Gransnet forums



(17 Posts)
carboncareful Mon 23-May-11 19:27:45

Obama just visited the village in Ireland where his great, great, great, great grandparents lived. I wonder where the other 30 lived? And the 64 g,g,g,g,g, grandparents of his daughters?

BikerDave Tue 24-May-11 20:26:55

Not sure where you're going with this one, carboncareful.
The reality and the mathematics of genealogy are sef-evident, and as the number grows the wider the geographical possibilities get.
If we go back far enough is everybody, through one line or another, related to everybody else?
We've all come from one big melting pot - it's just a pity we don't all realise it and call a halt to the "family" feuding.
As for Mr. Obama, I imagine his ancestors are as wide-spread as everybody elses - and just as hard to find!

bikergran Tue 24-May-11 21:51:51

Hello BikerDave......any advice for me [smile} relating to my Mod 2 bike test ...not booked it yet,only did my Mod 1 last Friday woohooo... [smile]

BikerDave Wed 25-May-11 15:24:11

Well, bikergran, I think I'm the wrong person to ask. I passed my motorbike test in 1967 when things were very, very different. Since that time the government have made so many changes to it that, to me, it's just a bewildering array of stages, both theory and practice. The licence you can get - and hence the type of bike you can ride - seems to vary with your previous driving experience and your age. It's just a nightmare!
However, if I am to offer advice I'd say: Good on you for doing it. Keep going to the end and make sure you get a suitable bike (& suitable riding kit) as soon as possible. Then get out there and enjoy it.
On a practical level I'd say; write/email RiDE magazine, outline your situation and ask them for their advice. They'd love to know that a grandparent was taking a bike test. Contact: [email protected], or
Good Luck
P.S. I suppose we'd better not hi-jack carboncareful's Topic any further.
P.P.S. Let me know how you get on.

carboncareful Wed 25-May-11 18:02:10

what have bikes got to do with geneology?
Anyway, "where I'm going" is not looking for my ancesters, its just plain daft and an absolute waste of time.

bikergran Wed 25-May-11 19:48:48

"BikerDave" many thanks for the info ..and yes agree with you! don't want to be thrown out of the forum do we!! wink

BikerDave Thu 26-May-11 11:04:42

Dear carboncareful,
profound apologies for diverting your theme - we won't do it again. Perhaps we'll have to open a new Topic just for ageing bikers with grandchildren.
So, back to your Topic: "not looking for (your) ancestors". That's OK. If we all had the same thoughts and interests what a boring place this world would be. We need diversity. Hobbies and matters of personal concern vary from person to person - and that's as it should be.
For many of us though, tracing the roots of our family provides us with a feeling of belonging, of being aware of where we've come from and how our forebears would have lived. You also get a sense of the diversity of your background and realise just how closely all the various sections of society are actually linked. We don't just appear on this earth with no influence from earlier generations. Whilst acknowledging that we can live in isolation and without taking any cognisance of our ancestors (be they recent or long-past) by knowing something about them you see yourself in the context of the ever-changing world - and, perhaps more importantly, you accept that you are merely the next stage of the family who is contributing to your children's and your grandchildren's personalities and futures. That knowledge adds a level of responsibility that maybe we don't want, but can hardly shy away from.
Anyway, I'm sure you're happy with your view, so we'll just amiably agree to differ. (and never mention motorbikes again!)

Magsie Thu 26-May-11 11:53:19

As BikerDave says, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I have been tracing my family tree and found it absolutely fascinating for all sorts of reasons. Apart from researching the actual tree, I have looked at copies of wills and also references to the family in old newspapers. I've found a criminal, a famous opera singer and a child killed in a tragic accident, amongst many others. Social history seems much more interesting and relevant when you can relate it to your own family. For example, I've been inspired to find out more about the mining & pottery industries. I have also found second cousins who live all over the world and keep in touch with them by email.

BikerDave Thu 26-May-11 16:14:32

Are we ganging up on carboncareful? (In a friendly way, that is). We're both extolling the benefits of "ancestor hunting" and putting forward the arguments for doing it, in opposition to the idea of it being daft and a waste of time.

I think that golf is a good walk spoilt, but some golfing friends have told me I should try it and then I'd learn to love it. hmm
My experience tells me that genealogy is a pastime that starts out with simple and limited expectations, but grows as you gradually become hooked on it. The range of the work expands in all directions, taking in, as you've highlighted, areas such as research into the industries in which your family worked. It becomes an interest in social history as well as in individual family members.
Also, when other family members are given copies of the findings, they not only devour it with interest, but then want more!
So overall I have to say that I'm glad I've done it - and continue to do it. Maybe if we continue to make its positive elements known, carboncareful will finish up asking for advice on how to get started! smile

Magsie Thu 26-May-11 18:17:07

Well I'd agree with caboncareful that if you go back all those generations, the links are a bit tenuous. Perhaps President Obama likes the idea of Irish ancestry as many Americans do.
I was just saying that researching my family tree has provided a framework for other interests. For example, I found that one grandad fought in the Boer War which encouraged me to read about it & so on. So for me, it hasn't been a waste of time. I'm not particularly interested in going too far back though, after great great grandad it gets a bit distant.

grannyactivist Sat 04-Jun-11 09:29:08

I have become a genealogy bore I'm afraid, but I do find the information I've discovered to be fascinating. My most surprising finding is that people in the past were much more mobile than I had ever imagined. I had assumed for instance that most working class people would have stayed in or near the village or town where they were born; not so in my family - many family members left the North West to go and live and work in Russia for a time, others are from far flung places within the UK. Also, I love the 'detective' work involved. When I finally establish a link or get proof to confirm a theory I've had I am sooo thrilled. I oten burst into a room and announce gleefully to my husband that I've found some obscure bit of information - and it's at moments like those, when I see my husband trying hard, but failing to 'get it', that I realise there are some interests that he and I will never
Genealogy is either your 'thing', or it's not.

silversurfergran Sat 04-Jun-11 14:18:58

I was another genealogy bore but had to give it up when I realised that I had spent a few years trying to work out my own family background, but glazed over when my daughter tried to sort out my husband's! How selfish is that?
I also spent a fortune on birth, marriage and death certs. that weren't for the right person and wasted many hours trying to set out easy to read family tree charts. Interesting to me was finding two ancestors who died in the workhouse, and my greatgrandparents did not marry until they were in their late 60's and grandparents themselves, doing the deed in another town presumably for secrecy. It can be really interesting, just as long as you don't inflict too much of it on other unrelated people.

Ganja Thu 13-Oct-11 09:13:23

People are always terribly rude about Round Robins at Christmas, but because we moved all the time and seldom managed to meet our friends and relations, I have written them since 1972. When we moved here and I thought I had lost the file I was devastated. Luckily it turned up in the very last crate, and has proved a fascinating foundation for a family archive. Hope the DGC will enjoy it when I'm gone.

Zephrine Mon 16-Jan-12 10:46:59

I have been trying to track down a family member and have just checked the 1851 census for Henry Nickels. I can't stop laughing as they have put him down as (look away now if you're easily offended) Henry F***all, honestly. grin grin grin

hochiwich Wed 20-Mar-13 14:22:18

Zephrine, that is hilarious. Original documents can be quite an adventure, with illegible writing, wrong spellings and assumptions making accuracy very difficult. One ancestor from Warkworth is said to be born at Corkworth, for instance, which is then put into the transcription.
Often further research will make it clearer, but not always. I have come across a number of wrong transcriptions which I have been able to correct for them. They are always grateful for that and respond by email.
Research is one of my favourite pastimes; I enjoy it hugely. I have found a lot about my family past which has helped me to understand my now deceased family members better. Seeing how they lived makes it easier to understand why they were the way they were. Some mysteries will never be solved but I keep trying!

LullyDully Wed 20-Mar-13 14:54:10

I have been doing some research on It is fascinating and you can look into other people's trees which I find very helpful. Got to 1400s using this method. But some others draw a blank. The Welsh lot are so difficult, all those people with the same first and last names.

I find myself feeling very sorry for the Victorian lot,. They moved from home where their families had lived for hundreds of years and just seemed to find poverty and lots of children. My husband's family was Welsh gentry while mine were the miners. Very interesting how society progresses.

It can be frustrating finding someone on one census and not the next without finding how they died.
PS I notice hochiwich that you have also dragged this thread up from the distant past .

hochiwich Thu 21-Mar-13 07:51:11

Oh did I? I hadn't realised. smile I just went by the titles.