We had a very engaging and interesting session on historical research as a part of the UK Armenians & WW1 project. It was run by Dr Roger Willoughby, a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at Newman University, Birmingham. The author of four books and various articles, he has a particular interest in the question of identity and the First World War. He has recently been involved in research looking at the intergenerational effects of the Armenian genocide on the contemporary citizens of the Republic of Armenia.
This informative session covered a number of practical steps and techniques for uncovering the Armenian stories from various British Miliary Archives. The session started with the introduction to historical research and genealogy, and an overview of online resources at The National Archives, Kew, on Ancestry.co.uk, and other resources. Dr Willoughby also gave us some fascinating examples of some of the hidden stories so far unearthed and showed how to use some of the online genealogy databases.
One of the project’s volunteer researchers, Maria Graham, told us about her research into Heron Baronian’s story and how the discovery of a war memorial in Knutsford lead her into uncovering an amazing and important family history.
The discussions continued around the lunch table, with the participants contributing many ideas and suggestions about the research process of the project. Two days on, we already have a number of willing participants organising a trip to the Pewsey Library which holds a number of Armenian books, and some people starting their own investigations into WW1 stories.
Many thanks to all the attendees, it was great to see so many of you and we feel invigorated by your enthusiasm. Special thanks to Joe Nerssessian for filming the session and Mariam Aghajanyan for photography.