I’ve always been fascinated with our family history. My grandfather, Oupa Nick, was the best storyteller I know. I could listen to him all day telling us how much mischief he got up to with his brothers. How much fun they had during tough times. How they walked miles and miles to school every day and put their feet into warm cow dung on the way to warm them up. Tough times. Funny stories. Legends!
I wish I’d recorded him when he told those stories or tried to write them down word for word at least. I want our children to know those stories and I want to find the stories of ancestors that lived a long time ago as far back as I can.
Tracing our Ancestry in the UK
Both Brendan and I had British great grandparents. During our time in the UK, we will explore our family history.
We want to delve into our ancestry and find out how they lived and where they came from. Who were they? Reveal the skeletons in the closets and find the elusive blue bloodline we all know must lurk somewhere in our history, right?
Is fifties movie heart-throb Archibold Leach aka Cary Grant really my ancestor? Some of my aunts think so. They started tracing the lineage and hit a roadblock. Maybe I can uncover the truth!
In 2007 I scratched the surface of this very time-consuming but addictive activity.
I started by researching my paternal line in the UK and then I discovered ancestry.com. Wow! What an eye-opener. I was amazed and overwhelmed at the amount of information available to the public online in the UK.
Seeing the old records and reading through ancient census notes completely intrigued me.
Not long after I started my search on Ancestry.co.uk, I found distant relatives who live in the UK and who had more information on our ancestors available to share with me. We were hoping to meet them and even planned a trip with them, but life took over and before we knew it, we were back in SA.
Picking up where we left off
Going back to the UK now we will love to meet up with those relatives if I can find them again. My online research took me as far as I could go in 2007 and the next step was to travel to and visit parishes and graveyards around the country.
It sounds very morbid and boring, I know, but seeing the places where they lived and died and to find out about the local history will paint a picture of how they lived and who they were. Very exciting!
The plan was to get the Ancestry.com kit and will update as soon as it is underway.
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