1491 – The Untold Story of the Americas before Columbus

1491Launched daily from 9th August 2019 is this fascinating series commemorating the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Each episode is free to watch. Once the entire series has been shared via the series Facebook page, it is available to view via subscription, at the very reasonable price of $14.91 USD for the entire year. That equates to about £11.80. The website can be found HERE

I am not associated with the series, but have just watched the first two episodes and plan on watching the series. The writers, cast and directors were totally Indigenous.

Charles C MannBased on the book by Charles. C. Mann, the second edition was published in 2006.

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RootsTech London 2019 Competition Closes and Winner Selected!

LondonBadges_1200x717pxAmbassadorAs a RootsTech London Ambassador I have the opportunity to host a give away for the event of a complimentary three day pass (worth £149). There was no restrictions on how I choose to host the give away.

I chose to ask those who entered to do one of two things – send me something for one of my studies or comment about a surname in their own family they were curious about.

My husband, Mr G was kind enough to dip his hand into a wicker basket that had been collecting the submissions and extract the winner. The winner is Janine Long – Congratulations Janine!

In the meantime, thanks to everyone who took part. I received several Butcher references for my study and those will be added to my database and I shall be in touch via email as I want to reference those researches as the source of the information. It was very interesting to read the comments and the surnames, so much so that I have decided that I am going to respond to those comments via this blog so please keep reading!

RootsTech London will take place 24-26 October 2019 at the Excel Centre, London.


I shall be personally talking on Delving Deep into Migration, to and from the British Isles on Thursday.

The RootsTech website, for more information can be found HERE and the schedule is also available HERE.

Once again, thanks everyone for entering and sharing their surname queries.

Posted in RootsTech London 2019

Family Tree Magazine 2019 – Surname Research Series

Surname Series - 10The September issue of Family Tree Magazine has just been published, and the surname series continues, with us looking at the  fundamental principles of a study, as defined by the Guild of One-Name Studies, the Seven Pillars. I usually put a image of the magazine here, but for a change I have used the image from the article.

This issue focuses on collecting data relating to a One-Name Study. As I don’t have a lot of space in the column, I plan to give further details between now and September, when I will be writing a bit more about the seven pillars and focusing on several of the questions that I find I am asked by those at the start of their One-Name Study journey. If you don’t want to wait for those posts you can read my numerous surname research posts HERE

Family Tree Magazine (UK) is available from magazine themselves as a print or digital version.

The Pharos Introduction course to One-Name Studies starts at the beginning of November, and whilst the majority of focus tends to be on surnames with a British background I am finding that more and more people are sharing their European genealogy and registering those surnames. Either way, if you are wanting to explore the depth of a study and to make sense of it, do consider joining us.

Posted in Archive - Imported from Blogger, Family Tree Magazine (UK) Surname Series (2019), One-Name Studies, Pharos - Introduction to One-Name Studies course, Seven Steps of One-Name Studies | Leave a comment

One-Name Studies & Seven Pillars: Collect (1)


Created January 2015 by Julie Goucher using Wordle

Five years or so ago, I wrote a series about the general features and decisions to be made when someone gathers a collection, irrespective of what that collection might be of. A few weeks ago a reader of this blog contacted me, having read that original series and asked if I had considered updating it. I hadn’t at the time, but promised to look into it. As I did so, I realised that whilst I wrote originally with a view to ephemera, that we might gather to illustrate the places where our ancestors lived or similar, that actually the same questions could be said of the first stage of undertaking a One-Name or surname study. Indeed, it was reasonably timely, as I was about to go into further details of the Seven Steps of a One-Name Study to coincide with my Family Tree Magazine Series.

According to Christopher Bart in “Industrial firms and the power of mission” Industrial Marketing Management 26 (4) pp 371 – 383 there are three key elements.

  1. Key Market – Who is the chosen item aimed at?
  2. Contribution – What does the chosen item provide to the wider audience?
  3. Distinction – What makes the chosen item unique over others?

These three elements do not exactly fit a collection or a One-Name study, but they go some way to present a suitable structure of key indicators. In my experience as a family and local historian, a collection forms as a natural stage of research. I do not believe that any of us make a conscious decision to collect every postcard of X, every piece of pottery made by X or every occurrence of a name in a location or of every instance of every name in a location.

A collection quite simply happens, a result of a catalyst. In which case why did it happen and how are you going to deal with it in the future? There might also be overlap between one collection and another or even more than one.

Things to consider and undertake:
  • How do you recognise a collection?
  • How did the collection come to be created and by whom?
  • Who is it created for and why? and has that changed over time?
  • How will it be maintained or grow?
  • How will it be accessed by others?
    • Does it need to be?
  • How will you advertise your collection?
  • How do you ensure the longevity of your collection?
  • How is the collection kept?
  • How will you ensure copyright and ownership issues are protected and addressed?
  • Do others have any investment in the collection? (investment does not necessarily mean financial)
  • Is the collection unique?

Indeed, those questions and the answers are part of the history of the collection and mean something to the person who collated it, but what about future generations? Will they know why such a collection exists? They may have a guess, but they won’t necessarily know, that is unless you tell them, either directly or indirectly.

So over the coming week or so I am going to be answering some of the points above and exploring the seven steps in more details. So I am going to leave today’s post with this image of the Seven Steps so you can be ready to follow along.

Seven Pillars Higher Res

Courtesy of the Guild of One-Name Studies – One-Name.org

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Podcasts – Extreme Genes Radio

Extreme Genes

Courtesy of Extreme Genes

Firstly this is not a Podcast. I have filed it with the podcasts for easiness.

I each week listen to the host, Fisher on Extreme Genes discusses a variety of genealogical topics. He is joined by David Allen Lambert from the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and Tom Perry who is the preservation Guru! This is a special episode, as it is six years since the show started.

As part of the segment from David Allen Lambert, each week a blogger is featured and yesterday, in episode 291 this blog got a mention – thanks guys!

I especially liked yesterday’s show. CeCe Moore was interviewed regarding the complexities of a cold criminal case where DNA was used. GedMatch was discussed and the value of adding in.

It’s a tricky situation. Those of us who have tested with DNA companies have done so with the hope of connecting with family members. Therefore the spirit in which the DNA was given has been broken. My view is, having thought further about it, and sitting on the fence for a bit, is, I do believe that if we can get those who have committed crimes off our streets, whether that is in the US, UK or elsewhere, then that surely has to be a good thing? I know the situation is not great, and some might say the relationship is now not in a place of trust, but the situation occurred with the best of intentions. I am no DNA guru, that is obvious, by I today tweaked my GedMatch account to opt in.

As I said it was a good episode and you can listen to this episode and more via ExtremeGenes.

Thanks Fisher and David!

Posted in Genealogy, Podcasts | 1 Comment

Ramblings from my Desk….. (24)

c5492-deskramblingsIt has been a considerable time since I sat and did a general chatty post, but the last year has been busy and there always seems other posts and material to be written.

Those of you who are subscribed to receive post via email are likely to have been surprised yesterday when I shared two posts that were actually two years old and not genealogy related. The reason is the British Library are archiving this site and I wanted to consolidate several other sites into this one for the purpose of preservation. It also provided me with an opportunity to review some work that has been in progress for way too long and to make some decisions relating to that.

We have had a challenging month or so. My Mum in law was firstly hospitalised awaiting a diagnosis. Since then we have moved, sadly rather swiftly, through from diagnosis to her passing away and then the funeral; quite literally the space of one calendar month. We since then have been unravelling her life and clearing her home. My thoughts have therefore been reflective on the situation and the facets of life.

At the end of the week when we sad farewell to my mother in law, we celebrated our 25th Wedding anniversary. In the scheme of things it was low key and I am glad it was so.

I am currently busy with the writing and scoping out of my next Family Tree Magazine series for 2020 and a new potential course to the existing One-Name Studies courses offered by Pharos. The current course has another couple of weeks, with the final course for the year starting in early November.  I am currently running a competition to win a complimentary pass to the three day genealogical extravaganza. You can enter HERE and the closing date is 31 July. I shall be speaking at RootsTech about Diving Deep into migration to and from the British Isles.

Posted in Desk Ramblings! | 4 Comments

Podcasts – Planet Puffin (BBC Radio 4)


Image courtesy of BBC Radio 4

I am a great lover of podcasts and at regular intervals have a binge listen to catch up on my favourites or those that I have stumbled across. Today, whilst undertaking some rather brain numbing scanning I caught up with my listening of this series from BBC Radio 4 – Planet Puffin.

Seeing a Puffin is on my bucket list and I have hopes that I may manage it before the end of July, after which these wonderful birds head back out to sea where they spend the winter. If not, it will be on the agenda for next year.

I am not a particular fan of birds, likely put off by living by the coast for two decades where I routinely had to strategically hang washing out or nip to the bin because we had seagulls nesting on the roof of the house and, if they spotted movement would not hesitate to “dive bomb” you. Having moved away from the coast, I now watch the array of regular birds that appear in the garden. I digress.

There is something that I find very uplifting about Puffins and that is not new. As far back as a decade ago, we visited the Isle of Arran and for my wedding anniversary I was given by by husband a lovely ornament of a Puffin, made by Lamlash Pottery. I can see that Puffin ornament from where I sit, as I type this.

I rarely impulse purchase anything, but did purchase a lovely Puffin picture and clock on two different shopping trips last year.  I was therefore delighted to stumble across this podcast some weeks ago.

Each week the interviewers spend time on the Isle of May, where there is a substantial breeding ground for Puffins. The birds, mate at sea and come onto land to have their young. Island hopping in Scotland is also on the bucket list, so I may well see a Puffin on the Isle of May in the future; fingers crossed!

Posted in Podcasts | 3 Comments

FTM August 2019The Surname series continues, with the August 2019 issue of the magazine focusing on Organising a study.

I don’t have sufficient space to be able to do the organising topic justice, merely scratching the top of the iceburg, but to accompany this latest Family Tree Magazine (UK) article, I recorded a short(ish) presentation on Organising a One-Name Study – click the image below to view; I hope you find it helpful.

Enjoy!Organising a ONS

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RootsTech London 2019 Competition

LondonBadges_1200x717pxAmbassadorAs a RootsTech London Ambassador I have the opportunity to host a give away for the event of a compliementary three day pass (worth £149). There is no restrictions on how I choose to host the give away. So read to the bottom of this post to see how to enter.

RootsTech London will take place 24-26 October 2019 at the Excel Centre, London

RootsTech is a well know and respected event in the US and is a very different type of genealogical event compared to what we are used to here in the UK.

The focus is on learning and the attending of classes, which are simply presentations. There are also some workshop type events. There are stands, or as they are known in the US, booths and of course attendees get the opportunity to attend as many of the classes as they wish or computer labs which name for the workshops. You can also visit many different types of genealogical stands. I know a number of genealogical societies that are attending, as are genealogical commercial organisations.

The price to attend is currently £49 for one day and £99 for all three day.  The website for more information can be found HERE and the schedule is also available HERE. IMG_1105I shall be personally talking on Delving Deep into Migration, to and from the British Isles on Thursday.

The complimentary three day pass will include the following:

  • Over 150 classes (see schedule)
  • Key note and General sessions
  • Expo Hall
  • Evening event

As an additional treat, I personally offer an additional prize of a Guild of One-Name Studies membership bundle which will include:

  • One year’s membership (value £18) (Subject to completing a Guild membership form)
  • One surname registration (value £14) (Subject to agreeing to meet the Guild requirements of study registration for more information see HERE)
  • Copy of Art of One-Name Studies (worth £4)

How can you enter the giveaway?

  1. Share with me via the contact form below either of the following:
    • Any piece of information regarding the surnames of BUTCHER, ORLANDO or WORSHIP that might exist in your own family history along with the citation, photograph or certificate(s) OR
    • What surname you are the most curious about in your family history and why?

Terms and conditions

  • The prize draw will be for a three day pass to RootsTech, kindly provided by RootsTech. No cash value is offered.
  • The prize of a Guild of One-Name Studies membership bundle (up to the value of £40) is provided by myself. No cash value is offered.
  • The competition opens 1st July 2019 and closes 31st July 2019. Names will be placed into a hat and the winner will be selected by my husband on 1st August 2019. You MUST have contacted me by 5th August with your acceptance of the prizes and you MUST have accepted your RootsTech prize by 16 August 2019.
  • The cost of travel to and from London is not included, nor is any hotel or accommodation costs.
  • If you have already purchased your ticket, RootsTech have confirmed they will refund you the ticket price paid.


Posted in RootsTech London 2019

Twitter & #DNAChat

I have always enjoyed Twitter, my only issue was being able to convey information in 280 characters, as some of you will know, I am wordy! However,  I had a review of my Twitter profile and header image and thought that I really ought to update the photo, it was a decade old. The header image had not been changed for five years.

This is the new header, which I rather like.


I had a bit of a jiggle to make sure the headshot photo didn’t obscure the wording and put it out of alignment. I have already had a direct message from someone researching a Butcher family, so that is quite nice.


Image courtesy of @history_hermann on Twitter

The other thing that happened this week on Twitter was DNA Chat. I have taken part on this over the course of the last week.

The plan from @history_hermann is to see if he can get 10,000 comments relating to DNA discussion, using the #DNAChat and 10KChallenge. Over the course of the last week there have been a series of DNA questions posed and if you click the #DNAChat link you can read the questions and the discussions – quite fascinating. There is still time to take part.

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