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A new blog – well, who do I think I am?

Hi, my name is Phil. I’m a genealogist and I’ve started this little blog to share some of my findings and the things that I find interesting as I go through my journey of familial self-discovery.

But Phil, I hear you say, there are hundreds, no thousands, of genealogy blogs out there. What have you got to say that others aren’t already saying. Good point, I reply. Well, for one thing I’m me and not one of the 1000+ other genealogists in the Bloggersphere. I have my own perspectives, my own background, experiences and skills, some of which I hope will translate into useful genealogical pointers and, if I’m very luck, an interesting read.

I should say a little about myself at this point. I was born in the north-west of England where I lived until escaping to university to study physics and astrophysics. I joined the IT industry nearly 30 years ago and have had a variety of technical, analytical and consulting roles. I’m happily married to the wonderful Gilly, we have two grown up children and live in Oxfordshire. I have been researching my family history since around 2004 and I now work on a variety of genealogy projects, some for myself, some for my wife’s family, some for friends and some for the Oxfordshire Family History Society.

My own tree is made of northern English working class grit – hard workers who often lived hard lives, either in the mills and factories of the north or working on the land. My wife’s tree couldn’t be a bigger contrast, comprising gentry, landowners, stock brokers, newspaper magnates and lines from continental Europe.

I find that a great deal of bandwidth in genealogy books, magazines, articles and blogs, is devoted to sources: what sources are available and how they can be accessed. Far less is said about methodology. In my day job the approach taken to any project, the methodology one chooses, is the key to success. So, in this blog I aim to focus in on method whenever and wherever I can. Yes, I’ll talk about sources, but I want to bring genealogical method to the forefront.

Knowing how to tackle a genealogical conundrum is every bit as important as knowing where to look for the evidence to solve it. I hope to use this blog to show that.


Published by Phil Isherwood

Phil has studied genealogy with Pharos Tutors and the Society of Genealogists, completing their year-long intermediate programme with a distinction. He is a Family History Advisor for the Oxfordshire Family History Society and enjoys working on the knotty genealogy problems brought to him by the general public. He has a special interest in genealogical methodology, military ancestors and sources for north-west England. Twitter: @isherwood_phil

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