Enquiring Within, Military Records, Newspapers and Reindeer

A real variety this time. Excited to announce that I am being given the opportunity to contribute to the editing of a long awaited new edition of that family history classic Enquire Within. This was first produced by Fred Markwell and Pauline Saul and always featured highly on my family history students’ list of ‘musts haves’. At the moment I am fixated on the ‘G’ entries – from gavelkind and Genuki to gypsies. I am not working alphabetically and no, I couldn’t resist the temptation to start with X Y and Z – three letters of the alphabet done already you see!

Bit of a diversion when the British Newspapers came online via Find My Past. Am now working my way through 38163 Braund entries. We are obviously a very newsworthy family. Also distracted by Ancestry releasing World War One records free for Remembrance Day. Downloaded 59 pages worth for my grandfather, Frederick Herbert Smith. Nothing very exciting, in one respect. His Bii health rating means he was trained as a gunner but seems to have spent his time pen pushing in England. It did solve the mystery of the address of one of his former homes though. From the address on the records I was able to go to Google Street View and find that the current house was recognisable from a photo that I have, taken in about 1900. Also surprised to find that he gave the address of his future wife as his own, some four years before they married. Now I don’t know if the lodger became the boyfriend or vice versa.

Frederick Herbert Smith

Really getting into the Marine Lives transcribing now. Currently, I am embroiled in the adventures of the Endeavour in 1655, when the barbarous French made off with 113 pipes of Canary Wine that they had on board.

This week I had been booked to give a talk at a local history society. As the evening approached, I became less and less confident that the topic they had chosen was suitable for that particular audience. I therefore risked giving them the premiere of my talk on C17th witchcraft instead. It seemed to go well and I look forward to repeating it next week.

Excited to learn that Gregg Wallace is to be of the celebrities at this year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live a little less excited to discover that my application to be a speaker again this year got lost in the ether, so I wasn’t considered. I just hope that my service provider (who swear this losing of e.mails is not possible – depite it happening with unfailing regularity) know that I have access to swords and muskets. Talking of swords and muskets – looking forward to the episode of Instruments of Death, to which I contributed, being screened on Yesterday Channel tonight.

To cheer myself up after the Who Do You Think You Are? disappointment, I decided to spend the earnings from the job I mustn’t mention on a trip to Lapland – as you do. Now off to discover exactly where Lapland is.


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