Communities, Celebrities, Conservatories and oh yes a bit more Crafting

A great week on the community history front. I spent yesterday presenting my day course ‘Researching Your Ancestors and their Communities in the Early Twentieth Century’ to an enthusiastic group of students. There are some major events coming up on the presentations calendar. I was excited to be asked to lead a remote workshop on North Devon emigrants at the forthcoming British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa conference. I just hope that the technology is kind to me. I am grateful to Buckinghamshire Family History Society who were very understanding about rescheduling my appointment with them so that I could do both.

First though Who Do You Think You Are? Live next weekend. I have only just registered that my ‘A to Z of Family History’ talk, designed to tie in with Family Historian’s Enquire Within, has been scheduled for the celebrity studio and will be accompanied by signing (as in sign language – although I will sign books too if asked – in fact I’ll sign pretty much anything). Not that I think I am in any way a celebrity – there was probably nowhere else to put me but wow! Next thing we know I will be asked to take part with other non-celebrities in reality TV. I was also excited to see that the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies had made Family Historian’s Enquire Within book of the month.

I hope I will be able to catch up with some of my family history friends over the weekend, I am there Friday and Saturday. 11.00-13.00 each day I will be found in the ‘ask the experts’ area – not only a non-celebrity but also an ‘expert’ – what a lot to live up to. Friday at 14.45 I am – whisper it quietly – in the celebrity studio and Saturday at 15.15 I am in the more lowly studio 3 talking about One Place Studies and promoting my other new book Putting Your Ancestors in their Place: a guide to one place studies after which I hope to get together with other one placers. I need to sell some books otherwise we have to work out how to get 10 boxes on two London trains and up a half mile hill to the caravan. The rest of the time I will be chatting to people and trying to resist the temptations of the book stall. I still have some of last year’s haul to work through.

I am thrilled by the continuing response to my 1946-1969 project. Janets have been flocking in and now outweigh the Lynnes, adding weight to the theory that everyone of a certain age is indeed called Janet.

In between the history I have been planning our summer holiday in Scotland. Look out frozen north here we come. Plenty of countryside, islands and heritage and as few cities as possible, apart from two days at the Commonwealth Games.

The latest grandmotherly crafting project is a knitted Hippo in rather a natty rainbow wool. She is now awaiting the arrival of her owner next month, or if his mother is to be believed, rather sooner than that.






8 February 2014 View through the back doorOh and thank you for asking, the porch and conservatory building has recommenced after a week’s break. Both now have window frames but I am unable to use my back door. I am fortunate not to have suffered as badly as many of my west country neighbours but it is rather disconcerting sitting in a force 10 gale with tarpaulins flapping, loose drain pipes rattling and scaffolding creaking.




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