Thursday, June 23, 2011

Abbey Gardens at Bury St. Edmunds

My ex-husband's ancestor, Henry Bright (1602-1686) came from Bury St. Edmunds.  He was baptized in St. James there.

While I did not visit St. James today, I did find an interesting stone on the large central monument at the new St. Edmundsbury Cathedral at Abbey Gardens (please note, the date stamp is most certainly incorrect!):

The ruins themselves are gorgeous and I like them better than the gardens.  The historical information is very interesting, and I enjoyed my entire day.  But what really made it cool for me was finding a piece of home-sweet-Massachusetts there.  :D

We will definitely return - it's less than 30 minutes from where we live!

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Monday, June 13, 2011

The question of remarriage...

Specifically, in modern times...

My pedigree charts (printed from my Legacy software) begin with my son, and thus cover my lineage and his father's.  I think this is for the best, and I do not see the need to alter how I print pedigree charts, since my second husband and I do not plan on having children.

I did ask myself if I should start a binder of pedigree charts merging he and I, but it does not seem necessary.  I guess that means he gets his own family binder.  ;)

Since I have been completely and utterly focused on writing, and getting my latest finalized manuscript out to a publisher (fingers crossed!), I'm starting to feel that need to do something else.  Hopefully I can begin to establish a better balance of writing and researching.

My husband is still in Greece - too bad we don't have any research to do there! - and when I told him that I found the local FHC, he expressed an interest in coming with me to see what it is like.  I was quite pleasantly surprised.  He enjoys history (especially the 1950's) and is interested in how people lived.  I think that seeing his family placed in an historical context (i.e. these grandparents lived through the Great Depression, what kinds of jobs they had, where they lived, what that area was like, etc.) will be fun for him.

We share so much in common already; if he turned into a genealogy-addict, I would be shocked.  But in a good way.

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Research in England, part 2

Now that I am here, with genealogical To-Do list in hand, it is time to get started!  I have had a month to settle in and celebrate the release of my book (not of interest, unless you dig vampire fiction), so now I am ready to see what is next in my research.

My first priority was to see if there was a Family History Center nearby.  I did a search of Family History Centers for Suffolk county in England.  I found only two.  The closest one is in Ipswich, a little over an hour away from me, and open by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I then turned my focus to the neighboring county of Norfolk. About an hour in the other direction is the Dereham Family History Center.

Slightly closer to me is the Family History Center in King's Lynn, which is only open by appointment, but has more varied hours, including Saturdays.  That would be worth the trip, since I know the area, having passed through there twice to get to the bird breeder (we purchased a caique!), and once visiting the Butterfly & Wildlife Park, which is in a little village in King's Lynn.

However, the closest one is Station Road in Thetford.  It's a straight shot down the A11 and roughly a 30 minute trip.  Their hours are completely by-appointment-only, but depending on their flexibility - especially if I can visit on a Saturday or a U.S. holiday - this should not be a problem.

When I was in Delaware, I relied heavily on the Family History Center in Dover.  It was only 15-20 minute drive from my home and open on Saturdays.  There were very few things I enjoyed more than a quiet Saturday morning in a darkened corner of the FHC, scrolling through microfilm.  Even with the Family History Library digitizing and indexing their records, I think the FHC is still a vital tool.

Do you use the FHC? 

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Between arriving here in England, my husband going TDY a week and a half later, leaving me to deal with all of the paperwork, inspections and work in general that comes with registering two cars, movers bringing my things, picking my son up at Heathrow, picking our caique up from the breeder, and more, I have not really had time to focus on genealogy.

Also taking precedence is the publication of my dark urban fantasy vampire novella, Dead Wrong (ebook went live on the publisher's site today and is on sale for a nice discount!  It can also be downloaded at Amazon; paperback edition will be available later this week).  Do know that this is not for the faint of heart - there is not much violence, but there is a tiny bit of erotica with strong language.

I actually am working on some urban fantasy books with a genealogical twist, but those will come later.  For now, my life has revolved around settling in to my flat and learning how to live life alone in a new country with my husband in yet another country.  He had been here for 4 months already, and I would have relied upon him to show me around, and act as my navigator as I learned how to drive here.  No such luck.  ;)

Just as I got quite comfortable with being here in England and settled into a routine, including the addition of our new bird and my son, I had to focus on promoting my book.

Oh my goodness, genealogy would be a welcome respite from the constant pace of life right now!  I certainly do have posts in mind.  I will apologize in advance that none of them have any exciting British genealogical information yet, but there is this gorgeous cemetery at this lovely church down the street that I am just "dying" to visit.  Nobody to whom I am related would be buried there, but just to see British gravestones and start getting a feel for how they do things here would be a nice thing to do, don't you think?

Copyright (c) 2011 Wendy L. Callahan