February’s meeting, and some ideas about us

Hi everyone –

I’ve heard from Julie and Linda about the February meeting; seems the tour of the Library turned out to be very beneficial. Nice to know there are lots of resources there, and that we have such a nice tour director! <g> Mucho thanks to John. Also, Bob explained about our new MNGS web presence that’s being constructed; from what I’ve been told, it’s going to be great. We may not need to maintain this separate blogsite, but that’s up to all of you. Let me know what you’d like to do, once the new site is up and running. OK?

They both had ideas about what we might want to discuss in the March meeting; Linda said perhaps we need to discuss what we’d like to accomplish as a group, while Julie thought it might be helpful if everyone thought about giving specific information on a brick wall, family, or person they’d like to investigate. Remember, Lois volunteered to use her Find My Past membership to access those records, so some folks might actually put a dent into their wall. (Not everyone will be able to have their challenge addressed right off, however – she won’t have all day!)

Personally, I think we may need to discuss our April meeting, as it’s on the day of the MNGS Tech Conference. Will there be anyone to attend our meeting?

Bob asked in our first meeting about how to discover U.K. relatives back a ways in time, without specifying an exact time. There are lots of resources and records in his particular area of England, but how to get to them without being at the County Record Office is the challenge. Fortunately, the English have been very interested in their own history, and there are excellent books available which include transcriptions of records. They’re well worth a try. I personally use a Google search to find them. Also, if I visit a really great place, such as a University site, I check to see if they have references included – then comes more Google searches for those titles as well. Lastly, there’s always the National Archives A2A to check. Doing these things has led me into paths I’d never dreamt existed; found Manorial records detailing sizes of acreage and rents of some relatives in 1436!!

The University of Leicester has a website dedicated to old county directories. For Cornwall, that means one from the late 1700’s. They can be invaluable.

Also available from various sources are the following:

  • Voter lists from the 1850’s and 60’s
  • Subsidies of 1625
  • Protestation returns, 1641
  • 1660 Poll Tax
  • Parliamentary Survey of 1660
  • 1664 Hearth Taxes

And this is a partial list. Nothing was as sure as death and taxes – and when the King wanted money, it was from every square inch of the country; records of his ‘requests’ remain. So there ARE resources out there, just waiting for us to find them.

Another person asked why I’m using “U.K.” and not England and Wales. Guess it’s political correctness. There are people who believe deeply that Wales, and Cornwall, aren’t part of England. There are also many people living in England who feel the same way. But they all agree that it may be termed the United Kingdom, although I suspect no one in our group would be offended either way. Using “U.K.” is shorter.

Last thing, promise. A friend of mine took her laptop with her when going to physical therapy, and left it securely locked to a table when they called her name. When she returned, nothing worked. The dreaded “black screen” had struck. (and this was a 1 year old laptop!) She took it to Best Buy, and the Geek squad. It will be $2,000, and they MIGHT recover her data. Why is she willing to pay that? She had 3 years of intense genie work (a minimum of 30 hours a week) on it, WHICH SHE NEVER BACKED UP!

The thought makes my stomach clench. Please, backup everything – maybe even more than once. Really, losing data hurts a lot more than backing up.

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