Janet’s Love of family history
Kibworth resident Janet Davis is passionate about family history and sharing her research experience. Her love affair with her family’s past began 25 years ago, when she recalled that her Nan remembered having had a brother. Her Nan was born in a workhouse, where she was left orphaned. Years later, Janet delved into the mystery and established that there had indeed been a brother.
As well as discovering an unknown family member, retired nurse Janet – who has lived in Kibworth for 29 years – discovered her fascination for family history. Next, she started to explore her husband Nick’s family tree, unearthing colourful stories from in and around The Kibworth and District Chronicle area.
Collecting records of the past
Soon, Janet was producing so much material that she realised that she needed a more appropriate system. A collection of records which could be passed on to her children and grandchildren, putting their ancestors’ lives into context. So, she started writing books that immortalised all of her evidence; however, printing them proved to be costly, so Janet is now creating e-books.
“I can update them with new research, but I do have to be a bit diplomatic about it all!” she smiles.
She has uncovered stories going back hundreds of years, touching on the Wyggeston Hospital, crowdfunding, The Plague, witchcraft, war, social movement, industrialisation, crime, framework knitting and even Swedish Pirates. Their family secrets unravel as she works like a mini history of England.
Kidderminster and District Family History Group
Janet was born and raised in Kidderminster; so, she set up and runs an online Kidderminster and District Family History Group, which now has over 1100 members. With this came the Local Ancestors Project: a website where members can upload their DNA to find mutual ancestry.
“So many of us are connected,” she says, “It’s through writing my books that the context of our own lives has been developed.”
Janet leads a family history research workshop on alternate Mondays from 2-4pm in Kibworth Community Library. Drop in on Monday 10 October.
Kibworth Library: (0116)3053612
Janet’s website: www.kidderdistrictfamilyhistory.co.uk