The last few weeks I have spent most evenings transcribing information from the IGI and the GRO indexes into my trusty notebook.
I have now completed all the IGI records and all the births up to 2005. Just this week I made a start on the GRO marriages.
I have prepared a spreadsheet to eventually capture all the details. However I am not yet convinced this is the way I want to go. So the IT options are still open.
I used to think that the GRO index was infallible and that any mistakes on Ancestry for example would be down to incorrect transcription. I now realise how naive I was.
I discovered duplicate entries and one person registered three times!
So my biggest lesson so far – check the information, then check it again and again if necessary. Always try to find the original document, record or index.
Because I have been concentrating so much on the One Name Study I haven’t done much of anything else.
I still have to join the Guild of One Name Studies and register the Espley name. I decided to wait a while until I gathered more information – especially about the origins of the name and the variants I want to include in the study. At the moment I am thinking that the variant spellings will be – Esply, Esplee, Aspley and Asply.
I know that there is an Espley Group on Facebook and my wife (Jayne) has joined them. Perhaps that might also be a source of information.
I started work on my “Espley One-Name Study” on 29 October.
I don’t know if other people keep manuscript notes but it certainly works for me. So I have today finished transcribing the GRO births for 1837-1915 in to a new reference book I started just for this project.
My next step is to tackle the birth records on the IGI.
I have also registered a website domain name for when I am ready to publish the results of my study.
Things still to to do
- join The Guild of One-Name Studies and register the Espley name with them
- more research about computer software options
- prepare a plan for when I finish recording the IGI births
- continuing research on the Espley name – locations, historical facts etc.
I will be doing other family history tasks as well – so the “one-name study” will take a back seat from time to time.
This last week I have also been indexing census and draft records for Family Search. So it seems as though I have spent every spare minute in front of the lap top.
May be time for an IT break – then again may be not!
I don’t really remember what got me interested in looking at my family history. I used to talk to my mum and dad quite a lot about their childhood, memories and family. Although I always found it fascinating I can’t think there was a particular spark that lit the fire.
I’ve just been to look at the early certificates I ordered and they date from 1996 – so I guess that was the time when I really started searching and spending money.
Of course this was well before the Internet became a vital source of information. My wife, Jayne, and I spent many hours in the local and family history section of the Central Library in Leeds. This section is down some long, dark and narrow passages – well away from “normal” library users.
All the birth, marriage and death registers were on magnetic tape. If you’ve been researching a while you know the sort of thing I mean. Reels of tape had to fed through the spools on the “reader” machines. I’ve lost count of how many times we put them in upside down or backwards way round.
In those days you had to book time on the viewing machines. The local and family history section was always busy and if you managed to get a couple of hours on a machine you were lucky.
The other main source of information is the International Genealogical Index (IGI). This is an index of genealogical information maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You probably know them better as the Mormons.
Anyway the IGI contains birth, marriage and death records from several sources including church and parish records. Back in 1996 the IGI was only available on Microfiche at the library. These days it is readily available online at http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp
Whenever we had time we would set off for the library with a packed lunch ready to spend time looking for that elusive record. Now I know you’re thinking it sounds a bit like train spotting but at least it was indoors.
Until you’ve experienced it then it’s hard to describe the excitement of finding the entry you’ve been looking for after trawling through reels and reels of tape because you didn’t have an accurate date.