I’m Dave Blake, a computer programmer of knocking on 20 years now and a single father to two children, though aged 14 and 22 I’m not sure children is the right word anymore.
Evenings are spent either writing, researching or playing video games and sometimes all three. Daylight is for work or gardening. I have a large garden and an allotment where I grow my own fruit and veg and keep chickens. I’m greatly into genealogy and I also write, mostly fantasy, but also a lot of my research gets written up too. I love to put my ancestors into words.
I like dark chocolate and strong coffee and, rarely these days, a decent red wine or a pint of something real.
WW1 Lives Project
For the past few years I’ve been a volunteer researcher at the East Riding Treasure House in Beverley for their WW1 Lives project. The research focuses soley on the men and women from Beverley and the surrounding area who served in The Great War 1914-1918.
It is all done part time, on an as-you-like-it basis, but the general idea is to use the Treasure House archives facilities as much as possible. Personally I don’t always find the time to get in there amongst the microfiche/film readers so I do a lot of my research online and pin point just what I need to be looking for when I do get the chance.
Usually for our life, as we call each person we research, we are given nothing more to go on than a name and photograph from the newspapers of the time which ended up in a publication called Green’s Almanac. From that we trace all that we can about that person, usually a soldier, and the end result is displayed and published by the Treasure House.
Unfortunately this project is due to come to a close this year, but another, as yet undefined, but something to do with criminal ancestors, is to take it’s place.
War research is not my only interest though. In the past few years I’ve taught myself the ropes of genealogy and dare say I’m getting quite adept at it. I’ve traced back quite a few generations now and found a lot of skeletons, a few villians and the odd hero too. Mostly I’ve found agricultural labourers but my tree is a mixture of all sorts from blacksmiths to clergymen, shepherds to surveyors and, for the most part, centered in the East Riding, though there are a few characters from foreign parts, like Wiltshire and Norfolk, and deepest, darkest Lancashire!
I’ve found ancestors in Australia too, and travelling the world in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, sailing fishing boats and fighting far flung wars, though all hailed from England and some even came back.
The intention of this blog is to share not only what I find in my research and all the skeletons I drag out of cupboards, but also the methods I use. I’d like to show people that you don’t need a Phd to go down to your local archives and dig around.
I’ll throw in the odd opinion here and there and chickens might get a mention too, but generally it’ll be genealogy and a bit of writing, for the most part.