Where to begin?

Welcome to my web site, this site has been built using data researched and constructed over many years. It is based on my own parents and close family tracing my ancestry back over many generations. It is fitting that an ancestral build is referred to as a “tree” because for each generation you go back you end up doubling the individuals involved i.e. 2 parents, 4 grand parents, 8 great grand parents etc. So as you go back further you quickly see that you end up sharing great great grandparents with many of their own descendants. In this case your tree begins to spread out sideways rather than straight up. Once you get back so far, you begin to shorten the odds by encountering other people on line who are also researching their trees and once those paths cross you can sometimes take advantage of each others hard work.

Through my research I have not only gathered the pertinent facts about individuals…. births, marriages, deaths etc… but also started to understand more of the social history that was relevant at the time. Capturing the occupations, causes of death, births in workhouses, military records…. all gradually build a picture, and tend to encourage the kind of deeper exploration that tools like the internet make far more readily available.

I’ve not worked on the build of this data diligently week in, week out. I initially started about 10 years ago with 2-3 weeks of intensive building of a foundation, then have the odd periods when I pick it up again and run with it, which is usually after I have had some contact from another person researching their own tree, and interest is sparked once more.

I would say that once you can trace a line back to the early 1900’s you begin to get into census record territory and that is when the detective work begins, and progress can be quite swift. I generally have made use of the Ancestry.co.uk web site which holds a wealth of information from census records, birth marriage and death records, military records, passenger list records, baptism records etc

I’ve constructed this site, recently, using a tool called Adam, which has allowed me to publish all the data gathered in a far more structured, organised and manageable way. I have now got over 1,000 individual records and printing or displaying a complete tree just becomes unworkable. It was bad enough with 150 people where I tried taping 30 odd pages of A4 together when printed out!!.

Building a tree is really, once begun, an ongoing process, there are periods where it feels like an addiction as you crave to find more information, or nail down a lead you have been following or suffer the frustration that you can’t finally confirm a link. The world and our lives don’t always work in nice regimented ways, and I think in 100 years time, someone attempting this will have a far harder task, given all the marriages that end in divorces, children born out of wedlock, emigration and immigration. Where as 150 years ago people tended to remain local and marry others that were local, and their children were born in the same area.

An so it goes on….. Jimjim

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