Tag Archives: IHGS

Who Do You Think You Are? Live, London

I have just spent two wonderful days at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in London. I had promised myself last year that I would attend all three days in 2014, but with the days changing from Friday – Sunday to Thursday – Saturday, it was all a bit tricky, so two days again it was.

I had an early start on Friday morning to travel in from Kent in time for my first talk: Rosalind McCutcheon on Irish Poor Law records. It was a mix of background history and details of what records might have survived, all delivered in Roz’s inimitable style, and I’m hopeful I may find something for my Irish families. Next up was the “Celebrity Talk” in the main SOG theatre, though it differed in format this time, as it included the producers as well as Larry Lamb talking about the making of the show. It was a lovely insight into what happens behind the scenes, from the production point of view rather than just focusing on the celebrity’s experience.

Larry Lamb and WDYTYA producers, Olympia 2014

Larry Lamb and WDYTYA producers, Olympia 2014

The next talk I attended was Researching Australian WW1 Military Personnel given by Helen V. Smith, and it gave me some great ideas for further research on my Kiwi soliders. After a short wander around the exhibit hall, I listened to Stephen Scarth talking about PRONI online resources, and while I was aware of many of them, there are some exciting resources being made available soon. I’d also overlooked the very useful research guides they provide on their website.

I had booked an Ask the Expert session in the afternoon, and the military expert I requested gave me some very helpful tips on where to go next in my research. Looking around this area, it didn’t seem as busy as in previous years. Perhaps it was busier on the Saturday?

Definitely the greatest value for me this year was meeting lots of lovely genealogists, some of whom I only “knew” via Twitter. I’m always inspired by those making a living out of genealogy, and love how passionate they are about what they do. A “Tweet Up” had been arranged at the end of the day in the Hand and Flower pub across the road from the Olympia, and there were so many of us it got a little crowded in our spot at the back of the pub! I managed to chat to a few people, before heading off to dinner with some fellow IHGS students.

After a late night, Saturday morning came a little too soon, but after a mammoth breakfast and a good brisk walk to the Olympia from my hotel, I was ready for another day of genealogical delights. I only attended two talks this day, with the first being on the Scottish Poor Laws from Patricia Whately. She gave an overview of Poor Law legislation in Scotland, and the many records that were created as a result. Kirsty Wilkinson has compiled a list of those records that survive, which can be accessed (along with other resources) on her website : My Ain Folk.

WDYTYA? Live, Olympia 2014

WDYTYA? Live, Olympia 2014

After another couple of meetups, Tweet Ups and walk around the stands, I was off to my second talk of the day: Janet Few on Putting Your Ancestors in their Place: Sources for Reconstructing 19th Century Communities. I found this a great follow up to the recent One Place Studies course I’d just completed with Pharos, and I’m keen to get a hold of Janet’s new book, Putting your Ancestors in their Place: A Guide to One Place Studies.

Somehow I managed to sign up for not one but TWO online courses – just couldn’t resist the “show special” prices. The Pharos One Name Studies course included a GOONS membership. Bonus! The Palaeography course through the National Institute of Genealogical Studies was one I’d been looking at doing, and I couldn’t resist the 50% discount, plus fountain pen. Double bonus! Both start next month, so I shall be a little busy, I think.

I was disappointed to miss a couple of talks that were scheduled for Thursday, but luckily the one I most wanted to see has been recorded and can be viewed online: Maurice Gleeson’s Autosomal DNA – a step-by-step approach to analysing your atDNA matches.

Over the two days I met some fantastic people, caught up with friends, and learnt a lot from the talks and discussions. There are rumours that next year’s event will be at a different venue (Birmingham?), but hopefully I will be there. WDYTYA? Live will also be making an appearance in Glasgow this August, which will be especially handy for those living further north. A fabulous excuse to visit Scotland, if you really needed one!

Who Do You Think You Are? Live : Day Two

Saturday was another busy day at  Who Do You Think You Are? Live.  I had three talks booked, as well as an Ask the Expert session, but otherwise had more time than Friday to wander around the stands and catch up with some friends.

First up for me was “Your Irish Ancestors and the Law”, with Brian Donovan talking about the Petty Sessions order books that are available on www.findmypast.ie.  The Petty Sessions courts handled most criminal cases in Ireland, apart from the most serious, and were held by Justices of the Peace without a jury.  Record taking was made mandatory in 1851 and so only a few earlier documents survive.  Among the order books are dog licence books (1850-1924) – every dog had to be licenced, and every farmer usually had a dog. Details  include owner’s name, address, and occupation.  Brian also discussed the Irish Prison Registers 1790-1924 on findmypast.ie, another great resource.  I really enjoyed this session as I learnt a lot and Brian’s a very entertaining speaker.

I had a long break until my next talk and made the most of the time to chat with fellow IHGS students, and also to attend the inaugral WDYTYA? Live “tweet-up”, ably organised by Rosemary Morgan.  It was a great chance to meet some of the people I’ve been following on Twitter, and to discover more folks to follow!

My Ask the Expert session was with Kathy Chater who gave me some great tips on how to chase up details of my 3xgreat grandmother Elizabeth Rose, born in Cape Town in 1845.

Nick Barratt’s presentation on the future of genealogy was interesting, and it’s apparently his last gig at WDYTYA? Live as he is moving back to the National Archives to head up their Medieval team (amongst others).  Somehow I can’t see TNA keeping him away next year!

I then raced around like a mad thing to pick up a Flip Pal (thanks for speedy service, guys!) and the second-hand books I had scored earlier and were being kept for me by the bookstall, before leaping into the last talk of the day – Rosalind McCutcheon on The Registry of Deeds in Dublin.  Wow. What a resource!  I’ve heard Rosalind talk before, and so I signed up for this without knowing how much the Registry of Deeds could be of use to me in my own research.  It was a great way to end the day, and I am itching to get over to Dublin to start digging away amongst those dusty tomes.

Overall, I loved WDYTYA? Live this year more than other years.  I think the main difference was that there were more people I knew to chat to during each day, and I had chosen the talks I attended wisely. (Oh yeah, and I got my Flip Pal. And lots of books!)

Handouts for most of the talks will be available from the Society of Genealogists website soon, hopefully.

Who Do You Think You Are? Live : Day One

Last weekend I attended the Who Do You Think You Are? Live exhibition held at the Olympia in London.  It runs for three days, and I went along for the Friday and Saturday.

What struck me on Friday was how CRAZY busy it was in comparison to last year.  I like going on the Friday, because I have this idea it’s a “quiet” day.   Not so!  I  also filled up my time with four talks and the Keynote lecture with Q & A, so by the end of the day I was feeling rather overwhelmed.

WDYTYA? Live 2013

It doesn’t look that busy in this photo, but it was!

The most illuminating presentation I attended was Debbie Kennett’s “A Beginner’s Guide to DNA”.  A fellow IHGS student and I raced into the Olympia to get seats for her 11am session, and were not disappointed.  Debbie gave a clear and concise overview of the three main tests you can take : Y-DNA (males only), mtDNA and Autosomal, and explained how they can be used for genealogical connections.  I found it completely fascinating and now want to get everyone in my extended family tested!

In my Ask the Experts session I scored Dominic Johnson as my expert, and wished I had brought along my palaeography assignments instead of a question about my South African ancestor! Last year I had been inspired by her workshop on palaeography.

In the few spare minutes I had between talks, I managed to get my hands on a Flip Pal mobile scanner and find out all about it, with plans to buy the next day.  I also purchased four books on my ‘Want to Buy’ list (hurray for show specials!):

  • Bruce Durie’s Understanding Documents for Genealogy & Local History, The History Press (2013)
  • Simon Fowler’s Tracing Your Army Ancestors, 2nd ed., Pen & Sword (2013)
  • Celia Heritage’s Tracing Your Ancestors through Death Records, Pen & Sword (2013)
  • Debbie Kennett’s The Surnames Handbook, The History Press (2012)

One of the best parts of the day was chatting to the staff from IHGS, and catching up over dinner with fellow students.

My Genealogy Year 2012 : Accentuate the Positive!

Jill from Geniaus came up with a wonderful idea to celebrate the high points of 2012:  Accentuate the Positive 2012 Geneameme, rather than concentrate on what we didn’t achieve during the year. So instead of feeling a bit depressed over all the things I didn’t quite manage to do this year, I get to feel a whole heap happier about all the cool stuff that happened!

An elusive ancestor I found was James Florey. Well, he’s not actually an ancestor, which I suspected but can now prove. He was the first husband of my 4 x great grandmother, Elizabeth Knott, and I couldn’t figure out what happened to him – it was as if he had abandoned his family and disappeared off the face of the earth. He hadn’t – he got transported to Australia for 10 years for sheep-stealing. Meanwhile, his wife found comfort in another’s arms, gave birth to my 3 x great grandfather (Henry Richard Florey/Pope), and eventually remarried. I have yet to find out what happened to James after he gained his Certificate of Freedom. Did he return to England, or stay in Australia?

A precious family photo I found was one that may be of my Nanna, Jean McGonnell, when she was young.

Possibly Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell (1915-2011)

Possibly Myrtle Jean Louisa McGonnell (1915-2011)

An ancestor’s grave I found was my great grandparents and grandparents’ final resting place in Bromley Cemetery, Christchurch, NZ – thankfully with little damage from the earthquakes in 2011.

A newly found family member who shared a photo of my 3 x great grandfather (the previously mentioned Henry Richard Florey) and his family – I could finally put a face to the ancestor who has led me a merry dance through all sorts of records.  Then, the wife of a fourth cousin sent me a family history of “our” Brosnahan family – amazing! And yet more family members contacted me with stories and photos, either through this blog or via my tree on Ancestry.

My 2012 blog post that I was particularly proud of was.. all the ones in February – I blogged every day that month.

My 2012 blog post that received a large number of hits or comments was difficult to work out as my Stats plugin fell over and won’t play nice, but I think  it was my post on James Brosnan’s will.

A social media tool I enjoyed using for genealogy was Twitter. I love keeping up to date with genealogy news, and also with fellow IHGS students.  I also joined a couple of groups on Facebook, and a Google+ community, and will see how those pan out over the next year.

A genealogy conference/seminar/webinar from which I learnt something new was all of them! I had a busy year starting with WDYTYA? Live in February, then several weekend seminars at IHGS later in the year, and finally Celia Heritage’s one day workshop on Fleshing out Your Family Tree. I think the one where I learnt the most was the Military Records seminar at IHGS, given by Les Mitchinson, as this was an area I wasn’t familiar with.

A genealogy book that taught me something new was Helen Osborn’s Genealogy: Essential Research Methods.

A great repository/archive/library I visited was the Perth and Kinross Council Archive in the A K Bell Library in Perth, Scotland. I didn’t have much time there, unfortunately, but enough to find the burial records for my 3 x great grandparents, Michael Burke and Bridget Flynn, and take a quick look at some of the Perth valuation rolls.

 A new genealogy/history book I enjoyed was Ciarán Ó Murchadha’s The Great Famine : Ireland’s Agony 1845-1852.

It was exciting to finally meet my IHGS tutor, Celia Heritage! Plus twitter pals and fellow IHGS students at Canterbury in October, and also my Temuka cousins at the beginning of the year in New Zealand.

A geneadventure I enjoyed was my trip to Temuka in January, meeting cousins and visiting the family farm, and places where my grandfather grew up in South Canterbury. Also the trip to Scotland in May to visit the areas connected with my Burke and Philp ancestors. And visiting Deptford, London, with my mother to see where her grandfather was born and raised.

Another positive I would like to share is I finally indexed my research notebooks! And it has already proven to be a worthwhile exercise.  Who knows, maybe this year the data may find its way into Reunion?  I also worked on my IHGS assignments, submitting two batches this year, and received some not-too-shabby marks in return.

Thanks to Jill for a great opportunity to share my year of family history research!  You can read about the 2012 highlights of other geneabloggers through her Geniaus website.

 

What, June already? ~ (Very Un) Sorting Saturday

I don’t seem to be doing very well on blog posting lately!  I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve been concentrating on my IHGS assignment work, but that’d be a big fat lie.  There has been some family history research going on though, however not much filing and recording.

Most of the research I’ve been doing has involved travelling.  Back in April I managed a quick whizz around some villages in Staffordshire where my Tunnecliff(e) ancestor George may be from.  I had some helpful information from Tunnecliff descendents in Australia, and I’m hoping I can eventually prove a link to this particular Tunnecliff family.

Last week I was up in Scotland, chasing up my Burke and Philp ancestors, in Perth and Fife respectively.  With three kids in tow, it was a whistlestop tour of a few key places, but I did manage 30 minutes research at the A.K. Bell Library in Perth, poring over burial registers and valuation rolls.  I could have spent days in there!

A confession:  my record-keeping is C-R-A-P-O-L-A.  Things I thought I’d entered into Reunion are nowhere to be found.  Yup, still stuck somewhere in one of the fifty gazillion notebooks I write everything into.  *sigh*  I really notice how bad things are when trying to gather together info for a research trip, or attempting to answer an email from a distant relative (I will be in touch soon, I promise, once I’ve sorted out my notes!)

On a more positive (sorting) note, I’ve just cleaned out my RSS feed reader and drastically cut my blog subscriptions down to about thirty blogs – in the hope I’ll actually get to read all of them.  I think that’s about the only “housekeeping” I’ve done lately!

 

Anything but Filing ~ Sorting Saturday

I had planned to tackle some filing today, but I seemed to have found a myriad of things to do instead!

I’ve just installed a WordPress plugin called Organise Series, so that it’s easier for my readers to follow a series of posts that I write on a particular topic. My Brosnahan posts are ideal candidates for a series, so I went ahead and set it up, but the series links box that is added to each post needs a bit of work, appearance- and placement-wise, so have turned the feature off for now. If you’re interestd in adding this plugin to your blog, check out Moultrie Creek’s article, which is where I got the idea from.

This week I need to spend some time preparing for WDYTYA? Live. I have two ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions, where I get to spend 20 minutes with an expert who will hopefully tell me all the answers what steps to take next in my research. The two areas I want help with are tracking down my Burke ancestors in Mayo, and finding the regiment and movements of a military ancestor. I want to collect together all the information and research I’ve done so far and type up a summary for each question.

I also want to choose a couple of photos to copy and take along to be dated – Jayne Shrimpton will again be attendance, though I found you need to get in early, or be prepared for a long queue! I’m hoping this year there will be an efficient system in place, perhaps even more ‘photo detectives’ available. (Must check out the guide and website to get the details before Friday.)

I’d like to follow up a little more on my Brosnahans, plus tackle some of my neglected IHGS assignments. I’ll get a chance to see my tutor at WDYTYA, so better do some work before I go!

Tomorrow I may do some filing.

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Genealogy Resolutions 2012

It’s that time of year for resolutions, and I’ve been inspired by other Geneabloggers – this is my list for 2012:

Organisation

  • Complete updating my records in Reunion
  • Plan a scanning schedule for my certificates

Writing

  • Post on this blog at least twice a week
  • Begin writing my maternal grandmother’s biography

Education

  • Complete assignments for IHGS Lectures 4 to 12
  • Complete TNA’s online paleaography and Latin courses

Research

  • Find the Burkes’ townland in Co. Mayo
  • Visit Scotland and take a looksee round where the Burkes and Philps lived
  • Continue research on Wright line

iwiKiwi is one year old today!

To celebrate being in the blogiverse for one whole year, I thought I’d take a little look back at my first post and my 2011 Genealogy Resolutions:

  • Start a blog   Yep, done that!
  • Blog regularly and contribute comments to other blogs  Hmm… did okay in the first half of the year, but posting slowed down a lot as I concentrated more on my IHGS assignments.  My reading of other blogs, and commenting on them, slowed down to the point of nothingness. At the moment I’m only reading other blog posts when prompted by Twitter.
  • Compile a proper research plan (as opposed to “ooooh, think I might look that up next, or maybe that… )  Working on this, and definitely started preparing proper plans for the research trips I undertook this year.  Except maybe the “bringing along some decent maps” bit of the plans.
  • Get to know the Centre for Kentish Studies  I visited once!  And now they’re closed till around April this year, when they re-open in a brand new and expanded facility in Maidstone.  Hopefully they’ll have some ‘Opening Week’ festivities for me to attend.
  • Complete some assignments!!!! (Ideally eight lectures this year)  Ouch.  Only three completed, but working on number 4, and completed the research work for lecture 5 and 6 assignments.
  • Visit the Suffolk record office (and a cemetery or two)  Spent four days altogether at the Bury St Edmunds’ record office, all very productive.  And my children can attest that we have visited several cemeteries this year.
  • Compile a research plan for the New Zealand trip in February  I did, I went, and now I’m off again next week!  So, another research plan is in the works.
  • Begin scanning certificates and documents I have in hard-copy  Have made a start on these, but mostly so I can share copies with relatives.
  • Get those England census records into Reunion  Almost all completed!  But I keep finding more family in more censuses…
  • Get those NZ electoral records into Reunion  Nope, nada.
  • File, organise, cite!  Trying, a little, mostly!

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog over the last 12 months – just need more time to write more often.  Especially appreciated are the relatives who have contacted me, the folks who have commented on my posts, and to everyone who’s still reading along.  Thanks!

Task list ~ Sorting Saturday

Well, we’re over halfway through December already and I haven’t even thought about a task list for the month!   So much for being more organised…

Anyway, a quick look at how I did on my November tasks:

  • outstanding emails    -  half done, need to finish the rest before Christmas
  • lecture 3 assignments   -   a miracle indeed, finished and submitted!!  Have even started on lecture 4 assignments
  • regular blogging (including finishing my West Yorkshire research trip series)    -   not done so well here, though completed my West Yorkshire posts
  • filing and inputting data for maternal side   -    ummm…
  • book tickets for WDYTYA? Live in February  -   yup indeedy, tickets bought and workshops booked.  Even have hotel booked, woohoo!

I also fitted in a day course at IHGS on The Parish and the Manor, and a day’s research up in Suffolk on the Wright side of my family.

The rest of this month will kinda be taken up with Christmas activities, but I’m also hoping to:

  • complete two lecture 4 assignments
  • undertake more Wright research up in Suffolk
  • do some prep work for my New Zealand trip in January
  • maybe some filing…?? ho ho ho

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

November task list ~ Sorting Saturday

I am still behind in all my filing and sorting and such like, and not much, if any, progess has been made since September.

Happily though, my grandfather’s biography is finished.  Shrieks of joy and jubilation! Two weeks ago I finally submitted my Lecture 2 assignments for the course I’m doing with IHGS.  It’s taken me a year to do the first two lectures, and I have 22 more to go…. I think I may need to speed up a little.

I’m hoping a task list might help me get focussed over the next month.  There are six more weeks before the kids break up for Christmas, so I have to make the most of my kid-free time. These are my  priorities for November:

  • outstanding emails
  • lecture 3 assignments
  • regular blogging (including finishing my West Yorkshire research trip series)
  • filing and inputting data for maternal side
  • book tickets for WDYTYA? Live in February

Sorting Saturday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.