Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yoohoo, February!

The month seems to have flown by - if anyone sees it, can they send it back to me please, I need some more research time!

I've finished off some new pages for the upcoming March update to the website so I have achieved something this month. I've also started crosschecking my personal genealogy data against the version recorded electronically in my PAF file (a la DearMyrtle), but I'm less than 20% of the way through that particular project. The PAF Individual Summary page (this is the report I was using as the front page for each individual's bundle of documents) shows you when their record was last updated, and it's disturbing how long it's been since I've looked at some of these individuals! On the bright side, a few months (okay, years in some cases) distance from a particular problem brings clarity, so I've been able to resolve some outstanding queries simply by taking that fresh look at the information already on hand.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Behind the scenes

I haven't done much on the genealogical front in the last week or so. I should be busily working through DearMyrtle's February checklist, in particular crosschecking between the hard-copy information in my newly sorted ringbinders against the electronic information in my PAF file, but instead I've been busy making tomato sauce and pasta sauce with my tomato harvest, and........

I've finally gone ahead and purchased the latest upgrade to Adobe Lightroom, the program I use to process digital photos, so I've been getting distracted with that! I shoot in RAW, which means that less processing is controlled by the camera - one good thing about this is that as more sophisticated software is released you are able to go back and reprocess your photos to get a subtly better result. This is particularly handy when they are travel photos from the other side of the world and you don't have a chance to retake them.

Unfortunately a rubbish photo is still a rubbish photo. While I've been trying to tinker with the photos I took when visiting Wing in 2005, running around in the rain on a tight schedule, they're still not up to scratch - right now I have a slightly displeased expression on my face, somewhat like this cherub on a fountain at Ascott House:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

DODD in podcast

The Reverend William DODD was vicar of Wing from 1775 until 1777 - when he was hanged for forgery.

Today I was catching up on some podcasts from The National Archives, and the Reverend was mentioned in one of them. You may want to head over to National Archives podcast feed, or into your preferred podcatcher, and download The Real Little Dorrit: Charles Dickens and the debtors' prison (28 November 2008). The section involving Dodd and his charitable work in relation to imprisoned debtors starts at 42 minutes 20 seconds into the podcast, and is a couple of minutes long.

Listen to find out more about the Thatched House Society and the Macaroni Parson!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Let it snow

I see that Buckinghamshire, along with the rest of Britain, is buried under snow. I'm sure all you genealogists are making the most of your snowdays. Keep warm, everyone!

You can see reader-submitted photos in the Bucks papers here:
Bucks Herald
Bucks Free Press (they also have a Snow Covered Bucks Through The Ages gallery)
The Leighton Buzzard Observer doesn't have any galleries up yet.

If anyone can point me to a photo of Wing in this week's snow I'd love it! Or better yet, if you happen to live in the immediate vicinity, take a few and email them to me, and I'll post them here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

File wrangling

I may have the Wing section of my computer directories very well organised, but the same certainly can't be said of my general genealogical directories. I picked the next batch of paper off my "to-do" tower and sat down to transfer the handwritten transcriptions onto the computer. After poking round trying to find the right file to update I eventually discovered that at some point in the past I'd already done it!

There are a lot of transcriptions lurking in my Genealogy/Miscellaneous directory, naturally all with a completely different file name structure, so I made a start this evening trying to consolidate them a bit. Now I have a number of "Transcripts - XXX.xls" files where XXX is the Chapman code for the county. Within each spreadsheet is a tab for each parish I have extracted records from.

I imagine that other genealogists would generally organise things by surname. I think my brain has been rewired to instead think in terms of geography, thanks to the one-place-study!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

February update

This month the changes and new pages are:

* Two new military men, Lyndon BOLTON and Eric WOODWARD, both serving in WW2
* Some 17th century Catholics and non-conformists of an unspecified denomination have been added. On a related note, does anyone know why being a midwife in that era would get you excommunicated? A quick Google suggests that perhaps midwives had to be licenced by the church, does anyone know exactly what the story was?
* A new gazetteer entry, this time from 1914
* A new directory, the Kelly's 1931 edition, thanks to Alison
* A makeover for the index of names from directories

Happy researching!

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