Feb 052016

Our most recent HangoutOnAir is now available to view on YouTube. This kicked off our Shared Endeavour for this year with a chat about photographs of your place and how you might use them for your one-place study. We covered such ground as:

  • Is being accosted by present-day residents concerned by your paparazzi antics a good thing?
  • Who might have photos of your place, and might you get cake while they show them to you?
  • Are you emotionally prepared for the auction price of a picture postcard of your place?
  • Were any of your residents an artist's muse?
  • What year were the windows in the arcade of the hotel installed?
  • Are school photos an excellent resource or agism by stealth?

You can watch here. It does come to rather an abrupt end as the last 15 minutes have disappeared into cyberspace but perhaps you can spend that time making a quick assessment of your photographic library for your place!

Alex Coles

Jan 192016

Is it possible that we are now in our third year as a Society? Apparently so! And so we enter our third year of Shared Endeavour projects. Having looked previously at World War One (2014) and Migration (2015), this year the baton passes to me to lead, motivate and enthuse one-placers about Visualisation (or Visualization, depending on where you are resident across the globe). This spelling will cause issues throughout the year but, if it’s OK with you, I'll stick to my spelling throughout the project!

SFamily-Wis16011823380So, visualisation – what’s it all about? Well, anything that helps to build a visual picture of your one-place study! From photographs, postcards and maps, to the marks that people left on the community itself in terms of plaques, gravestones, memorials and other physical features… There is so much which can be collected aside from the record sets which we often focus our attention on when researching the families within the communities. Let's move away from the parish registers and the censuses for a while!

What do you have in the way of photographs of your place? My studies are of two very small rural Devonshire communities and photographs are few and far between from yesteryear. However, I have ‘catalogued’ the villages in more recent times and my visit to the community was very fruitful in terms of connecting with the current residents – I'll tell you more at the Hangout later this week (Wednesday 20th January at 3pm GMT)! Perhaps you can join us to share your photographs and ideas about photographing your place?

Let Suzie know if you'd like to join us 'in the room' and of course, you can watch the Hangout afterwards on YouTube.

Kirsty Gray

Jan 082016

What's the smallest size a one-place study can be? A single house! These littlest one-place studies can be an ordinary residence or a large estate, and studying a single property throughout its existence can be very rewarding.

My Homes Past aims to tell a house's story through photographs. If you have a UK one-place study, perhaps there's some old photographs there for houses within your one-place study, or perhaps you have photos to share with them?

You'll want to move beyond just images, though, to undertake a one-place study of a single property and truly tell the tales of the people who lived and worked there. Most of the things that can be researched for an OPS also apply to a single property, even if they only apply in miniature! Hoar Oak Cottage is an example of such a study. Bette and the Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage took part in our WW1 project for members, producing a Roll of Honour for the cottage that may be understandably short on names but is long on the details of those men's war stories.

There are professional house historians who research particular houses for their clients or real estate agents. Follow Melanie Backe-Hansen (@HouseHistorian) on Twitter for interesting commentary and tips from her life as a professional house historian. There's also an audio interview with here that you might like to listen to here.

If you'd prefer some offline (or ebook) reading, Gill Blanchard's book Tracing Your House History is definitely worth taking a look at (members, we have a review of Gill's book in our Member section).

Alex Coles

Dec 242015



The team at the Society for One-Place Studies would like to send all one-placers good wishes for the Christmas season. Now may be a good time to watch our 2013 Hangout-on-air about seasonal traditions in our places. We hope that 2016 will bring peace and goodwill to your place, along with plenty of exciting research finds. Thank you very much for your support during 2015 and we trust that 2016 will be a fruitful year for our society and its members.

Dec 222015

The presentations that were given at our annual conference Moving In, Moving Out, Moving On are now all available on the Society's YouTube Channel. Take a look at:-

The Life, Times (and migration in and out) of Porcupine Kirsty Gray—Porcupine, Cornwall One-Place Study

The Impact of the Textile Industry on Migration in an East Lancashire Community Janet Barrie - Springhill, Rossendale, Lancashire One-Place Study www.springhillhistory.org.uk

Those who left and those who stayed: the people of Long Melford, Suffolk, 1661-1861 Dr Lyn Boothman—Long Melford, Suffolk One-Place Study

Moved by Faith: the impact of religion on migration choices in nineteenth century Devon Kim Baldacchino—Bratton Clovelly, Devon One-Place Study http://brattonclovellyops.com