Convict Orphans, Distractions and What Not to Buy?

Spent some time yesterday answering an enquiry for my One Name Study. For those of you who think this is Braund, well you would be wrong. Although I am the honorary historian for the Braund Society that registration belongs to a fisherman of my acquaintance. My registered surname is Sweetingham and I don’t get many contacts from fellow researchers. This was from someone whose ancestor was transported in 1830 as a four year old, together with his mother and grandmother. I found myself investigating Tasmanian convict orphans and trying to trace what happened to the father of the young boy.

It turns out that dad led a somewhat disreputable life himself and I was back in the realms of the British Newspaper Library index following reports of assault, selling alcohol without a licence, drunkenness and finally a sentence of eight months hard labour for destroying his father’s will. This is the stuff of which family histories are made, not my family history sadly but fun to research nonetheless.

I was very pleased to be invited to present two sessions at next year’s Who Do You Think You Are? Live at Olympia. Both are related to my books ‘A to Z of Family History’ is based on the forthcoming (it is forthcoming honest – should be available in time for Christmas) Family Historians’ Enquire Within. I will be previewing this talk in Bideford in November. I have been putting the finishing touches to this presentation but it is so difficult not to get sidetracked investigating all those wonderful sources. My current writing project and the subject of my other Who Do You Think You Are? Live presentation, is Putting Your Ancestors in their Place: a guide to One Place Studies and that is equally distracting. After all I just have to stop and put all my suggestions into practice for my own One Place Studies just to check that they work don’t I?

I have responded to an enquiry for memories of the 1987 storm that swept southern England. It feels rather strange to know that my, to me comparatively recent, memories are now part of an historic investigation. Still another snippet to add to my memoirs. You are recording your own memories aren’t you? We are tomorrow’s history – don’t plan to do it when you retire, when you are less busy, when you have something to say – do it NOW. Your descendants and other historians will be grateful.

Been tempted by the ‘buy it now’ button in Amazon lately. They have helpfully provided a list of what might be of interest to me. These irrelevant delights include War and Peace, a jigsaw of Padstow harbour and a 4x 4 boot liner for dogs. I have neither 4 x 4 nor dog so no idea where that came from.

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