Tuesday, 21 February 2017
A New "Toy", Recent Reading and Family History
We've always had a minimum/maximum thermometer in the garden and some years ago we bought a basic weather station that recorded current weather, outside and inside temperature, pressure and humidity. We've been toying for ages with the idea of buying a more expensive one that uploads data to the computer and finally we decided to treat ourselves as a Valentine's Day/Belated Wedding Anniversary present. So far we are really pleased with it - it records loads of data - temperature, wind chill, dewpoint, wind speed/gust and direction, pressure, rainfall etc. and the software enables you to analyse the data in many different ways and even produce graphs. As time passes and we have more records it will become even more exciting.
Just after installation - the wires have now been tidied away!
Usually when a new book by a favourite author comes out I wait for the kindle version to come down in price but I am afraid I just couldn't resist buying the latest Merrily Watkins book by Phil Rickman as soon as it was published and it didn't disappoint!
Common Ground is a superb book with a wonderful sense of place encouraging the reader to look at areas near to home more closely. The author has recently moved from London to a new home in Harrogate and not long after the move he discovers he is to become a father for the first time. The book details his exploration of an area of "edge-land" not far from where he lives and his feelings as he prepares for the birth of his child. I found the whole book magical.
Having finished all the Shetland novels by Ann Cleeves, I have now started reading the Vera Stanhope books. I really enjoyed the first book of the series and can't wait to read the rest.
I first became interested in researching my paternal family tree many years ago inspired by the usual family stories/myths(?). I then discovered a distant cousin who was a genealogist had already traced the tree back to 1590. He kindly sent me a copy and over the years I have dabbled from time to time trying to fill in extra details. Of course, these days with computers and the internet research can be a lot easier. To take my mind off the problems with my mother's house (sadly, still ongoing - in fact, I have slowly had to accept it is going to take months to resolve the ongoing issues) I've been taking a free online 6 week course with Futurelearn on Genealogy. The course really is excellent and I am learning so much about research methods. It has been pointed out during the course that, even if you have been given a family tree, you should verify the information yourself especially if it is not sourced. Unfortunately, it looks a rather expensive hobby but I have discovered that my library ticket enables me to go along to the library and use one of their computers to access the library's subscription to "Ancestry" and FindmyPast". So once the course has finished I will be doing that to see if it would be worth taking out my own subscription.
Week 5 of the course has covered, among many other things, the important information you can get from local history societies on family history. My ancestors lived in Broseley, Shropshire from around 1590 to 1872, then moved to the Sarnesfield and Kings Pyon area of Herefordshire before finally settling in Hereford. I do wish I had realised about Sarnesfield and Kings Pyon when we had a short break staying at Weobley a few years ago as they were only a few miles away! I've found a really excellent Local History Website for Broseley which has Parish Registers etc. online and was thrilled last night to find the baptism record for my 9 x great grandmother on 8th June, 1590 and then records of her marriage to my 9 x great grandfather 16 years later. I shall explore the website a lot further when I have finished the course! and I see a trip to Broseley being on the cards later in the year.