Author Topic: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors  (Read 4238 times)

Offline StewartE

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The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« on: Wednesday 20 July 11 14:58 BST (UK) »
Can you help us please?

Here at London’s Science Museum, we are seeking your ancestor stories to help us develop an exhibition exploring the relevance of our collections to family historians.

One part will focus on a number of different trades and professions.  Do you have an ancestor story to tell that relates to one of the areas to be included? We’d like to feature one for each of the trades we cover.

This part of the display will be a ‘co-creation’, with our collaborators – that’s you – playing a big part in developing the content of the display.

This would mean bringing to the display personal objects, images and anecdotes relating to your ancestor and their work to really bring their story to life.  It would also mean contributing label text and perhaps helping select relevant objects from our collections.  It is likely to involve at least one trip into London plus correspondence.

The trades and professions under consideration are:

  • Scientists and research workers – perhaps a leading scientist or a humble lab employee.
    Communications workers – maybe a telegraphist, cable layer, messenger boy or postal worker etc. 
    Medical workers – be they nurse, surgeon, midwife or hospital porter
    Miners – Digging out coal or minerals.   
    Manufacturing workers – skilled craftsmen or factory mass production line?
    Textile workers – from the industrialised cotton mills to home-based dressmaking. 
    Domestic servants – did they have to come to grips with new ‘labour saving’ technologies? 
    Transport workers – on water, on land and perhaps even the early days of air.   
    Agriculture and food production workers – on the land or in the factory.

If you think you have an ancestor story that could be displayed please contact us at publichistory[at]sciencemuseum.org.uk with details about your ancestor, an anecdote or two about them and info on the object and any images you would be able to lend us.

Moderator Comment: e-mail edited, to avoid spamming and other abuses.
Please replace [at] with @

Offline Ruskie

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 20 July 11 15:02 BST (UK) »
Welcome to RootsChat StewartE.

It sounds like a fascinating project - are you only looking for one example from each of the professions you listed?

How much information do you require? eg a typed paragraph? A page? 10 pages? (many of the people on here have a huge amount of information about their ancestors so you are in danger of being swamped  ;)).

How many objects and images do you anticipate needing from each contributor?

I take it you will gather details from several people and by a process of elimination only select the most interesting?

Will the exhibition be permanent or temporary?

Is there a deadline by which you need the 'submissions'?

Are you open to suggestions for other occupations?

I would absolutely love to contribute, but unfortunately I don't think I know enough to 'eke out' a story about any of my ancestors. I'm sure you'll have many willing contributors though!

Best of luck.  :)

Offline Ruskie

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 21 July 11 14:10 BST (UK) »

Hi Stewart. I am surprised that you haven't had any other replies on here to your request. I would have thought that it's the kind of thing that many of us would be interested in taking part in.  :-\

I take it that you are contacting various family history sites and publications in your search for contributors? Have you had much interest to date?


Offline HeatherLynne

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 21 July 11 23:50 BST (UK) »
This sounds very interesting  :)  One of my London ancestors was a confectioner aged 30 on the 1901 census and in 1911 his occupation was given as 'Gum Pastille for Manuf. Chemist' when he was living in Islington.  He had something to do with 'Iron Jelloids' but I don't know whether he was on the production line or held a more important position.  Is this the sort of thing you're looking for?

Heather
Rassell - South Hayling/Portsea/Chelsea,  Hellyer - Totnes/Islington,  Roots - Hackney,  Edden - St Pancras

Offline StewartE

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #4 on: Friday 22 July 11 15:11 BST (UK) »
Hi Ruskie

Yes, we're not getting a huge amount of response, so far.  We've done this call out on a handful of forums and also via Family Tree magazine with whom we've been developing a number of related monthly articles.

Hopefully things will pick up, but any suggestions about how to more effectively get the call out would be greatly appreciated!

Offline Ruskie

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #5 on: Friday 22 July 11 15:23 BST (UK) »
Hi Stewart. That's a shame. I am amazed that you haven't been innundated with people putting up their hands for this. I definitely would if I had a good enough story and some personal objects relating to my ancestor's professions, (and if I lived in the UK  ;)).

Would you mind if I posted a mention of this project one of the other boards and directed anyone interested to this thread? I did it ...  ;) http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=545102.msg3991304;topicseen#msg3991304

Heather's confectioner ancestor sounds interesting  ;)

Maybe people feel that they do not have enough of a story to tell (eg ag labs, miners etc didn't leave much of a paper trail) - or are you perhaps interested in stories that we have pieced together about our ancestor's lives? Roughly how much do you need us to write about them?

Offline Sandymc47

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #6 on: Friday 22 July 11 17:11 BST (UK) »
Hi there
I was very interested in this post.  I cannot tell you for sure the stories of my family but I can surmise what that story is.  I gained that knowledge from putting 2 and 2 together.  I also am old enough to remember the way I was treated as a child where children were seen and not heard. 

My Fowler family had a farm and George was a farmer of 32 acres. They grew vegetables and sold them so were also classed as Grocers.  I kind of knew this because my brother and I used to love spuds coming from Yorkshire and presume that most of the vegetables grown by George were potatos as we just loved them and do even now we are OAP's.
My gg Grandma had a child also called George at 16 or 17 years old.  She wasnt married but becaus of her job which was a servant, and the fact she worked for a Squire we presume thats why her son had a middle name of Squire.   We dont think she had him willingly as the Squire was 60 years old.
Only DNA nowadays would prove that point.
My family from Rainton, Yorkshire were cordwainers. My ggGrandad came down to live in Leeds and thats where I was born.  I cant stand wearing shoes and often think of my ggGrandad turning in his grave because I have never liked wearing shoes lol.
Nothing written down in my family as alot of them marked a X on their marriage certificates.   ::)

regards Sandymc
Midgley, Fowler, Chadwick, Kilvington, Routledge, Hewitt, Stevenson, Ward, Waite, Binks , Buck, Pearson,  Stanley, Firth, Child, Hobson, Rogers, all Leeds and Yorkshire for centuaries except the Routledges from Wigton, Cumbria and Middlesbrough. Related to McAllisters of Wilsontown

Offline StewartE

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #7 on: Friday 22 July 11 17:19 BST (UK) »
Hi Ruskie

Please go ahead.  The more the merrier I think!

I'm actually of on leave for three weeks now, but colleagues will be checking the mailboxes and forums so will pick up on anything coming in.  Regards.

Offline Mort29

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Re: The Science Museum - Tell us about your working ancestors
« Reply #8 on: Friday 22 July 11 17:23 BST (UK) »
I dont why they bothered to change your email address - [at] is easily resolved by web-crawlers - and presumably the full address is on the website?

Are you paying expenses for London trips, and will any memorabilia be fully insured?