Always learning…. and the FWL network

18 March 2016

In a previous life (and sometimes still in the current one), I was an educator. I educated the children of our future. When I left school, I did a degree in Chemistry, favouring Physics and the more mathematical options of the course. It’s strange the memories which stay with you. I remember, as a student, being very bad at Biology. I look back at my reports and my memory serves me well. My teachers clearly recognised that this was not my strongest subject!

A Masters degree in Chemistry is perhaps not the most obvious precursor to my current career but, back in 1066 when I left school, if I had spoken to a Careers Adviser and said that I wanted to be the Managing Director of an international specialist in family history and intestacy research, I think they would have laughed at me. So instead, I completed my Masters degree in Chemistry and proceeded to bumble through the next few years doing various jobs from Accounts Manager at Prudential to Deputy Manager of a residential facility for adults with learning difficulties and a whole host of other interesting roles. A year of teacher training under my belt, I taught for ten years (first Science and then a swift transfer to Maths) but family history has always been a part of my life.

Starting young is a good thing. I earned my stripes before all these digitised records were available. I found my great-great-great-grandparents in Cheshunt in the 1851 census the hard way. I made my mistakes and barked up the wrong tree. I photocopied and photographed archive material with no reference to the source, and I continue to kick myself as I look back at my early research into my own family tree. However, all of this has made me a better researcher.

Magic wand at the ready, this week has presented a few challenges for sure. Tracing family trees in Africa, Europe, Canada and more…. how do we obtain certified copies of certificates from X (location)….? The learning never ends! And if we don’t know the answer or can’t get to the right location to search the records, our network is vast. Thank you to the researcher (who will remain nameless but you know who you are!) who kindly dropped everything to look up three crucial records for us today. Hopefully, that will give us the edge we need over our ‘competitors’. Much appreciated….

Are you any good at wand wiggling? Do you have what it takes to be a professional researcher and Heir Hunter? Get in touch. The team is expanding…. with a whole host of exciting projects.

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