Frequently Asked Questions - INDEX PAGE
Q . Will you do a historical research project for me?
A . No. Public Records Offices may be able to put you in touch with people who provide such services for a fee.
Q . What is the quickest way to get an overview of documents and records relevant to my general areas of interest?
A . We have structured our underlying records for easy browsing by subject [economics & politics; infrastructure & community; property & land], places [parish; properties; historic sites], time period [from prehistoric to modern], and document type [manorial records, probate, maps, newspaper cuttings, and so on]. These are necessarily broad groupings, but offer a good starting point for further refinement by following page links and/or using more specific search terms which can be entered directly on the results page.
Q . Will you give me advice on the best approach and information sources for investigating particular local people, places or events?
A . Not as a rule – we have designed the website search facilities to be powerful enough for researchers to zero in on relevant available information quickly without our help. But if you are stuck, do contact us. One of our group members may be able to make some suggestions from their specialist local knowledge.
Q . Can you let me have photographs of original documents whose summaries on the website do not include the corresponding pictures?
A . Not all documents have been photographed, and all the available images are already on the website.
Q . Can you tell me what information you hold on a specific topic such as a family name, property name or historical event?
A . All the information available to us has been entered on the website database, which is so large that the only realistic way to extract specific data sets is to use the website search engine to identify all occurrences of specific search terms. We encourage users to do their own searches, as they are much better placed than we are to structure searches that meet their needs and to interpret the results for relevance to their research. You can find tips on using the search engine here .
Q . Can I copy and use text and photographs from your website in other publications or websites?
A . Material on the website may be subject to copyright or other protection and its reproduction is governed by our ‘Terms and Conditions of use’
Q . Why are some of your records incomplete [e.g. parish registers]?
A . Permission to publish certain crown copyright public records on our website [such as parish registers and school records] was only granted for entries over 100 years old. This is to comply with official practices designed to avoid data protection and other potentially troublesome issues relating to the release of personal information. We have followed the same practice in a few other cases where we consider similar concerns might arise.
Q . I think the facts or dates in some of your website entries are wrong. Will you correct them?
A . We are always pleased to receive feedback, and if we have made an error we will correct it. Where the issues relate to contradictions between different sources, or differing interpretations reflecting ambiguities in the historical record, we will usually respond by adding observations to our website entry setting out the alternative views and acknowledging their source.
Q . Can I put a link to the Ewyas Lacy Study Group website in my website or publication?
A . Yes, but we ask that this is accompanied by a brief explanation of the nature and content of our website, and that any links are used in a context consistent with the fact that we are a non-commercial, non-profit venture.
Q . Will you put a link to my website or reference to my publication on the Ewyas Lacy Study Group website?
A . In principle, yes, if we believe they are relevant to our areas of interest. However, much of our data has been provided on the understanding that we are a non-profit organisation providing a free community service, so we will not normally include links to commercial websites, nor will we enter into commercial arrangements relating to such links or publication references.
Q . How can I search for names or places in the Digital Archive section of your website?
A . Images of original documents in the Digital Archive cannot be searched directly by the website search engine. However, in most cases we have added a searchable summary alongside the images, sufficient to highlight key subject areas, names and places from the document in a normal website search return. This is intended to point researchers to relevant documents in the Digital Archive which can then be read in detail on line.
Q . I have written a local history research paper, family history or other article which I think is relevant to your area. Will you publish it on the Ewyas Lacy Study Group website?
A . We have an extensive ‘Guest Contribution’ section on the website and we welcome new papers and research material which in our opinion are relevant to our areas of interest. We reserve the right to edit such contributions, in agreement with the author, to conform to our presentational and editorial standards for the website before publication.
Q. If place, property or family names appear in original documents, do they always appear in your document summaries on the website?
A. In a nutshell, if the website page title shows the record source as 'catalogue' the entry is an unedited copy of the Public Record Office or other archive catalogue listing - ELSG members have not read the underlying material and we can't be sure whether particular place, property or family names are in the original document or not.
If the page title shows 'original document' as the source, our members will have seen the original and prepared the summary. In these cases you can be pretty sure that the main place, property and family names WILL be given if they occur in the underlying material. However, this may not include peripheral references. More on searching the ELSG website for place, property and family names
Q . Can you tell me where I can find more information about a specific person, family, place or property mentioned on your website?
A . All the information we are aware of is already on the website. However, if you are stuck, do contact us. One of our group members may be able to make some suggestions from their specialist local knowledge, or forward your enquiry to a local contact.
It is also worth double checking that your particular search has discovered all the information available in our database. For tips, see ‘Searching the ELSG website for place, property or family names’ .
Q . Can you put me in touch with local people who may be relevant to my research [for example possible members of my extended family]?
A . We do not give out contact details. However, we may at our discretion forward enquiries to local people we know and who we think may be interested in getting involved with an enquiry or research project. Any subsequent response or dialogue will be a matter for them.
Q . Can you put me in touch with other local historians in your area or neighbouring areas?
A . Our ‘Links’ page includes hyperlinks to most local history websites and organisations in and around our area. We do not normally act as intermediaries and you can contact them directly. However, if your area of research is specialised we may be aware of individuals locally with similar interests – see ‘Can you put me in touch with local people?’ above.