The marvels of random conversations

21 February 2014

If you missed my blog on Monday of this week and/or you are not in any way interested in family history, you may not be aware that yesterday was the first day of Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014 show. This is the first year that the event has been run from Thursday to Saturday and I’ll be honest, yesterday’s attendance seemed – from an exhibitor’s point of view – to be 100 times better than the usual Sunday attendance.

Having been a regular attendee and lecturer – the former for many years, the latter for just a few – I know a lot of people… indeed attending WDYTYA (and other genie fairs) is often as much about networking and socialising as extolling the virtues of whichever organisation I am representing.

Although this year, I have tried not to tie myself down with too many commitments during the event, I spent a lot of time on the Guild of One-Name Studies stand (49-51) yesterday! But, I also managed to rove around a little. A book about Devon from CAB Search (116-119), a book about Internet Sites for Local Historians and a super publication entitled Remembrance and Community: War Memorials and Local History from the British Association for Local History (33 & 42), I was a happy camper.

And then I popped along to see Devon Family History Society who told me they had some new indexes…. Having been a member for numerous years, I was doubtful that there would be a huge amount of *new* information since the last time I had looked on their indexes, especially as my surname interests are very rare (well, not so rare in Devon actually, as it goes!). Firstly, another new spelling of my one-name study surnamePALLOFEANT! From the North Devon Record Office records for Bideford Bowden Green Cemetery, a reference to Mary PALLOFEANT, widow, aged 79 of Torrington Lane was located, her burial taking place on 29 January 1894.

But the best news was a record in the Devon Constabulary Return for 30 April 1865 (Devon Quarter Sessions). Samuel Sillifant – my g-g-grandfather – was in Crockernwell in the Bovey Tracey division, a ‘3rd Cl. Const.’ I knew he has been a prison warder at HMP Dartmoor but never knew he was in the constabulary too.

Thanks @DevonFHS for that and the 25 pages of baptisms from NDRO too. More Sillis to chase down now!

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