Tag Archives: resources

Thinking some more about Kent

27 Mar

I have been thinking more about my issues with the county of Kent and now I am convinced that it would be beneficial to spend some time learning more about research in Kent.

I don’t have time to research all the parishes in Kent, at least not in one go anyway. Initially I need to focus on the places in my family tree that I need to learn more about and then let my family history research guide me from there, building up knowledge and information as I go along.

I am going to start by extracting a list of Kent parishes and registration districts from my family history software along with some names and dates. Then I can start working on the list of places.

I want to pull together a list of resources for each of the places, finding out which archives, libraries, websites or societies have information that might be of use to me. Along with this I need to build up a list of general links to Kent resources (and possibly some books). It would also be useful to find some maps (or links to some maps) to give me some help with the geography of the county.

The next question is how to record all this information? I am considering using a TiddlyWiki which I think might be ideal for the job, plus I have been looking for an excuse to use one for ages.

Why do I still have such a problem with Kent?

25 Mar

I still seem to have a real mental block when it comes to researching my family history in the county of Kent, England. So many of the branches of my family tree seem to stop abruptly when I cross the border into Kent and I have to admit that my heart sinks when I find an ancestor that comes from Kent.

I have nothing against Kent and it’s people, from what I have seen it is a nice place and I would like to spend more time there. For starters I still need to finish walking the North Downs Way through the county.

There doesn’t seem to be anything uniquely different about family history research in Kent. The same core record types exist as they do anywhere else in England and the research process is the same, but still I have a mental block on research in the county.

Accessibility is a problem, or at least I perceive it to be a problem. It is not particularly easy for me to get to the two main archives at Maidstone and Canterbury, but it is considerably easier than getting to the archives in Gloucester or Carlisle and only a lack of time and money are stopping me from going to those two.

I think the big problem is that I have been rather spoilt by my years of research in Sussex. I now have a pretty good idea of the resources available and where to find them, as well as a reasonable background knowledge of the county. I have also been very much spoilt by the wonderful resources of the Sussex Family History Group.

I am wondering if I need to do some serious research into the county itself. I think it might be worth my time and effort spending a while on the place and not the people, identifying the key records for the places I am interested in and which archive or website has them.

It could be quite a task, but the more I think about the more I think it could be a worthwhile exercise. Still at the back of my mind is the idea that this might just be another way for me to avoid having to do any real family history research in Kent.

Notes from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2010: The Workshops

13 Mar

In this series of posts I hope to provide you with some of the highlights from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2010.

There were a wide range of workshops over all three days of the show. There were seven simultaneous strands (including the Ancestry.co.uk Academy and TheGenealogist).

By my reckoning there were 145 talks (not including the Sunday Conference)across all three days, some of these were duplicates, for instance, all the celebrity interviews took place twice, and most of the talks at the Ancestry.co.uk Academy and TheGenealogist were repeated on all three days.

I could only attend a fraction of the talks on offer, and those that I did were excellent presentations. I didn’t attend any of the SOG (Society of Genealogists) Regional, DNA Workshop, Ancestry.co.uk Academy or TheGenealogist talks, either through clashes in the programme or lack of relevance to my research.

My only complaint would be with the screens in SOG2 and SOG3 which were a bit too low, so the bottom of the screen was not visible from the back of the audience.

The Society of Genealogists have made available a selection of handouts or notes from some of the speakers on their website. Although it is not the same as attending the talks in person, there is still some interesting information and useful resources there, well worth taking the time to have a look through. Some of the highlights are:

  • More Than Scraps and Paste (Maureen Taylor)
  • My top 10 websites (John Hanson)
  • World War One Army Service Records (Chris Watts)
  • My ancestor was a shopkeeper (Sue Gibbons)
  • Using the census records online (Peter Christian)
  • Finding and Using Parish Records (Else Churchill)
  • Looking at family pictures 1850-1940 (Jayne Shrimpton)
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