Don’t knock the SoG

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - WRITE IN -

As an or­di­nary mem­ber of The So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists (SoG), I would dis­agree strongly with the view that the UK sub­scrip­tion is ex­pen­sive ( Write In, July 2015).

Far from the SoG be­ing a fat-cat or­gan­i­sa­tion de­light­ing in emp­ty­ing fam­ily his­to­ri­ans’ pock­ets, it strug­gles to achieve as much as it does on its present in­come and could do so much more if the means were avail­able.

In re­turn for my sub­scrip­tion, I have ac­cess to the big­gest ge­nealog­i­cal li­brary in the UK. It has been tak­ing in items of in­ter­est for more than 100 years. Last year, 2,919 items and 1,651 doc­u­ments were added. Even the Bri­tish Li­brary has no copy of many of the type­scripts or short-run book­lets shelved here, not to men­tion the doc­u­ment and sur­name col­lec­tions and a num­ber of unique in­dexes.

Main­tain­ing all this costs money. There are also cour­ses, talks and vis­its ar­ranged for non-mem­bers and mem­bers alike. On top of that, I get four high-qual­ity is­sues of the Ge­neal­o­gists’ Mag­a­zine, with a de­tailed list of li­brary ac­ces­sions, the use of the com­mon room where I can meet peo­ple of sim­i­lar in­ter­ests and get ex­pert help plus money off any SoG pub­li­ca­tions I buy. I can use the so­ci­ety’s com­put­ers with free ac­cess to many sub­scrip­tion sites and down­load PCC Wills, too.

There­fore, I thought I had bet­ter pay more by be­com­ing a Friend of SoG and start try­ing to put some­thing back for the ben­e­fits I have had!

SoG is now work­ing hard to put more of its unique hold­ings on­line for mem­bers who can­not eas­ily visit the build­ing, but again this will cost money.

So please don’t knock the SoG. In­stead, come and join us! Gwyneth Wilkie, by email Editor replies: I agree, Gwyneth. The SoG does un­der­take some fan­tas­tic work on be­half of us fam­ily his­to­ri­ans – preserving records and mak­ing them avail­able. Vic­to­ria Cross awardedd to Wing Com­man­der Jammes Brind­ley Ni­chol­son, Ser­vice Noo. 39329,3 RAF 355 Sqdn. He waas awarded the Vic­to­ria Cross and Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross. He died on 2 May­May 1945, aged 29. There was a ci­ta­tion in the Lon­don Gazette of 15 Novem­ber 1940. His name ap­pears on the Sin­ga­pore Me­mo­rial. His father wawas Les­lie Gib­son Ni­chol­son. Ap­parrt from this in­for­ma­tion,, which ap­pears in the You’ve cer­tainly made a good case for the fee it charges. gov.uk/govern­ment/ pub­li­ca­tions/of­fi­cial-copies-ofreg­is­ter-or-plan-reg­is­tra­tionoc1 and should be sent to Ci­ti­zen Cen­tre, PO Box 6350, Coven­try CV3 9LP. The web­site ad­dress lan­dreg­istry.gov.uk should be gov.uk/land-registry. Mar­ion Shel­ley, Press and PR Man­ager, Chief Land Reg­is­trar’s Of­fice frame, we knoww no more. Our com­mit­teeee feels th­ese frames should be re­turneeed to the fam­i­lies of th­ese men, bu­uut we have come up against a bbrick wall and would be mostt grate­ful if you can heeelp in any way. Jean Hawkes, Comm mit­teem Mem­ber, Itchen n & Ham­ble Branch h, h RAFA Editor r replies: Do th­ese names rring a bell with any­one out there?? It would be great to re­turn tth­ese awards to the fam­i­lies of tth­ese brave men.

The So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists’ web­site – reader Gwyneth Wilkie makes a pas­sion­ate de­fence of the or­gan­i­sa­tion

A Vic­to­ria Cross medal

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