In my last post, I talked about the project I was working on with my mum, writing up her memoirs. That got me thinking about other personal projects I have worked on in the past, specifically tracing my family tree on my father's side. I spent just over a year researching my father's family, with very little background to go on, and I ended up going back 5 generations.
Tracing the entire history of a family with nothing but your grandparents names and a very vague idea of where they came from is a challange, but the internet holds endless information if you know where to look. The information doesn't always come cheap, if you want to ensure that the information is accurate, you will have to search on reputable sites such as ancestry.co.uk, and you have to pay membership to view any documents. You also have to 'buy' birth marriage and death certificates in order to verify details, and proceed with further parentage etc., but it's really not that costly, and the end results can be surprising.
As it turned out for me, my family didn't actually come from where I thought they had come from, and the reason for their move from one county to another was a bit of a shocker! Because my father's grandmother was married to a farmer and she ran away to London with the hired labourer to start a new life in London! This couple became my great grandparents. There are so many unexpected twists and turns, but I find it fascinating how I came to be who I am.