Oct 112016
Ch 01 Group Study or One Man Band

A Chance To Meet Other One-Placers

In just one month, on 11 November, we will be gathering in Swindon for the start of our third one-place studies conference. On the Friday we have the excitement of a visit to the Historic England Archive. I, for one, am really looking forward to this part of the proceedings. This archive was the source of some great 1948 sale particulars for one of my places. As usual, we shall be eating together on the Friday evening. A venue has been identified and we shall be sending details to attendees shortly.

Our conference venue is the Holiday Inn Express in Bridge Street, Swindon and a number of the attendees will be staying there overnight. We are fortunate to have such a wealth of experience amongst our members and five of them will be sharing aspects of their one-place research on the theme of  ‘Portraying your Place and its People’, So you can learn about mapping, landscape, postcards, collaboration in one-place studies or errr walking in your onesie. Surely it has got to be worth coming if only for the last! It is often the case that one of the most valuable parts of the day is getting to know each other and informally sharing experiences, there will be plenty of opportunities for networking over the two days. I am looking forward to meeting members and non-members alike next month.

Janet Few

Sep 242016

This month's HangoutOnAir returned us to the 2016 Shared Endeavour of Visualisation. The mini-theme for the hangout was The Places Within Our Places and looked at how names on maps can give us clues.

Kirsty gave us an introduction to place names, building names, street names and other geographical markings found on maps for her places. Older maps, while beautiful, generally won’t be in enough detail to show things within your place but from the 19th century more detailed maps became available. One source is Cassini who have a variety of maps for purchase – watch out for their Old Parish Maps showing the boundary and contents of each parish for 1911 census purposes (bonus for overseas residents with UK places – you won’t pay the 20% VAT on your Cassini maps).

Tithe maps will show property boundaries and the type of land use for each property, and you'll get a good visual representation of housing/buildings vs farmland vs forestation. The accompanying schedules give details of street and building names (plus details of owners and occupiers). These names may offer more clues – Lamb Park, North Wood Park, and Higher New Meadow all suggest what these portions of land looked like, how they were used (at one stage at least), and how long they might have existed, comparatively speaking. If you spot Kennels or Stables in your place you probably had a hunt based there. Cottages may be named after a former resident. If you had a "Do-As-You-Like Street" – well, watch the video to find out!

Peter then made us all extremely envious by showing off some of his handiwork producing a reference book of maps of his place. This clearly shows you the additions and removals of physical features over time. If you can visit your local record office, doing the same is an excellent idea. He also gave us a heads up re LIDAR to visualise the lie of the land, and Janet had an amusing story demonstrating that what you think you can see might be something else entirely!

The Hangout does have a UK focus, but while the specific resources mentioned would not be of use to those with one-place studies in other parts of the world the general principles remain the same. We’d love to hear from you with comments about the maps for your place, particularly if outside the UK. Watch the Hangout anytime at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9WD5vBOTqw and post a comment either there or here about your own experiences.

We also had a momentary diversion to agricultural surveys in the written form rather than visual – UK’s General View of Agriculture surveys that have been published by county can be found on Wikipedia , from whence you can take yourself to Google Books/Internet Archive/libraries and local archives to take a gander at the survey itself.

Alex Coles

Sep 202016

This month’s Hangout will see a return to our Shared Endeavour topic of Visualisation. In the past, we have discussed photographs and postcards, newspapers and also, the 1939 National Register. This time, it’s all about the ‘lie of the land’.


Devon Heritage Centre: IR 30/9/262

How can we visualise the lie of the land in our one-place studies two hundred years ago? One hundred years ago? At the outbreak of World War One or World War Two? What resources might available to research the changes over time? Depending on the size and the location of the community, the answers will clearly vary and it is hoped that many one-place studiers will join us for the Hangout and share their resources, discoveries and more with the one-place community.

For my part, I hope to reveal some challenges I have faced in relation to sources and the lack of information available about my two small Devon places through time, as well as identifying how to overcome these issues and build a bigger picture of the community by studying the places within our places.

Kirsty Gray

Secretary: Society for One-Place Studies

Sep 072016

In the midst of all the sadness of the Somme, it's nice to find a note of joy. It may be a serviceman who was able to marry his sweetheart before heading off to France, or the man who made it home on leave a few months before he was killed. These must have been a happy event at the time, and a grateful memory afterwards.

Oscar's story is in many ways the archetypal WWI story. He married in August 1916, was sent to France in September, and was killed in October. However one part of the story that is not so common is that he did have a fellow Wing man (and his new brother-in-law to boot) by his side when he died.

Oscar was the eldest of ten children born to Charles Rimington and Grace Amelia Earp, who had married in Charles' native Nottingham. The family had come to Wing Buckinghamshire soon afterward where Oscar was born in the hamlet of Littleworth in 1893. Many of Wing's new arrivals in this era had specifically come to work at Ascott, the summer home of Leopold and Marie de Rothschild, and so it was with the Rimington family - Charles worked for them as a groom, and lived in one of the Littleworth cottages owned by the Rothschilds.

All three of the Rimington sons eventually worked at the Ascott estate as well, the two youngest as grooms like their father, however Oscar is listed as a hall boy at Ascott House in the 1911 census. He'd been promoted to telegraph clerk by 1913 (that snippet of information comes courtesy of a nasty incident reported in the Bucks Herald that year when a workman tried to commit suicide and Oscar had helped save him).

Then war intervened. Oscar had certainly enlisted by February 1915 as he's amongst those listed in the parish magazine as serving in some capacity. Demonstrating his family's evident affinity for horses, he signed up with the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars (Oxfordshire Yeomanry). He was part of the 2/1st Oxfordshire Yeomanry which stayed in England and did not serve overseas.

Unfortunately for Oscar, he did not stay in the QOOH. At some point, he transferred to the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI), joining the 6th Battalion as a private, service number 32854. He was presumably given notification of his imminent mobilisation to France, after which he married local Wing girl Sarah Emily May Pitchford on 19 August 2016 before heading off to his overseas duty in mid-September.

At this point the 6th Battalion of the OBLI was active on the Somme, having taken part in the attack on Guillemont on 3rd September but now having a break from the front line trenches. They were based at Carnoy Valley from the 22nd September through to 6th October. The attack they were to take part in the next day was the only major attack that Oscar took part in.

The battalion's role on 7 October was to attack the German front line and drive the Germans out, after which the Le Transloy-Thilloy-Warlencourt-Faucourt line could be attacked a few days later. The 6th Battalion's part in this - attacking Rainbow Trench - was sucessful. After 4 minutes of defensive machine-gun fire the Germans abandoned the trench and ran back to their second line, leaving the OBLI men to wriggle through or jump over the 2 1/2 feet high barbed-wire fence and move in. The 8th September was spent consolidating the position, after which they moved on to Bernafay Wood that evening, and the Bray-Albert road on the 9th. It was at some point during this process that Oscar lost his life. While his death was officially recorded as 9th October, the register of soldiers effects suggests it was at some time between the 6th and the 9th.

Wing's parish magazine for November 1916 reported:

"Pte. Oscar Rimington was killed while taking part in a reconnoitring expedition. His brother-in-law, Archie Pitchford, was at his side when he fell, and thought he was wounded in the shoulder, but the Chaplain wrote later that he was shot through the head. In his letter he says: “Dear Mrs. Rimington, I regret to inform you that your husband has been killed in the recent fighting. He and other comrades laid their own lives for their country when taking part in a brave and successful piece of work. The whole battalion sympathises with you in your loss. May God give you comfort.” His platoon officer also wrote regretting the loss of a good soldier. Oscar Rimington was in charge of the telephone at Ascott House for some years, and was known as a trusty and excellent young man. Since his father died he has been a great comfort and help to his mother and her large family. He joined the Queen’s Own Oxford Hussars in January, 1915, and in France was attached to the Oxon. and Bucks. L.I. He was married two months ago, and went abroad immediately after."

It's nice to think that Oscar had family from Wing with him at the end.

Alex Coles

Sep 032016

Australian expo 2016 graphic 2016-0525 with quote a


As Australians prepare for their major genealogy event, we invited Alona Tester from Unlock the Past to tell us more.


Unlock the Past's Australian History & Genealogy Expo 2016 is coming and it's big ... ok, it's not to the size of RootsTech or Who Do You Think You Are? Live! ... but it's big by Australian genealogy conference standards. In fact, it's the biggest we've had.

The Expo is being organised by Unlock the Past, who along with being one of Australia's leaders in promoting history and genealogy, have organised Expo's and other events around Australia and as well as held genealogy cruises over the past few years.

This Expo will be held over two days (Friday and Saturday), and has over 35 guest speakers, 90 talks, and over 100 exhibitors. Many exhibitors and speakers are making the trip to Adelaide from interstate, with some even coming from overseas.

There will be workshops, getting started talks, advanced talks and one-on-one Research Help Zone sessions with experts, together with demos and more happening in the Expo hall.

October 7-8, 2016 is the date to note in your diary, and it is being held at Immanuel College, 32 Morphett Road, Novar Gardens, South Australia. Admission cost is $15/1 day; $20/2 days, 18 and under free.

The Speakers
The speakers are coming from all around Australia with a few from overseas too:
- Dr Tom Lewis (author and military historian)
- Philip Payton (well-known authority on Cornish history, and Australia in WW1)
- Brad Argent (Ancestry UK)
- Jeremy Austin (Australian DNA Database Project)
- John Donaldson (Family Tree Maker specialist)
- Greg Drew (South Australian mining history)
- Andrew Gildea (from Finders Cafe)
- Jan Gow (well-known speaker from NZ, who will be talking on Legacy and other topics)
- John Graham (from Ryerson Index)
- Rob Hamilton (expert on Freemasonry records)
- Shauna Hicks (well-known Australian genealogy presenter)
- Rosemary Kopittke (expert with online sites, and other topics)
- Janette Lange (from the Lutheran Archives)
- Sylvia Murphy (from the Families in British India Society)
- Madeleine Regan (from the Veneto Market Gardeners Oral history Project)
- Christeen Schoepf (from the Cheer-up Hut)
- Sally Stephenson (from the Oral History Association SA/NT)
- Helen Smith (expert in medical history, DNA, methodology and many other topics)
- Richard Wilson (from DatacomIT)
and many more ... click here for the full list.

The Topics
The list of topics covered is extensive, and covers everything from Cornish emigration to DNA, health history, using maps, German genealogy, using FamilySearch, MyHistory, dating 19th century photos, oral history, Findmypast, Family Tree Maker, print options for your family history, police history, military history, digitising and preserving historical documents, basic charting, Family Historian, sporting ancestors, mining ancestors, flour milling ancestors, Ryerson Index and the list goes on.  View the current program here.

The Exhibitors
The exhibitor list is long, and you can look through the full list for yourself here, but there are all the big name players (Ancestry, Findmypast, FamilySearch and MyHeritage), there is a photo restoration business, a video/audio/old movie conversion company, libraries, societies, football club archives, a researcher, history and military publishers, several printers for those looking at doing a book, MacKiev (new owners of Family Tree Maker), the local oral history group, and the Society of One Place Studies will be there, and a whole heap of others including: Geopast, Finders Cafe, and Teapot Genealogy.

It’ll be a whole lot of fun, a whole lot of learning, and there’s bound to be lots of specials on offer from the vendors.

More Info
Website: www.unlockthepast.com.au/AustralianExpo2016
Email: inquiries@unlockthepast.com.au
Phone: (08) 8263 2055
Book: click here

Alona Tester

Although the Society for One-place Studies is not able to have a stand, we hope that the Expo will be an opportunity for one-placers to get together and exchange ideas.