2018 ambitions

It's the time of year again when we review achievements over the last year and set ones for the one ahead. So here goes:

The main success of 2017 was getting the website up and running again. I have no idea what happened there but it seems to be publishing ok now. It was surprising how much not being able to update this site impacted on my motivation for one place studies.

The second was my speaking as the Society of One Place Studies conference on the role of faith groups in general, and Rev JB Turner of Sion in particular, in conscientious objection in WW1. It was fascinating to get to grips with the reports of the tribunals, sermons and sundry prayer meetings in the Rossendale Free Press and pick out some of the themes which were involved.

An unanticipated highlight was having my article on John Myerscough, Victorian policeman, published in the FACHRS Newsletter. As well as detailing John's life and career in Rawtenstall, this looked at the extent to which local policemen were from outside the local area. The answer? Pretty much totally, in 1881 at any rate.

An unfulfilled objective was to complete Phase 1 of the FACHRS study into nonconformity in my place. This was in part due to family events and in part due to the need to complete the talk to the SOPS conference. I still intend to complete the work as the data is interesting, but it is probably too late for the FACHRS project.

Aims for 2018?

Now I have the documents from the National Archives about the Chancery case between Law and Royds which settled the dispute over Mary Ann Ashworth's will, one aim is to transcribe and upload these and work out what bits of local land were finally settled on each of her two nieces, Mary Alice and Elizabeth Ann.

Secondly I intend to try and 'Bridge the Gap' between the Bridge families known to be in the Chapel Hill area in the C17 and those in the same area in C19. Was it the same family in these farms for 200 years? This will involve my dipping my toe into some of the techniques used by one-name or surname researchers and this will help me work out whether a surname study is for me. If so, it will probably be my maternal grandmother's name of Draine as the other candidates (Watkins, Taylor and Hargreaves) are un-doable.

Thirdly I want to continue looking at the role of nonconformity in WW1 conscientious objection locally, possibly writing this up for the local history press somewhere.

I have decided to defer the Oxford Local History course until that parallel universe with plenty of time, probably the one which will hopefully start after I retire.

Here's to a happy and productive New Year!