With a degree of trepidation, we launched our first Google+ Hangout on Air yesterday. Whilst some of our number were very familiar with the technology, others, including me, had gone through a very steep learning curve in order to take part. Our fears that no one would want to participate were unfounded. Eight people joined in, representing three continents. Some had been working on their ‘places’ for decades, others were still considering taking the plunge. Most but not all, had ancestral connections to their place. Amongst those attending were one man bands and representatives of One-Place groups. Some lived in, or near, their places, others were half a world away. Our communities varied in type, size and location.

After brief introductions we discussed the nature of our places. Topics included the use of social media, storage of data, the reconstruction of family trees and the use of genealogy software. We looked at the problems of conducting a One-Place Study at a distance and across language barriers. Then we tried to pin down what we felt a One-Place Study actually was. Advice was given about how to start. Should we begin with key resources such as censuses and parish registers? Should we start with a small time frame across a range of sources?

It quickly became apparent that many had listened live on Youtube. Thank you for all the positive feedback. I would say thank you for the negative feedback too, as we want to learn from our mistakes but so far, there hasn’t been any. You missed it? Where were you? Catch up with the hour long discussion here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxeCFB7UE0A.

In summary, it materialised that we are conducting our diverse One-Place Studies in varied but equally valuable ways. We look forward to the next Hangout, suggestions for discussion topics are welcome.

Janet Few

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