Posted by on 10 January 2011 in General

Anyone who has spent long periods of time with the family over Christmas will find that as the food and drink flow, the old family stories are wheeled out and retold again. In my case, my dad’s experiences as an evacuee and accounts of which relative disappeared to South Africa or Canada after some particularly pointless family quarrel, not to mention my Russian nihilist great grandfather and his sewing machine factory in Brooklyn.  As a child these tales were tantalising, some details so specific and others so vague -names, places and times lost over the century.

Until the advent of online genealogy, finding out the truth in these stories involved a lot time visiting archives, writing letters and wading through graveyards if you were lucky. Oftentimes, one had no idea whether there even was a verifying document, let alone where it might be. Nowadays, we are blessed with a wealth of ways to connect and research without leaving the house. Even so, unless these old stories are recorded in some way, they will eventually be lost to our children and grandchildren, whose interest in them often does not ignite until years later. While memories are still fresh, New Year is a good time to finally commit the stories to print, reach out to distant relatives and separate the truth from myth.

Happy Hunting to you all!

3 Comments

Tweets that mention Happy New Year, family historians! -- Topsy.com 

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lynn heiden. lynn heiden said: RT @AncestryUK: Family historians!: Anyone who has spent long periods of time with the family over Christmas wil… http://bit.ly/g1qM3j [...]

10 January 2011 at 11:52 am
Edwina 

Happy New Year to you too!

I was delighted with extra New Year newsletter of 31 Dec 2010 with all the family research stories. It was refreshing to read the Experts always pointing a way to find information and intimating DON’T GIVE UP!

The result for me was:
a) Sending off to the Cornwall County for a copy of the orignal death certificate of an ancestor when I could not locate it on the Index, the GRO couldn’t find it and yet I have a burial record.

b) The death index of a Great Aunt whom I knew lived in Dublin but nothing more. Found on FamilySearch.

c) On discovering that all the probate indexes are not complete for 1910/11, I am sending off details for a search to be made at the Probate Office for the Will of a 2 x great aunt. As she ended her nusring career as a Matron I think it is more than likely that she left one.

Also, the January newsletter showing how to use the Card Index was just what I needed.

Thank you.

More please!

11 January 2011 at 12:26 am
Free Genealogy Guide 

Sometimes I flabbergast myself. The very frustration I feel at the lack of information available about an ancestor should be a hard lesson why I should be doing the things like writing identifying notes on the backs of photographs and keeping up with a family journal. It’s like reverse Karma.

11 January 2011 at 7:21 am