Achievements and ambitions

As 2016 begins its time to reflect on the progress of the study over the last year and to set some goals for next.

I began 2015 with only one clear ambition for the One-Place study and that was to complete my 52 residents in 52 weeks challenge. this is a variant on Amy Johnstone Crow's '52 ancestors in 52 weeks' blogging challenge which I adapted to cover 52 people with some connection with Springhill, though I'd be lying if I claimed they all actually lived here. The summary can be found in the Residents page.

Despite having no other clear ambitions for 2015 I managed to:

  • have an article on my one-place study published in Family Tree magazine. As my expertise is anaesthesia and medical education I never dreamed of publishing in the popular history press.
  • deliver a presentation on the influence of the textile industry on migration in my area at the Society of One Place Studies conference in Ipswich in November. I learned lots from doing it and still have lots to learn but would love to do so again if ever asked.
  • improve both my competence and confidence with C17 handwriting, thanks to the generous input of Mistress Agnes.
  • persuade my father, the last male in our family line, to have his Y-DNA analysed. This won't help my One-Place Study but I'm pleased he agreed.

So what for 2016?

1. Take a decision (probably pretty soon) about whether to increase the study area to that covered by the old vaccary of Deadwenclough. As I am interested in following up a number of C16-18 leads this makes sense as the records refer to this administrative area. It will also allow me to look at areas of local history beyond the immediate Springhill area. I have already done this to some extent, primarily to include the Friends' Burial Ground. The downside is that it will mean re-doing census, trade directories and other extractions and greatly increase the scope of the project. That won't be finished this year.

2. Get to grips with the 1939 Register for my area, however defined. Initial forays haven't been encouraging, with my grandfather's known household transcription having the incorrect house name and village and my uncle who should have been redacted but wasn't.

3. Complete the April A-Z blogging challenge. I am hoping to do this by looking at areas of legislation related to my study, hopefully going beyond the obvious at times. Some of the connections may be a little tenuous.

4. Further improve my competence with C17 writing. To date this has largely been with one hand and I'm aware that other hands might be more complex.

6. Having obtained my father's Y-DNA and my mit DNA, the next stage is understanding the results in greater depth.

7.Whilst I will remain a One-Placer, there are a couple of surnames which recur time and again during these studies, Ashworth and Bridge being the main culprits. I am planning to start a limited surname study into those names in this area (Bridge is already GOON-registered and I don't want to study beyond the immediate area) and plan to have an online presence for at least one of these in 2016. Whether that is on this site or linked to it has still to be decided.

8. I have long meant to look at the history of non-conformity in the area in the C17 and early C18 centuries and the circumstances which made it take hold here. This will be the year that I finally begin to get on with it. It will probably be mainly secondary sources this year to try and establish a background.

9. I will look at Dear Myrtle's get organised project but can't promise to complete it every week. A good tidy up is long overdue but this may not be the year

10. Finally, and the one which may scupper the others, I will take a serious look at doing the Oxford Local History Course this year. This has been on my wish list for some time and may be achievable this year…if I let most of the others drop…