Thursday, 30 June 2011

Carnival Of Genealogy 107 - The Seasons of My Genealogy Research

If I were to align the seasons of the year to my genealogical activities I would say that:

  • Spring would be the season of reflection. What material do I have? What do I know? and What do I need to find out? 
  • Summer would be Season for undertaking the research, visiting the archives, relatives and cemeteries.
  • Autumn would be the season for evaluation. Assembling the research and the material and knowledge already gleaned. What still needs to be discovered. 
  • Winter would be the season to write up the material into a knowledgeable and workable archive, fit for the future. Winter would also build into the reflections of what I need to do in the following Spring.
Researching our ancestry isn't like that though is it? Of course I tend to visit Cemeteries more so in the Spring and Summer and perhaps Autumn and rarely in the Winter, but that is not a certainty. 

I have spent hours sorting through two large filing cabinets in my study over the last year, yes, I did say year. I have shredded so much material, all domestic sensitive waste that I filled our cardboard bin twice over! The plan was to go back through my genealogical files and folders and streamline the material ensuring the data appeared in my computer programme. Not a quick job by any means. 

I also streamlined all the material that relates to my two one name studies, one place study, a collection of material of a particular road that features in my ancestry and a collection of papers that relate to two locations, both out of the UK to see if the material is substantial enough to be called a one place study and if it isn't do I want to build into the data so that it is.

I have decided that for the remainder of this year I am going to refile and establish my next path of research. Catalogue photographs of graves and cemeteries and generally evaluate what research I have and what I need to still locate. 

I guess that all these activities put me somewhere between  Spring and Autumn and as I establish what data I have about specific individuals I shall head into Winter with a Ancestor of the Week post.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Wk 26 - Songs

Week 26. Songs. What was the #1 song during the week of your birth? Enter your birth date at This Day in Music ( and find out. If you were born before 1946, you can enter the year of your marriage, the birth dates of your children or some other significant event.
This challenge runs from Saturday, June 25, 2011 through Friday, July 1, 2011.
A rather fun entry this week!
Number One on the UK music charts

Memorial Books

Last weekend, my mother in law sent us a selection of photographs of the memorial headstone of my father in law. I say memorial headstone as my father in law was cremated and my mother in law has retained the ashes. There is also an entry in the memorial book for the 12th June which displays the following entry.

So, can you believe all you read? In this case definitely not!

The entry in the book (above) is actually incorrect. for issues that I won't go into, the names of the children from my father in law's first marriage are missing. There is also an addition of my sister in law who was adopted by my father in law and is the daughter of my mother in law from her first marriage.  The grandchildren are also incorrect, as a nephew is missing  because he is deceased, where as I would have added his name followed by (dec).

I can explain all the omissions and additions, but what of future generations? How would they know?

My husband registered the death of his father because my mother in law was in hospital at the time. Had she or my sister in laws registered the death there would again have been inaccuracies. The death was registered in Scotland and part of that process is to name previous spouses. My mother in law would have been furious and possibly argued the point and my sister in laws would not have known the details. The death certificate therefore, thanks to my obsession with family history contains the full and accurate details.

Weekend Cooking - Allsorts

Over the last month or so I have been a bit slack on the weekend cooking posts. I don't know what has caused this, just simply being off colour.

I like reading the regional newspaper on a Saturday. As well as the local news items, as you would expect there is a round up of antique sales, cooking, films, books and alike. I usually find something in print that makes me remove a page or two from the paper.

Here is a recipe from a few weeks ago, which sounds lovely, although I have not had time to make it yet.

Then last weekend we have a dinner that I almost threw together. We got engrossed in a few things at home and before I knew it was dinner time!

A quick rummage in the fridge revealed some chicken portions, mushrooms and bacon.

It was very quick to make. First boil some water with a splash of Olive Oil then add the pasta. Meanwhile, cut the chicken breasts and mushrooms. I had a few slices of bacon and a sad looking tomato which I added to use them up then I added a container of Philadelphia cheese - this one was herb and garlic. It took about 25 minutes and was delicious!

Last Friday, I finished work a little early and hubby met me for a late lunch. Our usual place in town was closed which was initially disappointing until we ventured into a local restaurant called the Dairy Maid. I am fairly predictable and selected the Jacket Potato with cheese with side salad.
The side salad was interesting combination & was delicious. There was lettice, tomato, celery and cucumber which I gave to Stuart as I am allergic to it. There was also orange and yellow peppers, strawberries and blackberries sprinkled with cress on top. The cheese was strong, which is just how I like it!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Those Places Thursday - The House with Nobody in It by Joyce Kilmer

The House with Nobody in It by Joyce Kilmer

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

This poem was written in 1913 by Joyce Kilmer

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts (Book 2 of the Bride Quartet Series)

Book two of this series focuses on the life of Emmalina, or Emma to her friends. Together with her friends Mac,Parker & Lauren, Emma is a partner in a wedding planner business called Vows. The foursome, live and work from the home of Parker who transforms her family home after death of her parents. Emma has known Jack most of her life and is has probably loved him for most of that too! This is the journey Emma and Jack take as they take their relationship to a different level......

Monday, 20 June 2011

Riptide - Devon - Is truth stranger than fiction?

I was alerted to this by a fellow book blogger, and thought that as much of my blog is about history and memories perhaps I should submit an entry.......

For the Devon-themed volume, unusually, the editors are looking for two different kinds of submissions – fictional ones and ‘memoir snapshots’.
Fictional stories can be up to 5000 words as usual.  The memoirs need to be very short – a brief account of no more than 500 words offering an unusual insight into Devon. 
If you know someone with a story to tell, go out and interview them, write it up, edit it into sparkling form and send it to

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I was sent to Coventry!

I'm just back from the conference hosted by my employer. I travelled up to Coventry in the Midlands of England on Friday and had, eventually been allocated a room at the Novotel Hotel in Coventry.

I have to say dinner at the hotel was very good for a hotel. Dinner comprised of Prawn Cocktail to start and then for a main meal I had the gammon served with fries, a poached egg and salad. I opted to miss desert.

The conference itself was in the Ricoh Arena. The conference was full on with a real focus on the detail. It made a real change when compared to conferences hosted by my previous employer. After a really busy schedule we were transported back to our hotels to get ready for a gala dinner.

The dinner itself was delicious. Initially as we entered the Arena there was nibbles and champaign. One of the nibbles a pastry, in the shape of a 5ml medicine spoon with a cream cheese swirl on top - a great touch for a pharmacy chain!. Dinner comprised of Rock melon and Figs served with cheese and a sprig of salad. The main course was a leg of lamb with potatoes and vegetables and then for desert a strawberry slice. Congratulations to the chef and their team - dinner for 1700 people is not an easy task! Alas no photos, but I suspect that a colleague or two might email one across to me to accompany this post.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Vision in White (Bride Quartet Book 1) by Nora Roberts

This is the start of series of 4 books by Nora Roberts. 

This is the story of 4 friends; Mackenzie, Lauren, Parker & Emma. Together, they run a wedding planning business called Vows. This first book sets the scene for the quartet and focuses on the life and loves of Mackenzie, known as Mac to her friends.

Mac meets a local teacher called Carter, with whom she went to school with. Carter had big crush on Mac during his school years and the meeting sets them on the path of relationship discovery. Mac's relationship with her mother Linda also features in this book. A rather selfish women who uses Mac as a personal bank and then is wounded when Mac sterns up and challenges and refuses. 

A great book and I am looking forward to reading the next three books in the series.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Wk 23 - Books

Week 23. Books. What was your favorite book, or who was your favorite author from your childhood? What do you like to read now? Books or other formats?
This challenge runs from Saturday, June 4, 2011 through Friday, June 10, 2011.
I have always loved reading, ever since I was little and would visit Woolworths or WH Smiths and be allowed to choose a book. We did this most weeks. My favourites were most of the Enid Blyton books, Noddy especially. I still have my set of Noddy books complete with the wonderful characters of Big Ears and the Gollywog, set back in the days before political correctness went mad!
Mum used to read to me, but the favourite times were cuddled up on my Grandmother's lap or sitting in bed with my Grandmother reading to me. How she must have been fed up of reading the adventures of Mr Twiddle, or the Famous Five.
Now, I still read, although I have to say in the last year or two my reading had slackened off. Just because of work, life, on line time and circumstance. I still go to bed now with a cup of tea and a piece of fruit and my current read, which drives hubby mad!
In the age of reading via computer or iPad, Kindle and Nook, I still prefer the paper version. Our house is full of books, I shamelessly say they are all mine, and they near enough are! Although we do house a collection of angling books which are certainly not mine!
Here is a summary of the books at Anglers Rest......
Children's Books
I have my original set of Noddy Books by Enid Blyton, lovingly read and many still have the Woolworth price ticket of 12p stuck to the front. I have always kept them for my children, but as I don't have any they sit in my study on a shelf next to a set of Beatrice Potter books.

Italian Collection
I am half Italian and am interested in my Italian Heritage. There are not that many books published about Italian communities here in the United Kingdom so when I come across one I tend to buy it!

Thyroid Collection
I have a Thyroid condition and obviously have an interest in the condition. Over the last 20 years I have purchased any books on the subject and added them to my collection.

Both the Italian Collection and the Thyroid collection of books sit on the same bookcase in our spare room.

Family History Collection
I have a passion for researching my family history and over the course of a decade or two have read, purchased just about every book going on the subject. This collection though, is about the books that I have found along with the way that relate to particular ancestors and their families.

This collection is mainly made up of books relating to the family names of Bowring,Bellasis and Eastwick. There is also a copy of a diary called the Diary of ThomasAsline Ward. Which cost me a little over £60 but simply had to be purchased. This set of books sits on the bottom shelf of a pine bookcase in the hall.

Elm Creek Quilts Collection
I was introduced to this set of books by a fellow avid reader and they are lovely books. They are a set of fictional books set with the obvious theme of Quilting. Each dust jacket has a picture of a quilt on it. There is something about these books that makes you want to hold the book and admire the quilt picture. These sit on the top shelf of the bookcase in the hall.

Cookery Books
There is nothing particularly special about this collection, other than it sits on the middle shelf of the bookcase in the hall and is, and one would expect, of a practical nature. Two books which do stand out are those that I have kept from my school days and I have fond memories of my O level cookery classes.

Angling Collection
These are not mine, but Stuart's and sit in a bookcase in the lounge with a few angling type ornaments and collectibles.

The Rest
The remainder of my books sits on three bookcases on the third floor of the house. Two in my study and the third one on the top landing. These books span the last 25 years and cover fiction and non fiction. The fiction books are ones that I will read again and particularly want to keep. Others are sent to the charity shop. The fiction books are mainly the lovely cozy mysteries set around bookshops and craft shops which are to me pure escapism!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Weekend Cooking - Julie & Julia

Last weekend, here in the UK was a long weekend with Monday being a bank holiday. We didn't have much planned and spent the weekend relaxing, walking Alfie and catching the occasional film.

The film of Julie & Julia was based upon the blogging achievements of Julie Powell, who read and cooked her way through Julia Childs book, the Art of French Cooking. The book is now on edition 49, which is a fantastic achievement.

I know the backdrop of the film says it is based upon real events, but was there really a blog? I knew the book really existed because I checked Amazon and the DVD which we purchased last year came with a small collection of recipes.

A quick Google did reveal that a blog did really exist and HERE is the link to it.


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