Evernote, by Phil Isherwood – Webinar

This interesting webinar on Evernote, by Phil Isherwood, may provide help for those who struggle with organising their research … which I suspect may be many of us!

Phil has worked in the software industry for 30 years and has been researching his family history for more than half of that time. He is interested in the use of innovative technology in both genealogy and his professional life.

His talk will cover:

* What Evernote is
* How it works
* It’s strengths and weaknesses
* Why it is useful for genealogical research.

A significant section of the talk is dedicated to live examples of how he has used Evernote to solve specific organisational challenges.

Evernote is particularly relevant to those pursuing one-name studies as it has great strengths in storage, indexing, searching and retrieval across large volumes of materials.

The webinar will take place at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday 17 December and the recording will be available to watch by Guild members only for two weeks after that. Non-members can watch the presentation LIVE only.

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Research & Resources for Researching Surnames – Advent Day 2

Members of the Guild, when registering a surname commit to collating material about a given surname on a global basis.

The Guild has a substantial body of index material, all created by members with the ethos of members helping members.

One of the early steps I encourage those undertaking the Introduction to One-Name StudiesIntroduction to One-Name Studies (901) course is to search the marriage indexes – now the Guild has three such marriage indexes, but at some point the marriage indexes will be merged.

The reason I promote the marriage index is the other party in the marriage might be a Guild registered name and therefore there is opportunity to engage in information swap.

When the registered the surname Butcher it was 2016 I think, I searched the marriage indexes as I had connecting those Butcher entries to another study. For example, the Howes Study had a number of Howes/House marriages with the name of Butcher. I swapped what material I had and the registrant for the Howes study did the same. We went a step further, in addition to citing the actual source, we also named as a source each other’s study – providing the opportunity to pollinate across the studies.

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Research & Resources for Researching Surnames – Advent Day 1

The first resource I am going to share is the Guild of One-Name Studies website. The website is host to a lot of data and the numerous benefits of membership. It is also the place where you can find the profile page that goes alongside the various registered studies.

Despite being a member for almost 20 years I often stumble across something that I did not know was there. Whether you are a member or not, do take a look at the website; you might be surprised at what you can find. If you find something of interest why not leave a comment.

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Research & Resources for Researching Surnames – Advent Introduction

December is here again. The year of 2020 has been a strange year and whilst there have been lots of sad and horrible moments, there has been some stable & enjoyable moments too.

I planned earlier in the year to create an Advent post for December, the focus is on Research and Resources methods and snippets for researching surnames. Day 1 will be posted shortly.

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Mobility and Morbidity…A Project for the Future

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2020

I have just published a long overdue news post on the Guild of One-Name Studies website. The subject matter was the recent seminar series which sees the Guild releasing a presentation every week from the beginning of October until mid November.

The first session was from Elizabeth Green on the subject of Mortality and Morbidity and this was one that I heard recorded about a week before it was released to the genealogical world.

This was a provoking presentation, focusing on one of the key marker stones in the lives of our ancestors; deaths and death certificates. Following watching the presentation, I pulled out the death certificates that I have in my records and I could see some similarities and that research needs more work and I may well share elements of that research here…..in the future. Elizabeth’s presentation is still available to non-members of the Guild for another week or so – you can see the recording HERE

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LibraryThing – #LibrariesWeek


I joined LibraryThing back in October 2005, paying the fee of $25 for a lifetime account which enabled me to list more than 200 books. (The fee was removed circa 2019).

My plan was to catalogue all of my books, reading lists plus the other material relevant, essentially things like microfiche and data CD’s. You can view my LibraryThing Profile HERE.

I have set my books up into collections:

  • My Library – Books that I own
  • Wish List – Potential future reading
  • Audio, DVD and Video (and I have an occasional  audio tape!)
  • To Read – the to be read list
  • Read, but un-owned – those that I have borrowed from friends or the library or books that I owned but subsequently donated
  • Book Reviews
  • SPG – These are typically my husband’s book which are essentially about fish and fishing
  • Mum’s – These are my late Mum’s and are currently a work in progress
  • Current Library Books – (in an attempt to track books and reduce library fines!)

I also use Tags – In all there are 53, but here is a few – Fiction, History, Genealogy, Biography, Memoir, eBooks, Cookery Food & Drink, DNA, Italy, Historical Fiction, Quilts etc. You can see my Tags HERE.

You can read about LibraryThing HERE and open an account, free of charge to catalogue your own books. There is an App that can be downloaded and is available for both iOS and Android platform. It is also possible to Import and Export from LibraryThing. Information can be found HERE


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

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Library Memories #LibrariesWeek

An unidentified library. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

As I looked for something yesterday I came across my school reports from my middle school. Along with them was a letter thanking me for a donation to the school library, the year I left middle school, which was 1981.

The middle school did not have a library. I know that sound crazy, especially when I have said I made a donation to it and if no library then why this post? I cannot recall if the school was short on space, but the books that you would have expected to be in a library were on shelves which ran around the walls on the landing, opposite the stairs.

The book I donated to the book was about the Philippines. The school had a very good selection of books that were about numerous global locations. I seem to recall having to create a worldwide project for geography, which likely explains the book I selected.

In comparison, my senior school did have a library. It was not huge, but the school only had 1200 pupils. I spent quite a lot of time there, especially over the lunch period clutching my school diary which I have written about before. It was the beginning of my journal writing journey; and if you are interested you can read that post HERE. It was here that I developed my writing strategy, which at this point was not perfect, but it has developed further, over the years, whether that was homework, lesson notes, reports, thesis planning and post graduate work. I would head to the library and quickly scope out what work I needed to do and when it was to be done by. I would have preferred to remain in the class room, but that was not an option, so the next best place was the library as that was relatively quiet. I assume there was a librarian, but I don’t recall one.

Of course I was at school before the days of smart phones, actually it was the days before mobile phones now I think about it, given that, it is little wonder that I have no photographs of the library and today’s image is from the image site Unsplash.


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

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Favourite Genealogical Library – Society of Genealogists #LibrariesWeek

Cover of the Library guide, purchased 1989. From the collection of Julie Goucher

The ultimate genealogical library  in the UK in my view is the Society of Genealogists. I first visited in 1989 and purchased a small booklet about the Society which provided a brief guide; the location and directions, what is available to visitors across three floors. It offered guidance on preparing for a visit and included a small map, identifying where about, on each floor various things are. The booklet proved invaluable.

I did not visit for a number of years, but upon restarting visits, I undertook a library tour. These are given free of charge and really help to familiarise yourself with the material and where it is. I also renewed my membership which meant that I could visit as often as I wished, which was frequently as I lived within 40 minutes of London. Upon moving to the south west of England, I sadly lapsed my membership, work pressures, and a much longer journey made a visit more tricky. A changing work schedule meant that I could rejoin and was very pleased I did, even though I have moved to the other end of the country and have a longer journey to London, but a quicker one.

The Society has a website and whilst it is not as slick as some, it is a good genealogical resource, including holding a continually growing members area with an amazing amount of material for the genealogist and those who are working on specific projects, including One-Name Studies. The Society also has a robust educational platform, of course the current situation means that they have other elements to consider beyond the worries of handouts and a prompt lecturer!

The Society, moved from no online meetings to a very successful online provision for members and non-members. I was delighted that was to be the case. One of the first sessions I heard was looking at the numerous collections available, I then followed that up with Special Collections; both of these were offered and given by the SOG, I have also attended another sessions and several of the lunchtime chat’s. The SOG has indeed embraced their new opportunity. Lock down also meant that the volunteers have been very productive in working through material, indexing from digital images with the aim of getting the material online and into the members room.

Why not visit the Society of Genealogists website and explore .


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 -10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

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Pharos One-Name Studies & Surname Courses

© Julie Goucher – September 2020

I hope you all like the new image, it is not a Picasso, but was enjoyable to create. The hardest bit, making sure that I have the little squares nice and tidy. Given that I am clumsy, you can guarantee that I knock the cutting mat, sending little alphabet tiles everywhere! The image reflects the three one-name (Surname) courses that I teach and together, they offer a layered learning approach.

The Introduction course (901) looks at the  first steps of a study, thinking about the types of surnames, the numbers of a study and the history of surnames are just a few of the elements covered. The Practicalities of a One-Name Studies course (903) looks at the practical element of a study, spreadsheets, various software and online trees, plus much more. The last course currently is the Advanced course (902) which looks at, to name a few, surname case studies, plus writing, sharing and getting published.

The courses are either 5 or 6 weeks, all have a weekly chats, with the Practicalities course having a practice week and the Advanced course a reading & research week. The Introduction and the Practicalities course both run twice a year and the Advanced course currently runs once a year. Even though the courses have all run previously, there is always upbeat learning, sharing of material and a camaraderie that Guild of One-Name Studies members will recognise.

For those of you who I might have tempted and are wondering where to start, I recommend you have a look through the numerous surname posts I have written, all of which can be found HERE and download the Surname Worksheet and then read the individual course information, which you can access by clicking the links above. If you have any questions, please do leave a comment.

Posted in Advanced One-Name Studies (Pharos Course 902), Genealogy, Introduction to One-Name Studies (Pharos course 901), One-Name Studies, Practicalities of a One-Name Studies (Pharos Course 903) | Leave a comment

Genealogical Libraries – #LibrariesWeek

I talked about Guildford library yesterday and we stay with that location for today’s post.

Guildford library housed, when I began my genealogical and local history research, a rather fantastic set of local history material located on the top floor of the library. Despite it’s location it was in fact part of the Surrey Records Office, which also housed material at the Muniment Room, Guildford and at Kingston upon Thames.

I remember tentatively reaching the top floor and  found there was an open section of local history books etc and a enclosed area which housed the archive element of the collection. I explained to the librarian, who was called Mavis, what I wanted and suddenly a new world of material was available to me. Mavis was an inspirational individual, had she been less helpful or less welcoming I might not have ever gone back, but she was fantastic and it was her actions that set me on the pathway of genealogy, family and local history. Every genealogist should have a Mavis in their memory bank!

It was Mavis who shared my joy when I located my Great Grandmother, aged 3 on the 1881 Census. What was so magical, was that I remember my Great Grandmother, who allowed me to snuggle with her, aged 3, when I visited with my Mum and Grandparents. By then, Granny as she was known was an elderly lady in her 90’s and living with her eldest daughter (my Grandfather’s sister) and her husband. I have many happy memories of those visits both as a snuggling 3 years old and as an note book holding adult, recording numerous genealogical notes.

As I reflected when I wrote this post, we have come a long way since then. At the time, the latest Census available was 1881. I remember the subsequent release of each of the 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census, and of course, the 1921 Census release is just around the corner. These days, we can search our census records from the comfort of our homes, dressed in our PJ’s if we like. In the days of my experience of locating Granny in the 1881 Census, we had to visit the archives to search those Census materials. We extracted the film from the box and loaded it to the reader, threading the film. We moved through the film until we found who we wanted to locate, some of us letting out a small exclamation of “got you!” Those of us who were regulars at the Guildford local studies library recognised each other and often enjoyed conversations and shared the joy of those “got you!” moments.

I spent many hours at that local studies library, researching my Surrey family and those from the parishes of North Hampshire. I was very lucky to have such easy access to such a repository. Years later the library moved across to the newly build Surrey History Centre and whilst it was great to have everything in the new one stop shop for Surrey heritage, those days with Mavis and the other staff were great, the knowledge of the material and locations was second to none. They were enjoyable years, but whether it is the years of the late 1980’s or yesterday, we are lucky to have the expertise of librarians and archivists. The contribution they make is huge and they are often under valued.


Libraries Week takes place in the UK from 5 – 10  October. You can read more HERE. You can become a lifelong library supporter – more details HERE

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