Courses Operation Bletchley Society of Genealogists

What have I learned in July?

Pharos Intermediate Certificate

I passed the one of the two final courses for the certificate, Military Records with a pass at 73% and I’m now just wating for my marks for Victorian Crime and Punishment.

Strathclyde’s Post Graduate Certificate in Genealogy, Heraldry and Palaeography

I intend to spend some of the summer catching up on the course reading lists.


I read Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s The Suffragette’ Secret, The Lie by Heather Dawn Gray and Are You My Grandmother by Steve Reynolds.

I have been reading “Journeys in family history : exploring your past, finding your ancestors” by Hey, David and have now moved onto “A Comedy of Errors, Act 2” by Michael Whitfield Foster, all about the marriage records at the GRO.

I also read On Chapel Sands which is the Society of Genealogists book club choice for July.


I am working through back catalogue of Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time, and keeping up with other podcasts.

Journeys into Genealogy
Columnist, family history blogger and writer
Emma Cox and Paul ChiddicksPaul Chiddicks is the face behind “Dear Paul” in Family Tree Magazine and a moderator on Twitter’s #AncestryHour. He shares family history stories with research tips, discusses heirlooms and The Old Palace School Bombing in WWII.
Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time
Series 1 Episode 6
Carol Kerry Green, Sue Adams, Cathy Soughton, Grace TabernUsing land records such as maps and tithe maps to further research
Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time
Series 2 Episode 1
Simon Martin Mike Trenchard, Mike Sharpe, Carol Kerry Green, Nick Serpell Commissioning effective research
Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time
Series 2 Episode 2
Susan Moore, Sarah Pettyfer, Lorraine Whale, Nick SerpellLegal & chancery records
Journeys into Genealogy The Beresford Family and Bedgebury ParkEmma Cox and Neville GallagherNeville Gallagher talks about the Beresford family of Bedgebury Park in Kent including philanthropist Alexander Beresford Hope who funded local schools and many churches in England and Ireland and was interested in the American Civil War. Plus the history of the house and estate and sources for local history and hints for getting started with researching an estate. 
Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time
Series 2 Episode 3
Eilir Daniels, Emma Jolly, Gill Thomas, John Colclough, Antony MarrResearching Welsh ancestors
Ask AGRA: Family History Question Time
Series 2 Episode 4
Ian Waller, Catherine Ryan, Sue Adams, Helen ToveyManorial and Estate Records

Meetings, Webinars, Courses

2 July
Society of Genealogists AGM and “Jones Brothers Holloway Road – the life and death of a department store”
Audrey CollinsSociety of GenealogistsI only saw the building for the first time on 1 July but it was fascinating to hear about the history of the former department store, and a connection to North Wales. I hadn’t realised that shop assistants often “lived in”.
6 July
What to Do With Your Family History: Bonus Class – Organising your Family History
Nicola WaddingtonSociety of GenealogistsA very useful session about finding better systems than endless piles of paper. Nicola had some great suggestions, though of course the final answer was that there is no right, or wrong, way to organise genealogy paperwork.
9 July
The Victorian Cook – Queen of the Kitchen and Victorian Culinary Delights
Dr Judith HillSociety of Genealogists Victorian cooks certainly worked hard! Their roles varied depending on the size of the household but it was very interesting to learn about their day and the kind of things they would have cooked.
11 July
On Chapel Sands by Laura Cummings
DiscussionSociety of GenealogistsAnother very lively discussion. This book polarised opinion more than any other so far.
14 July
Stage 2 Evening Skills Course Class 9 – Mapping Your Ancestors
Alec TrittonSociety of GenealogistsA whistle-stop tour through many maps through the years which can help with family history. Including Ordnance Survey maps, valuation maps, tithe maps, Booth’s poverty maps and many more.

This month seemed to be all about wrapping things up. I have finished the Pharos Intermediate Certificate. Term has ended at Strathclyde University, and the first two long courses I had organised for Society of Genealogists have ended. I also enjoyed a week on the Grand Union Canal.

Braunston tunnel

I once again joined in Operation Bletchley. My walking progress was somewhat hampered by a couple of migraines and hurting my back. The migraines may be symptoms of menopause, or may be side effects of the drug I have tried to deal with the symptoms of menopause. We are yet to find out!

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