Category Archives: Research techniques

Research Techniques: The craft of being an historian

Reformation wills and religious bequests

Today’s post is about the contents of Tudor wills and how they can be used to inform the modern-day reader about religion during the turbulent reigns of Henry VIII and his three children.  The text below formed one of the … Continue reading

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Guest history bloggers wanted!

I am looking for amateur historians to share their passion for history and contribute guest posts to my blog. I am open to anything as long as it sort-of-fits with the posts already on my blog. If you would like … Continue reading

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Tuesday’s tip – When one person’s theory turns into a ‘true’ fact

My post today is about trusting your own judgement when you researching – whether your research is for a local history topic or is a genealogical project.  Just because you have read something by someone else – even if it … Continue reading

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Tuesday’s tip – Palaeography and reading between the lines

Watching Helen Castor’s recent excellent BBC programme on the She-Wolves of England prompted me to write this post on ‘reading between the lines’ of primary source analysis.  In my post, I will be considering ‘reading-between-the-lines’ in both the literal and … Continue reading

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Mappy Monday – My top 7 websites for medieval, early-modern & modern maps of London & Great Britain

London 1) Map of early modern London (1560-1640) Fully zoomable (using an experimental google-style layered map) and searchable: Map of Early Modern London. 2) Tallis’s London Street views (1838-1840) The nineteenth century’s equivalent of a modern-day street directory.  This website … Continue reading

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Tuesday’s Tip: Primary sources and Old handwriting (palaeography)

Every serious genealogist and local historian will, at some point in their research, need to transcribe the handwriting of old documents (or to give its proper terminology ‘palaeography‘).  So here are my tips for dealing with the handwriting of people … Continue reading

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Follow Friday: My Top 10 websites for Essex Ancestors

Genealogist Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers runs a great website for genealogists. He suggests ‘Daily Blogging Prompts’ to help inspire bloggers to write genealogical posts.  In the spirit of one of his Prompts, Follow Friday, my post today contains my top 10 … Continue reading

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Mappy Monday: Tudor maps of sixteenth century Essex

How can contemporary maps help you understand your genealogical or local history research?  In this post, I will be considering Christopher Sexton’s 1576 map of Essex(1) and assess its benefit to my historical research on the town of Great Dunmow … Continue reading

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Tuesday’s Tip: Primary sources – ‘Unwitting Testimony’

Last week’s Tuesday Tip discussed the 6 ‘w’s of decoding a primary source.  As a former history student of the UK’s Open University, I would be neglecting my training as a historian if I didn’t blog about ‘unwitting testimony’.  This … Continue reading

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Tuesday’s Tip – Interpreting primary sources – the 6 ‘w’s

Well, it’s actually 5 ‘w’s and 1 ‘h’!!!  Whenever you study any primary source, remember these 6 one-word ‘prompts’ to help you understand and decode your source. – What – When – Who – Where – Why – How For … Continue reading

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