Gems from Wigtown

Hay Ancient Tartan NotebookIt is not unsurprising that in order to remain in business and compete with the likes of Amazon that bookshops have needed to diversify. One bookshop, sold notebooks and whilst I did not need any more, I could not resist this one, shown here. This was the last one the shop had and I wondered immediately if there were other designs and sizes.

Each notebook comes with a small History of Tartan insert and about the specifics of Commonplace notebooks. There is also a card about the specific Tartan.

The notebooks are available in two sizes, the pocket size and a large size, both are the same sizes as Moleskine. They are in a combination – the page on the left is plain and the page on the right is lined. Moleskine do the same combination, with the overall size is between the pocket and large. There is a insert pocket in the back. The paper is 80 gsm and there are 8 perforated pages at the back. Whilst the Tartan is depicting Scotland, the notebooks are made in China!

PebblesI also picked up a book that had been sitting on my to read list for over a year. It was reduced, in the same bookshop, so I went ahead and bought it. I did pick up one other book whilst I was away, but more on that later this week.



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Wigtown – #50Before50


Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Languishing on my Before 50 list was a visit to the Wigtown. For those who love to read may well know Wigtown for the being the National book town in Scotland. So when an opportunity to head north of the border popped up we choose Wigtown, although we had missed the 2019 festival.

Wigtown Book Town

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

The festival dates for 2020 are 25 September – 4 October and you can read about the festival HERE.

I had been to the town before and even managed to explore one or two of the bookshops! but I had never managed to explore for that long, for a variety of reasons. We arrived in the town on the day of their Christmas tree lighting which was a bitterly cold day. It was so cold that even I was forced to wear a hat!

Wigtown Tree

Copyright Julie & Stuart Goucher  2019 – Wigtown Christmas Tree

I got chatting to a local who had moved to the town recently, having spent 20 years living in France. Whilst she loved France, she felt it was the right time to come back to the UK and selected Wigtown. Whilst I loved the town, it is not somewhere I would want to live, sadly. Just because the roads are dreadful – Dumfries to Wigton takes over an hour, mainly because of the roads and vehicles over 7.5 tonne have to drive at 40 miles per hour, so there is no “quick trip”!

We did manage to do a little Christmas shopping, meet up with my husband’s family and spent some time resting and just being away from home. We stayed in a super apartment and I will write a post about that and several other things separately in the coming days. The apartment is most recommended, so stay tuned!

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Guild Blog Challenge #GOONSblogchallenge


Image copyright to Melody McKay Burton (Tickle One-Name Study 2019)

Having committed to participate in the Guild Blog Challenge I thought I should write about the type of posts I plan on writing.

I am going to attempt to write each week, which means 12 posts. I am going to focus on a mixture of more generalised posts and a few person specific posts. These posts will all appear on this blog and will also be created as a document and then uploaded to my TNG sites depending upon which surname the post is relevant to, linked to the individual.

All posts will be identifiable by the category of #GuildBlogChallenge and any relevant surname, as they might be individuals in my study, but might not be individuals with the study surname. All posts will have an image, either one relevant to the content of the post or a more generic image, which might also be the image on this post.

I often write posts in advance, in some cases months in advance. In this case, I am not going to be writing more than a few weeks ahead. I am going to though, write about some individuals that have things outstanding on my to do list, and some of those things have been outstanding for years!

I have studies representing my parents – both of those studies began in 1988, though it took me until 2002 to join the Guild of One-Name studies and register the surname of Orlando. The surname of Butcher was not registered until 2016.

Software and Genealogical Trees.

I use Roots Magic for my genealogical software, and maintain a number of trees.


 – Main File (this is my mother’s line, heading back down the generations, it also has my husband and his family lines included.)

–  ONS (this is my study file)


Orlando Line (this is my father’s Sicilian line)

ONS (this is my study file)

The software set up is because of a specific reason and that is the topic of my first post in this blog challenge so stay tuned!


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Guild Blog Challenge #GOONSblogchallenge


Image copyright to Melody McKay Burton (Tickle One-Name Study 2019)

One of the things I love about the Guild of One-Name Studies is the ethos of members helping members. This Guild Blog Challenge is no exception.

The Guild has a closed Facebook group for members only. Before Christmas, a discussion around members blogging and writing about members of their one name study developed into this challenge. Over a three month period, from 1st January until the end of March, members can participate in writing about their study. In order to “win” the challenge, participants must have written 10 posts.

There is a #GOONSblogchallenge Facebook group and if you are a Guild member, then why not join in? You can blog about your study, or if you don’t have a study then blog about what surname you are interested in. Don’t forget to use the tag of #GOONSblogchallenge

Where to write

There are a variety of places where you can write in order to participate (not forgetting to share the link via the Facebook group above). WordPress and Blogger are both blog platforms. This blog is hosted at WordPress, but did originally start life in 2002 on Blogger and I made the switch, importing posts about five or six years ago. Some members who are using the Members’ Website Project for their website might have a blog as part of that facility. Others might have a TNG site and therefore could upload a PDF document, linked to the individual concerned. Alternatively, you might share a post via a Facebook group specific for the surname study. You might decide to use a mix of options.

Don’t forget to mention citations and copyright if applicable and posts might be about specific places or people within a study or the history of a study, but that is not exhaustive. I will be back tomorrow, writing about the posts I have planned.


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Desk Ramblings (26)

Desk RamblingsToday in England we have a second public holiday, or as we call them, bank holiday. The 26th December is known as Boxing Day, or as it is officially known, St Stephen’s Day. St Stephen was the first Christian Martyr and celebrated in the Latin Church on 26 December and on 27 Dec in Eastern Christianity (source Wikipedia).

In past times, this was the day that servants received a Christmas box from their “master” and were given the day off so they could pass the box to their families.

In the mornings I am always awake and up first. I make tea and take my Thyroxine and other pills. I then watch the birds from the kitchen window before heading back to bed with my tea for an iPad fix! Today though I am feeling a bit nostalgic. So in a reflective mood, I venture down the garden. I probably look quite a sight – PJ’s, Crocs and my homey slouch cardigan. The garden is gradually getting to how we want it. I am not much of a gardener. The Butcher green finger gardening gene missed me completely. Just as well I married someone who is!

The bulbs planted by a previous owner are beginning to pop through the soil, but I can only make a guess what they will grow into. I stood on the pathway that runs alongside our garage, hearing a neighbour calling a pet, though I cannot make out the name. Our pet is upstairs sleeping. At aged 10, Alfie is beginning to show his age, he has though the beautiful temperament and genetics of a Border Terrier.

As a child, today was the day I sat and wrote the thank you notes to all those who had bought me gifts. Looking back now, recalling who bought for me, I feel very lucky. My Great Aunts, my maternal Grandfather’s sisters, bought for me until I was 21. They had children and grandchildren of their own, so it was special that they bought for me all those years ago. All are no longer with us, a sad but true fact of life.

My Cousin’s daughter celebrates her 21st birthday today. I left a message via Facebook for her, sharing a greeting across the 10,000 mile distance between us. In doing so, I think back to my 21st birthday.

I celebrated it at a hotel in Godalming called The Inn on the Lake. All the people I held dear were there, and it was a select and small group. My Mum and maternal Grandmother, my Great Aunt who was also my Godmother, two dear friends, one of which I had known since I was eight, so currently 42 years and finally a couple who were family friends. Joyce had met my Grandmother, then aged 26 and newly married when she was 14 years of age, having been evacuated from Kingston upon Thames to Guildford. That relationship was shared until the last passed away. So something special, spanning the generations, born out of a frightening and turbulent time.

My late Mum was given the middle name of Joyce, and my Grandmother was always called Aunt Lil by Joyce and I always called Joyce and her husband Aunt and Uncle, out of respect, as I was taught to do. Years later, I was told to drop the formalities which I did, but the happy memories and friendship continued up until Joyce and her husband passed away, just a few years ago. I have a series of photographs taken from that night and as I looked at them recently, I was experiencing a memory of that night, plus the observation that all except my two dear friends are now deceased.

As I write this, my late Mum’s clock chimes 10 am, and I realise that I have been in a reflective and nostalgic mood for two hours. Writing this Desk Ramblings which was not a planned post at all, and all started from looking out of the kitchen window at the birds and garden, having left a birthday greeting on Facebook.

I am reminded that our memories are precious and appear in the current mind quite organically. We just need to be able to take the time to remember the happiness of our yesterdays.

Happy Boxing Day!

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Surname Tips (25)

Surname Tips

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Today is our final surname tip because we have reached Christmas Day – Happy Christmas everyone!

My final tip is to be thankful for the friendships and connections we make within the Guild and within the wider Genealogical community.

Whether that is via the many Facebook genealogical groups, The Guild’s own Facebook Group or page (see tip 15), Twitter and participation in #AncestryHour, attendance at Guild seminars or conference, Webinars or regional meetings, or anything else.

Over the years I have made many wonderful friendships within the genealogical community. Some of those since the pre-internet days, others by supporting groups and becoming a  member of a mixture of genealogical societies, of all though, the Guild has been probably the most progressive of all, though that is my personal view. Other’s by writing this blog or my regular feature in Family Tree Magazine or former students from the Pharos courses.

So, I wish you all a lovely Christmas (or however your spending the day) and I will be back a little later this week.

Christmas Wishes

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Surname Tips (24)

Surname Tips

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Today’s tip is write or talk about your study. Over the years, I have heard many members say that they rarely hear from others with an interest in their surname.

Why would you unless you actively share with the wider genealogical community that such as study exists? Why not share about your study via any or all of this non-exhaustive list:

  • Members can host a website on the Members Website Project platform as I have shared before, some of which have the added benefit of a blogging platform built in.
  • Profile page which sits on the main Guild website and is effectively a platform that you can leap frog to other sites
    • Website
    • DNA Project
  • Social media channels
    • Twitter
    • Facebook Group or page
  • Articles
    • Journal of One-Name Studies published by the Guild
    • Genealogical magazines
    • Journals of County, State genealogical societies
  • Talks and Presentations
    • Webinars
    • Societies and groups

And come back tomorrow, for our final Surname Tip.

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Surname Tips (23)

Surname Tips

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Today’s tip is explore if there is a DNA Project relevant to your surname. FTDNA is the only company offering projects centred on Surname, Religion or Place. The Guild has an extensive set of DNA pages on their website and these can be read HERE, they are available to non-members with more available to members. The Guild also boasts a number of members who are renowned speakers, many of whom have spoken globally.

On a personal note, the Orlando study does have a DNA project. I do confess that it is not the most active group, but the amount of participants has grown slowly since 2007, when the project was first established.


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Surname Tips (22)

Surname Tips

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Today our tip is to look in more detail at the Members’ Website Project, which you can read about HERE. As I said a day or so, it is free of charge to members, although the Guild will gladly accept donations!

The only cost is the TNG Licence, should you opt for that method. The fee is payable to the Guild which is passed on to the developer. It is a one off fee and around $33 or £27 depending on the exchange rate.

There are a variety of options available to members and the best bit, is that they can be customised suiting your own preference. There is a full list of sites available and you can visit a selection from the list HERE the most common thread is the use of TNG coupled with WordPress or use as a TNG site. I have personally opted for TNG only.

As I frequently say to those on the One-Name studies courses, start with a website from the beginning, and don’t be like me, with a large amount of material that needs to be digitised. You can update as often as you wish.


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Surname Tips (21)

Surname Tips

Copyright – Julie Goucher 2019

Today tip builds on from yesterday’s; exploring the preservation options available to Guild of One-Name Studies members’. It is likely no secret, that I especially like the Members’ Website Project (more on that later in this series!), but today I want members’ to find a little time to explore the other preservation options; they are:

 – The Library options

– FamilySearch

The Guild has numerous deposits from members within the library facility. The library page can be found HERE and there is the option to upload newsletters etc relevant to your study from the web page. You can also search what other members have deposited.

FamilySearch has provided a facility for Guild members to upload a GEDCOM file to their site, the difference is, when compared to other GEDCOM’s uploaded, is that there can not be edits made, only the author of the GEDCOM can do that.

This  is not a case of one size fits all – members can benefit from as many preservation options as they would like.

Why not explore the library options and contact the Librarian with any questions – remember though that the Guild runs on entirely volunteers, so a response might not be immediate!

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