I had written half a blog for last week’s prompt (Social Media) but hadn’t got around to finishing it before this week’s prompt came around. Sorry about it. Now on to this week’s writing!
Outcasts. My immediate thought was to look at social outcasts: the undesirables. Hobos. Vagrants. Tramps. Vagabonds. The demonisation of the poor is nothing new, and something that is still prevalent in society today. In fact, in the UK, the first piece of legislation making it a crime to be unemployed (known as idleness) dates to 1349. A vagrant was a person who could work but chose not to and, having no fixed abode or lawful occupation, begged. Vagrancy was punishable by being branded or whipped.
I’m pretty sure that if this was suggested today that a surprising (or not so surprising??) subset of the population wouldn’t have a problem with it.
This week’s prompt seemed a bit familiar, so I checked my Archive from 2020 and here is the first time I wrote on this theme. All of that still holds just as true today as it did back in 2020 – and no shade to Amy for recycling prompts!
I’d like to think that with experience comes wisdom and that I am less prone to research oopsies. Still, this past week I did order a birth certificate for a suspected illegitimate Holborow birth which I discovered 20 minutes after submitting the order had been double registered with the obvious birth father’s name as well. So I am definitely not saying I am infallible. (And, yes, it was incredibly irritating.)
But have there been any earth-shattering oopsies in my research, something that has meant unpicking an entire family line and/or hours of research? Or have I ever uncovered someone else’s oopsie?
I wasn’t sure that I had a family history story that met this week’s theme … until I started to review my Holborow ONS entries for the 1851 census and realised I’d missed an entire spelling variant in my search! And – as usual – the Holborows (or Holbrows in this instance) managed to come up trumps – and drive me right round the buggering twist!
I have decided to do 52 Ancestors again this year, after taking a break in 2022. I’m already a week behind hence why this post is a bit of a twofer.
In terms of “I’d Like To Meet”, assuming we mean a deceased family member and not – picking a name at random from the ether – Henry Cavill, then the answer is clear and blindingly obvious to anyone who I have ever bored to tears spoken with about my family history.
What a prompt! Now, I received a new laptop for Christmas (lucky me) and currently all my files from my old one exist in potentia courtesy of my OneDrive or my Dropbox and I haven’t actually sorted anything out yet. So there’s a kick up the bum …
This is not the post you think it is. I am named for my dad’s stepfather, Eddie Taplin, who was dying in hospital when I was born. I was given his name as my middle name – the only one of my brothers to have a ‘legacy name’ chosen to honour somebody else. (One of my nieces has the same middle name as my mother and her sister’s was for a [wealthy!] godparent.)
That would be it, that would be the post. But I’m not going to spend a week crafting a one paragraph post, am I? I wouldn’t do that to you.
As Cole Porter once wrote, and Ella Fitzgerald fabulously sang, “Begin the Beguine” (and when I was a child, I actually thought the song was “Begin the begin”, which tells you something important about children, I’m sure).
I’m not entirely sure how to react to this week’s theme – the first one of 2021 which adds that extra pressure to make it an explosive start to the year. I’m sure I’ve talked somewhere before of my own beginnings in genealogy (wanting to know about my biological grandfathers on both sides – check and check – aged about 15) and how I started offline and then grew my own skills as more and more records became available online (and waiting for baited breath for the 1901 census to be released online on its own dedicated website and paying for credits to view search results. Ahhh, how far away 2002 seems to me now!
Except for a short sojourn in Purley (sort of south London) I have lived in the countryside all of my life – either in Wiltshire or the four years I spent in rural France. Consequently, my immediate response to this week’s prompt is how much my ancestors would have watched the land around them change.
Not only the land, of course, but their villages changing as shops closed, services withdrawn and then acres of post-war housing and, of course, the rise of the motorcar and the roads they ran on. Now, some of those changes are still being faced by rural communities today.