History Talks


You can download a leaflet about my talks here.


Family and Local History Talks

I Can Do a Talk for your Society or Group  
A wordle using Family History, Local History, World War One, Home Front, Soldiers' Records, Census Returns, Parish Records, Cudworth, Worsborough, Electoral Registers, Trade Directories, Maps, Newspapers, Barnsley
My Experience 

I have been studying Family and Local History for over twenty years.  When people ask me how far back I have got with my family tree I usually answer that for me it's not getting some kind of 'high score' in the 1600's that excites me but rather trying to find out WHY and WHEN and WHERE and HOW the people I am researching. 
  • Why did my father's Essex agricultural labourer ancestors move to  Durham in the 1860s and become coal miners?
  • How was it possible for one of my husband's ancestors in 1810 to court and marry a girl from Manchester when his home town was Castleford in West Yorkshire?
  • What was it like for the women left behind when their men went to war in 1914-1919?
  • Where was that street my ancestors lived, what was it like, when was it built and if it's not there now when was it demolished and why?
  • How do you find out what is available to look at online or in the local area to help you find out about your family?
I've done quite a few talks in the past few years, to small audiences at the Barnsley Family History Society and as part of Team Building days when I worked for a living.  I've spoken on the basics of Getting Started on your Family History, on using Electoral Rolls for research, on how to find and interpret various records that provide evidence for our ancestors' births, marriages and deaths, on researching occupations in Barnsley, and most recently on the experiences of Barnsley soldiers and their families in the First World War.

I've presented at large conferences of Family and Community historians on researching pubs in Sheffield and First World War Soldiers and I've had articles published in various different family history society journals and newsletters.  I edited a local history book for a group in Heeley, Sheffield which had to be reprinted because it sold out so fast!  I write a successful blog, A Barnsley Historian's View, which has had over 250,000 page views on more than 270 blog posts as of January 2017.

I Can Do a Talk for YOU 

I can tailor a talk to your requirements by, for example choosing local examples of World War One soldiers and their families to talk about or by using local census records and maps to illustrate a talk on your area.
  • Investigating Your Family History - from the very beginning if you've never tried it before or a more advanced talk on resources to consider once you have a basic tree
  • Hatches, Matches and Dispatches - how recording these events has changed over time, why the records are important and what they can tell us about our ancestors
  • The Census - What is it anyway? Why do we have one? Understanding its limitations but examining the huge contribution it can make to your family's story
  • First World War Soldiers' Stories - three stories told in depth of the men and their families, before, during and after the war using records that are easily available. I can customise this talk to include a solider from your area.
  • Using Barnsley’s Electoral Rolls - Not just a boring list of names, you can use the clues these provide alongside other resources to give fresh  insights into your family.  These methods would be transferable to any town or city in England.
  • A Visit to the Pub in the Time of Queen Victoria - using Inventories to get a feel of the pub experience in the 1840s
These titles are just suggestions, why not get in touch with me and discuss your requirements?  

Email me at barnsleyhistorian@gmail.com or read more of my blog http://barnsleyhistorian.blogspot.co.uk/ to see some of the things I like to talk about.

The Small Print

I can bring my own laptop and I have my own digital projector if you don't have one.  If you have your own equipment I can bring my talk on a DVD or memory stick, but please let me have a quick visit or phone conversation in advance to ensure everything will work OK.

I am available during the day within public transport range of Barnsley and in the evenings when I can probably arrange to travel a bit further.  I will need at least a month's notice to customise a talk to your own requirements and to arrange my travel.

I need to charge enough to cover reasonable travel, research expenses and time, and a little bit on top so I can buy some more books - so shall we say from £35 for a 1 to 1½ hour talk, with a break in the middle if you want and some time for questions at the end?  Travel over 20 miles or so will be a little extra. I'm open to negotiation!


You can download a leaflet about my talks here.

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