the material my own ancestors left, and their ability to read and write, the circumstances of their lives and access to materials, but also my own writings; planners, notebooks, articles and publications and the reason behind such writings.

It would be interesting to see what conclusions people would draw from my own planners and notebooks after considering the way they are written and even down to the ink I use to write in them, as that does tell the reader something about me as a writer. I also reflected on what I want to happen to such writings once I have joined my ancestors. One other thing that I had not considered was writing in code and the ability to decipher such a code. That made me recall the BBC fictional series about a group of women who worked at Bletchley Park and used those techniques to solve crimes, and of course, the actual Bletchley Park which inspired the series.

I had never considered that I perhaps might leave a written note of why I write such material, I do though keep a copy of my articles when I submit them for publication and a copy of the published one. I do this for several reasons, one of which, is because I met an author a number of years ago and we began talking. They shared with me that they had not kept a copy of a book they had written and now the book was hard to come by. I thought that was quite sad and fairly ironic that they would have to pay somewhere in the region of £60 at least, to purchase a book that they had in fact written. I guess we all live and learn.

Posted in Books, Favourite Book(s), Filofax, Journals & Notebooks, Genealogy | Leave a comment

Six Degrees of Separation from Where am I Now? to……

The #6Degrees meme occurs on the 1st of the month over at the blog, Books are my Favourite and Best which is written by Kate.

Where Am I NowI had not come across this memoir, but was familiar with the actress, although I did not recognise the name. My husband is a huge fan of the movie, Miracle on 34th Street in which Mara Wilson starred and we probably watch it several times during the festive season. At the time of writing this I have not ordered the book, but think I am very likely too!

For this month, I have lots to choose from as Memoirs and family stories really appeal to me, but lets see where we end up by book six.

Letters and Personal Writings

This is one of my personal favourites. Letters and diaries enable genealogists to have a gateway into the lives of our ancestors and the people who went before us and provide a fascinating insight into their lives and the times in which they lived.

84CharingCrossRoad

Another favourite is this by Helene Hanff and follows the exchange of letters between the author and the worker in a post Second World War two bookshop in London.

A House in St John's Wood

Moving on across the Capital, is this book from Matthew Spender, A House in St John’s Wood: In Search of My Parents as he researches the lives of his parents and the secrets they had.

Home - Julie MyersonRemaining in London we follow the clues of the lives of the former inhabitants of author, Julie Myerson’s house from the time it was built until recent times. Home is a fascinating read.

Bill Bryson At HomeA similar book, At Home: A Short History by well known, American author, Bill Bryson who uses a different tact, of exploring the history of his house, room by room.

End of Life Book Club by Will SchwalbeRemaining across the Atlantic we explore the book, The End of Your Life Book Club by William Schwalbe who spends time reading with his mother whilst she undergoes Chemotherapy and the discussions they had along the way.

This has been a great month and I could easily have done a 20 degrees of separation! Thanks to Kate for hosting another round of this and next month also looks to be a similarly challenge month as I will need to select just six books!

Posted in #6Degrees Meme, Books, Genealogy | 6 Comments

Book of Me Prompts – September 2018

Book of Me2018

© 2017 Julie Goucher

Welcome to the ninth set of prompts for the 2018 Series of the Book of Me. You can read when the prompts are published and about the few changes at my earlier post HERE

There are five prompts each month and you can undertake as many or as few as you wish to.

  • What can’t you do?
  • What is your favourite food and why?
  • What is your favourite drink & why?
  • What is your favourite place and why? How does it make you feel?
  • What is your favourite relaxing technique?

If you have any questions or want to share thoughts or a blog link, if you decide to share via a blog (remember to, that you don’t have to share to take part in the series) then please leave a comment. Further discussion is also happening in the closed Facebook Group.

Posted in Book of Me, Book of Me - Series 3 Getting to Know You (2018) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Favourite Book(s) #34 – The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee

the geneI spotted this book when it was first released in paperback. I almost bought it then remembered that I could purchase it on the way back to the car, then promptly forgot. I ordered it from Amazon and it arrived the next day. I set about reading immediately; I was drawn in my the prologue alone.

It is not a book that you can read cover to cover, completing in a few days. I read in chapters and took a few weeks to complete the book, not because it was heavy going or difficult to read, but because I needed to think between chapters and reflect.

Whatever our personal circumstances, we are in many ways determined by our genetics and the blood that runs through our veins, whether or not we know those people. In the prologue to the book the author talks of a visit to India and visiting a cousin who had a mental illness diagnosis and had been confined to an appropriate hospital. In may ways, the circumstances for those with this diagnosis is tragic and those left behind struggle with acceptance and the stigma that is attached to that.

Like the author, my Grandfather had a first cousin who was confined to such a hospital from an early age. She remained there for decades until the Government began closing the facilities and selling off the land and promoting “care in the community”. By that point she was totally institutionalised, but went to live with her brother who condemned their father for putting her through that. I remember explaining to the two of them, that in the early part of the 20th Century and prior, many conditions that are treatable today were not then and furthermore, were not explainable. Conditions such as Epilepsy and even dementia like symptoms as a result of a untreated Thyroid condition all were treated the same, rightly or wrongly, as mental illness. We have come a long way in a short space of time in that regards, yet the stigma for some conditions remains and for some, the damage of decades of incorrect treatment and diagnosis remains; furthermore, a diagnosis and the modern knowledge may simply be too late to reverse the situation, which is thoroughly tragic on many levels. We can not condemn the past on the knowledge of the present.

The book has made it to my favourite list because I walked away from it reflecting and contemplating the medical conditions of the cousin mentioned above and even my late Mum, who did not have a mental health condition. She had Polio as a child and the effects of that, both at the time and decades later were not understood then and in some cases even now. I will write about that later this year when I unveil a project I have been working on!

Any book that makes you think, both as you read it and for days, weeks, months afterwards is, in my book (no pun intended!) a good one. The book has done it’s job, in educating, providing knowledge, thought, reflection and understanding all in addition to be a pleasure to read. In fact when Amazon had the Kindle version on sale at 99p earlier this year I bought that too, because at that price why not!

We are determined by those that went before us and that is why many of us spend decades researching the lives of our ancestors. It too is why some of us have undertaken DNA tests as a way of connecting with others with whom we share an ancestral link. I am no DNA expert, but more and more I am seeing the benefit of those tests. I will write about DNA tests, projects and my results later in the year.

Posted in Books, DNA & Surname Projects, Favourite Book(s) | Leave a comment

Polish Communities – Migration & Resettlement

On Friday I released a short presentation for Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This can be viewed, and the syllabus downloaded HERE, if you have a Legacy Webinar subscription.

This topic is a very interesting one and over the coming weeks and months I will share some material that did not make it into the presentation, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, if you have Polish ancestry & a subscription do listen to the presentation and download the syllabus.

If you have any questions, please do leave a comment.

Posted in Genealogy, Presentations | 1 Comment

Webinar – My Italian One-Name Study

Orlando-ONS-PresentationThe webinar I jointly presented with Michael Cassara on Tuesday 21st August is now  available on the Guild of One-Name Studies website.

Usually the webinars are available to the public for a week before becoming a members benefit, but Michael and I both felt that we would like our webinar to be open for the public ongoing and the same applies to the handout.

You can watch the presentation and download the handout via this link.

I hope you enjoy the presentation and if you are researching an Italian surname or have any questions, please do get in touch or leave a comment. Our thanks to Tessa Keough for the introductions and being our host.

Posted in DNA & Surname Projects, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Presentations | 1 Comment

Webinar – My Italian Surname Study

Italian ONS PresentationNext Tuesday, 21st August 2018 the Guild of One-Name Studies will be offering their latest webinar in their 7 Pillars series.

Michael Cassara, who runs the Cuono One-Name Study and myself who runs the Orlando One-Name Study, will be talking about our perspective Italian Surname research and why we think there is a real and positive benefit to a One-Name study if you are researching an Italian surname or indeed any particular surname, especially if your ancestors hailed from Europe.

You can register for the webinar HERE – the webinar will be broadcast live at 7pm London England time (GMT+1) and we do hope you can join us for what Michael and I believe will be an informative webinar.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Orlando, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Presentations, Sutera Sicily | 2 Comments

Favourite Book(s) #33 – How to Bullet Plan by Rachel Wilkerson Miller

51kvt1Nnm8LFor reasons I cannot explain this book has become a favourite. It is a shame that this likely first book about Bullet planning was published by someone who did not devise the concept, but such is life!

I spotted this in a magazine I think last year and ordered it from Amazon because I could always return it, but it became a favourite, probably because like many others I am fascinated by what people include in their planners, whether or not they bullet journal.

This book has a mixture of snippets from famous diarists, such as Samuel Pepys and includes some  ideas for what you might keep in your planner or notebook, anything from tracking how much water you drink to chores, from health and food, debriefs if you see a councillor or similar professional. There are lists of quotes, planner set ups, daily, weekly, monthly and even future year – this is useful if you start booking events and things before purchasing the next planner. Packing lists, books and TV series lists and an assortment of others.

Did I learn something from this book, well yes I did and I dare say you will too if you choose to purchase the book or even look at the preview on Amazon. We are limited by only our imagination and sometimes, our imagination is expanded by the unlikeliest of books or things. There is a book written by the man (Ryder Carroll) who designed the concept of Bullet planning which will be published October of this year. I have it on advance order, because I would be interested in reading what he says about this style of planning and notebook writing.

At the back of this book is a small bibliography, a list of the pens the author uses. I don’t use the pens the author uses and when I did try them found them not to my liking. My preferred pen is a series of coloured Uniball ones and whilst I always by the set of 8 from Amazon, the colours I use the most are green and blue. Do I need to use colour pens? No, but that goes back to my O-level days and I am a creature of habit.

My advice to anyone is this – any pen and notebook (and/or planner) will work great. Make it yours and change the way you write and what you record until you find a way that works for you. Like with anything, our ways are always evolving.

Posted in Books, Favourite Book(s), Filofax, Journals & Notebooks | 4 Comments