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

High Days and Holy-Days

In the hard-working lives of our ancestors, celebrations and days off were a rarity and therefore all the more highly prized. If we want to understand more about how our family spent their time, it is worth investigating what special occasions might have been held in their communities. Even market days and fairs were a break from the routine. In […]

The Remedies and Recipes of our Ancestors

I have recently completed an article on Herbal Remedies that will appear in a future issue of Going In-Depth. In the meantime I thought, I would share a few more weird and wonderful recipes and remedies used by our ancestors. Mrs Plant’s Cure for Kidney Stones (1680) An excellent receipt for breaking & dissolving the stone. Take sassifrage, Pelletory, marshmallowes, […]

Researching Lunatics in England 1

The history of mental health is poorly understood and many of those who were labeled as ‘lunatics’ in the past would have a very different diagnosis in the present. There are a number of sources that tell us more about these unfortunate members of our family. From 1871, the census columns concerning disability added idiot (later replaced by feeble minded), […]

The Life and Times of our Ancestors: a Journey to the Seventeenth Century 1

I am currently in the midst of the latest presentation of the online course ‘Writing and Telling your Family’s Story’, that I tutor for Pharos Tutoring and Teaching. This week we are focusing on social history: what our ancestors would have worn, the food they may have eaten, what their homes were like, how their illnesses would have been treated and […]