A-Z Challenge 2020 – Specialised Studies P is for Places – Towns, Villages and Hamlets

Specialised Studies

Created by Julie Goucher using wordclouds.com March 2020

We all call somewhere home and home might not be where we live. I lived in Devon for more than 20 years, and in the whole of that time, it never, not once felt like home. When we relocated 400 miles north, within a few weeks, our new home, did actually feel like home. Ironically it was my husband who had the hardest time readjusting and he was born in the area we relocated to.

What is home? For me, home will always be the south east of England. My family, or at least my maternal line is from there and has been for at least 300 years. Over the last 30 years, I have researched those town and places that have featured in my genealogy.  Equally though, Sutera in Sicily is also a source of interest and curiosity. It is the location of my paternal family and is very much of me as the south east of England.

When we focus on a specialised study, the websites and organisations we will explore will vary dramatically and studies might indeed reflect a variety of topics, not all of them are geographical places. With so many variations, I have elected to share a few resources with you that can be used across the globe, depending on where your study takes place.

  • eBay – In the post I wrote back in February, I explained how to set up a search for a surname. This was following my article in Family Tree Magazine. The same can be applied to a place by changing the search parameters.
  • Google Maps – This can be used irrespective of locations. This can help with identifying various locations within a place, so a church for example. It can also help with the identification of nearby places and towns.
  • Maps – Following on from the point above, nearby places can also reflect and include new locations, established as urban grown has occurred. Therefore it would be useful to have a mixture of electronic and physical maps, as that will show when urban growth has occurred.
  • Local History – identification through local reading clarifying if events that would normally have taken place in one venue, in fact took place in another. This might be because a church had restorative work and thereby events would have taken place in a nearby church.
  • Clerics – The clerics who supported our places in previous Centuries were very often the key to the recording of people in those places. I wrote HERE about two such individuals who did just that in two locations where my various family lines were located. The records written by Kerry and Laverty, which I referenced in the linked page above, left such a rich archive and resource. It is worth noting that whilst Kerry documented a Surrey parish in his manuscripts, the actual manuscripts have been deposited in his native county of Derbyshire.
  • Context – Understanding the context of places and people of previous Centuries is paramount to a successful study. It is important to understand the social, economic and political position of the locale. Those strands at local level might have been affected by something that was happening at a national or even international level.

What follows is a list of resources that might assist your study, or perhaps give you similar guidance on resources in other Countries.

  • Census Records
  • Occupational and Work opportunities
    • Mines
    • Textiles
    • Landowners
    • Retail providers
  • Birth, Marriage and Death Records
  • Burial Records
  • Cemetery Records
  • Military Records
    • Enlistment
    • Active Service (impact of War)
    • First World War – I wrote about The Italian “Golden Books” HERE which honours the Dead of the First World War
  • Organisations

Researching places, can be anything – a house, road, hamlet, village, or even in some cases large towns or regions if the area is driven by, perhaps an occupation. Where you might find material is limitless, indeed you are only limited by your imagination!

Taking part in the A-Z Challenge for 2020

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationery & History; Surnames, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies. Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies/surname courses as well as Researching Ancestors from Continental Europe.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge 2020 - Specialised Studies, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

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