Saturday, April 05, 2014

Take my money

Commercial genealogy providers, here's how to take my money:

1. I Always Search Individual Record Sets

I'm not a beginner, I've been at this a while. Your global search function across all your databases is only good for doing speculative searches. I almost always search by going through your lists of record sets or databases, identifying one that sounds promising then reading your blurb to find out exactly what it is, where it came from, and any search hints i.e. what their little quirks are, which fields are actually contained in it, which are indexed, whether there are any gaps in your record set. Then I search just that record set, using what I've learned to search smarter and get more results of interest.

If you don't tell me which record sets you have, in enough detail, then I won't give you money.

If you don't tell me whether I get access to a particular record set I'm interested in within the subcription/access option I'm contemplating before I give you money, then I won't give you money.

If I can't search by individual record set, then I won't give you money.

2. I Like To Search By Place.

I'm a one-place studier. I'm particularly interested in what kinds of place fields are in a record set, what level (country? county? village?) they've likely been specified to, and whether you've indexed them. I'm also interested in context, neighbours and the like, so I like to browse pages before and after any given result, just in case something illuminating pops up. Sometimes I even - egads! - browse from the beginning of the record set, in case there's general information there!

Without the background information about place fields your record set has limited use to me, and I won't give you money.

Without the ability to search by place field (alone, without forcing me to search with a surname) you tend to induce a murderous rage, and I won't give you money.

It should be pretty simple for me to give you money. Stop trying to make it harder.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dee Saxby, are you out there?

On the offchance Dee Saxby is out there reading this, please email me - I wanted to chat re some of the WW1 servicemen in your CARTER and POLLARD families but the email address I have for you doesn't work any more.

In other news, I now have more than 300 WW1 servicemen from Wing to research. I may be some time.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

It's raining men

Servicemen's names, that is......

I have received a big boost to my World War One centenary project. Sarah Roe of the Wing Heritage Group has very kindly sent me the names of servicemen mentioned in the parish magazine written by vicar Francis Henry Tatham during WWI. This has doubled my list of men - now I have 264 known men with Wing connections that served. That's a lot of men for me to research!

Remember, if your ancestor or relative from Wing Buckinghamshire served in WWI please email me (even if you have emailed me before) so that we can share information.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sportsmans Arms

Sportsmans Arms, Littleworth, on an overcast September day in 2013.
Pubs come and go and for a one-place studier this is always a little bit sad. No more Six Bells in the hamlet of Burcott, no more Dove in Wing itself, and soon, perhaps, no more Sportmans Arms in the hamlet of Littleworth. The pub has been up for sale for a while and now has planning permission for a house conversion should that prove a more attractive option for a potential buyer.

A quick roundup of Sportsmans Arms publicans from local directories and census records:

1887 Robert Davidson
1891 James Cane
1895 Pinfold
1899 Miss Mary Boyland
1901 - 1903 James Wyatt
1907 Edward Sinkler
1911 Edward Sinkler Huntsman (looks like a correction of the 1907 entry)
1924 Frank Wootton 
1928 Frederick Wootton
1931 Mrs Eliza Wootton
1935 Ernest J Pattendon

In 1871 22-year-old widow Elizabeth Sayell, licenced victualler, is living in Littleworth but the property isn't explicitly named as the Sportmans Arms. According to beer house records for 1872 held at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies it definitely was the Sportsmans Arms though, and the licence for it was first granted in 1868.

In 1881 George Bandy and family were living at the Sportsmans Arms but he's recorded as an ag lab - there's evidently no resident publican.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

19th century military men

One of my fellow POLLARD descendants (hi Clive!) alerted me to the WO25 military records series in which some of our Pollards are lurking. Along with George and Andrew I found a few other men from Wing recorded in there, and they have now been added to the 19th century military page. If you have ABBOTT, BATES, CLARK, HUBBARD, JAPP, JENNINGS, JORDAN or POLLARD in your tree from Wing in the early 19th century that should please you. There's always more to find out there!

I've also found a couple more WW1 servicemen as I continue on my WW1 project, but I won't be updating the website for them until a bit later on.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

WW1 servicemen list updated

I've made a couple of minor tweaks to the military pages today as a result of my research to date into the WWI servicemen. Note that I won't be updating for everything, there will be extended profile pages coming at a future date so I will save most of the changes for then, however I am removing any men that are incorrectly listed on any given military page. Today I've removed an EGGLETON who was born in Askett rather than Ascott, and also removed a DEANE who I suspect wasn't in the RAF until after WWI.

Monday, January 06, 2014

World War One Centenary Project

During 2014 I'm participating in the Society for One-Place Studies annual project to focus on World War One and its impact on our one-place study communities.

I already have a partial list of WWI servicemen from Wing, however I intend to go back and systematically work through researching each man and their service history to create a military profile of them for the website. With 48 casualties recorded on Wing's war memorial and several more known to have died but not been recorded on the memorial, let alone all those who served and returned home, I have my work cut out for me!

If your ancestor or relative from Wing served in World War One please email me (even if you have emailed me before) so that we can share information.

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