A key tip in researching your family history is to gather facts and memories from living ancestors before it’s too late. It is easier to find answers to questions from those who are living and hold the answers than to try and find those answers for yourself once they have passed on. Family gatherings and social occasions provide perfect opportunities for fact gathering. For similar reasons, it is so important to make a record of your own life and memories – it may seem of little consequence to you to do so right now but journals and scrapbooks that share nuggets of information about you will be of greater value to your children and their children than any other legacy bequeathed to them. The smallest discovery of a memory of someone has brought the biggest thrills to me in my research. They are the details that give life to a name and so today I want to record the small memories I have of my maternal Grandparents Arthur and Eva McNama.
(Grandma and Granddad McNama pictured in their back garden at King’s Road, A-u-L)
I wanted to write this post yesterday but illness prevented it so it is a day late but I have been thinking about family far afield as they celebrated the birth of a wonderful lady, mother, wife and friend. Yesterday would have been her 62nd birthday but she passed away just over 2 years ago, taken by a cruel illness that is cancer and leaving a gaping hole in the lives of those she left behind who miss her still and always will and so I wanted to honour her memory by writing from my own perspective and own memory of this wonderful lady.
(Kay Teeter – 1954-2014)
Quite often when I’m doing my family history research it feels like my dead ancestors are throwing themselves at me because of the speed and quantity with which information is revealed. I can grow a tree very quickly if the records are available for me to research. Sometimes I will set a target for myself and say I will just complete this family group and finish up for the day but then it will be the last person I’m working on that is usually the linchpin to opening up a whole new undiscovered branch of the tree and suddenly there are droves upon droves of ancestors to be added again. Some branches however are very guarded and take a lifetime to reveal themselves only parting with snippets of information in droplets. Those lines can be the most frustrating to work on but patience can bring results. Continue reading
Precious memories are triggered by the most mundane, peculiar things – a sound, a smell, an object – seemingly ordinary things that encapsulate emotions and memories so strong and powerful within us that they no longer remain ordinary but rather special. I have been thinking today about two very very special people whom I think are perfectly summed up by Toby jugs, tobacco and banana sandwiches! Those three things that mean nothing of any real significance to most of you reading this evoke some of my most pleasurable memories from childhood and so today I choose to honour them and their memory in this post. They are my paternal Grandparents.
Not been able to do much in the way of research today as I had a visit from my in-laws. I had to be social for a change which isn’t the most comfortable place to be for me – I am most at home in the company of dead friends so to speak but concede that I need to spend time with the living also! (I say that tongue-in-cheek of course!)
Anyway, my mother and father-in-law came over to spend some time with their Granddaughter and I’m incredibly blessed in that my mother-in-law is another family history buff (I mentioned that my family has it’s lion’s share of these!) so when I married her son I inherited all the family history research that she had undertaken for their side of the family and instantly doubled the size of my family tree.Unexpectedly today, as well as the sweet treats and colouring book bought as a surprise for my daughter, I was given this lovely image. Continue reading
If you have been researching your family history for a long time then some individuals, stories or discoveries become more memorable to you than others. There is a lady I have never had the pleasure of meeting but for whom I have a particular affection for – dear Clariss!
(Clariss Brown, 1882-1972)
In my previous post I spoke of a treasured letter my former father-in-law sent me in which I found snippets of information that would ultimately open up to a world of discovery for me. It was in that letter that I first found Clariss. She was my father-in-law’s Grandmother and was at that stage just a name with an approximate year of birth coupled with some information relating to her husbands and children. This was the limit of my father-in-law’s knowledge about his mother’s family and it extended no further. Continue reading
Every blog has to start somewhere and so today I thought it was apt to start this journey on a day where I am celebrating the birth of my only son. Birthdays bring memories and my memories are all caught up with family and this birthday marked the true beginning of my journey into family history research.
(Baby Scan – 17th Jan 1995)
On a day much hotter than today 21 years ago, my boy entered this world looking like he had been on holiday somewhere hot as he had pinched all my iron and had a golden tan already. He was perfection and a ray of light at a time that was one of the darkest periods in my life. When he was born I was already separated from his dad and divorce followed not long after his birth. It was a difficult time. He had an older sister and we were now on our own and I wasn’t sure I could do this parenting thing on my own. Twenty-one years is perfect hindsight because I now see that I could but back then in the moment, my world was a very scary place to be. Continue reading