I was fascinated by this article, that came to me via a newsgroup this week.
A treasure trove of First World War photographs was discovered recently in France. Published here for the first time, they show British soldiers on their way to the Somme. But who took them? And who were these Tommies marching off to die?
By John Lichfield
Article from the Independent, Friday, 22 May 2009
Two men have been gathering photographic plates in this area of rural France and have produced the 270 photographs shown in the article. The soldiers are unknown British troops on their way to the Somme. The photographer is also unknown and the collectors are hoping that those viewing the photographs might be able to shed some light on who the soldiers and photographer were.
On a personal note, I received some of my Certificates of Completion for genealogy this week. It was unexpected, but I was very pleased to receive them.
Those of us who love family history research know that this ‘hobby’ of ours not only consumes every waking moment of our lives, but also has a tendency to consume large chunks of our bank accounts as well – between trips to our ancestor’s homelands and that credit card that pays for certificates, wills, books, subscriptions, etc. etc.!
Although I take courses through the National Institute for Genealogical Studies http://www.genealogicalstudies.com/ . I’ve also been investigating free learning opportunities to supplement my UK Genealogy courses, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorites here.
One of my newest favorites is http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/rss/podcasts.xml . There are 89 free podcasts so far on the TNA website and they cover a wide variety of subjects from Merchant Navy Service Records to Criminal Ancestors. When you’ve finished with those, check out their valuable research guides at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/researchguidesindex.asp?WT.lp=fh-rg&j=1.
The Board for Certification of Genealogists has a great little section on skill building and also a small “test your skills” section at http://www.bcgcertification.org/skillbuilders/index.html .
Another great online genealogy resource is at : http://www.genealogy.com/university.html
There are many sources for online education and I’ve only scratched the surface here. Don’t forget to also seek out other learning venues such as your local family history society – many of whom offer classes at their meetings and great publications. Check out your local library’s genealogy section and their history section. If they don’t have what your looking for, they might even order it in for you. They may also have online resources you can use. My library card not only gives me access to printed and audio/visual materials, but through my library’s computer I can access Ancestry.com library edition and newspapers such as the Times of London Digital Archives, 1785-1985 and Heritage Quest Online.
Seek out these free opportunities to learn about genealogy. If you can’t fill up your time researching (?) then take an opportunity to learn – a tip or idea you learn today might save you valuable time and money!
I have a brick wall in my genealogy – my great grandparents marriage. I’ve tried everything I can to find evidence of their marriage, including asking a researcher in Aberystwyth to try to track it down for me. She had no luck either. So I have to let it go for now. I’m not good at doing that.
I finished a couple of genealogy courses in April, and I was pleased with the marks. I need to take a break for a few weeks, while we get ready to move. I’ll have more space to spread my genealogy out, which pleases me to no end. The move does mean that I can’t go to Aberystwyth in September, which I was really looking forward to. Mum and I were planning a research trip there. I’m crossing my fingers that we can go early next year instead.
Occasionally in my job, someone will refer a genealogy question to me. Sometimes they can’t be answered quickly, and so I’ve been helping a senior track down some family history on my own time. I’m hoping the information we found will help her get a copy of the will she wanted. It was good experience working on someone elses family tree.
Genealogy is infectious – because of a brief review I did at a staff meeting of a genealogy resource recently, a couple of co-workers have begun researching their ancestors!