Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Twitter Story

So I signed up to Twitter a few weeks back (initially as a way to follow various alumni and fellow fans of Joss Whedon's various TV shows, I wasn't actually intending to be posting anything myself). Turns out there are quite a few genealogists out and about on Twitter, but I still wasn't convinced of Twitter's potential usefulness as a genealogical tool. So the universe sent me this.....

@familytreewritr retweeted (ie reposted) a message from @MysticalNZ asking about Chinese genealogy. Obviously this isn't an area I have any interest in or knowledge of but their twitter name suggested they might also be from NZ. Out of curiosity I clicked on the name and read through her recent postings. It turned out that she has JONES ancestors in Monmouthshire, as do I (and as do probably most people with ancestors in Monmouthshire!), so I sent her a quick message to say hi.

Next thing I know, she's checked my profile, looked at my website - and it turns out she also has some ancestors who passed through Wing! The STOTT family's brief stay is only recorded for posterity by a couple of baptism entries in the 1850s, but I was blown away by the sheer randomness of it all.

Twitter has its downsides (already had my fill of internet marketing types, for one) but you might just find it interesting, and potentially useful for your genealogical research. Why not check it out? The more UK genealogists the better!

Get a heads-up on Twitter from the Twitter Cheat Sheet available from:

I'm at - the name is a tribute to my Milton-under-Wychwood ancestor, but that's another story.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Googling along

You may have heard about some changes to the Google interface in the last week or so. One of these is the ability to restrict search results by how recently the page changed. This does throw up some interesting things that otherwise might have been buried further down in the results, so give it a go.

One Wing-related result I found was a collection of church photos from Martin Beek on Flickr. He has several wonderful photos from the interior of All Saints Church (that I desperately wish I'd taken - he makes the skull on the Fynes memorial look amazing) - do check them out! He has similarly beautiful photos for other churches in the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire area, so you may find some more photos of ancestral interest amongst his collections. (there's a few photos on this page that aren't Wing but feature cherubs with wings so get picked up by the Flickr tag)

Also on Flickr is "wingcommunity" with numerous photos of modern-day Wing:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Lovely Blog award

The lovely Jo of Wibbling Jo's Genealogy Blog thinks my blog is One Lovely Blog! Thanks Jo!

One blog that is certainly lovely is Notes of Life from Nikki-Ann in Wales. I can't get enough of UK photography and Nikki-Ann's shots always brighten my Blogger feed - and she's a fellow family historian too.

Good UK genealogy blogs are a bit thin on the ground. Does anyone else out there have a blog sharing their journey in researching their UK ancestry?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Bookshelf - Echoes of Old County Life

I'm currently reading Echoes of Old County Life by J.K. Fowler. Mr Fowler was a gentleman farmer type from Aylesbury, so this book is of particular interest to those with Buckinghamshire connections. There's interesting 19th century anecdotes in just about every chapter, although as with any book that covers such a wide range of topics there's bound to be passages in there you'll want to skip past! His commentary on poultry farming - "So long as you have to go out and buy food you are no longer likely to make a profit" - particularly amused me.

Published in 1892, it is freely viewable/downloadable from Internet Archive.

(There was a sequel to this book of particular relevance to Wing, so watch this space!)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

de Rothschild photos c1910

Friday saw the opening of an exhibition of a collection of autochromes (the earliest form of colour photography) taken by keen amateur photographer Lionel de Rothschild in the 1910s. Lionel was the eldest son of Leopold and Marie, and the family was at home at Ascott House in the 1891 census when Lionel was 9.

The BBC News slideshow includes photos of both Leopold and Marie, and their fluffy white dog! Does anyone know if the exhibition includes any of Ascott House or Wing? Anyone in the Hampshire area want to go and check out the exhibition for me?

Friday, May 01, 2009

May update

This month I've added some more will extracts to the website. These are all from wills proved locally and now held at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies - interestingly these were much easier to read than the PCC wills! The will extracts are for:

Robert Adams (1804)
William Battams (1804)
George Bellgrove (1808)
Roger Goss (1806)
John Hart (1808)
Elizabeth Keen (1803)
John Tofield (1803)
John Willison (1806)
Thomas Woodman snr (1804)

I've also added a couple of Cutler marriage strays.

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