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Feelings about my family

(20 Posts)
AlieOxon Tue 03-Feb-15 09:13:55

I have just completed a ‘fan tree’ of my direct ancestors, with their occupations (including many of the women) and I feel good about them.

They have not been distinguished people, and have got into very few history books. We have not had any politicians or actors or even career criminals. Very few have been very religious.

So what I may not be altogether happy with the business practices of a couple of my great-grandfathers. They were men of their time and did what they did in their Victorian way.

But very many have been intelligent, hardworking, practical - and innovative.
I’m glad to be descended from these people.

Elegran Tue 03-Feb-15 09:23:32

As I am from mine, Alie They were from the whole spectrum of society (though no titles) from a Yeoman of the Bedchamber to Henry VIII to "hawker with barrow" and I would love to hear more of their stories.

The one on duty outside Henry's door must have some tales to tell, but so must the woman selling flowers from her barrow.

Elegran Tue 03-Feb-15 09:24:49

Should have been a comma after VIII. That sentence could be misconstrued - Henry was not among my ancestors.

Falconbird Tue 03-Feb-15 09:31:46

My family all come from agricultural or tradesman backgrounds. My grandfather built a lot of properties on the Isle of Wight. I'm so proud of them and interestingly quite a few of their children and great grandchildren are graduates or have had very responsible jobs. Previous generations had the brain power but not the opportunities.

Elizabeth1 Tue 03-Feb-15 11:04:20

I've recently connected very closely to a cousin from my dads side. A cousin who I didn't know I had because my dad was born illegitimate. Very many stories of my family history have now come to life and what an interesting story this is. (More to come)

rosequartz Tue 03-Feb-15 11:55:39

Which computer programme did you use, Alie and did you fit it onto one sheet or have to stick it all together?
I may sound a bit naive about this, but I have done loads of research for years and want to pull it all together, I just need to find out the most practical way to do it. I am on Ancestry but producing a tree of more than say 5 generations is not easy.
No-one in my family seems that interested unless I produce an easy-to-follow tree and some stories for both sides of DH's and my families (will I ever finish?)

sarahc446655 Tue 03-Feb-15 15:22:00

I have been tracing my family for the last two years after discovering my family name on a street sign back in the 90's and parking the search until recently.
The most fascinating aspect of this is it brings history startlingly to life - by making it remarkably real through members of your previous family. I have purchased a book illustrating what people wore over the centuries - this helps dis spell the automatic tendency to view everything with modern mis-conceptions.
My main aim is to acquire - documentary proof of each generation of my family tree - then on doing that branch out into different aspects of which their are alot. I'm on my father's side and it has proved long and arduous to get to my current Gt.Gt.Grandfather born in 1786 and I'm now on the next generation back.

I have always assumed I wouldn't find much as my father never mentioned much about his past - except a viking/norman connection, but I didn't ask him either.

I have genuinely been shocked and disturbed by what I've dis-covered so far - there are references to Norman Lords of the Manor, in the time of the conquest and later horrors further down the centuries - of which my known Gt.Gt.Grandfather was born into and died in and my Gt.Grandfather was born into.

I have been studying the Mediaval period as there are also family connections with well known historical figures so this is part of the research and found a mass of old family documents in a national archive - written on parchment in Norman Latin. Similar to the magna carta.

About researching I would suggest listing all relevant names that crop up and look at details - what year people lived in and where they lived, social conditions such as population levels. Its the details that suddenly appear that build the picture and either confirm what you know or help in the search.

It is a strange, surreal experience telling your son about a medieval coat of arms and parchment documents from an ancestor who was a Lord of the Manor and close to the king, possibly related to him - as if it was an every day occurrence.

AlieOxon Tue 03-Feb-15 19:28:13

rose this tree fitted on one page and went back to great-great-grandparents.
I used the desktop publishing program PagePlus X5, which is not the most recent, but I like it and it was cheaper!

You can arrange everything as you like, and not as the authors of the family history programs think! Change, connect together what you want, and even add stories to click on.
(That's once you have the hang of the program.....I have used it for several years and earlier versions too.)

Having got this tree on one page, I am now thinking of copying it as a whole, reducing it and adding another generation round the doing further research on these people.

(Another tree I was sent from Scotland a while ago (and wow was it a help!) was in the 'drop-down' style, with lines from the first page to the next with the next generation on.
I've just looked for an example online and can't find any!
This type takes a lot of paper and a lot of designing! But can go on for ever.....)

Any other ideas here, anyone?

rosequartz Tue 03-Feb-15 19:39:39

Thank you, Alie I will have a look for that programme.

I need to put something presentable together for DH and the DC without it being a huge tome! I think I will do separate ones for different branches otherwise it gets so complicated.

I keep finding out intriguing stories about ancestors who are not our direct lines, but great X aunts and uncles which I should really type up as well.
For instance, my DF's uncle and aunt worked at Osborne House for Queen Victoria - he was a farmer, she worked as the gatekeeper so she must have opened the gates for visiting royalty and nobility. Can you imagine that being the case these days!

Elegran Tue 03-Feb-15 20:03:23

I bought RootsMagic to keep all my family history stuff on. It has a section for doing all kinds of trees and displays (including fan ones of as many generations as you like - though they do get rather small as you go further back)

My only problem with the fan is that I cannot fill in my grandfather's father, and I suspect will never be able to, so there is a blank section after him which gets wider each generation, the shape of a slice of pie. Other shapes of tree adjust to fill in the available space and don't emphasise the gap so much.

rosesarered Tue 03-Feb-15 20:32:44

My children are not interested, which is a relief I must say, as our whole family are now dead [older generation] and there is no way of finding anything out. We don't even remember names in some cases.I dare say there would be nothing special anyway, but I wouldn't like to find anything disturbing either!

rosesarered Tue 03-Feb-15 20:34:04

Nice to see you back on here Alie, glad you are happy with your relatives.

annodomini Tue 03-Feb-15 21:47:45

I have a very comprehensive tree compiled by my maternal grandmother - 7 generations of clergy. On my other granny's side they were a much more motley bunch - some of them alcoholics. Neither of these crop up in my generation, nor in the next one either.

Anniebach Wed 04-Feb-15 11:15:43

I did a tree for my son in law, he was thrilled, his ten year old daughter was very interested in this tree, several men had fought in WW1, some died, she informed her class at school she now had a family tree dating back to early seventeenth century and a member of her family had been hanged for stealing a horse, no mention of medals for bravery , no mention of children working aged eight, just the poor man who was hanged , even telephoned her grandmother with this exciting ! news .

AlieOxon Wed 04-Feb-15 11:27:51

Thanks roses - you know, it's fascinating finding out even if you don't like it!
And there are lots of ways..........

Anno what a mixture!

Annie, this kid knows what will impress her peers!

rose the intriguing stories are the icing on the cake, I find

Elegran Wed 04-Feb-15 11:35:14

The disreputable ancestors are the most interesting ones.

AlieOxon Wed 04-Feb-15 14:35:05

Elegran - oh yes!

I wish I could read Swedish newspapers to find out just what my ggrandfather did there in 1886........

Elegran Wed 04-Feb-15 14:46:56

I am certain I have a bigamist (who was also a most respectable and disapproving old woman) and if she wasn't, then maybe husband number 1 was under the patio.

I have lots of detail about her and husband and family, then silence until she marries again - in another town, under a false name and about to produce another child.

My theory is that legal husband had B'd off and after a few years she took up with someone else. On finding herself pregnant she must have decided that bigamy was less sinful than having a child out of wedlock.

Unless she and husband number 2 had murdered husband number 1 and successfully disposed of the evidence. Interestingly, her father had died many years before from arsenic poisoning (!?)

Elegran Wed 04-Feb-15 14:49:00

She hadn't moved to the other town - she continued to live in her old house for twenty years or more afterwards with her new husband.

loopylou Wed 04-Feb-15 14:58:11

Fascinating reading this thread, I did FiL's family tree back to 1602 but I was very confused at the family's habit of calling all the sons by a favourite name presumably in the hope that the name would survive.
One man married his deceased brother's wife and the 4 resulting children were declared bastards, but no other interesting individuals or claims to fame
My mother's father seems to have never existed! Although thought to be born locally there's no record of a birth certificate...... His Grandfather ran off with a Lord's 15 year daughter (he was 48!) and as far as we can tell never married her.