Thursday, 4 January 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 weeks -week 1 -START

 Week 1 prompt: START

A three word blog for this prompt could well be ‘where to start?’ fullstop.
Where is the start? Is it how one started? Who got one started?
Is start a person? A time? A place? A memory? A reason? The first amazing discovery?
Is it the first ancestor? The farthest away ancestor? Myself? My newest great-grandchild?
Each in itself could also be a complete blog.

I started my family history about 45 years ago. My best friend introduced me to her ‘hobby’, and I was hooked! By that time my four grandparents had all passed, my parents divorced when I was young, and my mother was an only child. My mother knew very little about either her father’s (Catholic) family history, or her mother’s (Church of England) upbringing. There was not a lot of extended family interaction. When I asked her why she hadn’t enquired about her own parents’ family history she replied ‘you just didn’t’. Not conducive for beginners or oral family history.

                                                   Paternal grandparents                         


               George Henry KING                               Phyllis Olive GREENFIELD
                      1893-1949                                                 1904-1962

                                                 Maternal grandparents

    Thomas Augustine O'MALLEY                             Beatrice BIRD                 
                       1903-1973                                                1902-1960

Research was very different back then. Personal use computers were still about ten years away, very complicated, and expensive. Research consisted mainly of physically visiting the library, Church of the Latter Day Saints, or by snail mail. One would write away for information and if that was overseas the process could take MONTHS... take for example my two year ongoing correspondence to find if my 2x great grandfather was indeed a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary... no conclusion after much to-and-froing, but confirmed serendipitous online decades later.

My research habits were different too... very lacking in documenting resources -sadly. There are things I definitely remember hearing or seeing but can’t recall from where, other things I think I remember, and no doubt some things I have totally forgotten😡.
The habit of gathering information and ‘filing’ them in a box to sort later is one I have unfortunately found hard to break, and as numbers of family tree members and availability of information has increase exponentially... so has my disarray of priceless facts, figures and photographs. My two filing cabinets, two bookcases, and numerous boxes would surely rival any hoarders stash.

Finally, there is the start of new friend and cousinships discovered and developed along the way, time and distance presenting no barrier. Some will only ever be cyber family, but the blood and history of those who started our lineages flow through our collective veins.
...and PLEASE don’t get me started on DNA genealogy!!!!!




  1. Welcome back to the blogisphere. Best wishes for the challenge.

  2. Yes new friendship/cousinships are the best. I'm enjoying our cousinship.