Janet Few


About Janet Few

Janet Few is an experienced family, social and community historian who writes and lectures regularly on these subjects throughout the English speaking world. She is well known for her appearances as her alter ego ‘Mistress Agnes’ who aids Janet’s work as an historical interpreter. Janet is the manager of Swords and Spindles https://swordsandspindles.wordpress.com, a company providing living history presentations for history groups and schools. For further information see http://thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com

The Commemorating the Missing Project

At the recent New Zealand Society of Genealogists’ conference one of the keynote speakers, Maurice Gleeson, launched a very exciting ‘Commemorating the Missing’ project. 526,816 of those who died in the First World War have no known grave. Remains are still being found and DNA is being used to attempt to identify them, so they can be named at burial. […]


Taming all Those Agricultural Labourers

Every family tree has them, the ubiquitous Ag Labs and we tend to treat them as an amorphous group, frequently neglecting to find out more about their lives. How often do we hear, ‘My family tree is really boring, it is all Ag Labs’? As with any ancestor’s occupation, we owe it to those ancestors to find out more about […]


In Pursuit of the Domestic Context

All too often, we view our ancestors in terms of vital events. We seek births, marriages, deaths and relationships with vigour. We really should be in equally vigorous pursuit of the domestic context. In order to turn our family members into three-dimensional characters, we should be investigating the social history that was the backdrop to their lives. What did they […]


The Words and Voices of our Ancestors 1

As genealogists, we spend our time trying to recreate our ancestors’ lives. As we make progress, most of us move from collecting bare facts about vital events, to looking at the social historical context. If we are lucky, we may have photographs of our more recent ancestors, to help us to visualise what they looked like. Failing that, we may […]


Genealogical Sleuths – Fiction for you to Enjoy 3

In recent years, several authors of fiction have chosen genealogical sleuths as their main characters. In general, these are crime novels but frequently they have a ‘time-slip’ facet, so that they also contain elements of historical fiction. I have to say that if genealogy was as dangerous a career as some of these books imply, no one would be advised […]