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Irish Genealogy: Day 15 in Chippenham, England

Cousin Wilma's garden in Chippenham

    I left my apartment at  6 a.m. this morning for the airport and my flight to London.  I’m always sad leaving Ireland.  It’s been a good trip, but I never have time to accomplish all I want.  Each year I want to spend more time.  

    As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I was very excited to be visiting cousin Wilma in Chippenham, England.    This is not the first time that someone has connected with me through my website.  Last year, I was able to make contact with a descendant of the Morley family in Mayo which filled in some information on one of my husband’s lines.   I have to say that for a while I was down on the idea of putting my information on the Internet.   Early on, a relative, to whom I had provided a written summary of my research on our common line, retyped the information into her database (making many mistakes), changed things that didn’t agree with her findings (although all mine were sourced and explained) and with no sources or attribution published the information on Ancestry, including living people and my notes.  I was not happy.  By the time I got her to remove it, someone had copied all the information and submitted it to Pedigree Resource File (along with a whopping 150,000 other names) so it is currently available with all its errors on a CD.  It left me with a bad taste.  

    Over the past few years, however, I have reconsidered.  First, to publish the information myself, with all my sources and explanations, puts accurate information out.  I don’t publish my notes, but the facts, birth, death, marriage, can’t be copyrighted, so why not share.  Second, and probably more importantly, it is an excellent way to “troll” for cousins.  Isn’t that what we want to do?  We want to connect, and the best way to do it, is to publish your information so others can find it.   In both of the cases over the past two years, cousins have found me through my website.   Third, it provides an excellent backup for your data.  

    Now, back to my visit...it was my first meeting with Wilma, who picked me up at the train station.  After some wonderful fresh scones and strawberries we looked at the family tree and I explained how we were related.  She was considerably younger than her siblings, so she didn’t know a lot about her family history, but remembered her mother talking about my grandmother, Minnie and her visits in 1954 and 1956, and she remembered meeting my Dad who was in the Navy during World War II, at her brother’s home in Aberdeen, Scotland.  We had a lovely dinner at a local inn, and she showed me some of the old villages in the area.  One in particular, Lacock, is where many of the period films are made.   

    Tomorrow I’m back to London to meet  up with the St. Luke’s and St. James’ Choirs for a week of singing at Canterbury, St. Albans, Worcester, Wells and Salisbury.  I’m looking forward to it.

    So this is the end of my genealogy blog and I’ll sign off.  I’ll probably begin writing again in August before the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Knoxville.  I’ll be doing four lectures there, so if you’re going to be there, and attend one of my lectures, say hi, and let me know what you’d like me to write about in the future.

    Have a great summer and Happy Hunting!


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013