Tag Archives: magazine

Sussex resources on the WDYTYA magazine cover CD

11 Sep

One way for publishers to guarantee that I will buy a copy of their magazine is to include a CD packed with Sussex data on the cover. That is just what they have done with the latest edition (October 2011) of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine.

The CD contains five datasets, plus a selection of images (photographs and documents) from Sussex museums and archives. These are accompanied by a six page article in the magazine with background information and links. The five datasets are:

1874 Post Office Directory – this consists of two pdfs, the court directory (listing all the residents, or at least the wealthier ones) and the trade directory (an A to Z of Sussex tradesmen).

Army Lists – several pdfs listing officers of the Royal Sussex Regiment serving during the Boer War and First World War.

Parish Material – a tempting selection of parish register transcriptions from Hastings, Guestling and Crowhurst, the work of the Hastings & Rother Family History Society.

1821 East Grinstead Census – a transcription of a pre-1841 census survivor, a taster for the full CD from the Sussex Family History Group which also includes the 1811 and 1831 Census from East Grinstead.

Eastbourne MIs – an index and transcription of parts of Ocklygne Cemetery, Eastbourne produced by the Family Roots FHS.

I don’t think any of these datasets are going to answer any immediate research questions I have, but I am sure that they will in time turn out to be useful tools in my genealogy toolbox.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Your Family History Magazine – Happy First Anniversary

14 May

You may remember that a little over a year ago I wrote about the first issue of Your Family History Magazine and to celebrate its first anniversary I was asked if I would like to take a look at the latest issue. I realise I am a little late to the party as the next issue will soon be out very soon.

The anniversary issue is number 14, which seems a little strange for a monthly magazine which is only a year old, but then as family historians we are used to trying to fit more into the time available so I shouldn’t really be surprised. The cover bears a large picture of Kate Middleton reminding us that this is also a Royal Wedding issue as well as an anniversary issue, with an article on some of her ancestors and also an article looking at Royal wedding dresses over the centuries.

There are some great articles in this issue covering a good selection of topics. One that really stands out for me is the article 1911-2011 A Century of Family History by Else Churchill which describes the origins of The Society of Genealogists (in its centenary year), takes a look at their library and their online offerings.

I also found the article Going Down Under particularly interesting. It was written by Neil Kevan of Title Research, which is a probate genealogy company, as such it not only gives some useful background information on research in Australia and New Zealand but also provides some insight into the probate genealogy business.

Something I really like about the magazine is that there seems to be less emphasis placed on technology. Sure there is news of the latest internet releases from the major online players and elsewhere, but much space is also devoted to reviews of traditional media.

Some may see this as a disadvantage, but having spent far too much time online being bombarded by information about how we should all be social networking and how technology is going to radically change the future of family history, it is refreshing not to find it in the pages of this magazine. If I wanted to find out how to get the best from my scanner or digital camera I probably wouldn’t be looking to a family history magazine for advice.

The magazine delivers the same high quality and well written articles as it did when it started out. The format doesn’t seem to have changed, it still has all the features you would usually expect from a family history magazine, and the quality of production is excellent. The price has risen slightly in the last year (up to £4.25 from £3.99), but it still represents excellent value for money.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011: BBC Magazines wants your feedback

4 Mar

It is week on from Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 and BBC Magazines (the new folks in charge of the show) want to hear your feedback on the show.

The following paragraph is taken from the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine website:

If you visited this year’s show, we hope that you had a fantastic time. The Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team were there the whole weekend, and it was great to be able to meet so many of you – but now we want to know what you think. What was your favourite part of the event? What could the organisers do better next year? Let us know by emailing your thoughts to Matt Elton at mattelton@bbcmagazines.com.

I will be sending Matt an email, but I thought I would share some of my thoughts here first. Overall I thought it was an excellent show, but it could be improved.

My favourite part of the show sounds a bit odd now I come to write it down, but standing upstairs on the gallery and looking down on to the ground floor and all the stands with hundreds of people wandering about. I have never thought of myself as a people watcher but it was great to see people exploring the show, wandering from stand to stand or purposefully darting to their next talk. It was reassuring to see so many people engaged enough in genealogy to make the effort to visit the show.

However, it wasn’t all good, but most of my negative points are pretty minor, such as a shortage of tables and chairs and a lack of choice from the food vendors (from a vegetarian point of view). It appeared that the only cash machine in the building was out of order for the entire three days, although it didn’t really bother me because I was there for three days and could get more cash before coming the next day.

My only real concern would be the content of the talks, there was a good mix of subjects but in my opinion the experience level seemed to be very much targeted towards the beginner. The time alloted for each talk (45 mins in most cases I think) was not really enough to go into much depth in any case. Whilst there are still aspects of genealogy where I am a beginner, I am sure there are plenty of others like me that would appreciate a few more advanced topics being covered.

The line up of talks also seemed short on technology related subjects, such as file management and of course blogging and other social media. Back to more traditional methods I would like to see some talks covering best practices like citing sources, organising paper files and making backups.

Having said all that, the talks are only one part of the whole experience and I will of course be back next year, hopefully for all three days but if not then for the whole weekend at the very least.

Hey that’s me!

25 Jan

The most exciting thing about picking up the latest edition of BBC Who Do You Think You Are Magazine this morning should have been the free copy of the showguide for Who Do You Think You Are? Live, but no, even more exciting than that was the mention of my blog in their article on genealogy blogs.

Audrey Collins had mentioned on The Family Recorder blog that both Anglo-Celtic Connections and Scottish GENES were mentioned in this edition, and I will forgive her for not mentioning my blog (I think she wanted to keep it a surprise for me!)

I resisted to temptation to wander around waving the magazine in front of anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity, I don’t think they would have been quite so excited as I was.

So thank you Jonathan Warren (the author of the piece) and Who Do You Think You Are Magazine for publishing the article, it means a lot to me  to be recognised in this way.

Family history blogs in Practical Family History magazine

15 Jun

The June 2010 edition of Practical Family History magazine includes a two page article on family history blogs by Sheena Tait, who also has a blog.

The article is entitled “Web resources for… Blogs for genealogy” and includes sections on commercial blogs, genealogical news and personal blogs, with examples in each categories. The article opens with a description of what a blog is and ways to read them, and closes with some suggestions on how to find blogs and some suggestions for feed readers.

I am proud to say that my blog gets a mention (and a screenshot) in the section on personal blogs, so I would like to thank Sheena and Practical Family History for giving me a mention.

The article does mention that “genealogy blogs are dominated by American writers and topics but there are now a growing number focused on the UK and Ireland”, so it is good that the article mainly focuses on UK and Irish blogs.

The other personal blogs mentioned were:

The ancestry of the party leaders in the media

23 Apr

Those of you outside of the UK may not have noticed, but if you live in the UK you cannot have failed to notice the fact that election fever has gripped the media (maybe not the entire country yet, just the media) who won’t let us forget that there is a General Election on the 6th May.

As well as borrowing the idea of a leadership debate from the USA, we also seem to have acquired an interest in the ancestry of the three main candidates. I remember seeing many mentions of the ancestry of Barack Obama during his campaign and election. His family even has it’s own page on Wikipedia.

Attention has now turned to the ancestors of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. I mentioned yesterday that there was an article about the ancestors of the three candidates in the first edition of the new Your Family History magazine.

The May 2010 edition of Family History Monthly has an article on the ancestry of David Cameron, and I am sure I have seen a similar treatment of Gordon Brown’s ancestors in another magazine, but don’t remember seeing Nick Clegg receiving the same treatment, after all no-one had heard of him until last week!

Findmypast.co.uk have researched the ancestors of the three leaders (illustrated with some census images), highlighting some of the similarities and pointing out some of the interesting characters in their family trees.

One of these characters was Baroness Moura Budberg (Nick Clegg’s 2x great aunt) who also gets a mention on the Time Archive Blog today, with a wonderful quote from her obituary, "she could drink any sailor under the table without batting an eyelid."

Your Family History: A new family history magazine for the UK

22 Apr

Your Family Tree Today I picked up the first edition (May 2010) of a new UK family history magazine Your Family History. It is published by Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd and is an unofficial successor to the discontinued Ancestors magazine (it also has the same cover price of £3.99).

At first glance it is very similar in appearance to Ancestors and has all the features you would expect from a family history magazine, such as news, internet news, reviews, lists of events and courses.

There are some interesting articles in this first edition. Of topical interest is an article on the genealogy of the three main candidates in the 2010 Election. On the practical side there is a beginner’s guide to making a video biography.

I was intrigued by the article on the supposed failed German invasion on the Suffolk coast (Shingle Street) in 1940. It certainly made me interested in reading more about the story and will check my local library for some of the material mentioned in the article.

This first issue has a Spotlight on Sussex which I was naturally drawn to. It contains details of the three main archives in Sussex, the West Sussex Record Office, the East Sussex Record Office and the Brighton History Centre. There is also an article on the private archives of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.

The theme of archives continues in The Last Word, where Nick Barratt (Editor-in-Chief) reminds us that our archives and local study centres are in danger of closure and cuts, and need our support to ensure their survival.

It is an encouraging first issue, a worthy successor to Ancestors. There is a good selection of experts (who we are introduced to in this first issue) writing on a wide range of subjects and answering readers queries

You can find out more about the first issue, learn about the experts, subscribe to the magazine, sign up to the newsletter and submit your stories on their website.

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