Janet Few is now in her fourth decade of family and community history research, specialising in the south west of England. She is working on the community history of several North Devon parishes and is the project manager of the Clovelly Community Archive Association. Her particular interest is in how emigration impacted upon these communities and the role of the Bible Christian church (a Methodist offshoot) in motivating the emigrants. The topic of this lecture was the subject of her doctoral research and Janet is extending this by compiling a series of emigrant biographies for future publication.

Janet also works as an historical interpreter, spending a few days a week living in the C17th as her alter ego ‘Mistress Agnes’. Her book about C17th social history ‘Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs’, was published in 2012.

Janet lectures regularly on family, community and social history within the UK and has also presented papers in Australia and New Zealand.

Recent speaking engagements include: Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012

The Guild of One Name Studies Annual Conference 2012

Devon Family History Society Summer Day Conference 2012

Further information can be found on her website http://thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com/

Presentation

Faith, Fish, Farm or Family?

Motivations for emigration from North Devon 1830-1900

Some of the highest levels of Victorian emigration. This is the story of real people who left North Devon in the C19th and the reasons why they may have done so. The role of the Bible Christian Church in motivating many of these emigrations is a distinctive feature and underlines the fact that Victorian emigration needs to be examined at a regional level.

The case studies are designed to show how biographies of individual emigrants can be used to help us better understand the emigration experience.