Back in 2007 I signed up on Ancestry with a 2 week free trial… enticed by the adverts of uncovering my family’s history. I had always enjoyed listening to my grandparent’s stories of days gone by; I had grown up listening to my father telling his grandfather’s war stories. Researching other branches wouldn’t be that hard would it?
What I didn’t realise was that 2 weeks later I would be paying for a subscription and that I would be completely hooked.
Looking back, I can’t even imagine how many hours I’ve spent researching the various branches of my tree. I can’t even tell you how frustrating a brick wall is.
The last 8.5 years have been spent dipping my toe in and out of genealogy. I have 100’s of pounds worth of birth, marriage and death certificates, alongside a few wills, in a folder. The journey has been incredible.
I have discovered that my grandmother was married before my grandfather.
I have found a brother of my grandmother who died within the first month of his life.
I have found bigamous ancestors (one even got sentenced to two weeks hard labour for it); ancestors in trouble for being rowdy in church.
I think the stories that always hit me the hardest are those where the mother is buried not long after a baby’s birth or baptism. I have found too many to name.
The large families of 12 or more children make my eyes water. But I know of one family who had 15 children but only 5 made it to adulthood.
My great-grandparents outlived 3 of their 4 children… I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that must have been…
My journey through family history has been amazing and I’ve recently picked up the records again (and to think I only went on to add Rainbow!) and I can’t wait to uncover that next record.