Friday, 16 December 2011

IHGS Correspondence Course - Lecture 1

So, as I mentioned in my first post, I have enrolled in the Correspondence Course with the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS). Despite being enrolled for a few months, I still haven't handed in my first assignments for Lecture 1.

My reason - I am a perfectionist. The assignments are fairly straightforward, or so it seemed at first. We need to do two things:

  • Firstly, write our autobiography. I figured that would easy for me, right? I am only in my twenties, I haven't done all that much, it won't even be very long. How wrong I was. Anyway, I think I finally have it to hand-in-able stage and will let it rest for a week before I read over it once more as a final proof read and sanity check.
  • Secondly, we need to lay out by hand our Seize Quartiers (basically, our own family tree back to our second-great-grandparents). Also something I thought would be easy for me, because I already knew all of mine, in fact my great-great-grandmother, Amy Alma Wardley (1901-1997), was still alive until I was 11 years old. Well, with this assignment I discovered that whilst I knew all of their names, and most of the pertinent dates, I didn't necessarily have the proof to back up my information (whilst I didn't actually needed to provide the evidence for the assignment, I did need to explain briefly how I came across the information in my Seize Quartiers).
And so began my quest to finalise all of the exact dates of the births, marriages and deaths of my sixteen great-great-grandparents, and everybody between them and me. So that is 31 births, 14 marriages (I am not yet married), and 26 deaths (still alive is me, 2 parents, 1 grandfather and 1 great-grandmother).

A quick audit of what I did have already in my files left a shortfall of 7 births, 3 marriages, and 10 deaths. At full price ($30 each) from the NSW BDM Register, it would have been a $600 investment. That is why I decided to order transcriptions instead, which at $14.40 each saved me more than 50% on the NSW BDM price of certificates.

Out of the 20 certificates I needed, there were two death certificates I ordered from Scotland (not yet available on Scotland's People), and two birth certificates that are still unavailable from NSW (and will remain so for another five years).

So, in the end, my perfectionism paid off, and I am now able to prove every person on my Seize Quartiers.

I will let you know how I go once I have my marks back, and I'll keep you posted occasionally as I traverse this two or three years course!