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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Guild of One Name Studies Seminar - The Next Generation

Last June an email arrived in my inbox asking if I would be interested in taking part in a seminar for the Guild of One Name Studies entitled The Next Generation. It sounded interesting and I said yes!

The day of the seminar was yesterday and what a great day we had!!

I arrived at Telford at 8.30am after an early start and made my way into the lovely conference centre. I was warmly greeted by Kim Baldacchino and shown up to the conference room where I found Bob Cumberbatch setting up the recording gear - we were going to try to live stream the seminar over a google+ hangout.

Once all the attendees had arrived we got underway and after a lovely introduction by Kirsty Gray I was first up with my lecture called "The Name Collector". I explained what sources I used to collect names for my Tillin One Name Study, how I collected the names and what I did with the names once I found them.  At the end I was lucky enough to get a nice round of applause and some really interesting questions.

Then it was time for coffee break. During the break we discovered that someone lived 2 doors down from a Tilling family so they were going to pass on my details - the first of many contacts made that day. I also discovered I wasn't the only accountant in the room!

Kirsty was next up with a presentation about how to make sense of the data and ideas on how to synthesise the data into families or other groupings. It was really interesting how DNA had stopped a lot of wasted time and effort in her Sillifant One Name Study too.

Then Karen Bailey gave a fab presentation about how to publicise your study - I picked up lots of ideas - she really is a marketing expert! Karen runs the Westpfel One Name Study.

Lunch provided us with time to have a chat with other attendees - what a lovely bunch of people they were! I saw a fabulous 9 page family tree created by Patricia Kearns and heard about her Swadling One Name Study. There was also a possible connection to my Northern Irish Ancestry - nothing to do with my one name study but I'd mentioned it in my lecture and it rang a bell with one of the attendees!. We had discussions about facebook and who responds to One Name Study messages, what to do with all the paper and backups and even some non-genealogy related chat!

We were then back to the lecture room  where Kirsty told us about the Facebook Genealogist and ways to use social media. Even as a fairly experienced user of social media I learned some tips and tricks. Watch out for a Tillin One Name Study facebook page soon!

After a technology break, Amy Smith took the stand and what an amazing job she did! Amy is the youngest member of the guild with a study into the surname Dilley. She has just achieved an A grade HPQ by producing a piece of writing about the murderer James Dilley and performing all the research then combining the facts with the fiction. The atmosphere in the room when Amy read excerpts from her piece was phenomenal and I'm so pleased I was there to experience it.

Our final speaker of the day was Rosemary Smith who joined us via Google+ Hangouts from Canada. Unfortunately Rosemary couldn't hear us but we could see and hear her pefectly - what a brilliant invention!!! Rosemary spoke about how to preserve our genealogy so that we could still access it in the future.

At the end Rosemary described how she could see the sun rising from her window in Canada but for us in Telford the sun was starting to set on the end of a great day. If all Guild seminars are like this one I would definitely recommend it for members and non-members - there's a list available here. I'm definitely going to try to make it to the one in Burgess Hill in November.

What a fab day, so many new ideas and lovely people - highly recommended!!!

And now due to the wonders of technology the seminar can be seen here on youtube.

Do you have a surname you're interested in? Would you like to join the guild? If you have any questions please ask.

The other thing I realised yesterday was how much I actually enjoy standing in front of a room full of people and talking about something I'm really interested in - which may sound odd to some! If you'd like me to speak at an event please get in touch either from the comments below or via my website or facebook page or drop me an email.


  1. You were amazing, Jo - totally recommend that people book you for events!

    1. Thank you Kirsty - I really did enjoy it and would love to have another go sometime