Tuesday, 15 April 2014

All We Leave Are Memories!

Photo: We have spent the last few days clearing the shed, ridding it of stuff we won't need at out new place, and merging Mum's bits with ours. Each thing came with a memory attached. 

Her electrical gardening bits that had dubious plugs on. Mum, like me could never wire a plug properly. The view is, if it works then fab!, the strange things in her tool box - a few needles and buttons. Why when she has a whole 5 boxes of sewing and patchwork stuff. Reasoning known only to Mum. Such vagueness and randomness that she has passed along to me and I know my Grandfather was the same. I am in good company and proud to be to.

The best bit was this assortment of tools. Most of these were my Grandfather's including the box of tacks - still full and rusty and the little tube of something - no idea what that is. Will add that to my to do list to see if I can find out what it is. Whilst the tools have no use really, they are now happily installed in our toolboxes. 

Last week I came across the gardening tools that belonged to my Grandfather - a hoe, a rake that had been made with bent nails at the top. I just love the thinking.
I have needed a bit of time out. My A - Z Challenge posts, all written before Christmas and scheduled have failed to post because I realise that I have the year as 2015. Who knows what I was thinking! I may go back and repost or I may just leave ready for next year!

Anyway we have finally hit spring here in England and feeling as though I needed to do something that enabled me to think about my departed family I opted to do a bit of spring sorting.

We have spent the last few days clearing the shed, ridding it of stuff we won't need at out new place, and merging Mum's bits with ours. Each thing came with a memory attached.

Her electrical gardening bits that had dubious plugs on. Mum, like me could never wire a plug properly. The view is, if it works then fab!, the strange things in her tool box - a few needles and buttons. Why when she has a whole 5 boxes of sewing and patchwork stuff. Reasoning known only to Mum. Such vagueness and randomness that she has passed along to me and I know my Grandfather was the same. I am in good company and proud to be to.

The best bit was this assortment of tools. Most of these were my Grandfather's including the box of tacks - still full and rusty and the little tube of something - no idea what that is. Will add that to my to do list to see if I can find out what it is. Whilst the tools have no use really, they are now happily installed in our toolboxes.

Last week I came across the gardening tools that belonged to my Grandfather - a hoe, a rake that had been made with bent nails at the top. I just love the thinking and a link to the past.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 33

Today is week 33 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Regrets

  • Big Regrets
    • I should (or not) have bought that large purchase
  • Small Regrets
    • I should (or not) have had that thick shake at MacDonalds
  • Miscellaneous Regrets
    • Relationships
    • Jobs
    • Friends

This might seem like a prompt which gives you permission to beat yourself up at the regrets you may have. That is not the case. The important thing to remember with regrets is that hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 32

Today is week 32 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - How do you De-Stress?

  • Read
  • Swim
  • Walk
  • Music
  • Yoga 
  • Sport
  • Anything else?
  • What triggers your acknowledgement that you need to de-stress?
    • Headaches
    • other pains?
  • What triggers you stress?
As always, share what you feel comfortable - anything from nothing to.....your choice!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - B is for.......

B is for Bastardy Bonds

About twenty years ago I was merrily working my way through my maternal family line and encountered my first Bastardy Bond.

Samuel Harris was born in 1766, the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Harris in the Surrey parish of Frensham. The location with the parish is very close to the border with Hampshire, at the parishes of Bramshott and Headley.

As was common practice, the unwed and expectant mother was to report her situation to the officials in the parish of settlement. At this point Elizabeth submitted a Bastardy Examination which "forced" the mother to name the father of the expected child. This allowed the parish to seek the father and request that he pay a contribution for the child's upkeep rather than the parish being expected to.

The Bastardy Bond,which you see here was filed on 10th November 1767. Elizabeth clearly names the father as Samuel Holt with the baby being born eighteen months prior.

Bastardy Bond Samuel Holt & Elizabeth Harris
Surrey History Centre ref 1505/30/1767/BB37 - Page 1
Bastardy Bond Samuel Holt & Elizabeth Harris
Surrey History Centre ref 1505/30/1767/BB37 - Page 2
Baby Samuel had by this time already been baptised and is recorded as a Samuel Harris, he is then named Samuel Holt on the bottom of page one above and then marries in 1787 to Sarah Diggins as Samuel Harris.

Marriage of Samuel Harris to Sarah Diggins 9th April 1787 Frensham Surrey
Image courtesy of Ancestry, although I have a copy obtained from
Surrey Heritage Centre dated 1989

There is something rather wonderful that I an see Samuel Holt's spidery and shaky signature, yet his illegitimate son could only sign with a X. There is no further documentation to suggest that Samuel Holt did not keep good on his promise to pay for his child. 

What is worth noting is that the Overseer to the Poor in Farnham was Richard Avenell. Avenell is a well known surname in the area, linking to a clock making family and the name appears in my one-place study for Puttenham about the same time. A generation further on and there are more instances of relationships and children between members of the Harris and Holt families, but that is another story!

Note - If you want to see a larger image of the documents shown please visit

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Blogging A-Z - April Challenge - A is for.......

This year I am keeping with a genealogical & historical theme.
A is for Archives.

There is something very special accessing an archive of material whether that is a collection gathered by an individual, group, regional or national facility.

An archive is a link to the past. A past that our ancestors lived, played and worked in, regardless if you are researching your ancestry or not.

An archive is an opportunity to explore the bowels of an establishment, to absorb, delve, be curious in. An environment in which we can ask questions and hopefully identify items and documents that answer those questions.

Of course, once you are in an archive it is very easy to be distracted and head off into a tangent and explore other things. Personally I find that as I look at documents other questions or thoughts pop into my head that perhaps are not related to the quest I am exploring. I record those thoughts in a short mind map style note in my notebook, capturing the essence of the thought whilst keeping on the path of research.

Puttenham Surrey - 2007
There are some great archives in existence and not just the more established ones. There are local archives, that perhaps relate to a particular location. In those instances they are typically run by a team of volunteers. It was such an archive that got me involved with my One-Place Study of Puttenham. My own Puttenham archive is a constant work in progress and I am currently in the process of putting all the material on-line, either at the website or blog.

Here are a few examples of some other local archives. Firstly, this one from the English county of Surrey - Shere Museum. An early branch of my maternal family hailed from Shere, having hopped over the border from Sussex before meandering their way across this part of Surrey.

Where Shere Museum is run as a private entity, Guildford Museum is run by the Borough Council and I spent many a happy Saturday afternoon their in earlier years. Attached to the Museum was originally part of the Surrey Records Office in a rather dusty and dark basement. The room was called the Muniment Room and I spent many, many hours looking through the card indexes which usually meant that I called for a document or two from the archive store. Here I discovered lots about my family that came into Guildford from Shere. More recently, well within the last fifteen years, the Muniment has closed its doors, but the documents are now located in a newly built Surrey History Centre at Woking.

Some records are found at a more national level at The National Archives located at Kew. Records pertaining to Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom are houses in typically the capitals of those locations - Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast, but. there are many, many places that may house archives and material that could assist you in your research.

This post has featured Surrey, because that is where my maternal family hails from, but there is more than likely near your own location an archive of whatever description simply waiting for you to walk through its doors and experience and delve into the archives confined within the walls.

Photo of the Bowring Collection at
Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter
June 2013 - J Goucher
Sometimes, there can be some really unexpected finds. Last June I visited the Museum in Exeter. I had always wanted to visit and simply enjoy the experience rather than visit with a particular task in mind. So there I was on a rather dismal day in June wandering around the Museum. I have a distant ancestor who was born and died in Exeter yet lived all over the world and had a fascinating life.

His name was Sir John Bowring. As I wandered round I gave a quick ponder to would I see anything mentioning Sir John? Well I did and that prompted me to delve a little deeper into what material was on offer and located at the Museum. I did write a blog post about the visit and you can read that here.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Military Monday ~ Letters to an Unknown Soldier - Paddington Station, London

War memorial Paddington station by Ceridwen
War memorial Paddington station
© Ceridwen
The statue shown here is from London Paddington Station. It was built to commemorate members of the 100 members of Great Western Railway Company staff who perished in the First World War.

The Letter to an Unknown Soldier Project is an opportunity to write the letter the soldier is reading, 100 years on.

The Letter To An Unknown Soldier website will remain open for 37 days, from 28 June when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, triggering WW1, to 4 August when Britain announced it was at war.

People can post letters on the Letter to an Unknown Soldier website or send letters to the statue at an address at Paddington station. 

Letters will remain on-line up to the anniversary of Armistice Day 2018.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 - Chapter 5

+DearMYRTLE Community

Remembering Mum on Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day here in the UK, and my first without Mum. There will be a lot of first's. Her first birthday (which we had just two days after Mum passed away), Mother's Day, Easter and Christmas. Even our first anniversary without her.

I always used to joke with Mum that the reprieve of gift buying between Easter and Christmas was welcomed as between February and April, Mum always received her birthday, Mother's Day and Easter gifts. Typically she received something to add to her collection of Aynsley Wild Tudor, which you can see in the back of the photograph here. Mum always referred to it as her predicable surprise!

So many firsts and yet as each one passes, even though Mum passed away just six weeks ago, I feel I have reached some sort of milestone. Whether I have or not is a different matter, but it feels that way. I think of Mum many times each day. I probably always did, but am now just more aware of it.

I came across this poem recently and the first time I read it I was very overcome. Since then I have read it about five or six times and each time I feel just as sad and lost without her, but more reassured, comforted and aware of the strength that I need, and that Mum had.

Today is a sad day, but it also gives me an opportunity to say thanks to Mum for the wonderful memories and the many Mother's Day's we had together.

All is well

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still,
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the same easy way which you always did,
Put no difference into your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect, without the shadow of a ghost on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity,
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am just waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.

By Canon Henry Scott Holland

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 31

Today is week 30 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - What makes you proud?

  • Your achievements
    • Against the odds
    • Challenges
  • Your Family Members
    • Spouse
    • Parents
    • Grandparents
    • Grandchildren
    • Children
    • Friends and Colleagues

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Press Release from FindmyPast and The National Archives - 1939 Register - 29th September 1939

I would not normally share general press release statements here, but this one is an exciting development for those of us in the United Kingdom.

"British-owned online family history world leader DC Thomson Family History (who own findmypast) and The National Archives have today announced a joint project to make records of 40 million civilians held in the 1939 register available online. Once digitised, it is estimated that the collection will comprise almost 1.2 million scanned full-colour images of documents covering the entire civilian population of England & Wales at the outbreak of WWII. 
The 1939 register was taken on 29 September 1939 by the British Government and recorded personal details of individuals in order to issue identity cards and ration books. It later formed the basis of the National Health Service’s records. When complete, the 1939 register will be fully searchable online for the first time, opening up the past to a new generation of family and social historians, just as the 1911 census did on its release in 2009. 
The records contain the address, full name, date of birth, sex, marital status and occupation of individuals, as well as changes of name. Although the Register is literally within living memory for many people, information about living individuals will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been authenticated. 
From today, anybody interested in being kept informed about the project can register at www.1939register.co.uk
Annelies Van Den Belt, CEO of DC Thomson Family History said: “This announcement is great news not just for British family historians and those with British relatives, but for anyone with an interest in history itself; providing a fascinating snapshot of the country as it stood on the edge of the most widespread conflict in human history. 
“This significant project will bring these records to a global audience for the first time, and combined with the 1.8 billion records already available on our websites will make it easier than ever to begin your family history journey and uncover the powerful stories that lie within and that make us who we are.” 
Mary Gledhill, Commercial Director, at The National Archives, added: “The National Archives is delighted to be working with DC Thomson Family History to open up this unique record collection to the world, allowing history enthusiasts to discover more about the people at the outbreak of the Second World War. In the absence of a 1931 and 1941 census, this collection is all the more valuable to family historians trying to trace their ancestors.” 
The 1939 register project is the latest contract to be awarded to DC Thomson Family History by The National Archives. Record sets previously digitised by the company in association with The National Archives include Crime, Prisons and Punishment; outbound passenger lists; British Army Service records; Merchant Navy Seamen’s records; Maritime Birth, Marriage and Death indexes and the 1911 census."

(Disclaimer - I have received no financial reward or otherwise for sharing this information, I am merely a rather excited genealogist!)

I will be back in the next few days with some thoughts and potential discoveries that I hope to make in regard to my own family.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Spent some time yesterday looking through a couple of boxes Mum had stored away. I was surprised & amazed to come across this ornament .

I was immediately cast back to age 6 or so. I went on a school trip. I was dispatched with about a pound note & lunch.

I spotted this ornament & bought it for Mum. I was so pleased to get back & give this to Mum I tripped getting off the coach & dropped the ornament. I remember sobbing & Mum giving me a hug, telling me it would be fixed & as good as new.

Almost 40 years later I came across the ornament still glued, after 3 house moves.

A really happy memory & acutely missing Mum.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Finding the Genealogy Community

+James Tanner who blogs at Genealogy's Star posed an interesting question on 4th March in his post Finding the Genealogical Community.

The question he raised was "Where do we go or what do we do to find the genealogy community?"

I am going to attempt to answer the question and perhaps the further questions that James lists in his post, but before I do that let me ask a question. What is a community?

Wikipedia states this
"The term community has two distinct meanings: 1) Community can refer to a usually small, social unit of any size that shares common values. The term can also refer to the national community or international community, and 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment......."
I determine that community is a collective of people with similarities, in terms of a common interest. There is a basic need for us to be part of something, which is why genealogists and family historians strive very hard to not just seek out the details of our ancestors, but to also connect with family members regardless of level of connection.

Like with anything, those interested in a particular "thing" - reading, cricket, knitting, genealogy  tend to locate those within their locality who have a common interest. The internet and search engines make that search all the more easier. Before the internet we typically joined associations and societies, entered our interested surnames into a society facility which was the published in the newsletter or journal. We then communicated by letter with other researchers who may or may not have been related to us. Sound familiar?

Having established what a community is. Let's define genealogy and family historian.These labels can mean different things to different people. In the United Kingdom the term genealogist is akin to the college of Arms. You can read some details here whereas, family historians are to us here the UK are about names and dates and fleshing out the fine details of our ancestors.

Let me now focus on the other questions presented by James. Not everything in the world is black and white. So there are probably others at family history events. There are the exhibitors who are simply exchanging a commodity for cash, there will be spouses wandering along behind the truly interested party. I used to attend angling fairs with my husband and would amuse myself with the tea facilities and always carried a book. My husband would attend family history events with me and took slightly more interest in genealogy that I did in fishing!

Source for Graphic -
A genealogical community is therefore made up of a group of people bought together by a common factor - obviously genealogy. The difference is what the catalyst is for attending or connecting with this community.

I could state that the Anglers Rest community is made up of people who connect with me (and my husband) through a variety of interests, which for me is books and genealogy, whilst hubby is the actual fisherman.

I receive comments on various blog posts from an assortment of people, those who connect with me through books, others through genealogy or historical related entity. There are other random people who connect through the sharing of social media. In much the same way as attending a physical cocktail part (thanks to +Jen Baldwin for that phrase in this context), where you mingle with people whilst drinking glasses of bubbly and scoffing on canap├ęs!

The genealogy community of yesteryear has gone in that context and has been replaced with an internet and social media driven community. Indeed, I would not have seen +James Tanner's post had it not been for social media . Nor would I have heard +Jen Baldwin mention the phrase cocktail party in relation to Twitter.

So, have I answered James's initial question? I don't think I have in the way perhaps expected. The biggest thing is to accept that you do not have to be physically present to be part of something, or in a community because of the wonder of social media. Rather than we join the community and mingle, the community now comes to us where we can mingle, explore and meet others.

Does that give rise to these questions - Is there a difference between community spirit and networking? Or are they essentially the same thing, but perceived differently because of status and labelling?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Desk Ramblings.....(18)

It is very hard to believe that the last time I wrote a desk rambling post Mum was in hospital and today, a little more than two months on, Mum has passed away, the funeral has taken place and now the reflections, thinking, sorting and coming to terms with the events needs to take place.

Whilst that is happening, I wish I could say that usual business and alike will be continuing, but it is not, well not in the same way as before. What I have noticed is that whilst I have been busy dealing with the emotional issues of my family, several people have in the business sense have started shuffling into my working arena. I don't feel threatened by their activity, merely disappointed that they are so insensitive. They saw an opportunity and thought that they would exploit the situation. Life is way to short to be irritated by individuals that are of no consequence. I am a firm believer in two things.
  1. All that glitters is not gold
  2. What goes round, comes around
As I have said previously, people that copy, plagiarise or take my work as their own will be named and shamed, regardless of who they are.

In the coming week, I will reschedule the previously written and unpublished Society Saturday posts. There will be slightly realigned blog postings and there has been a few amendments on the webpage. 

I am woefully behind on my 52 ancestors in 52 weeks posts, but they will eventually catch up. I plan to feature specific ancestors this year, identifying what actions I need to work on and then next year share those findings.

The Book of Me
The Book of Me continues to be a success, which I still find amazing. I have just booked a physical workshop session for 2015 and one for 2016. The on-line Geneabloggers group has been fabulous and I have a plan for 2015!

At the present the on-line hangouts have stopped, but I will pick up these again in April. The last few months have been exhausting and whilst I have taken part in a few on-line hangout events and meetings. I found that I needed a little time out.

Several writing projects that were under way when Mum became poorly had been shelved whilst I devoted pretty much all my time to Mum, but I am spending this week refocusing on them. At least one needs to be complete by September for publication in February.  I am though going to be working on a small project initially that will take minimal time to launch once I have finished a little preparation work and emailed a few people who I hope will assist me. Then the project will be a biggish one, but with no firm completion date. Curious? All will be revealed sometime soon!

A final note. Over the last few months I received many, many emails, comments and Facebook messages from people around the globe, family, friends, colleagues (past and present). I am slowly (very) catching up with responding to each and every one. I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who wrote and simply let me know that they were thinking of me and my family.

Whilst I did not get the outcome I wanted. I am my Mother's daughter and somehow have found a great deal of resilience and strength to carry on. Where that has come from I simply do not know, but each day I get up and find that I can navigate the path ahead. Whilst I think of Mum many, many times each day and miss her dreadfully, I am very lucky to have fabulous friends, family and a wonderful husband to support and listen to me as I deal with the loss.

Until next time

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 30

Today is week 30 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Your First day of School
  • Do you remember the day?
    • The weather 
    • What you wore 
    • How you got there
    • Who took you to school
  • Where was the School
  • Any stories?
    • Friends
    • Teachers
  • How old were you?
  • Were you perhaps home schooled or taught in a different way to the usual traditional methods - such as were you in a remote area and lessons conducted using the phone etc
  • Do you have any other memories or thoughts of your first day of school?
    • Or perhaps ask a sibling, parent, child etc
Caution - do not spend lots of time on your junior school that will be in another prompt!.....

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 - Chapter 3 Revisited

The Hangout discussing Chapter 3 of Mastering Genealogical Proof

+DearMYRTLE Community

The In-Depth Genealogist - Digital Magazine - Issue 14 - OUT NOW!

The next issue of the free digital magazine is available NOW!

You can read my Introduction post HERE and you can follow the column by visiting The In-Depth Genealogist website and subscribing via email or via twitter and Facebook.

This month's Across the Pond column is about Medical Genealogy - Sad Next Steps. This edition is dedicated to the incredible women who was my Mum who passed away on 14th February 2014 and will always be in my thoughts.

Happy reading & researching!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 29

Today is week 29 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - What's in your bag/pocket?

  • Do you routinely carry a bag or holdall?
  • What do you carry?
  • Why do you carry it?
  • What do you carry it in?
  • Do you carry differently things on specific days or to specific places?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Fishing Fleet – Anne de Courcy

The Fishing FleetA year ago today I wrote a review of this book and you can read it here. Then last week, I was sent the link to an interview that the author did in Australia, for Adelaide Week in March 2013.

I have to say I was very surprised and enjoyed hearing the author talk of her findings and how she wove the details together into the book.

The subject is fascinating and my own interest, because I have family who left rural Surrey in the 1760's to head to India, has been reawakened and I am therefore inspired to re-read the book.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tuesday's Tip - Creating a Memorial

Part of the way I have grieved for my Mum has been by creating a memorial of various things from the funeral service. This has enabled those overseas or unable to attend the funeral to see, hear and to feel part of saying goodbye. The memorial is of course quite a nice thing to have and keep for future generations.

I thought it might be quite nice to share with you how the presentation was created and how I have shared the final memorial.

The memorial was created with Power Point which is part of Office 365, but equally could have been produced using Google Docs or any other presentation software.

Having created the memorial I saved the first slide as a PNG image as you can see here.

The contents of the memorial can be whatever you want to include. I chose to write a short section on the events leading to our conclusion. I also included a collage photograph that I had previously created for my Mum's birthday. I included the eulogy that I had written. Mine ran over four slides. My husband wrote his own and that ran a little over one page.

I included a copy of the obituary and a link to the on-line memorial that the newspaper offers. I also uploaded the music to the slides as M4A files.

At the end I wrote a short piece about the support we received from family and friends. I shared a photograph of some flowers received and sympathy cards. All of which will be kept. I gave thanks to the medical teams and then wrote a few final words.

The presentation was a little over 13 minutes and was a heavy file, so much that Google refused to email it.

That caused an issue. A further issue was how could this be viewed if you did not have Power Point? Saving a PDF was possible, but the audio files failed to play. Sharing the file via Evernote experienced the same fate. I pondered on adding a page to my website, but for some strange reason that did not feel right. Loading to YouTube was again not an option because the music is copyrighted, but even if that had been acceptable I was not sure.

A few days later and after much thinking I discovered the perfect solution. The solution is so simple that I don't know why it took me about 4 days to think of it. Here are the steps in the solution.
  1. Load the complete Power Point to OneDrive (https://onedrive.live.com/)- if you do not have an account it is easy and free to do so.
  2. Go to Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) and create a blog. What I created is located at http://christinejoycebutcher.wordpress.com/
  3. Then open select create new post and then select text tab.
  4. Meanwhile head back to your OneDrive location and enable the share function for the file you have just loaded. Then select the Power point and click on the embed option which is situated across the top. This provides the HTML code. It automatically gives small dimensions and I increased them slightly once I had inserted the HTML onto the text tab on the blog page.
  5. Having uploaded the file, I then spent about an hour creating the site as I wanted it. Simple, crisp and without lots of clutter. I added a short write up on the About page and created a contact me form in case someone comes across it in the future and wants to get in touch.
I usually use Blogger which is part of the Google family, but didn't because the possibility to load a Power Point file is not an option. Wordpress is not a facility that I enjoy using on a regular basis, but for this, it came up trumps and overall I am very pleased with the result and that I can now share the site and the Power Point with the people that I want to.

For me this is a perfect way to share the file and commemorate someone who was a real inspiration and influence in my life.

(Thanks to both +Tessa Keough and +Susan Petersen for being my beta testers as I clarified and tested the various options)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Society Saturday - Using Google Hangouts & Embracing Social Media

Using Google to embrace interaction between a group of people is not only a great idea, but it is free. There are two kinds of Google Hangouts
  1. A private conversation or meeting between no more than 10 people 
  2. A Hangout that will be recorded and archived at YouTube
How can I or my Society do this?
  1. Create a Google Community for yourself or your Society. I have the Book of Me, Written by You community, some other familiar on-line faces with communities are +DearMYRTLE +Society for One-Place Studies+Tessa Keough who hosts the Legacy Virtual Users GroupGuild of One-Name Studies and +Jill Ball who hosts the GeniAUS community.
  2. Once you have a community you can host hangouts that are scheduled, invite people and comments on the hangouts and much more.
Once the community is created that will be the home of your on-line hangouts and is the gateway to interaction 
    Google Icon
  1. Members of the community will see the scheduled hangout in their Google stream. By members responding Yes or Maybe the event will be added to their Google calendar in their time zone
  2. The stream will allow comments that can be shared or addressed in the hangout
  3. The hangout typically has one or two hosts, and then 8 spaces are available for interaction - known as JOINers. Should you not wish to participate but simply want to watch whilst the hangout is in progress you can and are a VIEWer. 
  4. If the event is missed completely because you were at work , walking the dog, taking a nap or you simply didn't know then you can view via the archived version which is located on the relevant YouTube Channel.
Here is a few Q & A that I created for the Book of Me Community and the Society of One-Place Studies community.

There is even a good video created by +DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ(+Russ Worthington) which explains how to schedule and create a hangout.

The on-line world has never been so easy. There are friendly faces across the globe who will be more than happy to answer questions and assist.

So go ahead, embrace the free facilities that Google offers!

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 28

Today is week 28 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Parents

  • Names / Nick Names
  • Where were they from?
  • Where were they born? - 
  • Were they migrants? Born somewhere else from where they were living
  • How did they meet?
  • Photos
  • Anything you want to share about your parents

Friday, 7 March 2014

Christine Joyce Butcher - (1947-2014)

Today is the very sad day of Mum's funeral; in fact at the very moment this is published at 1pm GMT, I will be standing along with my husband and family saying a sad farewell to Mum.

So I am just going to share with you a picture collage that I made for a recent post in remembrance of Mum's birthday and a poem that just seems perfect.

If roses grow in heaven 

If roses grow in heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my Mother's arms
and tell her they're from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for awhile.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day,
but there's an ache within my heart
that will never go away.

May my Mum rest in peace and know that she will be in our hearts forever.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Talking and Playing with Evernote

I really should have been doing other "stuff" this morning, but put off a few things in order to join the GeniAus Hangout with +Jill Ball. I have written before that I am a OneNote girl, but I do have an Evernote account and have found that I am using it more and more and in tandem with OneNote.

Here is the video from this mornings hangout

Here is the links to my previous posts:

There are some great Evernote resources out there:

Today's hangout was a great one, friendly and informative and as always +Jill Ball is the perfect host!

Happy Evernote playing!

Those Thursday Places - Britain From Above 1919 - 1953

Britain from Above
Image from
Britain From Above
A few days ago I came across this fabulous site Britain from Above 1919 - 1953 which I shared with the +Society for One-Place Studies community. As with many sites you can register and then select images to be saved your own account. What is truly wonderful as a One-Place Studies member is that value these add to my individual studies, well two of them as my third is in Sicily. They also add value to our individual wider family history.

The site has indeed been generous enough to state on the terms and conditions page
"Terms & Conditions for the Use of this Image
You may: copy, print, display, and store for your personal use at home and you may copy to a blog or personal web page as long as the page is freely available with no login restrictions and no charges"
 What a wonderful resource to have quite literally at the click of a button. I shared three photographs from 1948 to my Puttenham One-Place Study, and one to the Walnut Tree Close Study.

Have you explored the site and found some gems of your own?

Monday, 3 March 2014

52 Ancestors:# 5 ~ George Butcher (1908 - 1974)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
No Story Too Small
This post is for week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

George Butcher circa 1940
I am way behind with this weekly look at my various ancestors, but what better way than commemorating what would have been my Grandfather's 106th birthday than to write about him this week.

My Grandfather was born to Charles Butcher and his wife, Annie Prudence nee Harris in 1908 in Wanborough Surrey. He was one of 9 children who survived into adulthood from a family of 12.

Here he is aged 3 years old on the 1911 Census for Flexford a hamlet very close to Wanborough.
Image courtesy of Ancestry Surrey Collection
Class: RG14; Piece: 3098; Schedule Number: 44

The family remained at Wanborough until about 1925 when the family moved to Strawberry Farm at Worplesdon and then to their final destination of Manor Farm, Onslow Village Guildford.

Once working at Manor Farm he and his brothers took to having a "swift half" referring to a pint of beer, at The Plough Farnham Road Guildford. We know from my late Grandmother that, that was the same pub used by her brothers and I guess that is how the two families met. My Grandfather married my Grandmother in 1939 and his sister Marge married my Grandmother's brother in 1938.

I wish I could say that was the only family connection between the two families, it was not the other though took place about 100 years or so previously making my Grandparents 6th cousins!

My Grandfather worked on the land, along with his brothers and the majority of his brother in law's, and at some point moved to nearby Shackleford to live with his sister Ellen and her husband. In 1939 he married my Grandmother and they moved to Bright Hill Guildford.

My Grandfather was at this point working at Unigate Dairies when he remained working, apart from his military service until he retired in 1973.

In 1940, my Grandfather joined the Army. A man of principle. My Grandmother told me that she was really cross that he joined up rather than return to the farm where his family were, but the principle was his Country needed him and he was therefore doing his duty. How wonderful was that?

His military life is well documented. I called for his service record back in 2008 and I recall Mum and I being so excited when it arrived. I talked about ordering it in this blog post. My Grandfather spent about two and a half years in West Africa. When he passed away he left a lovely piece of material which he had embroidered on symbols reflective of his time in the military in Africa, which now hangs on my landing in a lovely frame. His pay book and his medals, which now hang framed on my landing.
J Goucher - October 2008
There is so much of his life that I still want to unravel, and those appear in my actions list below.

After the war, my Grandfather returned to Unigate Dairies. He worked up until he was 65 and was presented with a gold watch in recognition of 30 years loyal service. I still have that watch. As retirement neared, he was, along with another colleague asked to stay on whilst someone was on sick leave. He and the other colleague did.

Then serendipity struck. The colleague who also stayed on beyond retirement for a few months, was taken ill about the same time as my Grandfather. They were diagnosed and admitted to the same hospital with the same condition. They both died on the same day, 20th July 1974 at exactly twelve hours apart, my Grandfather at 9am. It was more than a decade later when I was at senior school I realised that I was class mates with the grandson my Grandfather's colleague. The cause of both deaths was lung cancer, caused by a mixture of smoking, inhalation of coal fumes, asbestos and whoever knows what else.

As a small child I loved to sit and snuggled with my Grandfather. He was, like my Mum taken before their time, both at the age of 66 years. When he was at Milford Chest Hospital I would be taken to visit him. I was never frightened of the cables, wires and strange hospital machine noises and perhaps it was that, that in some way made me quite comfortable with hospitals, the machines and illness.

Perhaps it is those early memories that encouraged me to become the person I have in the profession I chose; undertaking my time in the hospital environment. A complete contrast to my Mum who hated hospitals with a passion because of her early experiences. Those experiences which without doubt made my Mum's last few months difficult for her and it was a pleasure for me to support her. Sometimes in life it would seem, there are these curiosities, coincidences, and things that happen for a reason.

After my Grandfather died in July 1974 he was cremated at Guildford, the Crematorium has the Book of Remembrance on-line which can be searched here

From the Book of Remembrance at Guildford Crematorium
Sourced 3rd March 2014
What is interesting about the entry, is that I am completely missing from the entry. I have the original bill for the funeral and the bill for the entry into the Book of Remembrance, so perhaps it was around cost that I was omitted. Who knows? As a child, we routinely visited the Crematorium to see his name in the book on the anniversary of his death date. We would ask the Crematorium always to look at his entry on his birthday and at Christmas. Why my Grandmother did that I don't know, but it is something that my Mum continued and now I shall. My Grandmother lived another twenty one years and missed her beloved George every day.

  1. Decipher military record
  2. Check directories 1939 - 1974
  3. Unigate History and Employment Record
  4. Update George's War more frequently
  5. Research meeting with George Formby

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 27

Today is week 27 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Cars and Transport

  • Did you have a car in your family whilst you were growing up?
  • What methods of transport were there? And what did you & your family typically use?
  • Your Driving Test
  • Where Did you learn? - Can you drive?
  • Your first car?
  • Your Favourite Car?
  • Do you name your cars?
  • Can you remember the registration details? And perhaps explain what the registration means.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Society for One-Place Studies - Learn and Do Hangout

The February Society for One-Place Studies hangout is scheduled for 8pm GMT on Friday 28th February, so this Friday! The discussion topic is Learn and Do. We shall have a discussion about the latest book about One-Place Studies written by Janet Few and much more!

The Society has a G+ Community and you can visit the Society blog and website for more information.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 - Homework Chapter One

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones
Published by NGS
Reference: Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), 6. Book available from the publisher and from Amazon in Kindle format (UK) & (US)

Defining genealogy can be problematic. Here in the UK genealogy is typically taken to be the linage of individuals whereas family history is the "fleshing out" of those pedigrees.

Genealogy is about reconstructing pedigrees, typically forgotten or unknown relationships but of course can include individuals that are known to the pedigree creator, living individuals,adoptive lineage and martial family.

As someone who is conducting two one-name studies registered with the Guild of One Name Studies and three one-place Studies registered with the Society for One-Place Studies I also use pedigrees to establish lineage between individuals that are not related to me. As I am a visual person, I also use pedigrees to trial a hypothesis

Genealogy is multi disciplinary. It draws its knowledge base from many other fields such as anthropology, genetics, law, economics and sociology.

Genealogy uses a variety of sources, which were devised and used by other disciplines, organisations and processes such as legal, demographic, governmental, medical, religious and many more.

As a research discipline genealogy, has it's own standards and skill set.

There are five elements for Genealogical Proof Standards:
  1. Thorough research
  2. Informative
  3. Analysis and Comparison
  4. Resolution
  5. Written Statement, list or narrative
All of this five elements are required and therefore proof can not be partial proved.

How do you know though, that you have conducted a "reasonably exhaustive search"? Michael Hait from MGP 1 stated in last year's video "reasonably exhaustive search is when you have enough evidence to prove your conclusion"

Removal of the evidence and statement of facts is detrimental to the integrity of the genealogical research undertaken. The research therefore does not  have providence to support the claim the researcher is claiming.

The first stages in research is to ask questions about the individual we are researching. Who, What, Where, When & How.

You can watch the discussion of Chapter one HERE

Other references - http://www.bcgcertification.org/resources/standard.html (accessed 23rd February 2014)

Image courtesy of Dear Myrtle

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 26

Today is week 26 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30 am UK time I will release the prompt for that week's Book of Me, Written by You.

If you are new here, welcome! The details, background flyer and Face Book link to the Book of Me can be found HERE.

This week's prompt is - Technology
  • What technology changes did your ancestors see?
  • What technology changes have you seen?
  • Did your family own one of those early changes? - such as television
  • Do you like or dislike technology?
  • What do you think has been the best technological change in your lifetime and historically?

Friday, 21 February 2014

Putting Your Ancestors in their Place ~ A Guide to One Place Studies by Janet Few

I recently had the opportunity to read a review copy of the latest book by Janet Few.

There are so few books dedicated to the subject of One Place Studies therefore this is a very welcomed addition to the genealogical and local history arena.

The book has been thoroughly researched and whilst is heavily slanted at such studies in the United Kingdom, those who are pursuing studies, or contemplating studies outside of the United Kingdom would without a doubt benefit from reading this book. In my personal opinion it is an absolute guide for those interested in the places of our ancestors or of a community.

The book itself is divided into three distinct sections, over 12 chapters. Setting the scene, sources and the final section is pulling the data all together. Starting with the definition of a One Place Study, choosing the boundaries of a study and considers the options if the study has been previously undertaken or already exists.

We then move onto chapter two; the reconstruction of the community or place, looking at maps and locations. Understanding the boundaries, looking at buildings, farms, fields and streets.Chapter three centres around the population of your place of interest, analysing the population and social structure and collating biographical information of key individuals.

Chapter four commences the section focusing on sources. In this chapter locating sources is fully explained.

Chapter five features the time period of after 1900 and is a very comprehensive chapter. Looking at the Census material of the twentieth century, photographs and pictures, in addition to other forms of media, oral history and looks at the fascinating subject of child mortality and the effect that had on the community and its sustainability. Also explored is the 1910 Inland Revenue Valuation Survey and whilst that is a source that solely covers England and Wales, it does provide as a potential research idea for areas outside of England and Wales. Does anything exist for your location in your part of the world? This chapter also includes directories, community minutes and of course the effects of the First World War. Those that served, named on a memorial, Rolls of Honour, Voters Lists. Land Registry and the National Farm Survey from the 1940's.

Chapter six looks at the nineteenth century and again is a comprehensive chapter. Starting at understanding the Census material that covers this period, household structure and how the community and society dealt with any disabilities. Tithe Maps are an important feature in this chapter as is understanding the roles that religion and the church played in the life of a community. This chapter also looks at cemeteries and crematoriums, Education and school, newspapers and parish magazines.

Chapter seven looks at the eighteenth century in a very comprehensive manner, covering Manorial records, land taxes, early military records & militia, apprentices, gravestones and documentation that was traditionally retained by the parish in the Parish Chest.

Chapter eight covers the seventeenth century. Here featured are Protestation Oath Rolls, Hearth Tax, Compton Census, Poll taxes and Surname Survey.

Chapter nine features the period before 1600 and therefore covers the Doomsday Survey, early taxes, Chancery courts, wills and Parish Records. Chapter ten features the issue around today's census.

Chapter eleven and twelve cover the last section and the issue of pulling together all the data available into a workable archive and project. Chapter eleven looks at linking people, and covers migration both into and from your place of study, trades and occupations; residential histories and families within the area that are of importance to your place, and perhaps remain in the location and standing for generations.

The final chapter features around the topic of publishing your study, whether that is through a book or website. It also looks at the aspect of funding for a study and the importance of the future of your study.

The final pages are given over to examples of some studies, a comprehensive bibliography, magazines and journals, Societies and addresses, courses and an index.

At the end of each chapter there is further reading and of course many website addresses are presented so that you can explore as you read. There is also projects that can be undertaken as you read. I particularly like this idea, as it enables you to look at your place and community, layer by layer, by person and surname and understand how the individuals were in relation to their community.

This is a good grounding for those undertaking One Place Studies anywhere. The resources are obviously aimed at those within England and Wales, but that itself can give rise to contemplation of what similar records exist in your location where ever you or your study are in the world. I personally recommend this thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide to anyone who has an interest in understanding the places in which their ancestors lived.

Putting Your Ancestors in their Place ~ A Guide to One Place Studies by Janet Few is published by Family History Partnership in February 2014 and is being launched at Who Do You Think You Are Live in London this weekend. Janet is giving a talk to accompany her book and you can purchase signed copies at the London event.

Copies are also available from the author direct and from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA). Currently the book is so new there are no copies available via Amazon at the moment because the official launch is not until 22nd February!

ISBN - 9781906280437. Author's website

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Those Thursday Places - Richmond Poor Law

Map showing Richmond Union Workshouse
Courtesy of Surrey Records Centre
Today I read that Surrey Records Centre has released via their web page the Richmond Poor Law Union Applications and Report Books.

This is a fantastic resource which has indexed by a team of volunteers.

Not many of these records have survived for Surrey, so we are indeed very lucky that these have, and that an index has been published.

The data itself is spread over two pages and provides an assortment of information

  • Number in the Relief List
  • Date of Application
  • Names of Applicants
  • Age
  • Residence
  • Length of time in Union
  • Calling or Occupation
  • Marital Status
  • Ability (i.e. whether disabled)
  • If in receipt of relief
  • Present cause of seeking relief
  • Observations and names of relatives liable to relieve the applicant
  • Weekly earnings
  • Date of last visit
  • Quantity and nature of relief
  • Relief ordered by Guardians
  • Other orders
  • Observations
The alphabetical indexes are available to use and download from the Surrey Heritage website. They cover the period of 1870 - 1912 and contain some 103,000 names.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The In-Depth Genealogist - Digital Magazine - Issue 13 - OUT NOW!

The next issue of the free digital magazine is available NOW!

You can read my Introduction post HERE and you can follow the column by visiting The In-Depth Genealogist website and subscribing via email or via twitter and Facebook.

This month's Across the Pond column is about Medical Genealogy. It was written when my late mum was in hospital and was dedicated to her bravery and resilience.

Happy reading & researching!

Last in Line

Last night, as I sat in bed I was reading a selection of emails that I had in my inbox from earlier in the day. One of those posts was this inspirational post from Susan at Lost Relatives.

I had admired Susan last year when she dealt with the passing of her father and the subsequent house move, packing, sale and disposal of her father's estate. I never once dreamt that just three months later I would be dealing with similar issues and I have nowhere the amount of courage that Susan demonstrated.

As I write this Mum has only been gone three days; and they have been three very long days.  The first few days were waiting for the paperwork to be processed in order to register the death and arrange the funeral; and I have appointments scheduled for tomorrow so that I can deal with those practical necessities. During the few days I have been to Mum's home and it seems so very wrong to be at her home contemplating removals, sales and disposal.

One of the things that the last few days has shown me, is that when the time comes, all that is physically left is a series of objects and belongings. I need to be able to deal with the practical aspect of unravelling Mum's home. Making decisions and dealing with the feeling of guilt as I make those decisions. There seems to be a callousness about it all and I hope that I do as Mum would have wanted.

One of three quilts that Mum was in
the midst of making
As I glanced around her home there were memories attached to many things. Mum's Aynsley China collection which represents many birthday, Mother's day, dog sitting and Christmas presents. Her Kernewek pottery collection, with each item a memory that we spent many hours seeking out items to add to the collection. As we came across an item of interest there was always a debate as to whether Mum already had the item. I suggested a list more than once, but Mum always said that took the fun out of it and that she liked the debating.

All her sewing and quilting materials and fabrics. Many pieced out on her dining room table which was how it was when Mum went in to hospital. From glancing at it, Mum was working on several projects. Her books, many about gardening and a complete collection of Danielle Steel books. Then there is the photographs, DVDs, kitchen, bathroom items and much more. There are also many things that were my Grandmother's that Mum had kept and now, come to me as the last in the line.

It is still early days and I know that I need to firm up and draw inner strength to deal with the practicalities. I feel that Mum will be looking over me, as I stumble along the path ahead, making decisions and dealing with the emotions of it all.

Monday, 17 February 2014

52 Ancestors:# 4 ~ John Hunt Butcher (1781 - 1839)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
No Story Too Small
This post is for week 4 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

You can read the list of my posts HERE

John Hunt Butcher was baptised in Cranley (now Cranleigh) Surrey on 10 February 1781. He was the Son of Richard Butcher and his wife Sarah nee WITHERALL.

Courtesy of Ancestry
Baptism St Nicholas Cranley (Cranleigh) CRA/1/5
Baptism of John Hunt Butcher 10 Feb 1781
He married Sarah BURCHELL at St Georges Hanover Square in London on 7th November 1808.

London Metropolitan Archives at Ancestry
Bishop Transcripts 1808
London Metropolitan Archives at Ancestry
Bishop Transcripts 1808
John Hunt Butcher inherited land and property from the Hunt side of the family and the Chandler family who had married into the Butcher family. Lines of inheritance had to be amended because either the lines died out without issue or the issue did not survive. Therefore John Hunt Butcher was reasonably financially stable.

A further point is his marriage Sarah BURCHELL. The Burchell family were well know and respected in London at this time, The marriage is witnessed by Matthew Burchell who was Sarah's brother who went onto marry John's sister in 1810. There was other siblings to the Burchell family including William John Burchell who was a famous botanist and well travelled. I suspect that William influenced John to migrate to Australia, which he did in 1822.

At some point before arriving in Australia, John applied for a land grant. He was allocated land in reference point S12 which was in Macquarie (source Scott's Map). There is also a Burchell listed as being granted land, but other research shows that, that particular Burchell stopped off on the voyage to Australia in South Africa and decided to remain there. Further research is needed more on this individual.

Once in Australia, John Hunt raised his family and added to it! He became a Magistrate and was a respected member of the local community. More details can be seen HERE.


  1. Explore more on the Burchell family 
  2. Locate more reference details to the land Grand in Tasmania
  3. Locate references to his role as a magistrate
  4. Transcribe John Hunt Butcher's will 1839 - already have a copy
  5. Expand the family further, using material already located, before continuing on my quest.


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