Hullo! I’m here at Outwood Academy in Newbold for the annual family history fair run by the Chesterfield and District Family History Society – feel free to drop by if you are in the vicinity. Our stall is right next to m’colleagues from Chesterfield Library‘s renowned local studies section and opposite the equally-renowned Chesterfield Museum. I can also spot Derbyshire Record Society just over there in the middle. I’ll wander over and say how do in a minute.
Curious people that we are, we do like to receive enquiries that test our research skills. We recently received another interesting research enquiry, on the subject of internship during the Second World War.
The enquiry we had was regarding an employee of the John Smedley company based in Lea, near Cromford, originally from Vienna. We were asked whether we could add any information regarding her life, as a potential internee as an ‘enemy alien’ during the Second World War.
Via this enquiry we came across the National Archives Internees Records which can be viewed online and downloaded. Having looked through some of the images, they provide a fascinating and often sad insight into the backgrounds of many of who had escaped the Nazis and come to the UK to find work. Many were overqualified for the work they were doing and had often left other members of their families behind.
It’s also an interesting insight into the use of language during the prevailing political and social climate of the late 1930s and 1940s. Here are some examples of the information in these records, all of whom were exempted from internship (thanks to the National Archives who granted permission to use the images) :
We would really like to hear of any memories or stories you have relating to this subject in Derbyshire.
We recently exchanged emails with someone who turns out to be the author of a new book, “Finding Thomas Dames”. It sounds likely to interest anyone who has come across villainy in their family tree (or has hopes/fears of doing so). Find out more about the book on Lynne Morley’s blog.
Did you know we have a database drawn from calendars of prisoners tried at Derby? Well, we do – you can access it on our website. We also subscribe to the library edition of Ancestry, which gives access to the England and Wales Criminal Registers, which are invaluable for this sort of thing. Your local Derbyshire library has access to the same subscription, so if you would like to give it a try, do drop in on them, or on us.
We can search online and hard-copy resources on your behalf if you like, as part of our research/copying service. The service costs £12.50 per half hour of staff time, and we’d usually recommend an hour-long search unless you have a specific and limited enquiry of the sort we can get to grips with very quickly. We do have to allow time for our staff to read the request and write up the results, and that does take time.
On the other hand, if you find a name on our own database of prisoners and just want a scanned copy of the calendar from which it’s drawn, that’s a quick-ish job which we could do in 15 minutes, at a cost of £6.25. Here’s what a calendar of prisoners looks like close-up:
You can apply for the service on our copying/research service page.
Previous posts about Bryan Donkin have included links to television programmes that give him a mention. Now Richard Donkin has let us know of a recent episode of BBC2’s Inside The Factory, which includes a segment on the history of the tin can, and Donkin’s role as an innovator in this field. If the BBC iPlayer is available in your country, you should be able to watch the programme at any time in the next couple of weeks at this address: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07nwlvg/inside-the-factory-series-2-3-baked-beans
If you’re in Chesterfield tomorrow (Thursday 11 August), why not pop in to Chesterfield Museum and find out how to look after your old family letters and photographs? My Preserving your Past talk starts at 1.00pm and explains how our treasured possessions can get damaged and what you can do to ensure they’ll survive for future generations to enjoy. Feel free to bring along letters, books and photographs if you would like some specific advice after the talk – I’ll be there till the museum closes at 4.00pm.