The Parlour Maids Mini-Project 2020

Firstly, if you haven’t already done so, please read the Background to Mini Projects. Are there any changes to the way the mini projects are run in 2020 from back in 2016? Not many. The main alteration is that they are now sent out in March/April rather than January for existing members and anytime in the year for new members. The end date for each project is February the following year, for Parlour Maids that means February 2021.

To take part in a FACHRS mini project you need to be a member of FACHRS, the chance to take part is one of the member benefits.

Mini Projects come with a warning - they can become addictive! Some members don’t just research one person, they can go on to research six or more! They can disappear off on a tangent and start researching what is seemingly an unrelated topic. All good and encouraged!

The 2020 mini project is Parlour Maids. If you take part you will be sent the name of a Parlour Maid from the 1881 census closest to where you live that I can find (yes the Road Atlas is still used), and an Information Sheet which covers what you need to know to take part and the questions you need to answer.

The research can be done online, in fact that is expected. FACHRS major projects are likely to require many hours in a Records Office/Archive, that is not the case with the mini projects. Considering the difficult times we are living in, that makes them ideally suited for a research project to keep you occupied while you have to stay at home.

If you live outside the United Kingdom you can still take part in a mini project. You can specify a place where you have a research interest (maybe your family came from there) or, alternatively if you have no preference, a Parlour Maid will be allocated from a place which has no FACHRS member researching it.

It is hoped that you will write a narrative (the story) about the life of the Parlour Maid which includes the answers to the research questions. It maybe that you find the Parlour Maid has a very ordinary life –many will it is to be expected - but her employers or the places where she lived are much more interesting, so include those in your narrative. That is what a tangent is – it’s when you find an interesting offshoot to the main research and head off down that bye-way.

Want to take part? Then all you need to do is join FACHRS. I look forward to welcoming you as a member and to sending you a Parlour Maid to research.
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