Saturday, 11 December 2010

Backward step for public service at Suffolk record offices

Suffolk record offices are bringing in a new policy on 1 Jan 2011 that anyone wanting original documents on Saturdays has to preorder them. There is also a limit of 12 documents.

Apart from the lack of notice or consultation with users, how does this provide good service? Especially for those who can't visit during a week day or live outside the county. Suffolk has the least amount of records out of all the East Anglian archives listed online so many references can only be found at the record office. This includes most of the church probate records for the Suffolk archdeaconries prior to 1858, the majority of which have are still listed on card indexes and have not been filmed.

Most researchers won't know if they need an original document until they are in a record office. I can see many unhappy users. Defintiely a minus for public service in every way.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

General News

It’s been a massively busy few months. I’ve just completed teaching my first assessed course for the new intermediate certificate run online by Pharos Tutors and the Society of Genealogists. The next one is on poor law records starting in February 2011.

Also starting in February will be my series of House History workshops run in Norwich on Saturday mornings in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Edwards. Contact me for more information. Contact me for details.

I’ve also finished teaching a face to face course in Reepham, and have given a number of talks to different groups across Norfolk in the last couple of months.

Essex Record Office has just reopened after its annual stock take. The Norfolk Record Office is closed for stocktaking this week and next, so I’m catching up with the writing on my guide to tracing the history of a house. Also work in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. It would be helpful though if my car didn’t chose this moment to play up! It is incredibly difficult to get from Norwich to places like Bury St. Edmunds on public transport.

I’m really enjoying reading Trevor Yorke latest book. This one is on memorials, tombstones and burial practices throughout the centuries (Countryside Books, 2010). It’s definitely going on my reading list for my next course on burial and cemetery records with Pharos (Dead and Buried, But Not Forgotten).

Gill Blanchard
BA (Hons). MA. PGCE (PCE).
AGRA member.

Past Search Family, House & Local History Research & Tuition
84 Rupert Street, Norwich. NR2 2AT


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Author of Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors (Pen & Sword, 2009)

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Online coourses with Pharos Tutors Aug & Sept 2010

Learn from Home, Search from Home with some of the top tutors in the genealogy world at a great cost.
Online courses in August and September 2010 via Pharos Tutors are:

Dead & Buried, Not Forgotten: Cemetery & Burial Records with Gill Blanchard 2 weeks starts 17 Aug £24.99
One Place Genealogy with Kirsty Gray 3 weeks starts 31 Aug £32.99
Nonconformity with Michael Isherwood starfs 2 Sept 4 weeks £37.99 or £47.99 assessed
The National Archives with Guy Grannum 3 weeks starts 6 Sept £32.99
Organising your Genealogy with Barbara Baker 3 weeks starts 7 Sept £32.99
Genetic Genealogy with Chris Pomery 4 weeks starts 13 Sept £37.99
Manorial Records with Liz Carter 5 weeks starts 16 Sept £43.99

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Programme of Family History Worshops at Norfolk Family History Society Autumn 2010 to Summer 2011

A programme of workshops providing an in-depth study of specific topics relevant to the family historian, ranging from the well known to the frequently underused. All held at the Norfolk Family History Society, Kirby Hall, St. Giles Street, Norwich.

Tutor, Gill Blanchard, BA. MA. PGCE (Adults). Venue: Norfolk Family History Society, Kirby Hall, St. Giles Street, Norwich. Each workshop costs £17 and runs from 9.30 to 2.30pm with a break for lunch.

Book early to avoid disappointment.

Monday 13th September 2010. Parish Registers

Monday 11th October 2010. Making the most of Census Records

Monday 8th November 2010. Workhouse Records

Saturday 20th November 2010. Illegitimacy

Saturday 4th December 2010. Parish Registers

Monday 13th December 2010. Removal Orders, Settlement Certificates and Settlement Examinations

Saturday 15th January 2011. Wills and Administrations

Monday 24th January 2011. School Records

Monday 14th February 2011. Newspapers

Monday 7th March 2011. Wills and Administrations

Monday 11th April 2011. Manor Court Records

Monday 9th May 2011. Illegitimacy

Saturday 21st May 2011. Removal Orders, Settlement Certificates and Settlement Examinations

Monday 13th June 2011. Prison and Court Records

Saturday 25th June 2011. Workhouse Records

Friday, 9 July 2010

The Parish Chest online course starts 14 July 2010 4 weeks £37.99

The Parish Chest: There was more to life than baptism, marriage and burial (#310)

The records and accounts of the parish make up what is collectively called the parish chest. From the reign of Elizabeth I the parish’s role in local affairs expanded to include many civil responsibilities that affected the lives of your ancestors. Parish officers - the churchwardens and overseers - raised taxes, kept accounts and managed parish affairs including maintaining the church, providing relief to the poor, setting local rates, repairing roads, maintaining law and order, and operating schools. You will discover other fascinating records as well, among them the wills of benefactors, militia records and parish magazines. This course explains how to locate parish chest records, describes indexes and finding aids, and discusses how to interpret and use search results. As a result you will build your family tree and expand your understanding of the parish and its day to day activities.

Instructor: Gill Blanchard

What is the Parish and what role did it play in your ancestors’ lives?
Churchwardens, Overseers and Vestry Records
Property and Land Records
The Parish Constable, School Records and Other Records

Monday, 21 June 2010

'Tracing the History of Your House and Home' - a new course

I am starting an exciting new course entitled Tracing the History of Your House and Home.

Having written house histories for a number of years I feel I’ve got the process down to a manageable series of steps which I can pass on to others.

House histories weave together many stories, but cover two distinct strands. The story of who lived in a home, what they did there and what social factors cause the occupants to change is one part. Secondly, the story of the structure of the building can reveal what rooms were originally used for and how a house has been modified and expanded over time.

I am joined by Dr. Sarah Edwards in teaching this course. Sarah is an architectural historian with eight years university lecturing experience, she has also taught adult education classes for the past five years.

Together we will guide students through using historical records and physical analysis to build up a complete picture of a house and its occupants over the ages.

The course runs over two terms, the first is 11 September – 4 November 2010. The second term is from 5 February – 2 April 2011. Tutorials take place between 10am-2pm every alternate Saturday in the Town Close Room, Theatre Royal, Norwich.

Four of the 10 sessions will be field trips with opportunities to try out skills in practical situations. The course costs £375 and can be paid in instalments. There is a £25 discount to those choosing to pay the whole course fee up-front.

Tutorial and field trip dates are as follows:

Term 1: September 11th to November 6th 2010
September 11th Theatre Royal
September 25th Theatre Royal
October 9th Field Trip
October 23rd Field Trip
November 6th Theatre Royal

Term Two: February 5th February 19th April 2nd
February 5th Theatre Royal
February 19th Theatre Royal
March 5th Field Trip
March 19th Field Trip
April 2nd Theatre Royal