What did I learn from my Christmas Tree Project?

23 Dec

The task of producing a family tree chart showing all of my ancestors back to my 4x great-grandparents was not easy, but I have learnt several useful lessons in the process, both about my ancestors and about me.

Firstly, it wasn’t easy trying to work across such a wide range of family lines at one time. I would much prefer to spend longer concentrating on each family rather than just grabbing as many details as quickly as possible before moving on to the next.

It has given me a good idea of the geographical distribution of my ancestors. This will be useful when visiting graveyards or record offices, as I will know which other surnames to look out for.

It has confirmed that most of my ancestors were ordinary labourers and from the South of England. No exciting or unusual occupations have emerged from my research so far.

However I have found a few interesting stories to follow up and research further, such as the illegitimacy of Ruth HILTON and why Henry SHORNDEN changed his name to WRIGHT.

For the first time I can say that I have a brick wall in my research. On the negative side this means I have a gap in my tree, but on the positive side it does mean that I have a decent challenge to get my teeth into.

Finally it has shown that I need to get my photos sorted out, as well as finding some for my maternal ancestors. I have copies of lots of photos on my hard drive, but they are not very well organised and I need to make a proper effort at trying to identify some of them, or at least finding dates for them.

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