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GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
Does anyone like history, and, or genealogy? 
 Are you an amateur genealogist? Did you begin slowly and then become addicted? What made you take up this hobby? Have their been any surprises? Has it helped your knowledge of history and  geography? 


  • SimonPSimonP Member Posts: 9 Connected
    Mom had dementia and talked of people I'd never known. So I started to research the family tree. I've found some real surprises (bigamy being one of them. First cousin marriages and transportations too). I got to know the family Mom had around her as a child so I could talk to her within the world she remembered.

    She passed away in 2012 and I haven't bothered since. I'm still interested but can go no further using on-line data.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    I had a phone call from heir hunters Uk yesterday. I had never been interested in family history but now I an intrigued. The young lady said that they had tken my family tree further back than usual as she found it so fascinating, back through france to portugal. On top of that the reason was that the treasury is holding an estate to which I might be party to. Waiting to see what happens , she is suposed to be ringing again today.

    Anyone else had this happen ?

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    How interesting CockneyRebel. I would be intrigued too. I have never, as yet, had this happen to me. I love those programmes the stories are fascinating.  
    My research has taken me to Australia, Canada and the United States.

    I hope the young lady does phone back today.
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    SimonP. I can confirm that you do find, both, happy and sad, stories when researching a family tree. 
    In my own tree there are suicides, thefts, fatal accidents, transportations and a chap who was Clerk of the Privy Purse to King Edward VII. 
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    How exciting @CockneyRebel :o
    Senior online community officer
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    The nice young lady did indeed phone me back, further tracing and there was a french lady married a portugese gentleman in Jamaica. She is forwarding everything on to me so I will wait and see

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    My goodness CockneyRebel. Really fascinating. What century are we talking of? 
    I have traced one line of my Scottish family back to the mid 17th century.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Tracy, the young lady, mentioned mid 17th century and she is still looking in her own time as she has become fascinated, It is  free so all good

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Lol and you not need to do the hard graft yourself. However, that maybe takes away from the big discoveries you might make yourself? What do others think?
  • mayfairmayfair Member Posts: 39 Connected
    I would love to do a family tree as my surname is very unusual from where we are from but I always thought it would cost a lot of money and patience which I have very little of both lol 
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Mayfair. It does cost an inordinate amount of patience and sometimes thinking outside the box. You may have a headway with an unusual surname.
    Are you a member of a UK library? If so, you can start for free. 
  • susan48susan48 Member Posts: 2,229 Disability Gamechanger

    fantastic please let us know what happens, so interesting.

    i did my partial family tree, got too complicated. I was adopted as a baby so found lots of family members, brothers, sisters, aunts etc. 

    Emotional though and not alway happy ever after, like you see on tv!!!

    good luck on you journey 
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Thanks CockneyRebel. I started a few years ago after being made redundant from my job. Needed something new to begin and keep my brain busy. Always been a more academic person, as opposed to sporty, due to how my disability affects me.

    I went straight around to my mother's house and looked at all her family documents taking notes in a large book. My mother only knew the surname of a grandmother and due to my searches, we have discovered, when\where she was born, her Christian name and when she died.
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    I researched my family tree on Find My Past.  The only curious finding was that my father had two uncles that he never mentioned.  I think they must both have been killed in WW1.  I must try to find out some time. My father was born in 1917 so wouldn't have known them.  His sister was 10 years older so would have known her uncles as a child but she never mentioned them either.

    A relative of mine was contacted by a firm of heir hunters because an aunt of his had died intestate.  However, he knew of this aunt though hadn't seen her since he was a child.

    I did an Ancestry DNA test and I am 45% Great Britain, 16% Irish, 16% Scandinavian, 14% Iberian Peninsula.  The last was a surprise.

    There are two stories in our family, probably myths or greatly exaggerated.  My great grandmother as a child was at her grandmother's house when a solicitor turned up and told her that her brother, a sea captain, had gone down with his ship and left her an 'estate' in Yorkshire.  My ancestor turned the money down, for some reason!  Perhaps the reality was that the brother was a lower-ranking sailor who'd left his sister a bit of money in a bank account in Yorkshire.

    The other story is that my grandfather's uncle or grandfather was a headmaster of a famous public school.

    I wasn't able to trace either my great grandmother's grandmother or my grandfather's uncle or grandfather to check if there was any truth to either story.
  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    Totally addicted! I started when I became disabled, as I needed something to keep me from going nuts. My family (now living in Canada) are all British, but didn't know much about the past. I've found out all kinds of weird things. 

    The grandfather who was supposedly retired from the British forces for a war wound was actually retired for urinary incontinence. Didn't tell my Mum that. :/

    Found that another grandfather had an older sister by a different mother (who died in childbirth). She was raised by her mother's family, and eventually moved to Australia. I got in touch with her descendants, and it turned out that they had our family bible! They sent me photos of all the births, marriages and deaths written in it. Cool.

    I traced my paternal grandmother's line back to 1692, which was neat. Went to the church which many generations attended with my Dad. Quite emotional. We also went on a little adventure to find the house where the woman mentioned above grew up. Still there!

    Unfortunately, I haven't had as much luck with my Mum's family. Her Dad deserted her when she was 5, divorced her mum, remarried the woman in the flat upstairs, and had a son. My mum, who is in her 70's, would dearly like to meet him, but the family name is very common, so I'm having trouble...

  • WaylayWaylay Member Posts: 922 Pioneering
    I also did an Ancestry DNA test, but I'm British British British, with 4% Scandinavian and 0.1% West African. I'm in the 95th percentile for Neanderthal DNA, tho!
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Matilda.  How fascinating to somebody as addicted as I am lol.

    I researched my grandmother, from Manchester, finding that although, she had spoken to my mother of her sisters, she had not mentioned her brother. He was in the Manchester Regiment during WW1. it is possible they had lost touch, as my grandmother came down to Fulham to marry my Scottish grandfather.

    Another thing that occurred to me is; do you know the name of the possible 'sea captain', the ship he was sailing on and the date. You can find allsorts of interesting accounts in the old newspapers. 

    Do you also know the name of your ancestor who was possibly the headmaster of the famous school?

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited April 2018

    I don't have any details about the 'sea captain'.  I could look at newspapers for the years in which the 'sinking' is likely to have happened.

    I don't know the 'headmaster's' name.  I looked at the list of 19th Century headmasters on the school's website but my grandfather's surname isn't there.  I don't know his mother's maiden name.  There were a couple of names who were headmasters around the time my ancestor could have been headmaster.  Maybe this is another embellished family story and my ancestor was just a master there. Or, as the school takes the name of the town, maybe ancestor didn't work at the famous school but at another school in the town with a similar name.

    So far I've only looked at census records and summaries of birth, marriage and death certs.  I'd have to get the full certs to find out more names and check some of those I've already got.

    Researching ancestors is a very complex exercise!


    Great that you have been able to trace some ancestors back to 1692!
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Thanks Waylay. I managed to trace my Scottish ancestors back to 1692. I thought they might be tricky. It took a few assumptions, thinking outside the box and one lucky visit to The Mitchell Library to get there. I would love to return to Scotland and do some more work.
  • GeniedebsGeniedebs Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Matilda. I would agree with you that researching ancestors is very complex. It can be intensely frustrating and highly rewarding. That breakthrough 'Eureka' moment. It can also be funny and sad. 

    At the moment, I am beginning to research, from a direct line, ancestors who were born in the West Country then emigrated to firstly  South Africa then America.
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