Friday, 12 December 2014

What's in a name?

Those who read this blog regularly know that musings on names are nothing new to me, but I've been thinking lately of the names of virtues or 'grace names' that were popular first names for girls in particular in much of the western world from about the 17th century onwards. These are names such as Prudence, Patience, Faith, Hope, Joy, etc.

I think it's quite interesting that the names Prudence, Temperance, Constance and Patience were far more common in the 19th century than Faith, Hope, Love, or Joy. So clearly, the Victorians, on the whole, wanted daughters who were well-behaved and sober, rather than happy and hopeful.

Some of the weirder names were found in the Puritan period, both here and in the USA - unfortunately, some people took taking names from words in the Bible a little too literally, leading to children named such bizarre things as Job-raked-out-of-the-ashes and Continent. Slightly more common (but still not in wide use) were names such as Humanity, Silence, Experience, Diligence, and Tribulation.

Names were also not always gender ascribed in the way we would do so today. Hope was a name for both men and women, for example. The name Christian was not usually used for a boy; it was however relatively common as a girl's name until about the mid-nineteenth century.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Welsh family history (Coming Home) and a series from a little further away (WDYTYA? USA)

Thought I'd let you all know that the Welsh family history series Coming Home starts tonight on BBC1 Wales at 7.30pm. Viewers outside the region will be able to see it on iPlayer.

Though the celebrities may not have the razzle-dazzle of a big series like Who Do You Think You Are? the programmes are well presented, interesting, and, at half an hour long, perfect to slip in between other things you want to see.

On a similar note, the digital TV channel Watch has been showing Who Do You Think You Are? USA in the UK (if that makes sense,) to allow us here in Britain to see the US episodes which the BBC may not have decided to screen, or have screened at off-peak times in the middle of the night (they have the habit of putting WDYTYA?USA on at 11.35 or a similar time, with little to no advertising, and choosing a selection of episodes as opposed to purchasing the entire series. Although, the editing the BBC does perhaps makes it more suited to British audiences.) So keep an eye on the schedules, as Watch have been repeating them and are likely to continue to do so.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The WW1 Christmas Ad

I assume you've seen this year's Sainsbury's ad - most people have. It reminds everyone of the Christmas truce of course - that time in 1914 where they were no longer Germans or British (or whatever other nationality - there were, after all, many other countries providing soldiers) but just men. Or, more accurately, boys. So many were under 30, and even under 20.

I'm a little torn about this event being used to publicise a supermarket - millions died, so buy your sparkling wine here, seems a little odd to be honest; on the other hand, many will see it as a lovely tribute - the advert itself was fairly good, after all. What do you think? Do you feel that it's appropriate? Inappropriate? Somewhere in the middle?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Last chance to order that special Christmas gift!

Hi everyone,

A reminder that if you would like to order research for Christmas, I can only accept Christmas orders on or before 21st November. Don't miss out on the chance to order a very special Christmas present for someone (or even yourself!)

21st November is the very last date I can accept orders for Christmas - so get them in soon!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

WW1 Commemorations

There's a lot of resources now available to learn about and commemorate the First World War.

If you want to learn more there's a couple of sites that it might be worth you looking at. For some striking images, I recommend the Google Cultural Institute page. Whereas, for a look at all sorts of aspects of the First World War, including remembrance, artwork, interactive guides, and resources for schools and pupils, you need not look further than the BBC History World War One homepage.

I hope you find in an interest in WW1 - and perhaps your family's part in it - that lasts beyond this week.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

A Poppy

This is a little something I put together for this year's Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. 100 years since the whole world changed forever. (By the way, feel free to use this image as long as you don't edit it in any way.)

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Quick Reminder - Last date for Xmas Orders

Sorry I haven't posted much lately - been very busy! Still have a little space left for Christmas orders though - so make sure you order by 21st November so that you don't miss out!