A post from Angie – February’s Volunteer of the Month

A post from Angie…

Running the family history session was great fun and I enjoyed it very much.  Everyone was eager to have a go at doing some research and some of the people brought along really interesting items, especially the family tree that had been drawn onto a roll of backing paper. There must have been over 100 names on it.  We used Startpoint’s subscription with Find My Past to look up family records, especially censuses. Census information isn’t always completely accurate but no one can accuse it of being boring as you are able to find out lots of information that puts people in context. You can see what jobs people did, where they were born and their marital status, you can even see who their neighbours were. Researching family records brings history to life in a way that’s more relevant than any text book and it’s great to watch people’s faces as they discover that their Great Grandfather was a felt hat planker (there were lots of those around Woodley a hundred years ago), or their Great Great Grandparents lived in a 4 roomed house with eleven children. Life was certainly very different just a couple of generations ago. And the story goes on, it’s quite nice to think that in a hundred years time someone might look at our census returns and wonder what a softwear engineer was, or ask why there were people who recorded their religion as Jedi. I hope that everyone who attended the session thought it was worth doing and they went away having found something out about their family.

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