Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unconventional Resources

A few months from now I'll be in Devon, visiting far too many churches, churchyards and cemeteries, and spending far too many hours in libraries and record offices. This is definitely a research trip, but there will be time for sightseeing as well. Still, a considerable amount of groundwork is required beforehand.

In researching my own family history, as well as the history of St Giles in the Wood, Yarnscombe, High Bickington, Atherington and Tawstock, I've had occasion to use some unconventional resources.

Many people upload their photographs to Flickr. St Peter's, Tawstock in particular is well represented on Flickr, as is the Stevenstone Library, a Landmark Trust property in St Giles in the Wood.

Geograph aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland. Because of Geograph I've been able to access photographs of many properties connected to my ancestors. I've also contributed a few photographs of my own.

Images of England is a photographic library of listed buildings. The homes of many of my ancestors still exist and are listed. Images of England provides architectural details and photographs. The list is not limited to buildings, however. Gravestones frequently make the list, including the St Giles in the Wood gravestone of my ggggg-grandfather Michael COOKE (1707-1777).

Finally, there's Nestoria, a site useful for learning if your ancestor's home is currently for sale, and is again a source of photographs. The realtor may have also produced a PDF brochure about the property.

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