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.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2 - Orientation

For personal reasons, +DearMYRTLE was not able to host the orientation session for the 2014 study group, but here is the hangout link for the Orientation session for the 2013 class.

The Google Community

Happy Birthday Mum - Christine Joyce Butcher ~ 16 Feb 1947 - 14 Feb 2014

Today would have been Mum's 67th Birthday.

I spent some time yesterday looking for one of my favourite pictures of Mum. 

It is the largest in the collage, and was taken in May 1995. Mum hated having her photograph taken, as did my Grandmother and I am not overly keen! The other photographs are snippets from Mum's early life, as a baby and then in various stages of toddler-hood.

The photograph of Mum with her Dad on Brighton beach shows that determined look on her face. That was a look she never lost. She was one of the most determined, stubborn and courageous individuals that I have ever known and is probably a mixture of the legacy of her genes and the determination not to fail following the Polio.

Also shown is a lovely photo of her as a little girl standing on a chair, in such a danty way. This is probably one of my favourites of Mum. Also is the photograph of Mum as a bridesmaid to her cousin Janet.

Happy Birthday Mum. I so wish you were here with us. I will love you always. xxx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 25

Today is week 25 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30am 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 - Love (I love you!)

  • Love comes in varying shapes and sizes
    • I love you
    • I love ice cream
    • I love the smell of rain, Spring, toast
    • I love my (insert your family member, pet etc)
  • There is no right or wrong way to love....or is there?
  • Define what love means to you.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Christine Joyce Butcher ~ (1947 - 2014)

Mum & Stuart, April 2007
Hestercombe Gardens
Today has been an ordeal.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write to say my beloved Mum passed away this morning, at 12.05 am, just two days before her 67th birthday. It was peaceful and I am truly devastated that she is gone.

She was such an inspiration, very courageous and had the most amazing stamina and determination. Her passing has left a very big void.

Mum had been dreadfully poorly. One serious illness was bad enough, but a series of them was simply too much for her to deal with, yet she fought hard with such determination it was almost breathtaking.

I really do not want to imagine life without her, but she is at peace, not suffering and I hope she realised just how much Stuart and I loved her.

As I said, Mum was just a few days away from her birthday. February 1947 was a shocking Winter here. It was the worse Winter on record and had the most snow for 150 years. The snow arrived at the end of January 1947 and continued until the end of March when it became milder. In some areas the snow fell for 26 consecutive days. I know from my Grandmother that Mum spent her first few weeks in the chest of drawers! and said there was a shortage of power and it was very cold.

In contrast, Britain is currently being battered by the worse storms and gales I have experienced in the south west of England. The gales and flooding have been particularly bad in the last two weeks, but the weather has been windy, wet and cold for almost the duration Mum was in hospital, which was a little over 2 months.

I spoke to her yesterday and said the forecast for Sunday was sunny and wouldn't it be nice for snow, just a little sprinkling in birthday honour. As poorly as she was Mum gave a vehement shake of her head and a faint smile.

Whilst it has been a true ordeal to get through today. There has been much thinking, crying and so forth. It was important to me that I sat down and wrote these few words and shared a small observation or two. It seems so very fitting that someone who loved and was loved so much in return would pass away on Valentines Day.

Thank you to all my friends and family for the support, encouragement and reassurance over the last few months it has meant a great deal.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Mastering Genealogical Proof Study Group 2

Courtesy of National
Genealogical Society (NGS)
Beginning Sunday 16 February 2014, I will be serving as a panelist in the second MGP Study group organised by Myrt of DearMYRTLE.

We will be working through Tom Jones’ book ‘Mastering Genealogical Proof‘.

The study group sessions will be held as Google Hangouts on Air, which means that you can watch the discussion on Google+ at DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Community live or via the archive at YouTube. They will also be added to the playlist on my YouTube Channel.

My fellow panelist are:

Cynthia Hall
Carmen Cross
Doris Haskell
Hilary Gadsby
Jennifer Shoer
Julie Goucher
June Butka
Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana
Laurie Desmarias
Sue Adams
Russ Worthington (Cousin Russ)
Ol' Myrt here

Our schedule is set as:

Feb 16, 2014 - Orientation
Feb 23, 2014 - Chapter 1 Genealogy’s Standard of Proof
Mar 2, 2014 - Chapter 2 Concepts Fundamental to the GPS
Mar 9, 2014 - Chapter 3 GPS Element 1: Thorough Research
Mar 16, 2014 – Chapter 3 Revisited
Mar 23, 2014 – Chapter 4 GPS Element 2: Source Citations
Mar 30, 2014 - Chapter 5 GPS Element 3: Analysis and Correlation
Apr 6, 2014 - Chapter 6 GPS Element 4: Resolving Conflicts and Assembling Evidence
April 13, 2014 - Chapter 7 GPS Element 5: The Written Conclusion
April 20, 2014 – Skip this week due to Easter
April 27, 2014 - Chapter 8 Using the GPS and Chapter 9 Conclusion & Graduation

The book is available as a Kindle version from Amazon in the US & Amazon UK

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Society Saturday ~ Branding & Logo's

Last week we looked at society websites, blogs and we briefly touched on social media. Today we are going to look at Branding and logos.

Have a look at this picture. It is simply a collage of images created by me and were chosen because they will hopefully mean something to you, the readers of this post. I have not been compensated by any organisation, the images used are done so as an illustration point.

So, do you recognise any of them? Some are UK or Australian specific, some are from the USA and one is from South Africa. There are a few that are global and represent social media.

The point is that they are a representation of the individual companies and are worth millions. I worked for an organisation who merged with one of the logos represented here. The deal made someone a very rich individual, and was a really brilliant (and virtually unheard of) strategic move. 

Each of the logo's is a statement of identity and taking the steps further we look at branding. The colours used in those logos are the corporate colours. Whatever the logo is, whatever the colours chosen they need to be eye catching, something that jumps out at you the moment you see them. Using 15 shades of the same colour does not necessarily equate to eye catching!

Within the family history and genealogical arena you might think the logo is typically going to involve trees, but does it? Here is an example of the logos from a few societies that I belong to.

Do you recognise any? Are you curious about any of the logo's? Which ones do you find eye catching and why? 

The majority of these organisations have been in existence for some years. I have been involved in two of these Societies since their beginnings and hold the membership number of 1 for one of them. The logo in probably all of these organisations was created at the beginning, with probably little thought that it would be around many years later. That is not a criticism, simply that at the beginning of an organisation's journey, there is not time to think about the longevity of the logo. At least three of these societies in the last year have celebrated their 40th birthday. 

The logo is typically going to reflect in some way the area or speciality that they represent. That is a fairly typical way of thinking. Can they be changed in the future? Yes they can, if it is deemed necessary. Changing a logo is not as difficult as it sounds, and I worked for a company that went through a re-brand and merger within four years. I have some former colleagues still getting over the shock, years after the event!

It is not just organisations that have branding and image to consider. We all do. The name of this blog for example is my brand. I also have an unusual surname, so I often use that too. It is interchangeable and whilst that might not be ideal, that is the way I have always been known. There are various other people on-line that have an logo or image that represents them, but that is a topic for another day!

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 24

Today is week 24 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30am 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 - Favourite Colour

  • Do you have a favourite colour? and if so why?
  • Do you like vibrant colours or darker colours?
  • Do you associate anyone with a particular colour? If so who and why ?
  • Does your favourite colour reflect your personality?

Thursday, 6 February 2014

A - Z April Blogging Challenge 2014

The sign up page for the A-Z Blogging Challenge is now LIVE!

Once again I have signed up and have already got organised with some plans for posts. You can read my previous
A-Z posts and details HERE

To read the details, rules and sign up CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Challenges of Mother Nature

The south west of England has been battered by severe storms for weeks, in fact since well before Christmas. The winds on occasions up to 80 miles per hour, and torrential rain with burst of hail stones. When the rain has abated we have had some winter sunshine and the temperature dipping to around 2 or 3 Centigrade.

Then this week the strange weather turned up a notch and the severe gales and rain arrived. The south Devon town where I live battered by the sea and gales. The area is well known for the railway line which runs along side the sea wall. Gorgeous in the summer, but a challenging issue with the gales and rain. Dawlish, the next town along has experienced some shocking damage.

Damaged railway tracks in Dawlish, Devon
Picture courtesy of Sky News
This picture shows the devastation to the railway track. Devastation that you would never believe possible. This damage effectively means the south west of England is cut off from the rest of the Country, at least by train. The repairs will cost millions and take weeks.

Across the rest of the County, indeed the region is swamped with weather warnings, as the next picture reveals.
Flood alerts in the southwest of England
Picture courtesy of Sky News
.The forecast for the next few days predicts more and lots more of the same, and as I type this I can hear the rain and the gales outside raging.

Roll on Spring!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Tuesday's Tip - February Map Offer

Map of Surrey - Cary's Map 1787
The UK based map company Your Old Books and Maps are offering free access to their maps server during the month of February.

Visit their map server - HERE
Quote the user name of yobm and the password of yobm2013

The maps are downloadable as PDF documents.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Happy Blogiversary!

Image from The Gardener of Eden Blog
Yesterday was my blogging birthday and I forgot! Therefore this post is a quick glance back over the last year. It is also an opportunity to say thank you to you all for reading, commenting and sharing the posts that I write here.

The last year has been a bit of a roller coaster. Some of the posts that I think will receive comments do not whilst others that are perhaps nothing more than my inane drivel receive comments abound. Those comments full of support, encouragement and friendship. In a world that is full of some miserable and dreadful things that is quite refreshing.

Looking back over the last year, the top ten viewing countries are shown here, with a surprise or two. I clearly get more viewers from the United States than the United Kingdom which is interesting.

The top post for the year was, unsurprisingly the first prompt of the Book of Me with over 1,000 views on 31st August 2013.

I ran a small series on Filofax in the early part of 2013. Part one received 448 views. Part three received 341 views and Part four received 351 views. Part two was written but the views did not make the top ten.

I also did two Tuesday's Tip posts on Evernote. Part two of that received 413 views. Part one didn't make the top ten, but only just.

Another post which made the top viewed list was the February photo collage.

When the Anglers Rest blog first launched in 2002 I wasn't overly sure what a blog was supposed to look and feel like. Gradually over time it became second nature. There is a process to successful blogging and that is taking part, writing, sharing, commenting and the most important, which is I believe being yourself.

So a big thank you goes out to the people who contribute by the way of reading, commenting and sharing.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Book of Me, Prompt 6 - Diaries and Journals

The prompt from week 6 can be found here.

Here in England the County where I went to school operated a three tier system. Primary aged four or five years until aged eight. Then a change of school from age eight years until twelve then to senior school from age twelve until sixteen. Sixteen is the earliest you can leave school.

As my birthday is in October I was always one of the oldest in my class, so I was nearly thirteen when I moved to senior school. The first day we were presented with a school diary. I still have mine, but it is boxed in the back of the attic so a picture is not possible, but the idea was, that you learnt to record your homework assignments and work due dates and learnt to prioritise.

Now, having been given this small journal I found that I naturally wrote and recorded lots of data. Eventually the diary became a mess of colour as I strove to colour code things because a mass of black or blue text was not conducive to finding out things. The issue was that I recorded lots and needed a bigger book. I eventually split the tasks. The school diary for homework, school assignments and hockey matches and another journal for a variety of information.

Image from Google Images
I still own every diary and journal that I have ever written. Over the years I tweaked the style of book and always have a diary for appointments and alike and a journals which is more reflective, ideas and notes.That continued all through my college years, my professional pharmacy training and university years. As I wandered into my professional life the diary became bigger - A5 style with a page for each day. In it recorded store visits, mileage, expenses, items that I needed to attend to for staff matters. My journal left at home because it was a similar size. Therefore it was either recorded in later in the day or notes popped onto post it notes which made their way from the diary to the journal later.

With a different working patten, I have tweaked this again in recent years. I now record my daily appointments in a slimline diary which lives in my over flowing handbag. I also have a journal which NEVER leaves my side. It records my thoughts, ideas, research and alike. I always leave the front few pages clear and this is for my index, which I create as I go along. I can easily tell that I worked on a new project for the book of me last week, a few ideas which appear on page 56 of journal 94. Each journal is numbered on a sticky small label and fixed to the spine and on the front cover.

Over the years I have bought a variety of journals. Starting with A4 page a day diary. It became a pain if I packed it to go away for work. I often found that one page was not enough and some pages had wasted space. I then switched to a smaller blank book so that I could add the date and record over as many pages as I like. I have been given journals as gifts over the years and have a lovely stack of them. Some are now used and retained while others are awaiting their turn. I discovered Moleskin which are lovely and have an inside pocket to capture snippets. Then a few years ago I spotted a cheaper alternative here in one of the UK supermarkets. They have the inside pocket at the back and have an elastic banding across the cover. I now have a rather nice collection of them both used and unused.

In the past I have recorded travel events in a separate journal, but in the last five or so years I have simply included it in my regular journal. I do stick bits in and save things such as tickets and paper napkins with advertising on etc, which is why I like the Moleskin type journals. Even in this digital age and I do use both Evernote and OneNote I still write a journal and I still capture one line thoughts on post it notes. Although I am trying to not use post it notes as they float around my desk and then become a complete menace!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Society Saturday - Websites, Blogs and Social Media

Genealogical & family history societies here in the UK typically do not have a base. There are some societies that do, but many do not and therefore how a society is seen by the wider public is important.

In that event, societies perhaps need to be a little creative and have a degree of awareness.  In this day and age most societies have a web page. Lets align the web page to a shop. The page represents the society physical structure, the shelves, the stock - If you want shampoo you would visit a store that sells shampoo and much more, if you want to find out about a society whose focus is on your area of research you visit that web page. You get the idea?

The web page is static on the whole, but there is a degree of movement as new material is added and so forth. That is much the same as a shop who magically re-merchandise the shop periodical , so that where shampoo once sat is now located by anything from banana's to nappies! The front page of the website is where your society has an opportunity to capture the attention of a viewer. That decision is made in a fairly short time, typically seconds. A front page of a website that has not been reviewed or altered in a few years does not infer that things happen here, or sends the message that the society has not moved with the times, in other words is outdated. In much the same way as a shop that had a refit 30 years ago and has not refreshed the paint.

If your society has a blog let's align that to the shop window. The shop window exists to tempt and tantalise people to walk through the doors. Someone sees what is in the window and makes a decision to go in and purchase. Some people are natural reflectors and revisit the shop to look again only to find the shop window has changed and the item they were hoping to look at again is not on window display and they need to go in, in order to have a look.

Having understood the concept of the shop window. Does your society blog do that? Does it have a steady and regular flow of movement? Is it welcoming and informative? Does it entice people and encourage them to leave comments and share posts?

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We have all heard the expression "there is no such thing as bad publicity". Companies spend millions on advertising. The advertising on the television, radio and alike. Mentions of a particular business name in the press, simply by being the named topic in a report, (good or bad) is advertising that has not been paid for, yet it raises the appeal and knowledge of the wider public.

I am not suggesting that our societies should be named on the news in order to get publicity, but if a blog post is written it can be shared easily within the social media arena? Remember this is zero cost to the society. Therefore is that free advertising avenue being utilised as much as it should be? I am also not suggesting that the same thing is tweeted or shared every hour, but used sensibly and understood social media is free advertising and profile raising.

Have you looked at your society recently?

Prompt 23 - Memory Board

The prompt for this week deserves a bit of thinking and I wanted to share with you all a bit of my thinking and an idea that I had to cover this prompt.

Initially I created this, a simple power point slide that looked at the various aspects that I planned to cover on my digital memory board. In this case the memory board reflected my professional career within the pharmacy profession.

I then went a stage further and added some audio to the slide explaining my thoughts and ideas. You can view the audio version of this on the YouTube Channel.

My plan is at some point to take those ideas and create my digital memory board reflecting this section of my life and then add it to my Book of Me.

Book of Me, Written by You, Prompt 23

Today is week 23 of what is going to be a 15 month project. Each Saturday, at around 12.30am 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 - Memory Board

This week was discussed a few weeks ago on the last hangout

- How do you see the point of a memory board
- Why keep one?
 - Do you keep one? Or will you?

This could be a cork board in your office, kitchen or regular space? If you do what do you keep on it? and why?

Have a peek at the example HERE


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