FoDA has just published Dr John Booker’s book, Devon Deciphered. This is a guide for local historians, genealogists and other researchers who are tempted to explore the original documents that underpin their research. It places high-quality facsimiles of twenty Devon manuscripts alongside full transcriptions and explains the historical terminology. Thus John not only demonstrates how the problems of palaeography and language may be overcome but also provides the reader with a glossary of useful terms and an understanding of the documentary formulae involved. The result is a unique and indispensable guide to understanding local documents from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century. Copies may be obtained from Devon Heritage Centre for the price of £10.00 plus postage and packing (£2.80 within the UK). Further information is available in a flyer, which is available here.
Second, please note that the FoDA AGM and autumn meeting this year will be held in Barnstaple on 30 September. Further details will come to you at the end of August via the newsletter but, in a nutshell, we will meet at North Devon Record Office at 10:30 am for the AGM and a tour of the newly laid out record office, plus an introduction to the North Devon Athenaeum. After lunch (which will be self-supplied or purchased in town, if you prefer) we will have a tour of the town by our president, John Allan, the leading expert on the historic fabric of Devon, who has arranged access to several historic buildings. The day will end with the last stop of the tour, at the Museum, at which we should arrive about 3:45 pm. The cost has been kept to a minimum £5 for members or £10 for non-members to encourage as many people as possible to come. Please do! You won’t get a better guided tour of the historic town from anyone.
Third, the Devon and Cornwall Record Society are holding an event entitled ‘Desert Island Documents’ to celebrate the archival work in Devon of Margery Rowe, former County Archivist, on Saturday 21 October 2017. It will take place at 2-3 pm in Exeter Guildhall, and refreshments will follow. To book, please send (by 18 October) a cheque for £7 (£5 members of D&CRS) made out to DEVON & CORNWALL RECORD SOCIETY to: The Cottage in The Hayes, Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon EX17 4JG.
Fourth, in case you had forgotten, Janet Tall will be talking on Lewis Burfitt’s diaries on 21 August, and Deborah Phillips will be speaking on looking after your own documents on 10 October, in North Devon. Further information is available here.
Lastly, several of you may have noticed that our Tithe apportionment database on our website has not been working for a while. This has now been fixed. Please let me know if there are further difficulties.
We have added a section on Members' research interests to the Projects page. If you are a member and would like to add your research interests to this list, which we hope will grow, please contact the chairman. In addition, Sue Jackson has provided a note on the feofees of St Sidwell's parish, Exeter, which we have added to the Projects page.
The Spring 2017 Newsletter is now online. Members who have registered their email addresses will shortly receive an electronic copy, together with details of the event at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter, on the afternoon of 3 April (13:00-17:00). Booking forms will be included in the mailing but also may be downloaded here. Speakers include:
In line with the priorities discussed at the AGM on 15 October in Plymouth, and following the subsequent meeting of the committee on 9 November, the chairman has sent an email to all those members who have lodged an email address with the Membership Secretary. We hope to communicate with more members more regularly by email in future. The message is available here.
The Autumn Newsletter is now online. Members will shortly receive a paper copy and details of the AGM and conference on Saturday 15 October in Plymouth. Booking forms are available via the Events page. Speakers at the conference include:
Our ever-watchful committee member, Graham Parnell, has spotted several small manuscript collections of Devon interest this year. In addition staff at the Devon Heritage Centre has asked for help acquiring a couple of other items. Thus the list of acquisitions that we have either purchased or deposited as a a result of a gift has been updated. See the Acquisitions page.
The booking form for the Spring 2016 conference on 16 April in Barnstaple Guildhall is now available. Please come! You don't have to be a member of the Friends. Speakers include:
The Spring 2016 Newsletter is now available online. Paper copies will be printed and sent out to members soon with the booking form for the Spring conference in Barnstaple Guildhall on 16 April (see below for speakers).
Items of old news may be accessed via this page.