Anonymised feedback from talks 2020-21

Behind the Scenes Working for Who Do You Think You Are?
North West Kent Family History Society
“Thank you for your most enjoyable talk yesterday. It gave us a good insight into how the programme is put together.”

Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors from a Distance
Society of Australian Genealogists
“Thank you for the insightful presentation on Tuesday. It is always wonderful to be able to have a presenter with the local knowledge of an area.”

Struggle and Suffrage in Norwich
Norfolk Heritage Centre accompanying the British Library on Tour exhibition on ‘Unfinished Business’
“Thank you so much for your talk today, it was excellent! And very well-received, there were some lovely appreciative comments in the chat.”

Parish Chest Records
Society of Genealogists
“This was one of the most informative lectures I have attended.”
“Will you please pass on my thanks to Gill for an excellent talk on Saturday on the Parish Chest. It was backed up by an excellent handout as well. I found the talk very interesting and very helpful.”

Tying the Knot; Marriage and its Records
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
“I just wanted to say thank you for an excellent talk last evening. We had 60 people in the room who all seemed to enjoy it.”

Writing Your Family History Online Courses
The whole course has been a wonderful experience; thank you again for your constructive and encouraging feedback.

Dead and Buried, Not Forgotten: Churchyards, Cemeteries and their Records
Thank you so much for your talk the other evening. The feedback was great (Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park)

Maps for Family Historians
Family History Show Online
“Thanks for your brilliant talk on Maps For Family Historians. Your talk has stirred up my enthusiasm again so thank you very much for all the information about avenues to pursue. You said at the end of your talk that you talk for hours about the subject and I am sure I won’t be alone in saying that I would happily listen to you for hours”

The Poor and The Parish
Ramsey Group, Cambridgeshire FHS
“I just wanted to say thank you for such a well organized zoom talk on the poor before 1834 by Gill Blanchard. I thoroughly enjoyed it with much helpful information. Gill is always a great presenter and so enthusiastic on the subject.”
“I have already had two emails from members – one from New Zealand – saying how much they enjoyed your talk, with the wonderful examples, and how knowledgeable you are on the subject. Thanks again Gill for such an enjoyable and informative talk. Your talk was so well received that we would love to have you speak to us again in the future.”

House History
Nuneaton and North Warwickshire FHS
“I have not been to a talk so packed with information for a VERY long time. Thank you very much indeed. Already had a couple of emails of thanks from members so they appreciated it, too. Thank you so much for a super talk and brilliant handouts.”
“We very much enjoyed your recent talk about tracing a house history (13 April) and I personally have used some of the tips you gave. By popular demand I have been asked to invite you back to give your talk about maps.”

House History
Huddersfield and District Family History Society
“Thank you again for your presentation last night, we have received many positive comments.”

House History Show and Evening Lecture Series
“Thank you for a very interesting talk this evening. As usual it was illuminating.”
“I attended the Family Tree House History course today which was really interesting and informative.”

Testimonials and reviews from online courses 2017-2018

Having spent many years amassing piles of research into my family history I found I had records on family tree programs, in note-books, in files, and folders containing certificates. Each piece of information provided a snap-shot of a moment in time for an ancestor but simply read as a list of events and dates. I wanted to try to present it in a more interesting way to preserve those facts in a readable narrative. A narrative that other family members might also enjoy. Gill’s courses have been outstanding in helping me to achieve that. There has been encouragement every step of the way, from the first attempts at just a few sentences to pieces of several thousand words.

Teresa, Lincolnshire

Writing Your Family History is a wonderful course for getting the impetus to start writing about your ancestors. For myself, I had done a fair amount of research, but I just couldn’t get started on the writing. Gill Blanchard gives students a number of exercises and feedback that gets you writing. I have now written a substantial chapter about one of my ancestors and I am starting on several other chapters. It’s a great sense of accomplishment. I highly recommend this course. It could actually be a few weeks longer, since the feedback and online writing group were so motivational for writing. The online aspect takes a little getting used to, but it works out well thereafter. I highly recommend Gill’s book, Writing Your Family History, as well.

Dorothy Lyon. America

A couple of years ago some members of my family asked me to share my family history research. I looked at the list of dates that I had compiled for each person, going back to the fifteenth century, and became aware of just how boring and off putting it would seem to anyone not infected by the family history bug. It needed to be turned into a more digestible and engaging format, a narrative telling the story of our family. I had an attempt but struggled to work out how to organise all my material and how to make those dry and dusty early relatives interesting.

About to give up, I came across an online course that had just begun, run by Gill Blanchard. It seemed fortuitous. I rang Gill immediately, begging her to let me join the course even though it had already started. How glad I am that I did. That first course taught me, not only how to write, but how to plan, how to enliven my ancestors’ stories by placing them in the context of their time and place and where to search for the requisite information. I learned to edit my writing, to critique my own stories and those of others. By the end of that first course, I knew what I was doing and how to continue.

Anne Johnson

Thank you for everything over the past 2+ years. It has been a real pleasure and you have, I believe, turned me into an author. I will forever be in your debt.

Sue P. Cambridgeshire

I’ve really enjoyed the course and learned a lot, thank you. It’s been a real encouragement and I’m looking forward to starting Module 2 next month where I plan to build on the story and aim to turn it into a book.

Julie Watkins

Thank you so much for setting me on the road to being a writer of family history.

Mike Davis. Hampshire