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Have you traced your family tree?

(14 Posts)
Germanshepherdsmum Thu 14-Oct-21 11:22:23

The discussion about this week’s Who Do You Think You Are? showed that some posters have traced their families back some distance. Have you, and did you find any skeletons in cupboards or other interesting things? I’ve traced one line back to 1588, can’t get further there as the parish registers are missing. Have enjoyed finding that some weren’t averse to a bit of sex before marriage from the late 1500s through to early C20. Sadly nothing more interesting than that!

AGAA4 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:27:37

My brother has done ours and we have found our family in Australia, Italy and Ireland. Some very interesting characters have appeared.

Yangste1007 Thu 14-Oct-21 11:43:35

I've done ours using Ancestry and love dipping in and out. I've got back to about 1550 on one line. I've found one ancestor who was hanged, another deported to Australia. Both for crimes like persistent larceny. They were probably starving. Very amusing to find my extremely straight laced great grandmother got married in November and first son born the following February. New records are always being added and I find it fascinating to actually see their handwriting on the census records and maybe photos posted by others researching the same line.

Anniebach Thu 14-Oct-21 14:51:27

I have done mine and trees for several people. The most difficult is Wales because of the Welsh patronymic system
- ‘ap’ meaning son of etc.

Alegrias1 Thu 14-Oct-21 14:57:35

My family tree is a sorry tale of illiteracy and illegitimacy. The only link to any kind of aristocracy is an ancestor who had a child out of wedlock to the local landowner and died young.

I think we were the people you crossed the road to avoid. wink

I am, though, proud of every one of them for making it through tough times in rural Scotland.

Blossoming Thu 14-Oct-21 15:06:16

I found some fascinating stories, including a tale of incredible bravery getting people out of Nazi Germany. No royalty, thank heavens, working class through and through. I can’t unfortunately tell the aforementioned story as it can easily be found online and would be very outing. There are 2 authors and a motorcycle works rider and TT winner. Some have been involved in interesting engineering projects. Some sadly were lost very young in the bloodbath of The Great War. I love the social history aspect.

Sparklefizz Thu 14-Oct-21 15:36:58

My cousin and I found that our grandfather had had a second secret family on the other side of London and there were 2 children of that affair - one died in WW2, and the other married and emigrated to Australia, and we have made contact with their descendants in Victoria.

Also a female 2nd cousin became a member of SOE during WW2 and was parachuted into France. She was later captured, tortured and died at the hands of the SS, and is mentioned in a book Flames in the Field about female spies and the French Resistance.

Callistemon Thu 14-Oct-21 15:43:41

I've researched mine back to the 1500s and DH's back to the 1700s and found out some fascinating facts and interesting people.
I also solved some mysteries but found more puzzles - and wish I'd asked more questions, but my parents' generation seemed reluctant to talk about it for some reason.

Some emigrated in the mid-1800s but returned to England for some reason, others emigrated in the late 1800s early 1900s and there are connections/cousins in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.

Zoejory Thu 14-Oct-21 15:55:43

Apparently if we're European and go back for enough, we're all descended from royalty!

Lexisgranny Thu 14-Oct-21 16:02:03

I think I would be the recipient of so very odd looks if I kept asking my grandchildren if they wanted to ask me any questions, but how I wish I had quizzed my own grandparents, and great-grandmother. Although I have got back to early 1700s, I would love to know the whys and wherefores, it’s like watching something in black and white when you could have technicolour.

Curlywhirly Thu 14-Oct-21 16:09:21

Researched my father's side and got back to 1700s. They were landowners/farmers from the Wirral and quite wealthy - don't know what happened to the wealth though, as my dad and his siblings were plain old working class. I also researched my Dad's mother's side and got to see my great grandfather's military records - his discipline record left a lot to be desired! Appears he was a bit of a troublemaker with plenty to say for himself. I have researched both sides of my husband's family, and quite a few of my friends' families too and only one was interesting - a relative who was a herbalist, buried 2 husbands, both dying from poisoning! But, it appears to have been accidental lead poisoning that killed them, and not one of their wife's concoctions 🙄 but who knows? I would love to research my Italian Mum's family, but wouldn't really know where to start and although I can speak some Italian, I am by no means fluent.

Curlywhirly Thu 14-Oct-21 16:25:14

Oh I so agree Lexisgranny my Mum died when I was 32 and I had no interest in my family history. So wish I had asked her more about her childhood and her grandparents. Also wished I had asked her about her experiences in Italy during WW2; I don't ever remember her discussing any of it with us.

I have printed off all the information I have gathered whilst researching our families, so if our children should eventually become interested in their ancestry, it's all there for them.

Newquay Thu 14-Oct-21 17:26:07

My dear Dad died in his fifties and was at home on his own (Mum had to work) for some time. Why oh why didn’t I get him to write out his life story? So sad

BoadiceaJones Tue 19-Oct-21 01:05:25

I used to sit with my Granny (b.1889) in the evenings when I stayed with her as a young thing, while she chatted about her youth. How I wish I had written it all down, as my memory has big gaps now. Born into wealth, she had a nanny and a governess - she ratted on her governess after catching her smoking, and the poor woman was dismissed! She felt such guilt later in life about this. One of the housemaids had an illegitimate, stillborn baby, though no-one knew she was pregnant, and didn't know what to do with the body, so she cut it up and left it on the roof of the house. Poor girl, so very sad. Granny played the violin, beautifully, in an orchestra - I am lucky enough to have inherited her gorgeous, 18th century instrument, and was one of the first women in the South-West to drive a car. She used to drive her father out shooting, and I still have her linen dustcoat. She then joined the Red Cross when it looked as though war was about to be declared, and served as a VAD throughout the war, with Vera Britten in Malta for three and a half years. She met my grandfather, an English-born ANZAC, wounded at Gallipoli, and they "had an understanding". He was shipped back to NZ, suffering terrible wounds, and she joined him, sailing across the world by herself, in 1921. From the luxury of her father's Devon mansion, she went to live in a two-roomed pit-sawn shack in the mountains, on a 1500 acre sheep station, 26 miles from the nearest village, and accessible only up a stream bed and a clay road, perched 100 ft above a dangerous river. She carried her babies back from the nursing home where they were born, slung across the saddle, balanced by a sack of flour. She declared that these were the happiest years of her life. Such a romantic story, and I'm writing a book about her life. A wonderful woman, whom I loved dearly.