Author Topic: My search into the past  (Read 2143 times)

Deakin

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My search into the past
« on: Mar 26, 2013, 12:46:43 PM »
I started my search several years ago, I remembered bits and pieces from listening to older relations and what they had to tell me when I was small but I wasn't prepared for such interesting stuff.


I'm giving it a bit of a rest at the moment as I seemed to get bogged down with too much information but I have been in contact with several second cousins, I've even met the son of my mothers favourite cousin who was killed in the war, and I didn't know he existed until I did some research into his fathers death.  Another second cousins mother was still alive when were in contact and she was a child in the early 30's when my father, a regular soldier at the time, was stationed in London.  He used to take her and her siblings to the pictures and they all loved him.  It was a part of my dad's life that I never knew and it was so lovely hearing all about him as a young man.


There were a few skeletons on my search, like my maternal grandfather's g grandmother was described in various censors as a 'Harlot' and other similar names because she had 4 children without marrying their father.  There was lots of workhouse references at this time, but she lived to a good age with one of her sons and later grandsons. 


It quite surprised me that one of my fathers ancestors was described as a 'Gentleman' and his grandson was quite a well known composer and arranger who was also a favourite of Charles Dickens.  My father's family weren't rich by any means so the money must have gone a long time ago.


My favourite ancestor though has to be John, a Trumpeter in the Battle of Waterloo, I have authenticated this and have a copy of the certificate he was given with his Waterloo medal.  I'd love to know what happened to his medal, sadly there were too many other decedents for it to have come to me.  John died in retirement many years later and was given a military funeral with a full band.


There are a lot more interesting characters I've come across, too numerous to mention.  There are a couple gaps where paternity was never established, but its so interesting.  I do wish I'd taken it up many years ago when I was younger and could actually visit the places where they lived.



The world is but a canvas to our imagination (Albert Einstein)

Citizen68

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #1 on: Mar 26, 2013, 11:45:03 PM »
Welcome, Deakin. I agree that family research is fascinating, and have also met long lost relatives by this means. One thing I would say to you: seek documented evidence of family remembrances. These are lovely to have, but I found at least one instance where the truth appeared to be the exact opposite of some info. I had been given!

franden

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #2 on: Mar 11, 2016, 07:24:06 PM »
A bit late I know but then I am new to the forum.
Tracing family history can be very time consuming but it is worth it in the long run as you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere along the line you will find someone of note. I traced my roots back to 1425. It has taken me about thirty years but I have been very lucky as I have had to travel nowhere more than twenty miles as my family have always been 'local'
But what surprises I came across. During the English Civil War one of my ancestors a Colonel Thomas Bennett was personal secretary to Prince Rupert of the Rhine. When Rupert died he left Col Bennett 80 in his will. Another surprise was that one of my lady ancestors married Charles Spencer Churchill the second son of the Duke of Marlborough.
Right from 1425 my ancestors were farmers. My Grandfather was the last to do this.

Alfred

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #3 on: Mar 12, 2016, 07:36:42 AM »
Yes both my daughter and I have researched our ancestors, and it seems that on my wife's side her family ancestry traces back to a French duke,
and I assume that many people doing research might also have a French hugonaut  connection. considering the closeness of England to France,
the first origins of the English side of my wife's family appear as living in Cornwall and Devon.  basically they were wheel wrights,

where as  on  my family side, I believe originated in Lancashire,
it is all very interesting and pain staking, when doing this research, including cross referencing , checking dates, and so on, and at other  at times I look at other members of my family trees, and some times come across interesting tit bits that add a little colour into the life styles that the ancestors led.

for example by brother is a half brother, being as we had the same mother but two different fathers, how ever when I researched into his family tree 
I discovered a relative that was a sailor, and he had two families one here in London, and another in Liverpool. how he managed to do that was amazing, as it obviously takes money to keep two families going,  and I assume he must have been a very convincing person to be able to remember and lie his way,
as he went back, and forth, for a few years, for sure he was a juggler, and he did this for a number of years before he decided to go and live permanently with his first wife, so yes ancestry is fun, and very interesting too, in finding out where we originated from.
« Last Edit: Mar 12, 2016, 11:21:46 AM by alfashton »

franden

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #4 on: Mar 12, 2016, 08:10:25 AM »
Very interesting Alfashton.
Tracing family history can lead to many wrong turnings. For instance many will say they have connections with the Royal Family. The chances of this are thousands to one against as Royals tend to 'inter marry' Some say they can trace their roots back to the illegitimate son or daughter of a king but as these births tended to be hushed up there is no absolute proof.
Some say they can trace their roots back to Shakespeare but this is impossible as the man offspring died childless.
I have proof only back to 1425 but there are unofficial records that date back to the thirteenth century when Shaftesbury Abbey was abandoned.
The story goes that as the Abbey stood on the top of a hill water had to be brought up from a well at the foot of the hill. This well was owned by William (No surnames then) who brought water up to the Abbey every day. When the Abbey was closed and the nuns moved to Winchester as a reward the Abbess gave to William of the well a piece of land which he farmed and passed down to his children. We believe, though there is no proof, that these children were my ancestors as William took the name Pytt which I am led to believe is old French for well. According to my tree the original name of my family was Pytt. They were then known as Pytt Benedict but over time the Pytt was dropped and Benedict shortened to Bennett.
No concrete proof but near enough for me.

Alfred

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #5 on: Mar 12, 2016, 11:29:41 AM »
Hello franden,

how do you find that when trying to obtain church details as in the past iv found it difficult to find any information, where as with genealogy web sites its very much easier up to a point,

I suppose many records in churches, and else where were lost for ever with the bombing of w.w.2, and with census records that have helped, put some one researching on the right track,

how ever its all very absorbing and to my mind is better than doing a cross word. very much like a jigsaw puzzle trying to find and fit the pieces all together,

many regards to you  alf,.

franden

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #6 on: Mar 12, 2016, 12:38:20 PM »
All records of births, marriages and deaths are registered in the county records office of where the even t occurred. There is not much information from Church records as all they did was write the name of the person involved and just dates, but Church records are also kept on micro file in the county records office. I found records gave very little information so looked at the history of where they lived and spent many an hour scanning maps and other documents. I found very old maps detailing who and what land was held by various people and it was through these I found they were land owners and farmers.
Before the English Civil my descendants owned thousands of acres of land in and around West Wiltshire and Eastern Dorset but being Royalist had it all confiscated and gifted as reward to Cromwell,s supporters. After the war they could not afford to buy it back again. My ancestors house Pytt House, Tisbury( Can be seen on Google) . I have visited here and have learnt a lot from this. As I have said before I was very lucky in that my ancestors right back to the 1400s have lived within the same area so there were not too many problems even though it has taken me over thirty years to get there. I have records of over five thousand kin on a CD.
I have in front of me now a 'tree' dating from 1424 to 1859.
I started to do my Mother,s side but gave up as her ancestors were Scots who came to England, Birmingham, in the 1800s. I am not up to a lot of travelling.

Alfred

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Re: My search into the past
« Reply #7 on: Mar 12, 2016, 01:07:18 PM »
Hello franden ,

I too had similar experiences when it came to trying to research ancestors  on Scottish ancestory. although i tried. it seemed that i would have to join a new genealogy web site in Scotland, to find the answers,

i tried to do this on my ancestry web site,  but there it stopped. then i thought about writing them a letter, but gave up as i don't suppose they would be interested, unless i paid to join their web site, so that was that,.

regards  Alf,