I’ve been researching my family tree now for about 3 years. I’ve always had
an interest in it, but one day I clicked onto a family history website by mistake
and became instantly hooked!
I do most of my research over the internet using websites like Ancestry and
Genes Reunited. I have a computer programme that I record all of my
information on but I also use masses and masses of paper and I’ve collected
a large amount of birth, baptism and marriage certificates.
My family come for all over Great Britain and Ireland. I’ve traced ancestors
back to London, York, Aberdeen, Belfast and Ireland. I’m really proud of some
of the discoveries I’ve made. One of my great grandfathers was an engine
driver, who lived in the city of York. I was so thrilled to find this out. Our family
have always been interested in the railways and my son was obsessed with
Thomas the Tank Engine when he was a baby.
We have visited the National Railway museum many times and been on many
steam train journeys. For me to have a great grandfather, who was an engine
driver is something really special. Maybe he drove one of the engines in the
museum in York. I travelled to York recently and visited some of the places
where my ancestors were born, lived and died. Most of the houses have since
been demolished, but some churches still exist where they were baptised and
married. I’ve also visited the cemetery in York and found the graves of my
engine drive great grandfather and the grave of his father who died in 1794.
Another of my great grandfathers was born in the east end of London. He
moved to the North East of England in the early 1900s to work at the new
Reyrolle factory in Hebburn. I have found out a lot about his life and even
managed to get hold of his work record cards from Reyrolles.
Through Genes Reunited I’ve been in touch with many distant relations
including one lady, who still lives in York. We share the same great, great
grandparents. I met her a couple of years ago in York and we shared photos
and stories. I felt like I was on the TV programme ‘Who do you think you are?’
without the cameras!
I’ve also found some tragic stories during my research. One of my ancestors
was a cold miner was killed down the pit, aged just 12 and so many of my
ancestors had babies who died young from things like measles! Many of my
relations were also killed in the First World War. My family are interested in
the discoveries I make. My nana in particular has been very interested, she’s
90 years old, so she has a lot of stories to tell!
Researching my family tree has brought me so much pleasure over the last 3
years. I think I will continue to research for the rest of my life. Who knows
what else there is out there to discover.