Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who Do You Think You Are

There’s a new series of Who Do You Think You Are starting tonight on telly. I’m looking forward to watching it. Although I only managed to catch a couple of episodes from the earlier series, now that I am tracing my own family tree they seem a little more interesting. Of course, it will almost certainly mean that the record office is flooded with certificate requests and so I must remember to get the ones I want off tonight before the show!

I’ve been enjoying tracing my family tree, finding out what my ancestors did for a living, how and where they lived. Although my background hasn’t turned up any rich land owners, or even any middle class gentlemen, it’s great to see the lengths some of them went to for work, or that they lived next door to their siblings or parents! Can you imagine that?

I have also, I hope, helped out some other people online who have been looking for general information about Gainsborough. I have even managed to find a couple of distant cousins. There’s mystery and intrigue on one of the branches, and there are some enormous families – sometimes ten or more children! I’m looking forward to getting to the archives in Lincoln and seeing all of the information there too, in the actual script of the day.

It has also made me think about the things I am leaving for future generations of genealogists in my family. I wonder how they will put together the information on me. I’m registered born in a different year to my birth (for an obvious reason: the register office would be closed on December 31st) and I was born in a different town to where my first census appearance would be (Gainsborough) then, for the 2001 census I’m away at university. That will make some sense, when the searcher finds me. They will probably be entertained by my religion (Jedi) and they may even be able to visit the university halls I lived in (if they’re still there in 96 years’ time) perhaps they will be able to view the alumni lists for the university and deduce that I met Leon there. Who knows.

If I could travel back in time and talk to one of my ancestors, I think I would go back and see my great grandma (my mum’s dad’s mum) Isabella. I’d like to find out why she was in York for the birth, and why she lived in a caravan in Hull! I’d like to know who the father was, and why she gave up the baby only a month after he was born. Perhaps while I was there I could meet the people that adopted him.

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