I did wonder whether to write this post just yet as it seems all I have been doing lately is writing about war heroes and fallen soldiers in my family but that is the subject matter on my mind most at the moment given I’m currently working on a large scale project to commemorate these wonderful men but also I’ve had some new information come to light a couple of weeks ago about one of the individuals in this post and just felt it had to be shared. My post this week is about a whole family really but with particular attention being paid to three members of that family. It is the story of my Great-grandfather and his family. (MIchael Charles Metcalfe, 1885-1917)
There are certain families on my family tree that I get messages and questions about more than others simply because they are so prolific and heavily researched. I spend so long researching these family names that they really do become a part of me. Some of my most heavily researched lines include the names of Brumby, Doo, Metcalfe, Batters, and Edwards. It is a member of the Doo family that I am writing about today who was as far as I can tell a bit of a local legend in his day but whose name is remembered in a way that even he would not have conceived of when he was alive. His name was Harold Emile Doo or H. Emile Doo as he was known in business or just Emile to those closest to him. He was my 3rd cousin 3 times removed and his Great-grandfather James Doo was the brother of Holmes Doo who was my 4x Great-Grandfather on my mother’s side. (Remember that name for I have further stories to tell of Holmes Doo and his family!) Continue reading
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.
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