Slow Progress… (continued).
As previously mentioned in the previous blog, “How & Why I Started? Part One”, my progress was very slow. With limited time and resources available, like many who know what it was like to research family history during the 1980s and before. It was a waiting game.
Many handwritten letters were sent to the editors of various UK newspapers asking if anyone knew of my ancestors and/or their relatives who lived in various locations around the UK. Then, the waiting game for responses, if indeed there was a result. I think I was very lucky, as I had many hits with responses even from someone not related but knew of them. These discoveries added to my stories and my tree branches became alive.
Back in 1983, I took six months off work and travelled to the UK. I had a rough plan and knew where I needed or wanted to visit in order to build and extend my tree.
Gathering the information was so much harder back in the 1980s to locate the necessary records. Visits to London – Somerset House, County Record offices (records were usually stored and accessed in the basements!), parish Churches, church graveyards, local libraries and then finding relatives – I door knocked!
Figure 3a. Weathercock Farm House Jul 1946.
I vaguely remember visiting the house where my great-great-grandfather had once lived. (See figures 3a & 3b.) When the door was answered, I said, “I think we are related”. After chatting and collecting many photos of family relatives, the feelings were amazing and overwhelming.
Figure 3b. Weathercock Farm House Nov 1983.
When in Edinburgh, I think I visited New Register House to obtain birth, marriage and death certificates. I found a death record in 1855 which provides a vast amount of information. This is the only year that had so much detail. More on this later…
During my six months excursion or adventure, I think I got writer’s cramp – handwriting my findings into stenographer’s notepads from the records I located – even census records! I did purchase Birth, Marriage and Death certificates along the way to build my tree. Remember, all I was doing was collecting names, dates and places!
In the beginning, I did not realise, I needed to record the source records within my tree. I had recorded where I had located the details – in my notepads but not attached to my tree.
So many notes, certificates, photos (none digital), the IGI (International Genealogical Index) plus so much more. I am still finding information that I have not “known” nor found in this digital age. Remember, It’s not all online…