Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Back in Business (sort of!)

We all go through periods when our hobbies have to take a back seat because of other activities. The last few years have been like that for me.  It isn’t that I haven't been doing any research on the Parry ONS. I have.  But it's been more like treading water, than making real progress.  Hopefully, things will improve this year (although I may still “drop out” for a week or so, at times.)

It will be a slow restart - as I write about in my "Not just the Parrys" blog at http://notjusttheparrys.blogspot.co.uk/, I am currently taking part in Thomas MacEntee's Genealogy Do-Over.  This came at just the right time for me, as I was already planning to start looking at my own personal family history in more detail this year.  I also wanted to make some changes to the Parry ONS, and the way research has sometimes been carried out in the past.  It is going to take time to learn about some of the new tools and to embed improved research practices. But I hope, in time, the result will be a much better organised and presented one-name study.

So what is there to look forward to currently?

The main goal for this year is a new website.  This will be written in WordPress (when I have learned how!), which should enable me to update the site more frequently (as I won't have to write the entire HTML for each page.)  It should also enable better collaboration, through the use of comments.

Talking of collaboration, one thing I have done recently is set up a Parry Name Study on the Wikitree site (http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Parry_Name_Study )  My own Parry ancestry had already been put on the site by someone else, who had probably been in touch with one of my contacts from years ago.  But I decided the best way to respond was to join in and further develop it.  This might seem like duplication with the main Parry Study web site, but I think it is worth sharing on the Wikitree site as well, because that has the potential for involving more Parry researchers, who are already working on their own families.  As I frequently say, Parry is what one might call a “popular” surname (I will always think of Geoff Riggs when I say that, as he encouraged me not to refer to the name as “common”).  I am therefore very reliant on information being shared by other researchers, so anything which helps such information sharing is good.  Wikitree also has features for those who have taken DNA tests, which I think will become important as more people take the tests, especially with two of the DNA companies now actively promoting sales of their kits in the UK.

There has been a bit of “information sharing” over the last month or so, as I have been contacted by seven Parry researchers recently, several of whom sent me information.  One was a request to carry out research for the enquirer – unfortunately, I don't have time for that, even if they were prepared to pay me, so I steered that one towards the list of professional researchers on the SOG site. Three of the other contacts related to Herefordshire Parrys, always favourites of mine.  One was someone I was in touch with years ago, so it was good to renew the contact there.  Of the other two, one of them related to a family I already knew a researcher for, so they are now in touch with each other. Another two of the seven just happen to be descended from the Colston Parry family – a tree I have online at http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~parryresearch/colston.htm .  I had already promised the first of these that I would update the tree with his information as soon as I can, so I am pleased the second wrote before I have done so, as I can now make all the changes at once.

So now there are three trees on my priority list:
-          My own
-          the Parrys from Birley in Herefordshire, and
-          the Colston Parry family from Gloucestershire.

Gordon Adshead posted on the Forum recently about the records of the Middlesex military service appeal tribunal 1916-1918, which have gone online at the National Archives.  There are three Parrys in this and it was a reminder to me that I had intended to produce some posts relating to Parrys in WW1.  I didn't manage that last year for the centenary of the start of the war - but that is no excuse to abandon the rest of my goal regarding this.

So I think that all gives me plenty to be working on for this year as it is.


But, as always, if you have a PARRY in your family history, then do please get in touch.

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