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Family tree

(106 Posts)
Shandy57 Wed 03-Feb-21 22:06:00

Is anyone else researching their family tree? I found it very difficult to do a few years after my husband died, but now it's five years I thought I'd return to it. I've now paid for Worldwide ancestry access, and have just found out that my grandfather was born in India. I'm 63 and have no memory of ever being told this - and my one remaining aunt didn't mention it when I went to India on holiday. I've spoken to her tonight and she is sure I'd been told in the past, but I have no memory of it.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 03-Feb-21 22:12:18

I think you’ll find lots of things that you weren’t told about! But I usually find something then vaguely remember my Mum saying about it.
I’ve been doing it for 16 years and it’s fascinating.

Esspee Wed 03-Feb-21 22:22:25

I started a couple of months ago and am finding it completely engrossing and very addictive. I managed to get back to the early 1800s with every line in about a month and am now fleshing out their lives through research.
It helps greatly that most of my ancestors are Scottish, such marvellous records and reasonably priced access to them.
Don’t order certificates from Ancestry. It is such a rip off.

Hejira Wed 03-Feb-21 22:24:21

Another family historian both my own family and for others on an amateur basis. I have also been surprised by the things I have discovered about the family members I knew and those I didn't.

I'm inclined to use family history as a hook to read more about local and social history.

Sharing photos on Ancestry has lead to very interesting discussions with distant and previously unknown cousins. In one case, I was able to solve a long-standing mystery in another branch of the family. I had no idea that a box file of old photos which came to me from my late father-in-law and had sat untouched for decades, held the key to a mystery that had perplexed someone else for decades.

baubles Wed 03-Feb-21 22:29:20

I waste a lot of hours on various sites without getting very far. My family are Irish and they were poor, there aren’t a lot of records.

polomint Wed 03-Feb-21 22:34:21

I've been researching my family history for over 20 years. It's a hobby that you can start and stop but it is very addictive too! I can be lost for hours tracing them all and can picture the people and their lives. I've done both sides of my husband and both paternal and maternal on my side. Eventually I will write a book for my grandchildren and have started it during lockdown. I wish you well on your road to discovery

SisterAct Wed 03-Feb-21 22:39:56

Could anyone recommend where I can get my family tree typed up professionally? Thanks

Hejira Wed 03-Feb-21 22:40:04

baubles. Sadly a lot of Irish records were lost or destroyed. You have probably seen this:

Anniebach Wed 03-Feb-21 22:47:59

I have been researching for years and have transcribe. My elder granddaughter was thrilled to know she had the same name as a g g g g g grandmother ,who Married a man of the same name as my granddaughters partner , we didn’t know this when she was named.

Chestnut Wed 03-Feb-21 23:36:24

You can become completely immersed in family history because everything you find raises another question. I started with one birth certificate and now have 12 lever arch files and over 7,000 files on my computer (I save all the census returns as well as pictures and certificates).
The key is to leave no stone unturned and to examine documents very, very carefully as there will be more clues there than you first think.

JennyNotFromTheBlock Thu 04-Feb-21 05:49:35

My daughter does a lot of research and she is absolutely into it now. It started with her wish to colorize several old pictures just out of curiosity and then she ended up creating a family tree and looking for the information everywhere. I help her with the iformation I got and remember, but there isn't much anyway, so we both work on it now.
SisterAct we used, they have articles about building a family tree, restoring old photos, finding your family members, i.e. practically everything for the beginner.

baubles Thu 04-Feb-21 08:26:10


baubles. Sadly a lot of Irish records were lost or destroyed. You have probably seen this:

Thanks Hejira, I was aware of why there are so few records, it’s just frustrating.

JeannieB44 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:25:29

I have been researching on and off for years. Sometimes the big websites have free weekends which is useful as they often gave different records. You can also find some parish records online for free. I found an ancestor by chance on on Devon website, I hadn't found him on any of the big websites. Its never quite as easy as it looks on the TV programmes but fun nonetheless. Good luck.

essjay Thu 04-Feb-21 10:27:57

i have been researching my family tree for over 10 years, when i first started it was exciting to find so many discoveries about my family history. i have used free trials for most sites and since lockdown have been using access to findmypast and ancestry via my library. i wish i had asked loads of questions when my dad and nan were alive but luckily sometimes a forgotten conversation comes to mind and sparks another round of searches. occasionally i do hit a brick wall such as trying to find my maternal grandads first wife and i only knew he had been married before because it stated widower on the marriage certificate when he wed my nan and unfortunately he has a common surname.

Dee1012 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:32:07

I've done this on and off for a few years....I've found it fascinating.
I've discovered on the paternal side of my family German and Italian ancestors.
Interesting in these days of Brexit!

SecondhandRose Thu 04-Feb-21 10:32:15

I am on Ancestry and I love it. Various other family branches have done it too. I also took the DNA test before Christmas and I am looking forward to the results. Ancestry has really moved on and now it gives you potential family members.

nananet01 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:34:13

Which website would you recommend?

Dearknees1 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:40:09

I also discovered family that had been in India which I didn't know about. It was my mum's great grandfather and I don't think she knew. I'm sad she's no longer here to tell. I'm also frustrated when I realise I should have asked questions when the people who could have answered them were still alive.

JBones Thu 04-Feb-21 10:42:01

A relative of mine sent me a copy of my supposed 'ancestry'. I was devastated by the inaccuracies. I read about myself that at the age of fifteen I was 'on the streets'. There was much speculation most of which was awful to read. Once printed and distributed there was no opportunity to 'right' the 'wrongs'.

PennyWhistle Thu 04-Feb-21 10:42:22

I have been researching my genealogy for over 35 years, and now that I have more time (especially in lock down whilst it is raining outdoors) am now focussed on turning that knowledge into family history. I have written a book on the lives of my maternal grandparents and am now starting to dig deeper into the lives of my paternal grandparents.

May I recommend that those interested in learning more have the DNA of their oldest family members tested. This will be a huge help in your research.

Please always remember the need for discretion and gentleness when talking to older family members in case you stir up those skeletons hidden in the wardrobe.

Funnygran Thu 04-Feb-21 10:42:48

My maiden name wasn’t very common in the North of England and years ago a man contacted me through Friends Reunited to say that his wife had the same name and he was doing a family tree. It appeared we shared a set of great great grandparents. I supplied him with as much information as I could and eventually he sent me the finished tree in a huge roll. I was interested in how often names were repeated down the generations including names that my sister and I had given our own children without knowing our ancestor’s names. I then started to research my mother’s side and sadly came to a complete blank since all of her aunts, uncles and cousins had passed away. Sadly I’ve got no further with that line. It’s so interesting delving into the past.

Madwoman11 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:43:20

May I ask Esspee what have you signed up to to research your family tree. I ask because my ancestors are Scottish.

Septimia Thu 04-Feb-21 10:46:31

I knew quite a lot when I started out thanks to research done by my dad's cousin - who had to do it the hard way by going to the churches and record offices. I've filled in lots of gaps and discovered things that I know I would never have been told!!

I like Ancestry but often supplement the information using Scotland's People and Find Your Past etc. I also like looking up the places where my ancestors lived - especially using online maps - and have been able to get photos of some of them.

Madwoman11 Thu 04-Feb-21 10:47:59

Am I right in thinking that if I join Ancestry that my success will be shared with other family doing the same family tree. I ask because I know my brother was interested, but we haven't spoken for 20 years, but I got an email from Ancestry asking if I wanted to wish him happy birthday and presume he had the same.
Some of the things I'm finding out I really wouldn't want to share even with family.

Septimia Thu 04-Feb-21 10:49:34

You don't have to share your Ancestry research with anyone if you don't want to. I opted not to, except for those people I invited.