Sunday, December 29, 2013

JAKEMAN in the Miscellany

I've done a tiny update, just a JAKEMAN from 1588 doing his financial duty in the face of the Spanish Armada.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The key! The key!

New to the website yesterday was the key to the 1798 Wing enclosure map. This is a list of everyone who obtained land (or already held land) as part of the enclosure process. The text of the actual award, plus some sort of fancy mapping of the map itself, will come in due course. However the key is pretty useful on its own as simply a list of who was around in Wing at that time with enough clout to get land.

I've also added a more general page about farming in Wing. This explains the pre- and post-enclosure farming systems in general terms. I'll be expanding this later on with more information about what the farms, farmers and farm workers in Wing actually did.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Reworking the military men pages

I know this is not one of the things I said I was going to be working on but I've reworked the military men pages a wee bit. Previously I had these lists split into WWI, WWII, and Other. The Other list was getting a little bit long though, so I've split that into 19th century, 20th century and Other.

The Naval servicemen within them have been spruced up, so to speak. Their date of service has been corrected (the revised catalogue entries at The National Archives make it clear that I had noted their birth year, rather than service year, so I've fixed this - I haven't paid to get copies of their actual records though so the service date is just an indication to the year they joined up I think, not their full service), five more Naval men have been added and the link to the Naval records at The National Archives was updated. I've also added a recipient of merchant marine war medals.

The war memorial page has been updated following the unveiling of the fully restored war memorial in November 2012. The page now includes two new photos of the restored memorial, along with expanded text about the memorial.

I've also updated the photos of the Evelyn Close plaques, now larger and without rain splatters!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I came, I saw, I photographed

Hi everyone! I'm back from my trip to the UK and more importantly my visit to Wing!

I'm going to try really really hard to finish a couple of outstanding projects (like the farms projects and the 1910 valuation books) and get those up on the website for you. You can also expect to see some things coming out of my visit – however those 735 photos I took in Wing (eeek) won’t transcribe and arrange themselves onto webpages all by themselves so that'll be happening gradually. However I am going to try to let go of that perfectionist streak and upload a little but often, rather than waiting for a particular research project to be completely finished.

Apologies to those of you I wasn't able to meet up with while in the area. I did manage to fit in a visit to Heather who showed me round her charming several-hundred-year-old house in Wing, complete with bowed floors and ceilings, and doors formerly installed in All Saints Church. One Wing resident I had previously corresponded with was Vic Sirett and I was very sorry to learn he had passed away earlier this year – farewell, Vic.

For those looking for accommodation in the Wing area I stayed at Ivy Cottage Annex, a self-contained converted building in Burcott. This meant I could walk throughout Wing so was perfect for my needs, and was in a lovely rural setting with a neighbouring listed building (Ivy Cottage) to boot! My hosts Siewlin and Ed’s daughter Fei Yen Ashton Waller is a talented artist who has sketched various buildings in Wing, and you can see an example of her work below. Another local accommodation option is Wingbury Courtyard Business Village B&B (formerly Upper Wingbury Farm), however this is further out from Wing towards Wingrave.

Houses off High Street Wing by Fei Yen Ashton Waller
Houses off High Street Wing by Fei Yen Ashton Waller

Saturday, September 07, 2013

For the love of one-place studies

I’m about to jump on a plane, but before I do I have an announcement. Many of you will be aware that, as well as undertaking my one-place study for Wing, I maintained a separate website with an index of other one-place studies and similar sites plus resources to help one-place study researchers. While this was well-received there are limits to what a single person with limited time and money to devote to that project can achieve, so when I was approached with a suggestion that the time was right to expand beyond that I was pretty excited about what we, as a one-place study community, might be able to do under the auspices of a formal society. And lo, a Society for One-Place Studies has been born! If you have an interest in one-place studies please do visit the Society’s website at to learn more. The Society has been designed from the ground up to be an online international society, just like our community.

One thing that I had never really thought about much in my years of being a member of various family history societies was the charitable aspects of it. Pretty much all family and local history societies have charitable status, and this means that their reason for being is ultimately the contribution that history makes to civilization. While there are members, the main reason for being a member isn’t really what you get in return for your subscription fee, it’s you saying yes, education, preservation and promotion of historical information is important, has value in our society, and that you would like to support that by putting your money where your mouth is. Once we (I’m on the committee) know how many people are prepared to do that we’ll see exactly how big we can dream.

And now, I’m off to Wing! (and the rest of the UK). I hope to meet up with some of you on my travels.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Updates to the Burcott farm page

I've made a small update to the Burcott farm page today. With the help of some emails with the current resident of Burcott House, I've revisited all the old maps for Burcott and drawn some more solid conclusions as to the location of "the" Burcott House and similarly named properties in Burcott.

My behind-the-scenes project is still to finish transcribing the key to the 1797 enclosure map, after which I hope to be able to map the boundaries of the various plots of land against a current map. This should help illuminate those farms and their boundaries. Of course, nothing much will get done on this over the next couple of months as I'll be travelling! You can expect more photos of modern-day Wing, perhaps even some with me in them, upon my return. There may not be a building, gravestone or landmark untouched by my lens......

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Heading your way

In exactly two months I'll be in Wing. That's right, I'll be travelling the 18,416 kms to visit Wing again (amongst other things), staying the area for a couple of days in September. If you could ensure the weather is more hospitable for this visit - last time we spent a pleasant hour looking at gravestones at All Saints Church in the rain - that would be appreciated! I'm hoping to walk along every street, take plenty of photographs, and you'll maybe even see a photo of me in Wing if you're lucky.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The great RSS cull of 2013

Google recently announced that its Google Reader service will cease at the end of June. This is sad as it's a useful service for delivering RSS feeds, but also potentially good as we might see some innovation from other companies in RSS feed management and delivery.

I use Flipboard on my iPad to read all the blogs I follow, however it doesn't have any kind of feed management tools at the moment so I'm hedging my bets and also trialling Feedly. The upshot of all this is that I'm using it as an opportunity to review the blogs I'm subscribed to and cull those that are no longer active or no longer relevant to me - and if you use RSS feeds I bet you'll end up doing the same thing over the next few months too.

As you may have noticed I don't blog a lot - this is not my primary web presence for either genealogy (see and or me generally, and I don't blog just for the sake of it. I'll still be posting to alert you to updates on the Wing-OPS website, or other random genealogical bits and bobs as the mood takes me, but there's no regular schedule. So if I don't make it through your culling process I won't be offended - in fact I won't even know! But rest assured I'll be happy that you are maximising your genealogy time by using great tools like RSS to get the information you want or need.

If you spot a great new tool that you're planning to use to manage your genealogical RSS feeds going forward, do let me know in the comments.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wing As It Was - another copy on Ebay

If any of my readers were bidding against Heather for the copy of Wing As It Was that was up on Ebay recently, you get a second chance. Someone else (and this seller is in Wing itself!) is now selling their copy. On average I see these come up for sale maybe once every two years or so.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Small website update

Angela was perusing the Hertfordshire Marriage Index and found an entry for the marriage of two Wing people in 1698 - this has been added to the Marriage Strays page on the website. Thanks Angela! Don't forget, if you find any Wing strays on your travels please let me know, it's these types of clues which are hard to find but may prove crucial to our genealogy research.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Wing As It Was

Wing As It Was (and Wing As It Was vol 2) is a small book of postcards and photos of, well, Wing as it was! The illustrations are predominantly from the late 1800s and early 1900s. I own both these books and have indexed the surnames included for both volume 1 and volume 2 on the website.

Both books are now out of print but a copy of the first volume is currently up on Ebay should you fancy it. I'm not associated with the seller in any way.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

HOWES one-name study

I've just updated the links page with a link to the HOWES one-name study page. This looks like a comprehensive study with a great website, but could do with some more information about the Howes from Wing, so if you're researching the Wing branch get in touch with Paul at the Howes Family website, and me of course at the Wing website!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

1911 infirmities

Happy 2013, everyone! I hope 2012 was a successful year for you with more to come in 2013.

When the 1911 census was initially released the information in the infirmity column was redacted (suppressed). In 2012, when the 1911 information was officially allowed to be released, this infirmity column became available. I've now got copies of all 387 household schedules for Wing and was keen to see what if anything was lurking in this column.

Below is a list of all Wing's infirmities. Note that some of these are unofficial - only "totally deaf", "deaf and dumb" "totally blind", "lunatic", "imbecile" or "feeble-minded" were supposed to be entered here along with age afflicted, but several of Wing's heads of household added extra information (crossed out by the census enumerator, of course, but never-the-less accessible). As always, we give a round of thanks to those that didn't follow instructions and gave us more snippets about their lives than we might expect!

Mary PAGE, age 85 - totally deaf was written but then crossed out. Mary's son D (David) Page filled out her schedule on her behalf, so I do have visions of 85-year-old Mary giving him what-for on discovering he had dared to claim she was deaf!

Sophia LATHWELL (nee THORNE), age 52 - feeble-minded. This wasn't mentioned in the 1901 census so perhaps this was degenerative, or perhaps her husband wasn't prepared to put this on record in 1901 but the head of household she was visiting in 1911 had no such compunctions.

Arthur FOUNTAINE, age 31 - fits since 16 years.

Daniel WHITE, age 69, and  daughter Sarah WHITE, age 41 - there appears to be some congenital defect at work here as Daniel is noted as deaf at 20, while Sarah was deaf at 16.

Emily STAPLES, age 60 - deaf and dumb from birth

Mary FINCHAM, age 71 - deaf 20 years. Mary wasn't a local pe se, she was the Suffolk-born mother of Essex-born James who was a domestic chauffeur. I can't imagine anyone other than the Rothschilds had vehicles to chauffeur at this point in time.

George LOVELL, age 60 - rheumatism. Thanks for sharing, George! He was a pensioned mechanical engineer, so I would think he found his complaint pretty frustrating.

Emma Jane TUTT, age 40 - totally blind at 30 yrs old. Emma's an import to Wing as well, her father George is a London & North-Western Railway pensioner from Sussex.

Benjamin PEASE jnr, age 28 - lame since 6. He works from home as a boot repairer.

Yes, I will be transcribing the 1911 census for Wing in full at some stage (the enumerator summary book is already on the website), however it's not a priority as this information is widely available from the major online genealogy websites. I'd rather focus on bringing you records that are more unusual - and in particular finishing the items on that Moving Target 2012 list which I shall now have to rename the 2013 list!

template by : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing