If it wasn’t the 1940 US census, then the main topic for discussion this week seems to have been the anniversary of sinking of the Titanic, and it can only get worse as we approach the actual day of the anniversary next week.
As you might have guessed from the tone of the previous sentence I am not particularly interested in the Titanic (although possibly slightly more than the 1940 census), whether it is films, television programmes, books, passenger lists or crew records.
One thing I did find interesting however was this article from the BBC News website, Five Titanic myths spread by films, which takes a more skeptical view of some of the myths that have arisen around the Titanic.
Whilst on the subject of the BBC, you might want to take a look at the BBC Archive’s Survivors of the Titanic collection, which gives a taste of the organisation’s output over the years, including interviews with survivors.
In the meantime I will try to summon up some enthusiasm for the anniversary between now and the 14th April.
The latest edition of Tracing Your Roots from BBC Radio 4 (available via podcast for a limited time) was about family myths and legends. There were four very brief examples, with a short discussion on how each of the stories could be proved or disproved.
This got me thinking about my own family myths and legends and the fact that I don’t appear to have any in my family tree.
I have tried to remember if I was ever told any stories as a child or whether there was anything I wanted to try and prove when I started my research, but I don’t think there ever was. No criminals amongst my ancestors, no stories of relations moving to far off lands and making their fortune, no missing millions waiting to be discovered and I didn’t think I might have been descended from the illegitimate child of some distant King or Queen.
Plenty of mysteries and puzzles have turned up since I started researching, like why did my grandfather end up at school in London, but nothing actually from the start that I wanted to prove or made me start researching my family tree.
I suppose there is only one myth that I had and that was one that I created soon after I started researching. I rather foolishly believed that my ancestors and relations were not very interesting and never did anything unusual. How wrong could I be!
Was there a particular family story that you wanted to prove that got you started in family history research, or was it just general curiosity?