Apr 302013

Got the Report Sheet for the Lecture 2 assignments I submitted the other day.

I found two things amazing. First the speed at which the marks came back, just two days. Then there were the marks, I got, A for all three assignments, though admittedly one was an A-.

I am really pleased with the results I am getting, which show I must be doing something right. I just need to start getting the assignments in a little quicker.

Apr 282013

After quite some time I have finally managed to complete Lecture 2.

One of the main reasons that it took some time was that it involved writing a biography of a grandparent. This took some time to get all the research together, and you are always tempted to seek out a bit more before writing the biography.

It was good though to write the biography. I now have a better understanding of my grandfather (Horace Leighton) and his life and it feels as if I know him better now. It is strange, in that you know most of the information yet it is not until till your write it down in narrative form that it comes alive and how bits connect together in a way you hadn’t realised before.

On to Lecture 3 now, the General Register Office.

Jan 062013

2012 was a difficult year. I went self employed at the end of 2011, so that has taken up a fair amount of time. Also my mother was quite ill and passed away in the July. All this has meant that I made no progress with the IHGS course.

It is however my new year’s resolution to make good progress in 2013. So to this end I made a start on the biography of my paternal grandfather, being the third assignment of the second lecture. I will come back to the first two assignments later.

It is interesting that sometimes although we have all the information, i.e. dates of events, places etc. we don’t see the full picture. It remains just information until we try and write the story of these events, linking them together and then we see them come alive. Things we had never seen, jump out at us, as they come from the time and relationship between events.

If we just try and collect names and dates we are missing so much. We have the information but it is as it were dead information. If we aim to understand the lives of our ancestors and write their story that information comes alive and speaks to us. It is this process of telling their story that brings us close to them rather than just the collecting of information.

Nov 182011

I received the results from the assignments I had submitted for the first lecture.

I was really chuffed as I got an A and A-. This was far better than I had imagined I might have done. I feel now that the hard work has all been worth it. Though it sets a high bar when it comes to the next few lectures.

Nov 142011

Had quite a busy weekend on genealogy matters.

Firstly, I made a start on lecture two of the IHGS course by going through the lecture notes. Next weekend I plan to start on the first assignment.

In connection with this lecture, I must get in touch with my uncle, as I wish to discover more about his early life and that of my grandfather. The final assignment in this lecture is to write a biography of one of your grandparents.

Secondly, I have agreed to do a talk on genealogy for our men’s group at church. I have thus been spending time working out what I want to say and putting a powerpoint presentation together, including some of the documents I have. I have decided to go through the basics of tracing from marriage certificate to birth certificate to marriage certificate etc. and looking at how the the censuses can help. Further, I will show a sample of other information that can be found.

It will be interesting to gage the reaction, to see if it worth looking to do other talks. Further to see if I can develop a business out of this hobby.

Nov 072011

Well I have finally managed to finish the assignments for the first lecture on the IHGS course.

I now have to wait for the assignments to be marked by the tutor to see how I have done.

The assignments were very different both in content and work done. The first, an autobiography took quite a while and I ended up doing in excess of 14,000 words. This meant that even when it was finished it took quite a wile to go through it to check it etc. It was quite a therapeutic exercise and it is very interesting to look back and realise how much I have actually done in my life. I think that from time to time I will come back to it and filling some of the things I am sure I have missed and keep it up to date.

The second assignment, explaining how you found out information about your direct ancestors was much shorter, coming in a little under 1,500 words. The difficult part was doing the Seize Quartiers drop-line pedigree, working out the best way of doing it and making sure I had included all the information I needed.

So it is on to Lecture two now – Family Records.

Oct 042011

I have made a start on the second assignment, which is good.

Part of this is to d a tree with you, your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and finally great-great-grandparents it you know them all. I thought that this should be relatively straight forward. I use GEDitCOM II as my main database. I think that this a a great package as is not too expensive and you can customise it be just as you want it. Further, the file structure is basically a GEDCOM file structure. The only downside, for some anyway, it that it is a Mac only product.

So there I was drying my tree and using the information from with in GEDitCOM. I started to thing that I more information than was coming out. I then realised that I have done quite a bit of research including obtaining certificated etc. and had not updated my database. Thus I am in the process of getting my database up to date with all my recent research before I complete this assignment.

At the same time I have committed myself to making sure all research is correctly processed before moving onto any more.

I had not updated for the certificated that showed my great-grandmother re-marrying following the death of my great-grandfather or the great find of pages from a family bible held in the East Yorkshire archives and the recent find of seaman’s records for my grandfather mentioned previously in this blog.

Sep 262011

Yesterday I worked on my autobiography again, and finally got to the end, what a relief.

There is bout two final steps, to go through it a couple of time to pickup on any errors and add some picture/documents to break up the text a little.

I cannot explain how good this feels. I feel in part as though I have finally got started on the course and that I am now actually moving forward.

Assignment two should be a lot quicker. We shall have to see!!

Sep 202011

Despite having not finished assignment one I have been thinking about assignment two quite a bit over the last few days. So today I thought I would make a start on the drop-line pedigree chart. This has to be done manually, i.e. not using genealogy software.

I thought I could do it in Word using a table, but this was not going well. So I turned to Excel and managed to set it up quite well, with the use of merged cells. The aim was to get the basic layout set up, but I got carried away and ended up completing the chart. I just meed to do the written part of the assignment now.

In future, my first port of call fro drawing charts will be Excel.

It feels as though I am starting to make some progress at last.

Sep 192011

I managed to do more on my autobiography yesterday. As it was my wife’s birthday there was limited time for the IHGS course this Sunday.

However I did think that I might get through the last few years. I just did not realise how much has happened in the last few years, some quite significant. It just keeps going and going. I have done 12,500 words and there are still four years to go.

This next Sunday I must finish it, in therms of getting up to date, and then go back through it and tidy it up.