Sunday, May 22, 2011

Keeping it in the Family on KVFM with St Francis of Assisi Academy

I was invited this week to take part in a radio show on Liverpool's best (and sadly "only" at the moment) community radio station, KVFM online.

The programmes all week were designed, produced and presented by St Francis of Assisi Academy, and I was asked onto one show to talk about my genealogy expertise, the historical diversity of Liverpool and also to explain the British Citizenship Ceremonies that I regularly take part in.

I was only on for a short time, I think we were all done in about ten minutes, but the interviewers were interested to hear about my family tree research and how I have traced the Baldock family back 500 years (almost exactly) to farmers from a village in Nottinghamshire called Plumtree. I talked about how when I started my research in 1983, Mum and I spent days and weekends away at Record Offices across the country, and in London in Somerset House, at the National Records Office but how that has changed since the development of the internet. They asked me for my favourite websites and I told them about some that can be a great boon to researchers, like Ancestry. I didnt have time to talk about Rootschat but I can definitely recommend that one too. It is particularly good where you have hit a dead end, because many thousands of people will step in to search records on your behalf and recommend courses of action that you could take.

I also explained about the Mormons and their desire to posthumously baptise the ancestors of any Mormons as Mormons themselves so as to increase the number of people who will be saved into the Kingdom of God (even if they happened to be a Church of England Vicar or a devout Muslim in life). The benefit of this activity is hugely significant to genealogists as it has resulted in decades of capturing the details of parish registers and recording them for genealogists so as to aid their efforts in identifying their family. Their world renowned website can be found at  Family Search. It should be noted that the registers have been captured and transcribed by volunteers rather than professionals and so do require the original sources to be checked, but nonetheless it is a wonderful resource.

We also spent some time talking about the British Citizenship Ceremonies which take place in Liverpool's Register Office at the Cotton Exchange approximately fortnightly. I explained that many new citizens are professionals, vitally important NHS doctors and nurses working in the Royal, Aintree and our other hospitals, professors and lecturers from our three universities, as well as those seeking refuge from tyrannical regimes in other countries. The interviewers from SFA were interested to hear about the oaths and affirmations that new citizens make, as well as singing the national anthem in front of their new flag (and the difficulties I have as a Republican in taking part in the latter).

This was all part of a wider debate on the diversity of Liverpool and how people who live here now have origins from all over the country and all over the world. It seems that virtually everyone who lives in Liverpool has some Irish ancestry for instance (I am 1/16th Irish for instance, the other 15/16ths being English). A whole series of guests were coming in to the studio in the time I was there.

Well done to KVFM and SFA for a great week on air!

No comments: