Family trees

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  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
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    SailorSam wrote: »
    The thing that disappointed me when i had a go was........ It's nothing like when they do it on the telly. When the Tv series was on they had all sort of stories about what all the ancestors had done.

    On the telly they'll have done the stories of those who had something to say... many will've been dropped without any filming.

    Also, often, you'll notice that the stories aren't about what the ancestor did, but information about the industry they were in.

    For specifics you can find the stories in the local newspapers. Every month more and more are being digitised and available. You might find some stuff already by searching old papers online ... and every month there's the chance new material might turn up.

    One "interesting" thing about the newspapers is that often a remote newspaper might have something about your ancestor that their local paper didn't cover. There was information sent out round the country to "all papers" and if they had spare space they'd shove a bit in. Your local newspaper might not have had the space to stick your ancestor's court case into the local paper, but you might find it randomly turned up 200 miles away just to fill a spare space. I've found a couple like that. Or, one of mine was a bigamist and it was reported where he was living at the time but not in the local paper where he'd been born/died.

    Beyond that you have to then find out where/who might have specific records. Private collections. And then find out if they've got anything - which will probably cost a lot (pay by the hour for them to look).

    Mostly though, I've found the newspapers to yield the most details/information.
  • PasturesNew It is wonderful that in spite of tight finances, you persevered, well done!
    No-one cared much long ago, or even knew, what the men were up to. The lack of birth control made life very difficult for females. On my maternal side I found a great Great Grandmother running a brothel in Wigan. It was obvious from the census what she was up to. But she went on and married (maybe a punter?), who knows? I also got stuck finding some death records. I will never give up though. Welcome to our thread.
    Tips
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Although the workhouse has gone, it's possible she went to court to get maintenance from the father. Check the local Assizes records in the 1-2 months after the baby was born.

    Don't restrict it too much in time. My ancestor didn't go to court until her son was seven!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    I started in 1976, and have done both side of my parents and also both sides of my late OH.

    Rootsweb is a good place to post queries and costs nothing or Cindi's List. Quite often a family,especially if say they worked on the railways followed the line when they moved .

    I have got back to 1645 on my fathers side and because we had an unsually spelt surname it was slightly easier and helped when tracing.I found several descendants via Roots web queries.

    Often you will hit a 'brick wall' but most people who are interested will help I had a lady email me from Connecticut right out of the blue about a long lost uncle whose death record she found in the New York archives ,only because the name was an unusually spelt one and she was tracing one of her relatives and decided to try and find mine This uncle vanished in 1915 and my late Granny never knew what had happened to him, neither did my late Dad and that was why he called my brother David after his lost own brother I found out about my lost Uncle David in 1989 71 years after his death in Brooklyn.The odd thing was my brother davey was born in 1941 on the same day as my late uncle had died in 1918 February 12th weird coincidence !!

    The programme on TV make it look so easy,a lot of it is down to lateral thinking sometimes combined with a good dollop of patience and good luck. I have found relations from four corners of the world and thanks to the internet it has become so much easier. Its often not necessary to buy the certificates, and a good local family history society will often help you out with 'look-ups' if its a distance from where you live .

    My relations were based in Glasgow or Brechin, Angus. In fact I am off up to Brechin for another family reunion in September as a second cousin and her husband are over from Australia and also another branch from Winnipeg in Canada are also coming over again I met them two years ago and we had a fabulous time working out who went where and married whom :)

    Genealogy is a bit like doing a jigsaw, never getting all of the pieces but building it up as you go along. its also a long slow and at time frustrating process.

    I have spent 40 odd years with this as a hobby, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. When I first started I began by writing everyone I caould find in the phone books asking if they had relations from Scotland and if so where abouts Nowadays its so much easier with the internet and you can find people so much more quickly

    My tree is now over 45 A4 pages long, and all of my grandchildren have copies and are chuffed to see where at the bottom they all have appeared, descended from a tiny little town in the north east of Scotland they have spread all over the world to Australia,Canada,Denmark Mexico and the U.S.

    The only thing is, when you shake the branches of your family tree who know who will fall out !!! :):):)

    JackieO xx
  • Don't forget your local library will have a subscription to Ancestry, and if you can get to your county records office, you can also access Find My Past.
    The Mormon site, Family Search, is free to search as is Freebmd.
    HTH
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  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Rootchat is a great site - very friendly and helpful people.

    Members have access to a wide range of sources and many will do free look-ups or suggest approaches you may not have thought of.
  • datlexdatlex Forumite
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    SailorSam wrote: »
    When i started doing a family tree i came to a full stop on my Grandads side. He was born in the 1890s in a workhouse, similar to Oliver Twist. From what i could find out his Mum may have got herself pregnant as a teenager and been thrown out on the street by her parents. I couldn't find any details of who his Dad may have been, and the workhouse has been long gone, so there are no records.
    Always find that phrase funny "got herself pregnant"..... On a related note I have two ancestors born to what seems to be unmarried mothers. One was born in a workhouse. The child appears to have been accepted by the family, as there is evidence he was living with them. The other's mother married after her birth. It is of course not clear whether the man she married was the child's father or a different man. He does however appear to have accepted the child and she took his surname.
    I tend to go on every now and again nowadays as I find it works better like that. For example more records are released. Sometimes you can tell folk have gone wrong in their research or made assumptions.
    Interesting to see how things develop. I am fortunate in that I have photos of some members of my family from the 19th century. You also find out family secrets, for example I was always told as a child my great grandfather had been the only male child to survive childhood however his mother's will was executed by his brother. Further investigation suggested at least two survived to adulthood. Quite what the story is there I don't know.
    Paid off the last of my unsecured debts in 2016. Then saved up and bought a property. Current aim is to pay off my mortgage as early as possible. Currently over paying every month. Mortgage due to be paid off in 2036 hoping to get it paid off much earlier. Set up my own bespoke spreadsheet to manage my money.
  • JackieO Wow loved your story. Lots of tips from you as well. It really is a small world really. When I was tracing my Paternal roots in London, I went to ask my next door neighbor, what a fancy box maker was. He is a professor in history at the uni. When I showed him the census, his family lived next door!!!! Hundreds of years pass, we both live in Dorset, how strange.
    Lillibet you beat me to it, that is just what I was about to post. Bless you for that.x
    TO ALL: I really hope we can all help a novice.
    Remember this though: They used to tell lies on the census. Most people had their child baptized, EVEN in the workhouse. That was something they ALL believed in back then.
    Not all the records were lost in Ireland, the church records were hidden.
    Going to watch Long Lost Family I recorded now. Tissues at the ready.
    Tips x
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    JackieO wrote: »

    Genealogy is a bit like doing a jigsaw, never getting all of the pieces but building it up as you go along. its also a long slow and at time frustrating process.

    JackieO xx

    I'm sorry about this, i'm going off thread. But you know me i find it hard to stay serious for long, especially when i'm fed a perfect line.

    I've just finished a jigsaw, it took me 6mths to do it.
    It took you 6mths to do a jigsaw, that's a long time.
    Not really, on the lid of the box it said 4-5yrs.

    Shall i find another forum ?
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  • milasavesmoneymilasavesmoney Forumite
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    My earliest traced ancestor record is a land deed in Maryland (US)1680. We know this ancestor was English but have not been able to find him in ship records from there to here. The house he built there at that time still stands and has has several additions added. It was in the lineage of the descendants of one of his sons until 1940...not my family as several of Old John's sons went to North Carolina and then on south from there leaving family members all through the southern US.
    Overprepare, then go with the flow.
    [Regina Brett]
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