It's funny how a meeting of like-minded people can kick your backside into gear and get you all motivated in a topic again. Such has been my experience in the past week having attended the first Register of Qualified Genealogists conference in York on October 16th.
Well, that is my WDYTYA Live trip over for another year. To be fair, it has been over for more than 24 hours now, but it has taken me that long to muster the energy to open my laptop again. As always, it was utterly exhausting: two long(ish) train journeys split by three days of presentations and talking. It will take me a few days (or maybe weeks) to fully digest everything that I got from attending the event, but I had a blast.
I've been a little quiet for the past few weeks - getting over a horrible cold/flu-type thing and building up my energy reserves for the coming weekend. For those unaware, this weekend sees the annual Who Do You Think You Are? Live event, where genealogists of all persuasions gather to meet, give/listen to talks and advice, and generally catch up with what is happening in the genealogical world. I haven't attended for the last few years, but I've been to enough of these things to know that without a solid plan, it is easy to come away from it feeling like you didn't get what you wanted out of it. So here is my five-point plan to both 'survive' and enjoy WDYTYA.
Isabella Aitchison was my 5 x great grandmother. The only information I had on her was from her son's death record: she was a domestic servant, deceased and William was illegitimate. Searches for her death turned up a few candidates, but nothing definitive. In spite of her occupation, I chanced a search to see if she had left a will - and she had.
In many ways, my family's experience of WWI is probably very much like everyone else's: my maternal grandmother's 20-year old uncle was killed at Gallipoli and my maternal grandfather's dad fought on the Western Front. However, I never really thought about the other men of age in the family who may have fought in the war - or indeed may not have fought.
I have no children and no siblings, and I am the only grandchild on both sides. I don’t think that this changes my motivation for research, or indeed my methods. However, it has meant that there are fewer people to whom I can direct questions. When my maternal grandmother died, my mother and I struggled to identify people in some of the photographs we found – and we have precious few people we can ask for help.
All the best for this festive season from a somewhat cold and windy Edinburgh (nothing remarkable about that though, to be honest!) We're now into one of my favourite parts of the year - that lazy time between Christmas and New Year where all the rush of the preparations and visiting family is over, and I can sit back with a big pot of tea and relax. It's also a time of year I associate with genealogy. Back when I used to work full-time in IT, it was one of the few times of the year where I could get a few days uninterrupted to get really stuck into research.
How do we know that the information in a record is correct? I mean, we all go online or to archives and look up records. We celebrate when we find something that appears relevant our research. We copy it down and enter it into whatever mechanism we use to manage our research, and we go on to the next one. But what if some of the information contained is incorrect?