Following in the footsteps of my elusive ancestors scattered through vale and dale and as there are plenty of those gnarled branches and fallen leaves in MY family tree – I have many miles to travel!
‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.’ ~ William Wilberforce
Although I have been ‘properly’ researching the history of my family since 2004 – my interest in the gnarled twigs and broken branches of my family tree began in the early teenage years.
And having always been a diligent hoarder of the scraps of family keepsakes that have come my way; those numerous large boxes of files, papers, books, photographs and other assorted genealogical matter that I have shifted down and up several sets of stairs with every house move over the years has not been for the faint-hearted!
King George VI once stated that “the history of York is the history of England’ and this ancient city is not only the place of my birth but also for many of those Bensons, Dalbys, Edesons and Peacocks to whom I have since laid claim – although some of whom certainly add more than a little colour to those fallen leaves.
And even though there is MORE than enough to to occupy me within the walls of this chocolate box city – I have also been very busy elsewhere.
‘Pity is for the living. Envy is for the dead.’ ~ Mark Twain
Have you ever heard the one about how there are only two things that are certain to us?
The first one being that we are all subject to some form of taxation and the second is that one day we WILL all die.
As a genealogical researcher my time is spent grappling with the mystery of death.
And if I’m not in search of a missing ancestor or researching another life long lost to history – I will be poring over the details on a newly discovered and often indecipherable certificate of death or trawling through the parish records in search of a burial entry.
Being able to locate the final resting place of those from my research endeavours has always been an important task and an unsuccessful search is disappointing as the final piece of the jigsaw remains missing.
However, if you struggle with the thought of death and have no wish to contemplate it – MY world is probably NOT for you!
‘If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.’ ~ George Bernard Shaw
As my interest has been piqued as of late by the welcome appearance of several Yorkshire lasses within my clan recently discovered including thrice-wed grandmothers, social reformers, lunatics and unmarried mothers – my feelings of female solidarity have been awakened.
And with the floors of my den now littered with the fruits of my genealogical findings – I’m off in search of a more feminine line…
NOT that I believe that my female ancestors were actually deadlier than their male counterparts…
‘Not every lost soul is a lost cause.’ ~ M. Alice LeGrow
Many years ago as my Grandmother was regaling me with a myriad of family tales and folklore over tea and homemade cake that my interest was piqued at the first mention of “Poor Clarice.”
For as every family history sleuth knows – there is usually always a least one ancestor who ignites a strange curiosity leading to that irresistible urge to discover more about their life and I’ve been desperately seeking Clarice through the mists of time ever since…