Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 February 2012
Saturday February 4th, 2012 | Geoff
I’ve spent most of January working on the March edition of the Shropshire Family History Society’s journal. It’s done and dusted now, and in the hands of our printers. I am no longer on the society’s committee, having stood down at the AGM a couple of weeks ago, but I am still fulfilling my role as Editor, at least for the time being. I’ve included several pleas in recent editions, forsomebody to succeed me in this role, but so far there have been no takers. This seems sad to me. I’m in my eleventh year in the job, and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. Through my committee membership and editorship I’ve made many friends and acquaintanceships,and learned so much about this fascinating hobby of ours. I do hope that somebody will come forward before I move on, because I hate the idea of not having somebody to hand over to.
When I originally joined the society I had no idea that I would end up on the committee and as editor. I had heard that the society ran trips to the archives in central London, and as most of my research into Bankes and his siblings’ descendants involves looking at records in the capital, I joined so that I could go on these outings. I have never discovered any Shropshire ancestry in my tree. The nearest I got was a marriage in Clun in 1860 between John Bankes Price (c1826-1897) and Lucy Elizabeth Price (c1840-1897) . Lucy was a Clun lady.
In case you are wondering, John Bankes Price was a clergyman who, for many years, was vicar of Llandwrog, Caernarvonshire. When he died he was living at Babbacombe, Devon. He was a son of William Price and Sarah nee Hughes, and a descendant of Joseph Price, half brother to John Bankes. You should be able to see these people on the tree. How he met Lucy is a mystery to me.
Anyway, in spite of my lack of Shropshire interests I’ve derived great benefit from my membership of my local society over the years. Not just because of the many coach trips I’ve been on but also by learning about new sources, research methods etc from my fellow members. In my experience we family historians are invariably very helpful to one another, and ready to share our knowledge. If you haven’t yet joined your local society do give it some thought.
As you will be aware, over the past few years there have been more and more family history sources appearing on the internet, which is a wonderful thing. I am now able to do so much research at home that I when I go to The National Archives (TNA) or another archive I can concentrate my efforts on sources that are not yet on line. However, the downside of this cornucopia that is in cyberspace is that many researchers do not see a need to visit records offices because they can do their research at home. Whilst I can see why they would think that, they are in fact denying themselves the wonderful experiences that one can have at a records office. There are so many sources that are not online yet and many of them add immeasurably to your family history. In my case the obvious example is the Chancery Court records at TNA. These have added so much to my knowledge about Bankes, his Trust, his siblings and descendants and their lives and times. Not just places and dates and relationships, but also the relationships between them. As well as that, I’ve been able to handle actual documents that were signed and handled by my forebears in the 18th century! I can assure you that that is quite a thrill, and cannot be experienced online.
Unfortunately, demand for the coach trips that Shropshire FHS has been running haas now fallen, and the society has been making a loss on them. Reluctantly, the society has stopped running them, at least for a while, so my ability to research in London is severely curtailed, and this will undoubtedly hinder my future research. I shall have to give some thought to an alternative strategy, but with petrol now so expensive it seems certain that I will get few opportunities to visit TNA.
I haven’t done much in the way of new research lately. I’m tending to concentrate on consolidating the information I’ve already got and getting it all entered on my computer program. My big project at the moment is digitising the family photograph collection that my mother put into an album about twenty odd years ago. I have invested a lot of time in this, and am approaching the point where I have made and edited pretty well all the images. Now I need to work out the best way to display them and make them available to members of my family.