Travels to the West Country

20 March 2015

Friday has been something of a different beast this week. Normally, it begins with a BNI meeting in Bath but today, I had a lie in! No networking for me (however, I have done a lot already this week, to be frank)…. 7am departure to collect one of the star team players at FWL and then an ‘alternative route’ down to Exeter to the Devon Heritage Centre (the usual one being M4/M5 when travelling from Calne). Partial eclipse of the Sun aside, the journey was fairly uneventful and the company made a welcome change to my usual individual travel plans.

The list of research requests was longer than both arms and legs with many ‘needle in a haystack’ searches needed but the main reason for the trip was to meet up with some fellow Devon researchers who participated in my January Discover Your Devon Ancestors course. Although we had met via Google+ hangout, it was smashing to meet in person, have coffee and lunch breaks together and share our knowledge with one another.

Of the four missions I was presented with, I achieved reasonably well on most of them, though Roman Catholic marriages caused a few difficulties and general requests like ‘please can you find anything available about X’ went untouched.

The archivists were super helpful (as always) and I came away with wills, various quarter session records but a failed attempt to find a marriage in Exeter in 1875…. I will not be beaten though. I will find out where it took place and why my ‘cardinals’ did not ‘work’.

Having dropped my team member at the M5 Services, I travelled onward to the northern hemisphere of Devon to reside with Dr JF in preparation for a talk to Devon Family History Society, North Devon Group at the Pollyfield Centre, East-the-Water, Bideford tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be honest with you…. An A-Z of Victorian Occupations will be more exciting than the Six Nations match but perhaps not as splendiferous as being a juror at the Manorial Court in Bideford. So, if you have nothing more interesting to do with your Saturday afternoon and you happen to live in the near proximity, see you there at 2pm….

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