I must admit I found myself getting just ever so slightly excited the other night about next years Who Do You Think You Are? Live. By a roundabout sort of way I found myself on their website and realised that the dates were there for next years show.
I can’t remember now if I had seen the dates before, I suspect they have been there for a long time, but it was probably far too early last time I looked for it to make much of an impression.
The show is on the 24th, 25th and 26th February 2012, so just over six months away. There are no further details yet on their website, but just having those dates gives me something to look forward to. To be fair it is not the only thing I have to look forward to, but it will probably be the genealogical highlight of the year.
I really ought to be getting excited about the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? in the UK, but in reality this annual family history event is much more interesting to me than the TV programme, because it will have much more relevance to my research.
Perhaps it is a little too early to get excited about Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 but it is at least time to start getting organised, by booking the time off work and maybe even getting those t-shirts printed that I say I will do every year!
Once again I seem to have achieved very little this week when it comes to family history, in fact I don’t really know where the time has gone.
I have done much thinking about family history, but not much real work. That thinking about family history usually pays off in the long run, it usually helps me organise my thoughts and plan the way forward on particular projects.
I know what I need to do next with the NICHOLLS/DRAPPER families from Kent, a little bit more research from home using the IGI and the census to build up a basic framework and then head for an archive or library to check some copies of the original parish registers.
I know that project is going to grind to a halt shortly as I wait for the opportunity to visit that archive or library, so I have lined up my next project, working on Thomas WELLER and his wife (possibly Mary NEWNHAM). This puts me back on home territory (Sussex) again and hopefully I should be able to make some progress on this without too many problems.
The next step for Thomas and Mary WELLER is to prove I have found the correct marriage, I should be able to do this by ordering the birth certificate of one of their children. I would like it to be Mary Ann WELLER my 3x great-grandmother but I am having trouble finding the correct reference, so it might have to be one of her brothers.
The good news is that the long Easter weekend means that I should have opportunity to get on with some family history. Unfortunately I can’t spend all four days on my family history, but should have enough time to get a decent amount done.
My research has been pretty much without direction for several months, I have been jumping from person to person and from place to place without any real idea of what I was hoping to achieve.
It is about time I introduced some focus back into my research, but the problem has always been too much choice. There are just so many lines to pursue and relatives to chase that I have struggled to make a decision, until now.
Over a year ago now I undertook what I called my “Christmas Tree Project”, trying to identify all my 4x great-grandparents. In the end I fell short by three ancestors, but the project was very worthwhile and gave some focus to my research.
The next logical step is to move back a generation and focus on my 5x great-grandparents, all 128 of them! The good news is that I already have some details for 69 out of the 128 ancestors, but the big obstacle will be the three ancestors that it missed last time, I need to work again on identifying them before I can find their parents.
There will be two big differences this time, first I am going to give myself more time, in fact I think it might be an open-ended exercise or until I run out of ideas or enthusiasm. The second difference will be that I am probably not going to be able to print a physical copy of a family tree including all these generations, so I will have to think about putting all the details into an online tree.
I am hoping that this project will help bring back some focus to my research, I realise it will still mean a bit of jumping about from person to person and place to place, but at least there will be some method to my madness.
At the same time I shall carry on with all the other projects that I have been working on, there are still lots of things on my to-do lists that need working on, but then it seems that family historians are never happy unless their plates are overflowing with work to do.
Five weeks today sees the start of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2011 at Olympia, London, and it is about time that I got myself organised. I have already ordered my tickets (although there are still plenty of discount codes about on the internet if you haven’t) and I don’t really need to worry about travel arrangements.
Really all I need to think about is making the most of my time whilst I am there, so which talks do I want to attend? What questions do I want to ask? Which products to I want to try/buy? And what am I going to have for lunch? (OK so maybe that last one is not actually that important)
Next week a copy of the show guide is being given away with the upcoming edition of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, but if you can’t wait until then the show website has copies of the floor plan (for use in conjunction with the list of exhibitors) and the timetables of talks and workshops (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This weekend I will try to print off the timetables and decide who I want to see this year (I don’t think I will bother with the celebrities this year, they always over run and are always packed to bursting point).
This weekend I need to decide whether to create a couple of t-shirts (or three) to advertise my blog and some business cards for a bit of networking here and there. Also I need to scrape some of the mud off my walking boots, I don’t want to be trailing mud around Olympia as I wander from stand to stand.
Week 52 by my reckoning must mean we are at the end of the year. I think I will save my review of the year for next weekend, but this week I will have a look at how I failed to achieve any of the goals I set out at the beginning of the year, but try not to beat myself up too much about it!
I had hoped I could get down to some serious family history last week, but that didn’t really materialise. Like the week before, I did a lot of thinking about family history but never really got around to doing anything about it. I did get the death certificate for John FAIRS ordered and received it by the end of the week, but that was about the limit of my family history.
Much of my thinking has been around what I am doing next and in the future. At the moment my research is lacking focus, I am really only working on one project at the moment (the housekeeping of my database) and that is not particularly exciting at the moment. My to-do list is growing, but I am not getting chance to explore much further. I feel I should be digging deeper and making opportunities to do more research.
This week, as well as looking back, I need to decide what I am going to try to accomplish in 2011. One plan has already had to be set back because Carlisle Record Office is now due to open in April next year, not January. I think my plan will be to continue with my housekeeping and see where that leads, but try to schedule in at least one day a month to visit an archive and clear some items off my to-do list.
With a couple of days off this week I hope I can get some more research done, but in reality I ought to be spending a large proportion of that time sorting out other non-genealogy stuff, but I will see how it goes.
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.
Last week got off to a slow start, or rather it got off to a very quick start and before I knew it I was half-way through the week and hadn’t really achieved much. This spurred me into action and although I didn’t really achieve a great deal I did come to a decision about yet another new project that I want to start.
My recent visit to West Dean, Sussex has brought the project into focus, but it was something that I had been meaning to start for a long time. I had been intending to write a series of blog posts about the BOXALLs of West Dean remembered on the parish war memorial, the plan was for this to be in time for Remembrance Day this year.
There are six BOXALLs mentioned on the war memorial and at least four of them are related to me. My plan is to fill in some details on my family tree and hopefully identify my relationship to all six of the men, and provide some details on them and their service. So I am going to kill two birds with one stone, fill in some details on my family tree and generate some material for a few blog posts.
I have no doubt that I will still find other things to distract me whilst carrying out the research on this particular project, hopefully this focus will encourage me to get on with some research and I am already planning to visit the West Sussex Records Office and Chichester Library in the next couple of weeks. There is much I can do online as well, and there is a lot that I need to do before I go the WSRO.