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snaarman
29th December 2016, 11:52 PM
I have spent this week researching my ancestors, a task I have considered for some years. Eventually I gave it a go and we have gone back about 200 years on both sides of the family.

It is a sad thing seeing someone's life go by in a handful of clicks on the appropriate census results. You see women made widows when their men die from hard graft. You see the men lose wives from childbirth. You see children vanish from the record.

One of my lot was registered as a mill worker at age 9. Thats the industrial north for you.

One elderly man on my wife's side has Occupation: Pauper. That is the agricultural working class in Norfolk...

So, I decided not to grumble for a few days if that's ok with everyone..

Pete

Simon Bee
30th December 2016, 05:06 AM
Quite right Pete,

We all tend to grumble now and again about 'this or that' when in reality 'most of us, most of the time' have bu**er-all to truly moan about. We don't even have to look into the past to see how lucky the majority of us are, what those poor souls in Syria and other war torn areas of the world have and are going through puts most if not all of our grumbles into perspective.

Simon

Melaka
30th December 2016, 07:34 AM
9 is no great age for starting in a mill. Often the test applied was whether you could touch your left ear with your right hand over your head. If you could, and you can aged about 6, you were old enough to work. Before the 1870 education act an awful lot of people started their working lives at a very young age.

I started researching my family in 1967 and still haven't finished.

Jim Ford
30th December 2016, 08:46 AM
'Gramps' is a great tool for recording family trees. I'ts available for all platforms:

https://gramps-project.org/

(It's free.)

Jim

Crazy Dave
30th December 2016, 10:34 AM
Hi Pete

Genealogy is my other main passion. What a rewarding way to spend one's time. The appreciation of how we arrived where we are today is in my opinion, very worthwhile. I have come across some very generous people who have shared years of research about mutual ancestors. We have also swapped photographs.

One of the best parts has the discovery of living second cousins who with whom I am in regular contact. What a wonderful bunch of folk and being part of an extended family feels great. Happy hunting.

David

Naughty Nigel
30th December 2016, 11:53 AM
'Gramps' is a great tool for recording family trees. I'ts available for all platforms:

https://gramps-project.org/

(It's free.)

Jim

Thanks for the link Jim. I will give that a try.

The problem I have is that all apart from my maternal grandmother only arrived in the UK about 120 ~ 130 years ago, and it seems more difficult to trace family trees in foreign countries.

My grandmother came from a well-to-do family in Norfolk, and was the eldest child, but was disinherited for the 'usual reason'. :)

Ross the fiddler
30th December 2016, 01:15 PM
It is a fascinating & sometimes frustrating pastime doing family history. It is tough finding the hard side of family life & also interesting when another side is well known, especially when there are a number of people that have already found a lot, as well as there being records going back to the late 1500's.

I wish you well with your searches.

*chr

skids
30th December 2016, 04:45 PM
My wife is really into Genealogy as well. Some of things she found out are really interesting mainly around my side of the family. Has answered some queries I always had but not with any of the answers I ever expected.

Jim Ford
30th December 2016, 05:00 PM
The problem I have is that all apart from my maternal grandmother only arrived in the UK about 120 ~ 130 years ago, and it seems more difficult to trace family trees in foreign countries.

I started a family tree for my partner. She comes from Koenigsburg, East Prussia (now Russian Kaliningrad). I couldn't go back far as I can't get any records, except word of mouth.

(I find it quite chilling to see a swastika on her birth certificate!)

Jim

Ivor
30th December 2016, 05:24 PM
Here in Northumberland, and I guess in other counties too, you can access Ancestry, Find My Past and The British Newspaper Archive websites free of charge, but only through the libraries computers. If you are digging further, they might be good resources for you.

Happy New Year!

Ivor

Naughty Nigel
30th December 2016, 05:51 PM
I started a family tree for my partner. She comes from Koenigsburg, East Prussia (now Russian Kaliningrad). I couldn't go back far as I can't get any records, except word of mouth.

(I find it quite chilling to see a swastika on her birth certificate!)

Jim

My maternal grandfather was born to Dutch parents in or around Lowestoft in the late 19th century. His parents had arrived in Lowestoft a few years earlier and (allegedly) set up the first business on the beach there selling beach goods of the day and hiring deck chairs. Clearly there was an entrepreneurial streak somewhere.

However, my grandfather became a very skilled engineer, who along with his son (my uncle) held several patents for a variety of mechanical devices.

When WW1 broke out he moved to London where he worked designing and building the primitive aircraft of the day for the war effort.

Now the interesting bit, for me anyway, is that he went by the name of Fokkerd, which may well be a miss-spelling. Fokker is not an unusual name in Holland or Germany, (although I have never found a Fokkerd), but I have often wondered if there could be a distant connection with Anthony Fokker.

Magus
30th December 2016, 11:04 PM
The great blessing in researching your ancestry is to have an unusual surname (my mother) not a common one (my estranged, now dead father).
My mother's side - back to Charlemagne, my Father's - back one further generation! He was born in the US and his father in New York but his grandfather in England without any further information, thus a near impossibility.

Petrochemist
31st December 2016, 01:08 AM
I've done quite a bit of research into my family. An unusual surname has helped considerably too. There are only 2 incidences of my surname in the UK records that I can't link through to, I've met nearly all the others (all except the divorced wife of a cousin).
My father is dutch but was born in Belgium. Tracing his line was a holding point for quite a while - I eventually found a website with the genealogy of the town my grandfather came from. This gave me 3 possible great grandfathers and it's only with help from Dutch genealogists that I've got any clues on which is the right one!
Details my mother had been given by her great aunt gave me an excellent start on her side and I have since found some fascinating connections. Including a officer on HMS Beagle (with Darwin) & The De-havilland family (of aircraft fame)...
There are 3 links I'd love to be able to firm up to the families concerned as they are rumored to lead to more impressive connections - The Pitt's (2 prime ministers), The Wadham's (founders of a college in Oxford) & The Glanville's which would apparently link me to the Plantagenet's ~20 generations ago & supposedly Odin :)
Unfortunately I've only got 1-2 occurrences of each of these surnames & no evidence of which part of those rather large families.

bilbo
31st December 2016, 02:40 PM
'Gramps' is a great tool for recording family trees. I'ts available for all platforms:

https://gramps-project.org/

(It's free.)

Jim

Thanks for this. Do you know if it can import from Ancestry?

Loup Garou
31st December 2016, 03:06 PM
I "research" into my genealogy every day when I stand in front of a mirror. I have no idea who my real parents are and since I was illegally adopted, there is no way of finding out....ever.

snaarman
31st December 2016, 03:22 PM
Thanks for this. Do you know if it can import from Ancestry?

I just downloaded Gramps and I'm getting to grips with it. You can export a GEDCOM file from Ancestry, and you can import that to Gramps. You can also get and print graphical output.

It is rather clunky compared to Ancestry, but it is free, and I don't relish paying Ancestry a fee every month. I suspect the GEDCOM file export is bare bones only, without the cross references that makes Ancestry easy to work with.

Equally you can let things run away from you. By accepting all the half likely offered hints in Ancestry I have apparently traced my tree back to 1410, nineteen generations. Really? I doubt that is correct somehow.

This is how we all end up being related to someone famous. I bet in the 15th century only rich folks got their details recorded...

Pete

Petrochemist
31st December 2016, 03:27 PM
I just downloaded Gramps and I'm getting to grips with it. You can export a GEDCOM file from Ancestry, and you can import that to Gramps. You can also get and print graphical output.

It is rather clunky compared to Ancestry, but it is free, and I don't relish paying Ancestry a fee every month. I suspect the GEDCOM file export is bare bones only, without the cross references that makes Ancestry easy to work with.

Equally you can let things run away from you. By accepting all the half likely offered hints in Ancestry I have apparently traced my tree back to 1410, nineteen generations. Really? I doubt that is correct somehow.

This is how we all end up being related to someone famous. I bet in the 15th century only rich folks got their details recorded...

Pete

I also got carried away with Ancestry's hints. It turned out I had numerous cases where older ancestors where their own brothers/cousins etc. sorting the mess was less worse than starting again & just copying the bits I was confident of.

Crazy Dave
31st December 2016, 03:47 PM
[QUOTE=

It is rather clunky compared to Ancestry, but it is free, and I don't relish paying Ancestry a fee every month. Pete[/QUOTE]

Hi Pete, I understand the reluctance to pay a monthly sub to Ancestry. However, I found a hint that someone was researching one of my ancestors. I offered them a large amount of data at the start of their journey. These are my second cousins who have turned out to be rigorous and excellent researchers who have managed to knock down quite a few of my brick walls through their follow up. Not only that, they have supplied photos of my great grandmother, great uncle and lots more.

Wishing you similar success, it may cost but you can always cancel the Ancestry sub once you feel you have gone as far as you feel is enough.

David

snaarman
31st December 2016, 05:40 PM
Yes, I have already exchanged data with a long lost relative of mine on the other side of the world. We haven't met or spoken since 1974.. all courtesy of Ancestry and this genealogical thing.

Melaka
31st December 2016, 06:07 PM
I "research" into my genealogy every day when I stand in front of a mirror. I have no idea who my real parents are and since I was illegally adopted, there is no way of finding out....ever.

From a family history point of view that is unfortunate although I hope it worked in other respects. All adoption was informal until 1926 which makes if difficult to trace although sometimes there are clues in the census or a will but that seems unlikely to help you. DNA techniques are becoming more sophisticated and, although they won't tell you who your parents were, they can help pin down the area from which they originated.

Melaka
31st December 2016, 06:09 PM
There are fewer genealogy programs than there used to be, perhaps because so much is now done on line. RootsMagic is worth looking at and not expensive. I have been using it for years.

shenstone
31st December 2016, 07:13 PM
Yes, I have already exchanged data with a long lost relative of mine on the other side of the world. We haven't met or spoken since 1974.. all courtesy of Ancestry and this genealogical thing.

Be careful with shared data from relatives - I had some shared to me as verified fact, but when I dug deeper most of it had come from me originally to another relative as stuff I am absolutely not sure about - ask for their verifiable sources to be included

Regards
Andy

Ivor
2nd January 2017, 04:19 AM
I "research" into my genealogy every day when I stand in front of a mirror. I have no idea who my real parents are and since I was illegally adopted, there is no way of finding out....ever.

One thing you could consider if it makes a big difference to you is DNA testing (https://www.ancestry.co.uk/dna/?s_kwcid=dna+testing&gclid=Cj0KEQiA7qLDBRD9xJ7PscDCu5IBEiQAqo3BxKf8qqeO or9red6B1wgpntfYtD8Pi33_-EhAOgdygJAaAuth8P8HAQ&o_xid=64490&o_lid=64490&o_sch=Paid+Search+Non+Brand). I understand it costs up to 100 and it can lead to finding direct relatives. There are lots of companies out there with access to different databases and so nothing is guaranteed. The one I have linked to (79) claims to have 2.5 million samples, but that is not limited to the UK.

All the best,

Ivor

Naughty Nigel
2nd January 2017, 09:04 PM
One thing you could consider if it makes a big difference to you is DNA testing (https://www.ancestry.co.uk/dna/?s_kwcid=dna+testing&gclid=Cj0KEQiA7qLDBRD9xJ7PscDCu5IBEiQAqo3BxKf8qqeO or9red6B1wgpntfYtD8Pi33_-EhAOgdygJAaAuth8P8HAQ&o_xid=64490&o_lid=64490&o_sch=Paid+Search+Non+Brand). I understand it costs up to 100 and it can lead to finding direct relatives. There are lots of companies out there with access to different databases and so nothing is guaranteed. The one I have linked to (79) claims to have 2.5 million samples, but that is not limited to the UK.

All the best,

Ivor

I gather DNA testing is very good at identifying where in the world your family originated from, which even by itself would be fascinating information.

Crazy Dave
3rd January 2017, 07:26 AM
I subscribe to a newsletter from 'Lost Cousins' - lost cousins.com. It's free and is run by Peter Calver who is extremely knowledgeable about all things pertaining to genealogy. His knowledge of the science behind DNA testing is superb and his advice about the various options is worth reading if one is considering that route.

Old posts can be viewed via the web site. Membership which entitles uploading of ancestors for matching against other researchers costs 10 a year if I recall correctly. Enumerator detail of census entries is loaded as part of the process so chances of a mismatch are negligible. Renewal is not automatic so opt out is easy. Highly ethical and recommended.

David

snaarman
3rd January 2017, 09:02 AM
I'm a bit wary of DNA testing.

I have this fondly held notion that I come from Scandinavian stock: fair skin, blue eyes, west Yorkshire ancestors up there amongst the Vikings and a vaguely scandinavian surname.

However, DNA testing could dispose of that idea in one go, and could show I was (heaven forbid) French

:)