Posted by: Christine | March 5, 2013

Wot. No Genealogy?

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed a lack of genealogical posts recently – this needs to be rectified.

First, why haven’t I been posting? Well, due to my broken shoulder, I was unable to go to WDYTYAlive as planned. I also had to cancel a trip to the TNA. Either or both of these would have resulted in posts. I will be attending a Guild of One-Name Studies regional meeting in Coventry on Saturday, and towards the end of the month, I hope I can get to the Hobbycraft Exhibition at the NEC, to help RFHG man the FFHS stand. The following day (23rd March) is the BMSGH 50th Anniversary Celebration and FFHS AGM. Any of these events I might write about.

So, with all this spare time, lounging around, waited on hand and foot, haven’t I been roaring ahead with my research? Well, on Tuesday evenings I can still get to the Rugby Local History Research Group meetings – I am continuing to catalogue and scan their archives and discovering how difficult it is to use a scanner with one hand! I have also started setting up a new website for them.

As for the Rugby Family History Group, that has carried on, thanks to lifts from friends. I missed the Members Evening, at which I due to give a talk (only 10 mins, so I don’t think anyone missed it). Then there was the working and research evening – transcribing local parish registers. Since I organise this and there would be nothing to do if I didn’t turn up, I was surprised no-one checked if I would be at the meeting or not – must try not to be so reliable!

I also run the RFHG computer group, once a month and this has been taking up my time recently. Last September I started what I called “Project Rainbow”. Usually we look at new sources of online information or how to use a certain family history program, but I thought it would be interesting to show how to research a family, from scratch, in real-time. At the first meeting we selected a random address in Rugby and looked at who was living there in the 1901 census. We settled on 90 Church Street (in fact 90 was the enumerator’s number not the house number) and found Alfred T Rainbow, a 39-year-old publican living there with his wife and two children. He seemed interesting – it is a local name, so we started.

Now the rules of this exercise was that no-one, not even me, was allowed to do any research or preparation between the sessions. We would turn up for the meeting, go on the internet and see what we could find – scary! I felt this would be more useful as everyone could experience any problems and how to get round them. Last Friday was the penultimate meeting (we don’t meet during the summer) and I announced that everyone could now carry on researching by themselves. On 12th April they can bring their results and there will be a (very) modest prize for the most interesting fact about the family.

Nothing wrong with that, except…..although I had written brief reports of each meeting for the  RFHG website, I said I would provide a gedcom of the family, for reference. I had been entering the names into my PAF5 program, but I needed to enter all the sources, which meant downloading all the census pages, parish registers etc and checking every fact for all 34 people (4 generations, from 1821 to 1938). That  is now done – intensive research into a family which has nothing to do with me!

So that’s why this blog has been quiet – and I’ll need another post to cover the rest of what I’ve been up to.

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