Hidden Lives

Volunteering – The Historical Research Group

I knew when I met Jess to talk about volunteering back in 2016 that the historical research group was the perfect match for me. I had recently started my own history blog creating biographies of people from the details on gravestones in churchyards and cemeteries and Discover DeCrypt wanted to do the same with their surviving tombs and memorials. I was looking for a volunteer role where I could use my skills and knowledge, which didn’t over-commit me to specific times and where I could work with other people and on my own. I really value the regular volunteer meetings where we can give and receive feedback and plan our next tasks.

Hidden Lives has been wonderful to be part of and it has been rewarding to see people coming into the church to view our findings in the two exhibitions we’ve had so far. The individual stories have been fascinating to work on and even more so when we’ve been able to find living descendants of our subjects, locally or from as far afield as Oregon, USA. They have kindly provided extra material such as photographs; in return we have been able to fill in gaps in their family history or share documents and newspaper clippings they had not seen.

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The forthcoming Hidden Lives booklet will bring together the stories we’ve told so far along with plenty of new material that we hope will bring the parish’s varied and colourful population to life. We’ve included the well-known personalities and prominent Gloucester business people you may already be familiar with but my own favourites are the stories drawn from obscurity, of people long forgotten by most but whose interesting lives we can connect with across the divide of time. I hope you enjoy them too.

Sue Hickman,
Historical Research Group Volunteer

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