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Do you ever feel that technology is getting away from you? Oh, please say yes, as I should hate to think I am the only one who feels like this.

When I first started doing family history research, it meant a day trip to St. Catherine's House in London or whichever Record Office I needed to visit.

In the Record Offices, I would be issued with a pair of cotton gloves and handed a register to wade through. All information was carefully noted down with pencil and paper. Gosh, how I used to gloat if I uncovered a really interesting. long searched for piece of information.

Following on from this came film, microfiche, CDs, DVDs and laptop computers. Nowadays though, it seems that all you have to do is search on the Internet and all the birth, marriage and burial information you could possibly want or need is there for the taking.

Now, I am sure this is all well and good, but especially regarding my family history, I need proof that a certain person was born to a set of parents, got married, raised a family and then died. Donít get me wrong! Naturally enough, I do purchase transcription CDs, etc, but 'instant' family history taken straight from the Internet is not for me. My children used to tell me I was old fashioned in my thinking and I guess they were right!

It has been an extremely busy time here of late doing the SEO work on Parish Chest. The task is not yet finished (it takes a while getting through almost forty thousand products) but I hope another few weeks will see the job finished. I am not used to sitting in the one place for so long, and as I seem not to have moved from this computer since my previous newsletter, I am quite convinced that I shall soon have corns growing on my rear end.

I had a merry chortle to myself last month. Frank and I were on the Park and Ride bus for Truro, (standing room only for Frank and a few others) when a chap, not many years younger than Frank and sitting opposite me, stood up and offered Frank his seat. Frank politely declined the offer, but ever since, has been asking if he looks elderly and frail!

Our weather during November was extremely weird. It was so damp and warm, the roses started flowering again as did several other plants. On dry days, Frank has been kept busy cutting the lawns and attempting to keep the field grass under control. My chickens all started a second moult and promptly stopped laying. The orchard is a sea of feathers and from thirty chickens, I am lucky if I get half a dozen eggs a day which is ridiculous. Perhaps I should cancel the new chicken house as punishment for my wayward birds!

Like most of the other farmers around here, we are hoping for some severe frosts during December as these will kill of the bugs which lurk in the soil. Anyway, there is something special about being outside on a really cold winters day, wrapped up warmly, feeling the crunch of frosty grass beneath your feet and seeing the spectacular patterns the frost makes on the shrubs and trees. I love the winter time. Mind you, I love spring, summer and autumn too.

If I dare take a couple of hours away from the computer and all this SEO work, Frank and I are hoping to get time to visit Truro market to have a look at and possibly buy a couple of calves. Now the barn is completed, I do have a lovely home for the calves to live in until they are weaned.

A farmer friend of ours, Laura, contacted me last week to let me know her Hebridean ewes are in lamb and due to have their babies early next year. Laura has promised that once they are weaned, I can have some of the lambs. Naturally enough, I am really looking forward to this.

Before my next lot of weaners (piglets) arrive in April, we will be building a larger, more secure pen for them to live in. We have decided to build the new pen in the top paddock, close enough to keep an eye on the piglets, bur far enough away to avoid the pong!

I have finally started preparing for Christmas - well, I bought a couple of jars of mincemeat from Sainsbury's, (I just haven't had time to make it this year) so that is a start, isn't it? I do not enjoy traipsing around shops, so the rest of the shopping will be fitted in as and when I can bear to do it.

I had some fantastic news a couple of days ago when Clare, our daughter, said she will be spending ten days with us over the Christmas period. Usually, we only get Clare's company for three days, so this really is a bonus and we are thrilled to bits.

Oh wow! I had some great emails from you after the last month's newsletter.

Paulene, from Chelmsford, agrees with my high opinion of the Park and Ride scheme. Paulene used it when visiting the Records Office in Truro (super reading room and a great staff) and found it a Godsend.

Des, from New Zealand, thought a remote controlled flying fish (Air Swimmers) would be a great birthday present for Frank. We could certainly clear out the crowds in Sainsbury's with one of those, Des!

Frances, from Perth, Western Australia, says she loves my chatty newsletter, but doesn't know how I manage to fit everything I do into the day. When you love doing something Frances, it is easy.

Lindsey, from Brisbane, just loves to hear about my poultry and also told me a great story about a Bush Turkey which had a predilection for chickens. I have had the same problem with my turkey stag from time to time, Lindsey. Pesky little creatures, aren't they?

We have some truly wonderful products at Parish Chest, and most if not all would make the ideal Christmas gift for the genealogist in your life. Do please come in for a rummage and I bet you will find the perfect present.

I really must stop prattling soon, and get back to the SEO work. Before then, and before we embark on looking at all the new products at Parish Chest, there is time for a cuppa and just a teeny slither of cake. Have you got yours to hand? Okay, then let's get started.

 
 
 

New Products & Suppliers

William, of Sussex Genealogy, has some more Sussex CDs for you, Coldwaltham Parish Registers Volume 1 and 2 & Pulborough Vol 1. Do take a peek.

Our Helen, of Scottish Monumental Inscriptions, despite being really poorly, has managed to bring you even more MIs. Stay warm, Helen, and get well soon.

Pete, of the Parish Register Transcription Society, has the Graffam St. Giles parish register CD available for you. At just £3.00, this is really great value.

Alan, from the Dorset Family History Society, sent me details of two new books they have available.

Pat, from the Folkestone & District Family History Society, has lots of items for you to browse through. Ideal if your ancestors hailed from that part of the country.

Dee, of English Parish Registers, stopped playing with her chickens long enough to produce Weston Underwood Catholic Registers 1710-1785.

Pat, of Family Deeds, has excelled herself with her latest collection of Mortgage, Lease and Marriages Deeds. A wonderful and extremely useful selection, Pat.

Malcolm, of the Gwent Family History Society, let me have details of a new CD, Risca St. Mary's Burial Registers 1813-1935.

Jenny, of From Little Acorns, has been busy transcribing another Wiltshire parish, Pitton and Farley Burials 1669-1865, and this is now available on CD.

Alan, from the Hereford Family History Society, let me know about a new calendar the society has for sale. A beautiful calendar and perfect timing, Alan.

David, from the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society, has yet another new CD for you, Prominent People of Blackburn and District 1100-1899.

Catherine, of the Tayside and Fife Archaeological Committee, gave me details of three new books the society has available.

The Cambridgeshire Family History Society has produced yet another new CD, 1759-1786 Cambridgeshire Quarter Sessions. There looks to be some fascinating information here.

Ian, of the Brooking Society, sent me details of the new booklet they have available.

Brendan, of Hand in Hand Genealogy, has produced another version (up to 18 generations) of his super Family Tree Chart CD.

Graham, of the Wakefield & District Family History Society, has two more baptism booklets for you.

Sue, from Family Tree magazine, wrote in to say:- The Christmas issue contains a Bumper Pack Christmas Special, including a web guide supplement, an A2 size family tree chart, four vintage postcards and a CD of resources for Nottinghamshire containing 59,000 names - worth £57. All this plus our super Christmas magazine containing money-off vouchers and ticket offer for the Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 event and great articles to help with your research over the Christmas holidays. Hurry, start a subscription with this really special gift.

Hazel, of the Isle of Wight Family History Society, tells me that the society have put their back journal issues, 1 to 100 on CD. Lots of reading there, Hazel.

My chum Yvonne, of Docklands Ancestors, has Stepney (St. Dunstan) Baptisms 1668-1679 Vol 87 now available. I am certain that this CD, like all the others produced by Docklands Ancestors, will prove to be very popular.

 
 
 
   
 
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