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Anyone successfully researched their family tree? I'm newly inspired after all the WW1 programs on BBC recently and I was wondering what the best resources around were except for general family knowledge.
I've got a niece who has been Mayor of Bollington in Cheshire twice. Now she has retired and with the help of one of her sons decided to research her family tree. After about six months whilst chatting idly with her on the phone she tells me that I am descended from ... One of the bodyguards of "Robert the Bruce". Is that claim to fame thread still going? I nearly died laughing. However her son is taking it very seriously and has started to play the bagpipes and wear a kilt. (Eat your heart out Macscouse). I have told him to join the Liverpool Scottish Regiment, but he tells me that no longer exists... What a shame. My niece is going to send me a copy of the family tree so I am looking forward to finding out who my more immediate family were... Amen.
I wonder how your niece was able to find that out. Tracing a bodyguard that far back (nearly 700 years) is quite a task. I wouldn't start looking at Tartans just yet, if I was you.
Over the past 4/5 years I have been reasonably successful with both my own and my wife's family history. Mine, born in South Wales of, what I thought were Welsh parents, led me to the West coast of Wales, County Cork in Ireland, an 'agricultural background' in Somerset, the police force of Bristol, the fish mongery trade in Manchester and Cardiff, and the fur trade in London. Needless to say, there were a few skeletons in the cupboard and a number of questions unanswered.
I simply started with mother and father's birth and marriage certificates, then grandparents details, census reports and family history societies in the areas of interest.
Be warned - although interesting it can be quite expensive and time consuming. My advice: go for it!
I do fancy the task of tracing the family back. What I know of the recent past is that both Gt,Gt Grandparents originate from Ireland around the time of the potato famine, and that is as far as recent word of mouth can reasonably go.
Ancestry.co.uk (subscription needed to fully access all documents) is invaluable. Free BMD also very good. With these you can access all the censuses up to 1901, and myriads of other documents, all from a single search.
I keep my family tree on-line at Genes Reunited (simple to allow others to see it).
Legacy (free standard version click here ) is good for keeping your details on your own PC. Look for GEDCOM compatible records.
My wife's family includes Circus and Fairground folk (including the first black circus proprietor in the UK). Totally fascinating.
Before you lose any time - ask all the family you know to write down all the details they remember, and give you copies of birth, death and marriage certificates (guarantee their safe keeping, and do not allow copies of those of living persons on-line) and photos and any other useful historical documents. This will give you a real head start.
One of the most difficult things is that censuses only up to 1901 are on-line (100-year rule), which makes the 20th century details very elusive at times.
to Rylstone in Yorkshire (made famous by the WI 'Calender Girls')
via Scotland and Canada - with scandal and dead ends along the way to contend with.
Genes Reunited & LDS good starting points.
Plus searching the web as a lot of ground work may already be out there by a distant rich relation ;)
One of my relatives did a lot of research then put it on here click here and we all add or bit to it, including photos. It's interesting to see where the family goes.
I have no intention of upsetting all my Scottish friends by picking out a tartan. Besides who would wear a kilt in our climate, I don't want to be classed as being as daft as them.
I am still awaiting the copy of the family tree my niece promised me about two years ago. Must give her a phone call tonight.
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