Time for another question and answer session courtesy of Geniaus, this time it is The Ancestors’ Geneameme. Time to test my knowledge of my ancestors and see how much I actually know. I am sure you know the text formating by now, but just in case:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
- Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
- Can name over 50 direct ancestors
- Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents
- Have an ancestor who was married more than three times
- Have an ancestor who was a bigamist
- Met all four of my grandparents
- Met one or more of my great-grandparents
- Named a child after an ancestor
- Bear an ancestor’s given name/s
- Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland
- Have an ancestor from Asia
- Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
- Have an ancestor from Africa
- Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer
- Have an ancestor who had large land holdings
- Have an ancestor who was a holy man – minister, priest, rabbi
- Have an ancestor who was a midwife
- Have an ancestor who was an author
- Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones
- Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
- Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
- Have an ancestor with a forename beginning with Z
- Have an ancestor born on 25th December
- Have an ancestor born on New Year’s Day
- Have blue blood in your family lines
- Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
- Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
- Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
- Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
- Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
- Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
- Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
- Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence
- Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
- Have shared an ancestor’s story online or in a magazine (on this blog)
- Have published a family history online or in print
- Have visited an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries
- Still have an ancestor’s home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
- Have a family bible from the 19th Century
- Have a pre-19th century family bible
I think the results reflect my ordinary run of the mill ancestors quite well, they never travelled far or owned great amounts of money/property or aspired to high office, just normal everyday folk. Just like me in fact!
My research has been pretty much without direction for several months, I have been jumping from person to person and from place to place without any real idea of what I was hoping to achieve.
It is about time I introduced some focus back into my research, but the problem has always been too much choice. There are just so many lines to pursue and relatives to chase that I have struggled to make a decision, until now.
Over a year ago now I undertook what I called my “Christmas Tree Project”, trying to identify all my 4x great-grandparents. In the end I fell short by three ancestors, but the project was very worthwhile and gave some focus to my research.
The next logical step is to move back a generation and focus on my 5x great-grandparents, all 128 of them! The good news is that I already have some details for 69 out of the 128 ancestors, but the big obstacle will be the three ancestors that it missed last time, I need to work again on identifying them before I can find their parents.
There will be two big differences this time, first I am going to give myself more time, in fact I think it might be an open-ended exercise or until I run out of ideas or enthusiasm. The second difference will be that I am probably not going to be able to print a physical copy of a family tree including all these generations, so I will have to think about putting all the details into an online tree.
I am hoping that this project will help bring back some focus to my research, I realise it will still mean a bit of jumping about from person to person and place to place, but at least there will be some method to my madness.
At the same time I shall carry on with all the other projects that I have been working on, there are still lots of things on my to-do lists that need working on, but then it seems that family historians are never happy unless their plates are overflowing with work to do.
Those of you who are reading my blog posts through Google Reader or some other feed reader my have missed the fact that I have added a new page to my blog.
This new static page is entitled My Ancestors and can be accessed from the link at the top of my blog. It list the names of 120 of my direct ancestors, those of my great-grandparents, my 2x great-grandparents, my 3x great-grandparents and my 4x great-grandparents.
I have been meaning to put up this page for a while (admittedly it has been available for several weeks already), partly to get the names of all my direct ancestors out on the internet, but also to act as an index to my various Ancestral Profile posts.
You will notice that the majority of my ancestors don’t have dates associated with them yet and that is my next job, to add some more detailed information to each person, at least dates but hopefully also places.
I am fortunate that many of the surnames in my family tree are quite unusual and most of them are from Sussex, but it still needs a little more detail to make it easier to find out if we are related.
Today I picked up the first edition (May 2010) of a new UK family history magazine Your Family History. It is published by Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd and is an unofficial successor to the discontinued Ancestors magazine (it also has the same cover price of £3.99).
At first glance it is very similar in appearance to Ancestors and has all the features you would expect from a family history magazine, such as news, internet news, reviews, lists of events and courses.
There are some interesting articles in this first edition. Of topical interest is an article on the genealogy of the three main candidates in the 2010 Election. On the practical side there is a beginner’s guide to making a video biography.
I was intrigued by the article on the supposed failed German invasion on the Suffolk coast (Shingle Street) in 1940. It certainly made me interested in reading more about the story and will check my local library for some of the material mentioned in the article.
This first issue has a Spotlight on Sussex which I was naturally drawn to. It contains details of the three main archives in Sussex, the West Sussex Record Office, the East Sussex Record Office and the Brighton History Centre. There is also an article on the private archives of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.
The theme of archives continues in The Last Word, where Nick Barratt (Editor-in-Chief) reminds us that our archives and local study centres are in danger of closure and cuts, and need our support to ensure their survival.
It is an encouraging first issue, a worthy successor to Ancestors. There is a good selection of experts (who we are introduced to in this first issue) writing on a wide range of subjects and answering readers queries
You can find out more about the first issue, learn about the experts, subscribe to the magazine, sign up to the newsletter and submit your stories on their website.
It was with sadness that I read Simon Fowler’s post this morning, announcing that the April 2010 edition of Ancestors Magazine would be the last.
The magazine, published by The National Archives and Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd, will finish just short of it’s 100th edition.
During it’s time the magazine has provided a wealth of news and information for British (although mainly English) family historians, many of the articles drawing from the collections of The National Archives (and other archives) and from the expertise of the staff there as well as other experts in the field.
As an example of the variety of content found in the magazine, the March 2010 edition included articles on body snatchers, Court of Chancery records, wages and currency conversion, highway surveyors and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It would be hard not to find something of interest amongst it’s pages.
UPDATE (09/03/10): According to The National Archives website, there is the possiblity of a replacement for Ancestors in the works, “We are currently discussing plans to launch a new magazine from The National Archives in the autumn. This work is being led by Simon Fowler, the current editor of ‘Ancestors’, and his team.“