I had another day off today and the weather was miserable again, so I headed for the East Sussex Record Office in Lewes, East Sussex to knock some more items off my to-do list.
The plan was much the same as yesterday at the West Sussex Record Office, which essentially meant there was no plan, just collect as much data as possible, and if it cleared stuff from my to-do list then even better. Like yesterday there weren’t really any major discoveries, but I was pleased to find a few entries that have been (or should have been) on my to-do list for a long time.
These included baptism records for my grandmother and great-grandmother. I had never got around to looking for either record before, I had a pretty good idea where the first record would be and had already found an index entry for the second and just need to double-check it.
The most pleasing find however was the baptism record for William Joseph Henry BATEMAN. I have written much about William (who joined the Royal Navy and ended up making his home in Australia) but had never sat down before and searched for his baptism record, even though I had a pretty good idea where I should be looking.
The most surprising find was the baptism record for George TROWER in Brighton. Even though he is not a particularly close relation (first cousin three times removed) I had searched for his baptism for several years. His parents were from Henfield, Sussex but spent a few years in Brighton before returning to the family farm in Henfield. It was really pleasing to find his baptism today because I had not been deliberately looking for it.
It shouldn’t take me long to sort through this information (and that collected yesterday) and enter it in the right spreadsheet and database, but these two days have highlighted the fact that I need to get my to-do list a little better organised. Over the last two days I have largely been working with my netbook (for the to-do list and my family tree) and a lined A4 refill pad, this worked pretty well but my to-do list is get too large and in some cases it doesn’t have enough information, perhaps it is time to upgrade from my simple text file.
Plans for The Keep moved another step forward with the submission of a planning application to Brighton & Hove City Council in October 2010.
The Keep is destined to be the new home for the collections of the East Sussex Record Office and the Brighton History Centre among others, and if all goes according to plan (and funding is forthcoming) it should be opened to the public in 2013.
The hope is that a decision will be reached by the 14th January 2011 and all the documentation about the application can be found on the Brighton & Hove City Council website in their planning register (application number BH2010/03259).
The application itself is described as being for the “Construction of an archive centre comprising lecture and educational facilities, reading room, conservation laboratories, archivist study areas, offices, cleaning and repair facilities for archives, repository block and refreshment area. Associated energy centre, car, coach and cycle parking, waste and recycling storage, landscaping including public open space and access.”
Delving into the documentation provides some interesting reading. The first document on the list is the application form and this includes opening hours which it gives as 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, with two evenings during the week and one Sunday a month. I fully expect these to change by the time it opens, but being able to visit on a Sunday would be a great advantage for me.
There is still much consultation and discussion to be done, but at least the plans have moved another step closer to completion.
I’ve changed the title of this regular weekly post to reflect the fact that it is largely about what I have been doing (or failing to do) in my own personal genealogy.
Last week was devoted almost entirely to organising the files and folders on my hard drive. I had hoped to get all my folders sorted out by the end of May, but I am some way short of that, although not too far off. I have another eight folders to sort through, out of a total of 75 surnames.
I have transcribed the will of Thomas PIERCEY, but that was really just about the only other new bit of work I did that wasn’t related to sorting out folders. I have added several new relations to my family tree in the process of going through my folders, and some of that involved looking up new details.
I am really missing doing any proper new research, all this organising is taking it’s toll on me and I now just want to get it out of the way and start moving on to new ground. I might start a few bits of proper research this week, but really I need to get things organised to finish off the GEERINGs of Hailsham, before I get too carried away with new avenues of research.
This week I am going to get all the folders sorted apart from the GEERING and GASSON ones (which will be left for the following week). Also I will get together a plan for East Sussex Record Office (where I still haven’t booked a seat yet or ordered documents yet) and contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (which I still haven’t done either) in preparation for starting back on the GEERINGs again.
This week is the last chance to have your say on the plans for The Keep, the new archives centre for Brighton and East Sussex.
The public consultation period runs until this Friday the 28th May 2010, and there is a public exhibition being held at the Jubilee Library, Brighton, East Sussex on Wednesday 26th May 2010.
Further details, including how to make you opinions known, can be found on the East Sussex County Council website.
At last there is some sign of progress on the plans for The Keep, the new archive centre for East Sussex. The Keep is a joint project between East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Council and the University of Sussex.
The East Sussex County Council website now includes much more detail on the project than have previously been available. This includes maps, site plans, floor plans and artists impressions of the new centre, as well as a proposed timeline for the project.
A period of public consultation will take place between the 26th April and 28th May 2010. A feature of this will be three public exhibitions at local libraries, Lewes Library (12th May), Eastbourne Library (13th May) and the Jubilee Library in Brighton (26th May).
Everyone is invited to take part in the consultation, and there is a survey on the website to complete or opinions can be expressed via traditional methods, contact details can all be found on the website.
I will be having a closer look at the proposal in the coming weeks, but at first glance there appears to be important factor missing from the plans. There is no mention of how the whole project is going to be paid for. I am sure I am not the only one who would welcome some clarification on where the money is coming from.
I had quite a good week last week, I think most of my paper notes have been sorted out. I didn’t really do any fresh research, but I still have plenty of information in a digital format that needs sorting out.
I have research plans in place for a couple of archive visits, and now need to actually make a decision and decide on an actual date. I have avoided making a decision on going to Carlisle Record Office, there are only a few days left before it’s temporary closure, so it is not going to be possible to visit.
I am going to try not to focus on the fact that I have so much "stuff" to sort out and research that I would like to do, but rather focus on the smaller projects that I want to work on, whether they are researching or organising.
- This week I want to define an "exit strategy" for my GEERING research, I still have quite a bit of research to do at the East Sussex Record Office, but I think it is time that I was able to draw everything together and move on to something new.
- One aspect of the GEERINGs I haven’t paid much attention to so far are occupational records. I know they were chemists and druggists, and I need to find out if the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain can provide me with any information on the family business.
- Create a schedule for actually getting all my digital files in order. I feel I need to set a deadline and get some discipline into my organising, such as sorting one surname folder a day.
- I also need to decide which projects I am actually working on. I seem to have lots of things on the go at the moment, and I need to get some of them finished before I start exploring new areas and taking on more work.
- I really must tidy up my computer desk and the spare bedroom in general. There are genealogy books and magazines dotted about everywhere, and an old computer that needs stripping down for spares. I really need to get my workspace sorted out.
Something tells me that this week is going to be a spring cleaning week.
Last week I was a bit of a genealogical magpie, gathering all sorts of information from various places (mainly local libraries) and taking loads of photos. The problem is that I have taken all this “shiny” information back to my nest and not done anything with it.
This week I really need to get this information sorted out, transcribed and where necessary entered into my family tree. This week I am going to try not to gather any more information until I have sorted out all the new stuff that I have recently acquired.
- Sort out all the information I have gathered. Scan documents, transcribe my notes, update Family Historian and sort out the digital photos.
- Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames.
- Email East Sussex Record Office to find out which of the GEERING records I want to view are held onsite and which I need to order in.
- Attend the South Coast Family History Fair on Sunday 25th April 2010 at Worthing, West Sussex.
That should be enough for this week. I really need to get my notes sorted out, and will be happy if I can complete that this week.