Ch 01 Group Study or One Man Band
Join a group or go it alone?

One-placers can gain so much from involvement with local history, family history and genealogical societies. Even if you do not live in your place, seek out and contact a local history society that covers the area and offer to get involved. You will almost certainly be able to exchange information and help each other. For lists of local history societies in the UK try Local History Online, The British Association for Local History, The Community Archives and Heritage Group or Blatchford, Robert and Elizabeth Blatchford Family and Local History Handbook (Robert Blatchford Publishing Ltd. issued periodically). They also produce an Irish version.

In Canada, there is Our Roots/Nos Racines. For America, look at The American Local History Network, Preservation Directory and The American Association for State and Local History. For New Zealand, try New Zealand Federation of Historical Societies Inc..

If there is no local history society, could you expand your one-place study and create a local history group who can help with your research? This is obviously easier to do if you live in or very near your place. Alternatively, seek out, or start, a Facebook Group for ‘Your Place’ History and encourage people to exchange memories and photographs.

As one-place studies are about people, you also need to involve yourself with the family history or genealogical society that covers the area where your place is. Hopefully they will have lists of members interests that will be searchable by place. Even if these lists are only searchable by surname, you could look for those studying the surnames that are common in your place. In this way you can contact descendants of residents of your place and exchange useful information. Many regions have umbrella organisations that will help you to locate these societies, such as The Federation of Family History Societies or The Federation of Genealogical Societies.

As with anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get out and getting involved with societies will bring a new dimension to your one-place study.

Janet Few


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