Oral History – Why Bother? (Part Two)

Oral History SeriesFor me the the time I spent with those elderly relatives was special. I was able to interact with them and I hope they enjoyed the time with me as much as I did with them.

I listened to the tales they told, stories of yesterday and some of the incidental snippets of life, things otherwise lost in the test of time. For me, those stories are priceless and I managed to retain the information as much as I could, in my series of rather battered notebooks, all the pages are dated and the name of the individuals was retained on the page.

The reason I personally bother with oral history is that those tales of yesterday enable me to connect to those early ancestors and that is a great feeling. Some of those snippets need to be of course verified, but they set me on a path of discovery. One of those snippets and the subsequent verification I outlined in the earlier post, Why Bother, yet some cannot be verified. My Great Aunt told me for example what she wore to her confirmation. She described it in detail and I can only record it as such, there were no photographs of the event, but I have no doubt to discount her memories of this particular event.

Despite the amount of questions I asked earlier generations, I certainly wish I had asked many more. Never leave to tomorrow what you can ask today, for tomorrow may be too late.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Place Studies, Oral History Series | 2 Comments

RootsTech Ambassador London 2019

LondonBadges_1200x717pxAmbassadorJust a quick note to say that I heard yesterday that I have been selected as a RootsTech Ambassador for London 2019.

RootsTech London takes place 24-26 October 2019 at the ExCel Convention Centre in London

There is currently a special offer of a three day pass for the price of £89 and a one day pass for £49. The offer closes 2nd March – https://www.rootstech.org/london


Posted in Genealogy, RootsTech London 2019 | 1 Comment

Do you have Ruby’s?

Guild at Forty

Designed by Julie Goucher for the Guild of One-Name Studies 2018

The Guild of One-Name Studies is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. As part of the celebrations we decided to create a collaborative study for the surname of Ruby.

Ruby, as many people know is typically the gemstone give for a 40th wedding anniversary.

The project will come to an close at the end of 2019 and will become a legacy site, as part of the Guild Members’ Website Project unless of course you have Ruby’s in your family and will consider taking over the One-Name Study.

If you are interested and yet not sure of the way forward of a One-Name Study or surname research there is an Introductory course in One-Name Studies which can be found HERE.

The Ruby website is located HERE and has been a collaboration of a number of Guild members, but also a few others. If you wish to email the Ruby Study coordinator, please visit the main Guild website and search for Ruby then click on the contact button. The Study also has a blog and you can read you can read that HERE.

So, do you have Ruby’s?

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course | 1 Comment

Oral History – Why Bother?

Oral History SeriesOral history is a great way of sharing history with the older generation. The older the individual in your family you talk to, perhaps the further back you might get with your family history.

My Great Aunt, born in 1900 was able to tell me that her Great Grandmother had the name Prudence Budd. From research I was able to confirm that indeed her Great Grandmother was Prudence Budd who died, in 1855 just aged 37. The name of Prudence carried down the generations, to My Great Aunt’s mother and then to my Great Aunt’s daughter who had the name as a middle name.

In terms of the Budd family, they resided in Puttenham,Surrey, England from as far back as 1724, and there are still Budd’s in the neighbouring area today. The Budd’s were a fascinating family. They appeared in the poor law books, the females frequently had children outside of marriage, which was shocking at this time in history. The Budd’s also feature quite heavily in the archives of the village curate, Charles Kerry, who drew a fascinating pedigree, complete with snippets of information, some of which would have passed us by had Kerry not documented them in the pedigree below.


Budd Pedigree according to curate, Charles Kerry – Puttenham, Surrey (Kerry Manuscripts Vol 4)

I descend through Prudence who was the daughter of Richard Budd and Sarah Kemp, and I will talk more on the Budd family in the coming months.

Whilst I achieved this tree on the back of research conducted at the records centre, I was introduced to the manuscripts of Charles Kerry and the interesting additions to the pedigree, the catalyst for extra depth and understanding was the conversation with my Great Aunt.

Posted in Budd, Genealogy, One-Place Studies, Oral History Series, Puttenham & Wanborough | 2 Comments

Oral History Series – Introduction

Oral History SeriesAs regular readers of this blog will know, I grew up visiting my elderly maternal relatives.

Long before I began researching my family history I loved to listen to my Great Aunts talk about the “old days” they were not moaning about any comparisons made to the current times, although as I type this I realise these modern times were 40 years ago! Time surely does fly.

What they were doing was focusing and sharing memories. They talked about the farms the family worked at, the villages, the people and anything else that sprung to mind. As I got a bit older, I began asking questions, trying to understand how these people of yesterday fitted in to my family and the history of my family.

Annie Prudence Butcher nee Harris

Annie Prudence Butcher (nee Harris) circa 1972

I remember, being about age 2 or 3 and visiting my Great Grandmother, Annie Prudence Butcher nee Harris. By then she was an elderly and had been a widow since 1943, she was living with her eldest daughter, Rose Marshall nee Butcher. Although she did in fact go and stay wither other daughters from time to time.

I remember being carried upstairs, because stairs to a 2 or 3 year old child are like mountains. Once in the room I was placed in the bed for a cuddle, where I would inhale the lavender that I could smell. That to me is a terrific memory and one that will die with me unless I share it with others. It was a regular thing to take to Granny, as she was affectionately known, a pineapple, which was her favourite.

What got me hooked on family history was seeing my Great Grandmother on the 1881 Census aged about 3. I found that it was quite inspiring that I had a memory from when I was 2 or 3 and here was Granny on an official document the same age.

As I became an adult, I would visit my Great Aunts on a regular basis, armed with a notebook and pen. I would take notes about our conversation, being sure to clarify any questions that perhaps did not make sense with the answers.

All those notebooks I still have, all dated and treasured. Filled with information, some of which I can prove and other elements are on my to do list. Over the course of this series, we are going to chat about, in no particular order:

  • The importance and Pitfalls of Oral history
  • Oral History – Why bother?
  • Pitch of Salt or a Grain of Truth
  • Verifying Oral history
  • Other hints and tips of Oral History
  • Technical advances for Oral History
  • Links and Resources for Oral History

Until next time….

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Oral History Series, Strategy for a Genealogical Project | Leave a comment

Family Tree Magazine 2019 – Surname Research Series


In the March 2019 issue, the surname series continues with us looking at the size of a study, watching out for anomalies & plotting surname origins.

You can read more by looking through the posts I have previously written HERE, or by taking the Pharos introduction course.

Family Tree Magazine (UK) is available as both a paper and electronic version.

Posted in Family Tree Magazine (UK) Surname Series (2019), Genealogy, One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course | Leave a comment

Sources & Citations Series – Your Own Citation, Guidance for Others

Sources & Citations SeriesWe are at the last of the Sources and Citations Series and I hope that you have found it useful and it has given you food for thought on your studies.

Whether you have a blog or website for your research others should cite your site as the place where they saw a photograph or article. Not everyone thinks of that, so to ease people into this concept, why not create a citation yourself, that other researchers can use?

This blog should be cited as Anglers Rest blog, Julie Goucher 2019 – site accessed and then the date, or at the very least a link, which is what I tend to do. My websites will be similar – reflecting each of my One-Name studies etc. My Butcher One-Name Study site shows the following copyright note

The Butcher One-Name study is the property of Julie Goucher. I have made numerous purchases of documents or copies of documents. I also have genealogical subscriptions that I have purchased so that I can develop the study further and add media to this site for illustration purposes and as evidences. Please always acknowledge the Butcher One-Name Study in your research.

My other sites show a similar copyright note and the date.

I hope you have found this series useful. I move on to a different series later this week.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | Leave a comment

Sources & Citations Series – Approaches to Writing Sources

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series. Whilst we all hope that we will record absolutely perfect citations we have to accept that there will be days when we do not.

These will occur because there are a million things whizzing around your head, children demanding attention, spouses reminding you they exist and a whole host of other things.

My recommendation is that as you enter research into your database you do the full process, starting at the beginning and entering all the details about individual X and provide all the citations relevant to X. It maybe that you make a decision to record Census material as brief for example England & Wales 1881 Census or you might decide you want to include the correct reference number allocated by The National Archives at Kew.

You might decide you want to reference which provider you accessed the census material (Ancestry, Find My Past). Be mindful that whilst a service provider might have the rights to that document now, they might not in the future. If you stop having a subscription to that provider, you will also loose access to that material should you want to access it again and the same applies to genealogical trees with documents attached. 

The purpose of a citation is so that you and others can follow the trail, essentially the evidence is supporting the research.

Find a way of writing a citation. Either undertake it in an academic format, as described in Evidence Explained or Citations and Sources, which we looked at earlier in this series; or one that is simple and has “no fuss”, but has limited, but useful and essential information. You might just write against a burial records, Parish Record for X parish and leave it at that, and that works, as long as the place is specific. for example – You might have a burial for Richard Budd in 1831 in Puttenham and simply write the citation as Puttenham. You would need to specify the Country, in this case England. However, we still have a problem, there are two Puttenham’s in England.

Therefore, if you are going the simple and essential approach, it would be Parish Record, Puttenham, Surrey, England. The originals of this particular book has been deposited at the Surrey History Centre, with the books filmed. The films have been uploaded to Ancestry and I have seen Richard Budd’s burial several times. The first time it was the actual book that I had in my hands and I turned the pages, truly that was a magical feeling. The second time via the microfilm at the archive and several times since via Ancestry.

Richard Budd - Baptism 1742

And here is the actual image of my several times Great Grandfather who was buried in Puttenham, Surrey in 1831. He was born in the village in 1742, and the son of Henry & Martha Budd (nee Otway).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your citation enables you and others to access the data in the future should you need to.

Posted in Budd, Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Puttenham & Wanborough, Sources & Citations Series | 5 Comments

Sources & Citations Series – Genealogical Proof Standard & One-Name Studies

Sources & Citations SeriesSometime ago I promised to write a post about Genealogical Proof Standard. I cannot recall, if I indeed did write the post or if I added it to my never-ending to do list, but thought that I would write this post as it fits into this current series.

The genealogical proof standard has essentially five elements to it –

a) Reasonably exhaustive research has been conducted.
b) Each statement of fact has a complete and accurate source citation.
c) The evidence is reliable and has been skill-fully correlated and interpreted.
d) Any contradictory evidence has been resolved.
e) The conclusion has been soundly reasoned and coherently written

It is much easier to follow this standard if undertaking reconstruction of families. I follow the same process as my personal genealogy, only entering material into my database when I am sure that the facts are pertaining to the specific individual.

I hand draw out trees, just on scrap paper or in my notebook, it helps me think and I always date the tree and always note if this is because I have material to confirm the tree or if the tree is based upon a hypothetical basis. At the same time as drawing a tree I am able to construct my to do list, identifying what information I need to locate.

Ultimately, the purpose of the genealogical proof standard is a way of confirming if the evidence we have relating to a particular person, is indeed correct and can you justify your thinking and conclusion with evidence.

I have already shared several examples when primary source material can be incorrect – here and here.

The same applies to Secondary Source material, which can include Oral history. In the coming weeks, when this series finishes I will write more in depth about Oral history, the importance and pit falls of it, but for now I will give you a few tips about documenting oral history.

  1. Document who you were speaking with (include other identifying information if you have two individuals with the same name)
  2. Date when the conversation took place
  3. Record what they said, either word for word if you are able or a summary of it.
  4. Write legibly – oral history will be lost over time, as earlier generations pass away. It would be a shame if those recollections were lost because you cannot decipher your own handwriting!
  5. Set about reviewing the information – how can you prove it’s accuracy?

I have some great examples of the above and I will be sharing them in the next series along with other useful information.

References for Genealogical Proof Standard:

  • Genealogical Proof Standard by Thomas W. Jones
  • Genealogical Standards (50th Anniversary edition) by Board for Certification of Genealogists
  • Webinars by the Board of Certification of Genealogists, hosted by Legacy Webinars (you may need to have access to a subscription)
  • Genealogy: Essential Research Methods by Helen Osborn
  • Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas Jones
  • Standards & Good Practice – Society of Genealogists (London England)
  • National Genealogical Society (NGS), US organisation – NGS Guidelines

All the books listed above, with the exception of the one by Helen Osborn are written from a US perspective, but that should not dissuade you from considering to purchase. I own the two by Jones in Kindle format and the Osborn book in both Kindle and handback. The Society of Genealogists and NGS have some material available freely accessible.

Disclaimer – I have not financially benefited from naming nor recommending these books. I purchased the books myself and all comments and opinions are my own.

I will be back tomorrow as the series continues.

Posted in Genealogy, Mastering Genealogical Proof, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | 1 Comment

Sources & Citations Series – Repository Lists

Sources & Citations SeriesContinuing with the Sources and Citations Series and today we are going to focus on Repository Lists.

Being a prolific note taker and list maker I am in my element with a list of repositories being an important part of my genealogy and my specialised studies – One-Name & One-Place Studies.

Over the years I have added to my original list from way back in the late 1980’s which exists on a series of index cards, held together with staples and each side numbered. It is looking rather tatty, but I am rather fond of it, but the time has come for it to be replaced.  I record the date when I physically visited or when I accessed the website. For some venues there is both a physical & digital venue.

At some point in the near future I want to add this to my Roots Magic Databases. A quick glance my list of repositories will have to be manually typed into each database and there does not seem to be a way of exporting the repository list from one database into another, but I have not played with the software to see if it is possible to that.

What is an repository? – In short a location where material is held. Now I choose to record:

  • Digital venues
  • Physical venues
    • State Library of New South Wales, Australia (October 2012)
    • The Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia (October 2012)
    • Guildford Muniment Room (August 1988, now part of Surrey History Centre, Woking, England)

As part of this list, I have added various other specialised studies, so those of One-Name Studies or One-Place studies which have some cross over with my own studies. I prefer to have these as sources, and whilst the material I have may well have submitted to another study, by recording it as a source, it enables cross pollination of studies. An example is that I sent some material relating to a family following the marriage of a female Howes to a male Butcher. The owner of the Howes study has linked me as the source and I have done likewise.

I will be back tomorrow with Genealogical Proof Standard.

Posted in Genealogy, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Sources & Citations Series | Leave a comment