Alan began by describing examples of surprises and luck in his family research journey. Most family historians would almost die for an album of ancestors carefully compiled with names on all photographs as serendipitously came Alan's way! His reflections on issues such as 'we hope our ancestors are good people', 'setting the record straight' and whether to 'publish and be damned' gave us much to think about. He encouraged us to think outside the square, using the example of his checking the moon cycles for a date when a family member reputedly walked quite a distance and finding would have been possible as it was a full moon! Alan also spoke about recently reading Anna Funder's book, Wifedom, leading him to reflect and research more deeply into the role of women in his family.
Alan's book, 'Boots Gold and Wool', which follows his Henderson great grandfather's line, is an excellent example of an approach to writing family history which is both engaging and academically written. He has left a copy with us which is available for borrowing. He also left a list of references and we are hoping to add his power point presentation to the website in the coming weeks for those who were unable to attend.
A most enjoyable and informative session which left us with much to think about!
At our next session on Thursday 26 October at 2pm, bring along stories written for September ‘Setting the Record Straight’ or ‘Family Mystery – the Case of the …..’
and/or October's topics ‘Contact with a local Historical society’ or ‘An Interview with a family member’. Check the Family Stories Topic List 2023 for more details.