Eve of the Feast of St. Paul
8.30 p.m.
Dr Peter Spufford. M.A., Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S., F.S.G.
"English Family History . Has it an academic future?"
Robert Pinkham
John Horton
Paul —
Nick Cox
Gordon Wright
William Tighe
Nicholas Rogers
Charmian Leaver
Simon Morris
Andrew Scott
Elisabeth Kenwright
Paul A. Fox

This, the first meeting of the Lent term began with a last minute change of speaker. The President announced that he was notified this morning that Malcolm Pinhorn, Esq., B.A., F.S.G. [Former President] would not be able to attend tonight's meeting. With only hours to prepare a most interesting talk on the subject which Mr Pinhorn had originally intended to deliver, the Society's Vice-President Dr Peter Spufford agreed [to] address the meeting. Dr Spufford felt that English Family History probably does not have an academic future. Modern genealogists like to get together and share the experiences they have had in trying to trace a particular family history. What family historians find challenging is the attempt to move from what is known about a particular family to find out what is currently unknown. Thus if a family tree is known as far as back as the seventeenth century then the genealogist is interested to find out about the family of the sixteenth century, etc.

Dr Spufford finished by describing how connected some families were during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Seymour family controlled between twenty and thirty seats in the House of Commons during part of that time.

We are grateful to Dr Spufford for agreeing to address the Society on such short notice.

R.B. Pinkham

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