for writers and readers….

Family History: research it, write it, share it.

“Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living”

TWO WORKSHOPS in June are going to deal with both those issues…and much more.
Clive Reedman became a professional genealogist after a career in criminal forensics and he applies the skills he acquired in the police force to work out the knotty problems that almost inevitably arise when you are researching your family’s past.

His workshop Start Your Family Tree will cover all the basics so it’s perfect for beginners starting out in their search, but it is also designed to help those struggling to get to grips with generations of potential ancestors all of whom have the same or similar names…

If you want to start your journey into family research this is the place to come. If you’re stuck Clive will help you get unstuck. If you want to push the story back beyond 1841 (the first census) Clive is the perfect guide.

You can listen to Clive and other experts answer questions about ancestors lived in a workhouse for part of their lives in this podcast. It was made by AGRA (the Association of Genealogists & Researchers in Archives) and to hear it click HERE

Eventide: A scene from Westminster Union 1879 by Sir Hubert Von Herkomer. Walker Art Gallery

And what about irritating the living?

That’s where I come in with my workshop on Writing the Biography of Your Family which follows straight after Clive.

It is about putting flesh on the bare bones of census returns and births, marriages and death records. It’s about using the data you’ve gathered and turning it into a non-fiction narrative you can share with your family and perhaps wider afield.

I’ve taught courses like this to undergraduates and adult education students for many years and I know one thing for certain. It is never EVER boring. Every family has an interesting story waiting to be revealed and each one tells us something important about the past.

Picture credit: Augusto Ordóñez

And yes, the results might irritate some of your relatives.

We will look at the ways others have dealt sensitively with issues that might cause concern. Everyone has to come to their own decisions, but my general advice is don’t self-censor right from the start. You might be surprised at the tolerance of family members who recognise that the past is a foreign country.

Both these workshops are part of The Regency Festival of Art, Craft and History at The Regency Town House in Hove, which is in easy reach of train stations, local transport and just metres from the beach.

All the workshops are led by experts in their own field, all of whom are donating their time and knowledge to support this glorious 200 year old building. 

For Clive’s Family History workshop click HERE
For my Family Biography workshop click HERE

Each workshop runs for 2.5 hours (with a decent amount of time for a chat and refreshment break).
Early Bird tickets cost £14 (and at the time of writing there are still some left).
Full price is £18.


4 comments on “Family History: research it, write it, share it.

  1. beth
    May 23, 2022

    how very interesting, and I’m sure there are always surprises and irritation, along with the knowledge that comes

    • bridget whelan
      May 23, 2022

      People often fear that family members will be offended without discussing it with them first. And a lot depends on the actual writing. That’s why I think it is better to write and then share it with the family rather than attempt to second guess what they will or will not find acceptable.

      • beth
        May 24, 2022

        that makes good sense.

  2. bridget whelan
    May 24, 2022

    Of course, some writers don’t feel it is appropriate to consult their family. Every case is different…

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2022 by in News and tagged , , .


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