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A very happy and peaceful New Year to you. Yes, I know I am a bit late with the greeting, but better late than never. Anyway, it is no less heartfelt for being a couple of days behind schedule.

One of the reasons, and actually the main reason for this newsletter being somewhat late, is that the shingles (remember them?) returned with a vengeance last week.

For a day or two, I thought (hoped) it was my imagination, but the doctor confirmed my suspicions, gave me loads of pills and potions and said the second bout of shingles is usually far less painful and traumatic than the first. You have no idea how much better that made me feel - not a lot!

We enjoyed a wonderful time at Christmas, made even more special as Clare came home and stayed for ten days. We all waited up to welcome in the New Year and talked about times past and all the things we used to get up to. Clare got a fit of the giggles, due in some part to a couple of glasses of champagne, and before long we were all falling about laughing. Certainly an evening to remember.

Whilst Clare was here, we took some time to look at the Fred Olsen web site and saw details of a nine day Christmas Markets cruise, visiting Oslo, Copenhagen and Bremerhaven, sailing in December, 2012. Clare mentioned this cruise to Frank, and fingers crossed, we may book it. Yoicks! I am already getting excited.

For the past few days, we have been having some really extreme winds and on a couple of days, the wind was strong enough to blow over one of the turkey sheds, thankfully not occupied, rip the roof from Frank's barbecue house (it weighs a ton, too) and also brought down some trees. As you can see, not a great start to 2012!

The new poultry house arrived just before Christmas and was erected within a couple of hours. The chickens took a little while to get used to their new abode, but now they love it. The house is really easy to clean, the chickens have plenty of room to get out of inclement weather and egg production is increasing too, which is great.

Between us and the lane, we have a small copse and some owls have taken up residence. We have never actually seen the owls, but they really do make one heck of a racket in the evenings. Perhaps they are trying to outdo the gobbling noise the turkeys make.

Talking of turkeys; mine will start coming into lay towards the beginning of March, so I shall have to get the incubator out, disinfect everything again and make sure it is all ready for when the eggs arrive. I cannot miss the opportunity of setting some eggs and watching them hatch out. Absolutely fascinating.

The orphan lambs will be starting to arrive at the end of February, so it looks as if we shall be having another busy year here on the farm. Jeepers! I am so lucky to live in a place I love, doing precisely what I really enjoy doing.

My chum, Jennifer Newby, (works for Family History Monthly) has written a superb book called Women's Lives. The book is all about women's social history 1800-1839 and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Alas, it is not for sale through Parish Chest, but if you Google the title, I am sure you will be able to buy a copy. A wonderful book and worth every penny of the purchase price.

Last month, I had a lovely email from Sally in Devon (another poultry keeper). She is planning to increase her flock in the spring, so you never know, Sally, we may bump into each other at one of the poultry auctions.

Margaret from Australia emailed to say how much she enjoys my monthly prattle. Oh Margaret, flattery will get you everywhere. You ever get to this neck of the woods, do look me up and we can chatter non stop for hours - at least I can!

It's cuppa time, so get the kettle on and then we can start going through all the wonderful new products we have for you. Are you ready? Okay, off we go.


New Products & Suppliers

Jen, from from Leicestershire Parish Registers, has been hard at work transcribing three more parishes, Barrow upon Soar, Garthorpe and Oadby. Where do you find the time, Jen?

Phil, from Powys Family History Society, has a new MI CD available, Aberedw St. Cewydd and URC MIs.

Pete, from the Parish Register Transcription Soviety, has three more parish register CDs for you; Wisborough Green PRs, Ardingly PRs and Heyshott PRs. With all this transcribing Pete, you will end up with bony fingers!

Brendan, from Hand in Hand Genealogy, has just released a third CD combining the first two, plus more besides. These really are super CDs, Brendan.

William, from Sussex Genealogy, has a new CD for you, Sutton Vol 2. Just take a peek at the information available on this CD.

Jenny, of From Little Acorns, has been keeping busy transcribing Winterslow Marriages 1607-1837. Oh, I bet trying to read the early dates made your eyes ache, Jenny.

Dot, from The North Meols (Southport) Family History Society, tells me that the society produced five parish register booklets. Ye gods! The volunteers surely do work very hard.

Jen, from Family History Monthly, passed on this news about the next issue of the magazine:- The February issue of Family History Monthly (out on the 19th January) delves into the secret lives of country house servants. We reveal how to trace ancestors in service, and what their lives were really like – quite different from Downton Abbey! We also making our third and final visit to Victorian England to look at how our ancestors lived at the end of this era, and paying a visit to the Royal Marines Museum and Archive to discover the treasure trove of information they have to offer family historians. We also look at what the future holds for family history; travel overseas to research relatives who passed through Gibraltar; and find out why you might discover an only child in your tree. And FHM readers have the chance to win a subscription to the British Newspaper Archive. Get your hands on a copy before they sell out!

My chum, Helen, of Scottish Monumental Inscriptions, has released another fantastic selection of MIs. Oh, and I must tell you that Helen took a tumble just before Christmas and spent most of the holiday unable to walk. Now, Helen said it was the ice which caused her to slip, but I have my doubts. The lass lives in Scotland, and we all know what that country is famous for, don't we?

David, from Worcestershire Parish Record Society, has a new CD for you, Knighton on Teme Parish Records. The surname summary for that parish is also available. How is the gardening going, David?

Eileen, of Kabristan Archives, has written another book in her graveyard series, Ceylon Graveyards Vol VI. Looks to be a super book, Eileen.

Terry, from the Family History Partnership, sent me details of the latest book, Local Newspapers 1750-1920. Lots of information here and I have to confess Terry, that I hadn't thought of checking newspapers when doing research.

Sue, from Family Tree Magazine, sent me this information about the next issue:- January issue of Family Tree contains articles on Census latest, a decade online plus new 1911 releases; Search new resources for British newspapers online and search 65 million stories online; Trace your sailor ancestors at The National Archives; plus find ancestors overseas using free websites; plus lots more. Our covermount CD has a retail value of £57 and includes Gloucestershire ancestors in the 1861 Census plus a 1906 Directory, parish records, software & charts.

Dee, from English Parish Registers, let me know about the latest PRs she has prepared, Keighley Parish Registers 1562-1649. How are the chooks, Dee?

Carolyn, of Your Family History, sent me details of what is in store for you in the February issue of the magazine:- February issue of Your Family History will have a handy guide to Tracing Your Royal Marine Ancestors. Packed full of handy hints and addresses to find your relatives, this is part of a collectable series reintroduced back by popular demand. WW2 Air Force ancestors this issue has a beginners guide to tracing men and women in the air forces. Who Do You Think You Are live, what you will find at Olympia over the weekend of the 24-26 February. Do you have Theatrical roots? Tony Proctor reveals how he researched his theatrical roots.

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