Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the beginning...

One of the very first assignments I can remember being given when I started Secondary School was to make a Family Tree. By the end of that same week; I had been issued the same assignment for no less than three separate classes (French, Welsh and Religious Education). So there I was 11 years old thinking how can I do this assignment when I thought I may as well start with what I knew. In the back of one of my exercise books I wrote my own name at the bottom of the page with my date of birth and to my right I wrote the same for my little brother and in just a few minutes I had three generations and had started adding a fourth. 

When I got home from school I handed the book to my parents explaining what I had to do and asked them to fill in the blanks. We soon realised that my parents could only fill in some of the information that I wanted to use so my Grandparents were employed to fill in the rest. By the time I had 'finished' these assignments I had more questions than answers; When did Gran and Grancher marry? who were their parents? did they have any siblings? I was fortunate that my Maternal Grandmother has a family tree that her cousin had done many years before and sent to her Mother - I was given a copy of it and started trying to piece together what I knew and how some of that tree connected. For the next seven years I had to put my research on the back burner but updated the tree I had created when ever there was a significant event in the family.

 Now 18 years later and I can honestly say I am well any truly addicted to rooting around in databases and records. I don't care that my brother has no interest in genealogy or that he refers to it as stalking the dead. For me it is so much more than that, I want to know the people that came before me, the one who made me, me! I wonder why my Great-great-grandfather listed himself as a bachelor on both marriage certificates, why my Great-grandmother said her birth was never registered and how my Great-grandmother felt when her Mother left town to move back 'home' with the youngest of her siblings. I know I might never be able to answer so of those questions but that doesn't mean I will stop looking for clues.

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