Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Thanks and family history, again...

First - thanks to all for the encouragement and advice. Yes, chocolate does help :) I did manage to do a bit yesterday. Mainly starting a chart to show how my three stories link together and try to figure out how to make sure the threads stay untangled. And hoping that I might spark some ideas. I also have my contemp story that has started to nag again. Hmmmm.

Meanwhile, Sean sent me a link the other day for passenger lists for ships leaving the UK b/w 1890 and 1960. I was able to find two of my uncles, but not my dad, aunt or babcia. Very strange. Even using wildcards didn't help, yet I'm certain they didn't fly over here.

That however, got me started at the overall website, and I was off and running. I managed to track down the info for the death certificates for quite a few of my relatives. Of course, they cost seven pounds a pop, so I won't be able to order more than one or two at a time. But I'm hoping the info contained therein will help me work back even further.

One cool thing I did discover when looking through some of the paperwork I already have, is a child born to my great-great-grandparents in 1859/60 who doesn't appear in the family tree. Why? Because she must have died young. She's there in the 1861 Census return (aged 1), but not in 1871. Coincidentally enough, the only daughter of one of my cousins has her name.

Family history has a way of just dragging me in. My background, like so many of us here in North America, is quite varied - one branch of my mum's family is descended from Sephardic Jews, while waaaaaay back in my maternal grandmother's heritage are the Teutonic knights. I LOVE reading through the original docs when I can find them, noting down street addresses etc. A friend of mine has written the history of one side of her family and I'd love to do the same, though narrowing it down to which particular story to tell isn't easy, as there's so much to choose from.

What about you? Are you into genealogy/family history?


Currently Considering ReReading: The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch
Link of the Day: Family Search


Doubtful Muse said...

Oh I LOVE family history. I've been digging around in mine for years -- I've toyed with ideas about writing some stories based on it. I'd like to do a long one starting in the 16th century, but I think I'm going to start out with a story using my grandmother and her sisters as the models.

Melissa Marsh said...

I could totally sink my teeth in my family history. My grandmother's side of the family is completely done, but my grandfather's isn't. It's a bit sporadic, and I would love to write a comprehensive history of it. But the time, the time!