The Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

The Escutcheon

Volume 2

Number 2 – Lent Term, 1997

Message from the President

Welcome in 1997, welcome back in Cambridge.

Last term was exciting as always in C.U.H.&G.S. At the first meeting Dr Gordon Wright, our Senior Treasurer told us the story of the Cambridge Armorial. Together with Robin Millerchip he is preparing another publication, this time about the non-University heraldry of the town.

Mr Nicholas Norman amazed us with slides about the most splendid arms and armours from over the centuries.

It is difficult to describe the atmosphere at the talk of Miss Bliss. She told us an unbelievable story of a bell that once belonged to Lady Clare, whom Clare College is named after, and after a long and still mysterious journey arrived to Miss Bliss. She is yet to find an appropriate place for this 14th century bell, and some of the audience were rather happy to help her with ideas – the story might continue.

Then at the end of November, we heard a rather amusing talk from Honorary Vice-President Cecil Humphery-Smith. Following our traditions, we closed the term with a very nice dinner.

This coming term should not be less interesting. The key event of the year is of course the Annual Dinner, the details of which should reach you soon. This is a must for present and past members of the society, and I hope that we will celebrate the anniversary in great number. I am looking forward to see you on many of our other meetings, too,

László Á. Kóczy

Book Review

Computer Genealogy Update, David Hawgood, 1997. A5 pprbk, 32pp, £2-65. ISBN 1-948151-14-5.

This is another excellent compilation by David Hawgood. Information technology is changing so rapidly that regular updates of this type are essential. The text is divided up into convenient sections dealing with a fairly wide selection of packages not just for IBM-compatibles but also for Apple-Mackintosh, Amstrad PCWs and others including Acorn, BBC, Amiga, Atari and Psion.

The author mentions several conversion programs for I.G.I. and Family Search. He also draws attention to heraldry, calendar and indexing or transcription programs. There is a small section dealing with the Internet and bulletin boards. He lists several reference books and magazines for further reading. His section on the range of CD-ROMs available to historians and genealogists shows that already there is access to quite a remarkable volume of reference data. He also incorporates a convenient selection of distributors, dealers and stockists.

David Hawgood is to be congratulated on successfully encapsulating so much relevant information in so few pages. He even has space for an index to make life that much easier for the reader.

Researching Family History in Wales, Jean Istance and E.E. Cann, F.F.H.S. (Publications) Ltd, 1996 A5 pprbk, 87pp, £5-50. ISBN 1-86006-030-7.

This is an excellent handbook compiled on the basis of submissions from the several societies belonging to the Association of Family History Societies in Wales. It is not a manual on how to proceed with one’s research but rather a helpful compendium of the resources available in different parts of the principality. It is arranged county by county (old style) in six geographical regions.

Each county entry includes information relating to local record offices, libraries, museums, local Registrars of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Mormon family history centres, tourist offices and places of special interest. Details of location, specialist holdings, opening hours and telephone numbers are given in each case. The National Library of Wales appears in a separate dedicated section.

The booklet concludes with a representative bibliography, some useful addresses and a note about impending changes in local government organisation, which, in the longer term, may modify the resources listed. However, for the time being, this booklet is well worth having.