Madness and success

14 September 2015

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to FWL! Oh my goodness gracious me – 730 blogs! Every single day for two years…. That’s madness! For those who have missed out in life, Madness was an amazing English ska band which formed in 1976. Known originally as the Invaders (formed by Mike Barson, Chris Foreman and Lee Thompson), the band changed their name to Morris and the Minors in early 1978 and added Mark Bedford, Graham “Suggs” McPherson, Chas Smash and Dan Woodgate before changing their name to Madness in late 1978. Anyway, I digress….

Nearly three and a half years ago, FWL was born. After much thought and  a whole host of possible names being banded about, Ma & Pa FWL came up with the name Family Wise Limited. It had a certain ring to it…. and of all the names, it said what we wanted to say to the big wide world. The brand has always been very important to me and, as I have expanded the team (something I never dreamed I would do!), the crucial skills for new team members have always been ‘personality‘ and ‘ethics‘. Working at FWL is quite frankly ‘bonkers‘ most days of the week – that’s what makes it a special place to work. The best and most senior researchers on the team are not necessarily the most well-known in the field or the most experienced on paper, but they have personality and ethics in bucket loads. That is what makes FWL so successful.

I blog about business, about genealogy, about local and social history, about networking, about random twaddle and more…. FWL is a House of Fun and our research often takes us One Step Beyond. There is no other place like it. Two years ago, FWL was in a very different place to where it is now. From a small office, we have now developed into a global entity with offices worldwide. Over my last (almost) two decades in genealogical research, I have made many hundreds (nay thousands) of friends in the field, met some super talented individuals and made steps up a ladder I never even knew existed. Two years ago, I was nominated in the Rockstar Genealogist Awards and won the Gold Medal (2013) for the UK – I didn’t even know what it was, but I won! Last year, I nominated one of my longest standing and closest genie-friends, Dr. Janet Few, and I was delighted to see her win the Gold Medal in 2014. And now, we await the announcement of this year’s Superstar (Gold Medal) awards…. It is (quite frankly) madness that I am even nominated alongside 150 other genealogists across the globe. I really am not worthy.

Already many of my genie-mates have been recognised as Silver and Bronze medal winners (announced today) and we will await the Superstars of tomorrow and the Top Ten listings for each region later this week. Some people question why we have this survey each year? I’ll leave you to make your own judgement on that one. However, I would personally like to thank John D. Reid for providing the platform for genealogists across the world to be recognised for their work each year. Maybe this year’s winners could have a Gold Medal/logo of some sort to display on their websites/headed paper etc.? Thoughts only…

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