Jonathan Brown, in his feature on researching rural ancestors ( p52), starts by reminding us city folk that we may not need to go back many generations to find our rural roots. My grandfather was the son of a country carpenter, beyond that it’s ag labs all the way on that branch, so I was fascinated to find out what resources might be available for these, mostly undocumented, kin. I think a trip to the newly reopened Museum of English Rural Life in Reading might be on the cards.
This same grandfather fought in the First World War and November is a time when we traditionally remember the men in trenches, but the woman he later married was fighting a different battle. My grandmother was in the Women’s Land Army supporting the huge effort to get the country fed. She kept a diary, including photographs, of her experience, revealing a feisty, fun young woman enjoying the camaraderie and sense of purpose that came hand in hand with hard work. Knowing what my grandmother had experienced made Caroline Scott’s article ( p64) even more interesting for me.
This month we also continue our 12-week challenge ( p17) for those starting out on their family history journey. We want to support readers as they take their first steps, so do email us your queries and remember our online forum is full of people willing to help ( p45). Happy hunting!
Sarah Williams, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org