I began researching my family tree when I was just 14 years old, my Nan had just passed away and in retrospect I think I found it a therapeutic way of dealing with the grief and loss. When she was alive we used to spend hours talking about her brothers, life growing up and events that were memorable to her. It pains me to think of all the things I have forgotten over time – I wish I could still remember all of those anecdotes. My Nan also loved History which is a subject I have always enjoyed, this may be an influential interest as we always used to watch anything historical on the television together and I remember how proud she was when I was awarded an A in an History essay at school.
I had no idea just what or quite how much I would find out on my journey, I simply remember trying to find out more information on my Nan’s direct relatives, which led to endless trips to the library to use Ancestry and the Microfilms – where most children my age would have been out having fun with friends I was in the library doing research! My tree seemed to grow and grow and any money I had would go towards ordering certificates.
I am in no means an expert in all areas of researching family history, but I have come a long way over the years and I am always looking to learn more. I have dived into and out of my family history research over the years and I have never found myself in the situation where I am bored and want to give up, quite the opposite, especially with the extensive supply of records that are constantly being uploaded onto websites such as – Ancestry, Family Search, Genes Reunited and many more.
I enjoy the challenge and insightful reward of finding out much more than just names and dates but also digging into the lives that the individuals lived. Where did they work, eat, sleep? Who did they marry? It may be due to this that I seem to have an array of certificates, records, pictures and emails everywhere!
Over the next few months it is my aim to share some of the most interesting stories and information that I have gathered. I may even dig up a few things I have forgotten about! I will be looking at my family tree from scratch and organising my findings into a methodical order. I have always debated how to store my findings, but after much prolonged hesitation I think it is time to stop debating and get on with it!
It’s crazy to think that I have all this information on people who I never had the good fortune to know, but it’s an inspiration to see how so many people have lived their lives and did amazing things.
I hope my documents will be of interest to any other like minded people out there! I’d love to hear stories from anyone who has researched their own family line or who would like to!