An experienced and qualified family, social and community historian, Janet has lectured throughout the English-speaking world. She is also well known for her performances as her seventeenth century alter ego Mistress Agnes and as the author of family history books and articles.
Janet is an experienced family, social and community historian who lectures regularly on these subjects throughout the English-speaking world. She also tutors family history courses for Pharos Teaching and Tutoring www.pharostutors.com.Janet has written numerous articles and books on subjects related to family history and was responsible for editing the most recent edition of the classic handbook FamilyHistorian’s Enquire Within. Recently, Janet has put her research skills to a rather different use and has turned to writing historical novels that are based on real individuals and events.
Janet is particularly interested in encouraging others to place their ancestors in their social and geographical context and is an advocate of one-place studies. Her particular specialisms include the seventeenth century, the history of medicine, migration and the south-west of England.
Working as an historical interpreter, Janet spends time living in the seventeenth century as her alter ego, Mistress Agnes. Her book, Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors, describes the social history of the period. She is the manager of Swords and Spindles https://swordsandspindles.wordpress.com, a company providing living history presentations for schools, heritage sites, history societies andsocial groups.
Not all our ancestors were paragons of virtue. Some behaved in a manner that we now find unacceptable or abhorrent. Are we embarrassed by those family members? What aspects of the lives of our ancestors might make us feel uncomfortable? Does it matter when the ancestor lived; is there a point at which some actions become exciting or interesting, rather than alarming? Have genealogists’ reactions to certain conditions and behaviours changed over time? Are we tempted, like genealogists of the past, to remove them, or their mis-demeanours, from the record? This presentation is a thought-provoking and hard-hitting look at our reactions to ancestors who might have been a source for embarrassment. Some sources for discovering those ancestors will also be mentioned
When tracing a family tree, the temptation is to use the more well-known sources; those which are available on-line via the major data providers. In this presentation, the author of the classic handbook "Family Historian’s Enquire Within" introduces a variety of less well-known sources, that can be used to enhance and extend a pedigree or provide valuable context for the lives the family. The original records, databases and online records discussed will range from Absent Voters’ Lists and Asylum Records, through Farm Surveys and Hearth Tax Records, to Valuation Office Records and ideas for inspiring young people to take an interest in genealogy. The aim is to make the audience aware of sources covering the seventeenth to twentieth centuries and point to ways to find out more. There should be something new for everyone.
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