Our blogging and social media prompts have been designed with our members in mind, but anyone can take part – even if they don’t have a formal one-place study (see One-place study blogging prompts 2021 – everyone’s invited!). The prompts are a series of monthly themes or topics for one-place study activities. Those activities can be any or all of the following:

  • Tweets on Twitter, or posts to Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtags provided
  • Blog posts (for Society members these can be for your own website/blog, or for the Society’s, or for both)
  • For Society members, articles for our journal Destinations

You will be free to use any or all of these prompts – you might look at the topics and see that you can do something for January, March, April and June but not for February or May, for example. We hope that this approach will be flexible enough to give everyone an opportunity to take part, whatever the nature of your Place, your favourite areas of research, or the amount of time you have available.

Articles on the topics written by members for Destinations can be sent to the editor at any time during 2023 for publication, but where possible please post related blog and social media posts during the relevant months. 

Hopefully you will find at least one topic which will spark your interest and prompt you to participate. If not, we have more to come – and you can of course put forward suggestions for any that you would like to see included.

2021 Prompts

Transport | #OnePlaceTransport | June 2023

What modes of transportation were (or  are!) available to the people in your Place? How did this change over time, and how did these changes affect the Place and its people? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceTransport

Homes | #OnePlaceHomes | May 2023

A chance to focus on the houses, apartments, cottages, farms, etc., that people in our Study places lived. This could be an overview of some or many of them, or more in-depth house histories of individual properties, as is appropriate for your Study place. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceHomes


Mysteries | #OnePlaceMysteries | April 2023

What mysteries are associated with your OPS Place? Or, what mysteries have you encountered in your research and cracked – or maybe those ones you’ve never been able to solve… maybe publishing something about it will encourage someone to help you figure it out!  Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceMysteries

Employers | #OnePlaceEmployers | March 2023

Who were the employers in your Place? What types of employment did they provide, and how did this change over time? Censuses, trade directories and even phone books can offer potential areas for research in this topic, along with loads of other sources, so why not dig in! Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceEmployers

Pictures | #OnePlacePictures | February 2023

Any type of picture could be your inspiration this month! Artwork, sketches, photos, postcards – anything that you’ve found about or in your Place, or taken or created of your Place – and of course, the significance of those pictures. Social media hashtag: #OnePlacePictures

Archives | #OnePlaceArchives | January 2023

This can be about your own One-Place Study archives, how you’ve used archives for your One-Place Study, or even something interesting, exciting or different you found in an archive search. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceArchives


Bonus Prompt | Discoveries | #OnePlaceDiscoveries

The second half of the year brings with it the return of the Bonus Prompt, a broad topic which you can use instead of, or in addition to, any of the monthly prompts – or ignore, as you see fit! A chance for you to share details of your favourite discoveries about your Place and its people, including your ancestors if they lived in your OPS Place. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceDiscoveries

Food | #OnePlaceFood | December 2022

The penultimate item on our menu of prompts is one you can really get your teeth into: food, glorious food! What did the people of your Place eat, and how did this vary from rich to poor, or from everyday meals to feast day fare or treats on special occasions? Are there any particular foods or recipes linked with your Place or its locality? What foods were grown, foraged or hunted locally? What jobs were associated with the production, processing and sale of food in your Place, and what were the stories of those involved? I hope these questions are enough to whet your appetite! Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceFood


Memorials | #OnePlaceMemorials | November 2022

As you can see from this themed edition of Destinations, gravestones, monuments and memorials to the dead provide rich sources of information, and the basis for many one-place study stories. Why not share some of that information, or a selection of those stories, from your Place? Any advice for photographing memorials, or tips for transcribing their inscriptions? What about the history of the cemeteries, monuments or memorials themselves? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceMemorials

Migrants | #OnePlaceMigrants | October 2022

People have always been moving from one place to another, driven by ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors relating to love, employment, religious beliefs, war, availability of transport, and more besides. Sometimes migration is local, sometimes it takes people to the other side of the world; some movements spur friends or family members to follow; some people move just once, others move many times, and occasionally people end up back where they started. What movements (and movement patterns) into and out of your Place have you found, and what were the factors affecting them? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceMigrants


Statistics | #OnePlaceStatistics | September 2022

September is the month for you to stun us with stats from your study. What figures have you found or extracted for population (in total and broken down by age / sex), longevity, employment, kinship and other aspects of the lives of your Place’s people? How have you analysed them, and what ways have you found to present them? Have you been able to go beyond the numbers and find the stories behind the statistics? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceStatistics

Wildlife | #OnePlaceWildlife | August 2022

Take a walk on the wild side in August by focussing on the flora and fauna of your Place, past or present, or both! Trees, wildflowers, and all (wild) creatures great and small – which species live or lived in your Place? How has the biodiversity of your Place changed over time, and what has driven that change? How were different species regarded by the people of your Place – which were viewed as resources, as pests, as objects of fascination or beauty? Feel free to share answers to these questions or to simply celebrate the wild wonders of your one-place study, in words, pictures, or both. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceWildlife


Names | #OnePlaceNames | July 2022

What are the origins of your Place’s name, or of the streets and other features of your Place? Which surnames were particularly prevalent in your Place, and what changes have occurred over time? Who in your Place had a particularly memorable or unusual name? Have you struggled – or had success – when trying to find the maiden surnames of women in your Place? And do any of the surnames from your one-place study link in with a one-name or surname study? These are just some of the questions raised by this month’s prompt!Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceNames

Shows & Fairs | #OnePlaceShows | June 2022

These could be of any type. Were there hiring fairs in your Place? Was there a tradition of agricultural shows? Did any of your one-place residents win prizes at garden festivals? Was there a travelling fair which visited your Place regularly? Is your Place famous for a particular type of fair or show? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceShows

Children | #OnePlaceChildren | May 2022

Are there any patterns to fertility or infant mortality in our places? Did the first child tend to arrive ‘prematurely’? How were children educated in our places? What were the modes of entertainment for children? What were the patterns of child employment? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceChildren

Sources | #OnePlaceSources | April 2022

What is the most unusual source you have used in your studies? How have you combined sources in a different or creative way to uncover details of your places? Which sources should have been helpful but actually weren’t? Are there any common sources missing for your place and how have you tried to work around this? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceSources

Healers | #OnePlaceHealers | March 2022

How did the people of our places maintain their health? To whom did they look in order to do so? Were there any doctors, nurses, midwives, abortionists, wise women etc in our places? Is your Place famous for it’s healing properties – and if so, how? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceHealers

Romance | #OnePlaceRomance | February 2022

Love is in the air in February and with it the chance to blog about romance in our places. Are there any patterns to marriage through the years? What are the average ages at marriage and does that change over time? Is there a degree of intermarriage? Are there any heartwarming, or sad, stories of individual romances? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceRomance

Black Sheep | #OnePlaceBlackSheep | January 2022

Surely there were some scurrilous goings-on in our places which make good stories or illustrate points about how communities rub along together. Did your Place’s black sheep turn out good in the end? Or did they serve time or get Transported to another country? Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceBlackSheep

Celebrations | #OnePlaceCelebrations | December 2021

For this topic I have deliberately chosen the month in which Christmas falls, but you can use this as a prompt to write about celebrations of any kind in your one-place study. A festival, a birth, a royal jubilee, a wedding, a coming-of-age – how, when and by whom were these or other happy events celebrated? You could even choose to celebrate one-place studies! Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceInCelebrations

In Wartime | #OnePlaceInWartime | November 2021

This prompt coincides with Armistice Day / Veterans Day and Remembrance Sunday, but your responses to it need not be limited to World War One or those who served in that conflict. This is an opportunity to write or post about the impact of any period of wartime on your place and its people: those who fought, those who served in other ways, those who refused to take part, and those who remained behind and ‘kept the home fires burning’. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceInWartime

Governance | #OnePlaceGovernance  | October 2021

How and by whom was your place and affairs within it governed, particularly at a local level? Manorial courts, parish vestries, parish / town / city / county councils, local boards, officials representing the crown or national government – these and more have played their part in creating or administering rules and regulations, and keeping records which can tell us about people at all levels of society. Find and share the facts and the stories for your place. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceGovernance

Wills | #OnePlaceWills | September 2021

Wills and related documents such as inventories and letters of administration can provide valuable information about the people of our places. Explore the wills of people from your one-place study and tell us about the secrets, the stories, the generosity (or otherwise), the treasured possessions, or the previously unknown friends or family members they have revealed. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceWills

Environment | #OnePlaceEnvironment | August 2021

A topic which you can interpret very broadly is the environment of your one-place study. You could write or post about aspects of the natural or built environment and the changes to them, positive and negative, which have taken place over time; the working environment of those engaged in particular occupations; or the smells and sounds of your place in times past as part of the broader experience of your place by its people. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceEnvironment

Servants | #OnePlaceServants | July 2021

This prompt focuses on one of the most varied and ubiquitous occupations found within our one-place studies: servants. They worked in rural and urban places and within a range of domestic and business premises, where they washed, cleaned or cooked; acted as butler, maid or housekeeper; took care of children, horses or gardens; worked as apprentices, assistants or labourers to farmers or tradespeople, or performed one or more other duties. Tell us about the servants of your place, what they did, and any changes you have observed in their numbers and duties over time. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceServants

Maps | #OnePlaceMaps | June 2021

There’s nothing quite like a good map to show the lie of the land, and maps over time can show changes both subtle and drastic. A prompt for you to talk about maps covering your Places – Ordnance Survey maps, geological maps, land use maps, estate maps, tithe maps etc – and what they can tell us about the features and overall character of the areas they cover. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceMaps

Worship | #OnePlaceWorship | May 2021

The influence of religion on our Places and their people cannot be underestimated, and there are many avenues for investigating this. What places of worship existed in our Places over time? What was the impact of the clergy (or others who ministered to people’s spiritual needs) in the community – and did they practice what they preached? How did non-conformists or other religious minorities fare? These are just a few of the questions which could be addressed in tweets, blog posts or articles. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceWorship

Pubs & Other Drinking Places | #OnePlacePubs | April 2021

Public houses, inns, taverns and alehouses: establishments selling alcohol were popular places. Some were frequented by the working classes while others catered for landowners and professional people; some were largely respectable while others were associated with crime and disorderly conduct; and some were managed by the same landlord for years while others changed hands more frequently. All of them have stories to be shared. Social media hashtag: #OnePlacePubs

Women | #OnePlaceWomen | March 2021

To tie in with Women’s History Month, this is an opportunity to blog, write an article or post to social media about the women in our one-place studies. The focus can be on one or more individual female figures, ordinary or extraordinary, or on women’s lives more generally. Plus, for our members there’s another way to get involved: our March 2021 webinar, Women in our Places, will feature member contributions on this topic! A recording of the event will be made available for all to view on our YouTube channel afterwards. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceWomen

Tragedies | #OnePlaceTragedies | February 2021

Tragic deaths in our Places, caused by accidents or illness: in each case there was a victim (possibly more than one), a story of how their sad demise came about, perhaps a guilty party, and impacts on surviving family members, friends and the wider community. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceTragedies For part 1 of our round-up of blog posts about Tragedies – with some Joys mixed in – see #OnePlaceTragedies and #OnePlaceJoys.

Landmarks | #OnePlaceLandmarks | January 2021

A prompt for you to look at a physical element of your OPS, a landmark, which could be a building (for example a mill, a prominent institution, a ‘stately home’, or a church – in the latter case be aware of possible overlap with the Worship prompt in May), some other feature created by people (such as a canal, a bridge, an ancient earthwork) or a natural feature (which could be a hill, a river, a cliff or a wood). What is its history and significance? Which people or events are connected to it, and how? You can of course choose more than one landmark, especially if you are joining in by posting to social media. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceLandmarks For the first batch of blog posts about Landmarks, see #OnePlaceLandmarks – the stories so far. For the second batch of blog posts about Landmarks, see More #OnePlaceLandmarks blog posts.

Connections | #OnePlaceConnections | 2021 Bonus 2

Our second ‘bonus prompt’, this can be used at any time during the period from July to December 2021. It is deliberately broad in scope – you can write or post about connections of any kind between people in your one-place study, between your place’s people and interesting events, incidents or inventions, or connections between your one-place study and your one-name study or someone else’s OPS. You could also explore your own connections with your study place. Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceConnections

Joys | #OnePlaceJoys | 2021 Bonus 1

This bonus prompt has been introduced as an ‘antidote’ to the #OnePlaceTragedies prompt, but it can be used as an alternative to any of our existing themes – for example, those for which you have little or no material. It can also be used in addition to the other prompts if you wish, and can be interpreted broadly – joyful events in your OPS, or the joys you experience in carrying out your study! Social media hashtag: #OnePlaceJoys

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