Saturday, April 26, 2014

1332 Lay Subsidies

New page on the website this afternoon- the 1332 lay subsidies have been added (why yes, I did get inspired by the tax Hangout) - a little something for those of you with very early connections with Wing.

Domesday Book

I've just attended the Society for One-Place Studies HangoutOnAir on taxes. Often the benefit of tax records is not the tax itself, but the additional information, the roll-call of residents who met the criteria for the tax, the relative wealth of those individuals based on their relative tax bill, the changing property sizes, and so on. It's a great talk, so do go and watch it.

As a result I was inspired to move the entry for the 1086 Domesday Book for Wing and Crafton from the Gazetteers page to its own page within my new Rolls, Polls and Taxes section, and added an image of the entry from the book itself. Kim of the Bratton Clovelly OPS highlighted a book with methodology for roughly calculating population from the headcount mentioned in the Domesday Book so I'm keen to get my hands on that book and see what number I come up with!

Friday, April 25, 2014


The Wing Buckinghamshire One-Place Study website has had a makeover! In the process the website gained two new pages, a list of past clergy at All Saints and a list of old place names within Wing - both of these are based on information that was previously included on the former modern-day Wing website and have been expanded a little bit by me.

Now THAT unexpectedly-time-consuming project is done I'll be able to bring you some more content (and illustrations - remember those hundreds of photos I took on my trip to Wing last year?)

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Take my money

Commercial genealogy providers, here's how to take my money:

1. I Always Search Individual Record Sets

I'm not a beginner, I've been at this a while. Your global search function across all your databases is only good for doing speculative searches. I almost always search by going through your lists of record sets or databases, identifying one that sounds promising then reading your blurb to find out exactly what it is, where it came from, and any search hints i.e. what their little quirks are, which fields are actually contained in it, which are indexed, whether there are any gaps in your record set. Then I search just that record set, using what I've learned to search smarter and get more results of interest.

If you don't tell me which record sets you have, in enough detail, then I won't give you money.

If you don't tell me whether I get access to a particular record set I'm interested in within the subcription/access option I'm contemplating before I give you money, then I won't give you money.

If I can't search by individual record set, then I won't give you money.

2. I Like To Search By Place.

I'm a one-place studier. I'm particularly interested in what kinds of place fields are in a record set, what level (country? county? village?) they've likely been specified to, and whether you've indexed them. I'm also interested in context, neighbours and the like, so I like to browse pages before and after any given result, just in case something illuminating pops up. Sometimes I even - egads! - browse from the beginning of the record set, in case there's general information there!

Without the background information about place fields your record set has limited use to me, and I won't give you money.

Without the ability to search by place field (alone, without forcing me to search with a surname) you tend to induce a murderous rage, and I won't give you money.

It should be pretty simple for me to give you money. Stop trying to make it harder.

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