Family historians are so focussed on researching back as far as we can, that we can forget that there is a wealth of history within the family in the twentieth-century. Complacency can set in because family mementoes, stories and rumours seem to have filled in all the gaps for usand as a result, we inadvertently accept mistruths, inaccuracies and half stories because we believe we know the whole story. It is also a century that the vast majority of family historians have lived in themselves - what more can there be to find out that we don't already know?
More recent family history also presents some daunting challenges we do not encounter in earlier research. We will need to navigate issues around data protection and freedom of information, but we also need to be aware of the ethics around more recent family history - dealing empathetically with living relatives, and choosing whether or not we should pursue certain lines of enquiry and family mysteries that are "close to home." The huge amount of ephemera and twentieth-century sources available to us, both within and outside the family, is exciting and yet overwhelming in equal measure.
This course will explore all the resources available to genealogists for the twentieth century - some of which are unique to it - and offers ample opportunity to learn how to navigate the restrictions, challenges and opportuities faced by researchers.
The tutor, Gill Rossini, has three decades experience as a history tutor for adults and in higher education, and is a keen family historian herself. Her two published histories make full use of twentieth century resources, and she looks forward to sharing her expertise with fellow researchers.