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What started your interest in genealogy?

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  • What started your interest in genealogy?

    What started your interest in genealogy?

    Mine started when i was about 10... my teacher made us do a family tree. My best friend's mother was from Germany. My other friend's family was from Poland. They had wonderful holiday traditions and foods. I wanted to find traditions from the countries my family came from, too.

  • #2
    I just 'knew' my family history - it wasn't something I had to 'learn'. Lots of my family are buried in the local churchyards - and the furthest graves are less than 200 miles away.

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    • #3
      I would be aged around 10 - 12. I found some old photographs of family members taken in around 1880 - 1930. Amongst the photographs was my Grandparents birth and death certificates plus two Great Grandparents' death certificates. I also found various funeral bills for family members. (In Scotland your Parents' names appear on your birth, marriage and death certificates. In England and Wales the marriage certificate only records the Father's name and the death certificate records neither parents' names.) So these papers gave me and interest in learning more.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Polwarth
        I just 'knew' my family history - it wasn't something I had to 'learn'. Lots of my family are buried in the local churchyards - and the furthest graves are less than 200 miles away.
        You are very fortunate. In my family on both sides for several generations our parents were much older when they had us. I was the third and far youngest in my family, and my parents were the third and far youngest in their families, and as a result, not only are all of my first cousins much older than me... even all my second cousins are older than me! I was sort of an afterthought in the family, and not really included in the same way. My father, unfortunately, had little interest in family and can't even name his nieces and nephews. And my mother's mother died a few days after my mother was born, so my mother was raised by her father's cousins who were already raising miscellaneous other children as well. If i wasn't willing to dig for family information, i wasn't going to find it. And maybe it has been a way for me to feel connected to my family rather than so overlooked.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Peter_Martin
          I would be aged around 10 - 12. I found some old photographs of family members taken in around 1880 - 1930. Amongst the photographs was my Grandparents birth and death certificates plus two Great Grandparents' death certificates. I also found various funeral bills for family members. (In Scotland your Parents' names appear on your birth, marriage and death certificates. In England and Wales the marriage certificate only records the Father's name and the death certificate records neither parents' names.) So these papers gave me and interest in learning more.
          I know what you mean by the photographs. My dad was a photographer among other things, and we had a huge dresser drawer stuffed with loose photos. Some of the photos that fascinated me the most are the ones he took when he was at war. Some of them were stamped on the back, "DECLASSIFIED. RELEASED BY THE DEPT. OF WAR."

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          • #6
            The old photograph that I find the most interesting is of my Great Great Great Grandmother. It is taken probably in 1880. It is interesting in that the photographic process has been enhanced by touching up. The photograph has caught the general outline of my relative. However all of the finer details are actually painted or drawn in. The very solid table becomes less so as you look down the legs. The feet of legs are nothing more than rough brush strokes that you can see the back ground through.

            Your photographs referring to being release by the Department of War would create an interesting trail of research in themselves. It would be interesting to try and find what they depict and whether they were declassified during or after the war in question.

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            • #7
              The photos would have been declassified either during or immediately following the war. Though my father is living, i unfortunately can't talk to him about it. Clearly, by the medals he received, he had something to do with changing history (this according to other veterans). I have searched on the internet to try to find records of his career, but there was nothing online. The next step for me would be to use the Freedom of Information Act and to write to various agencies; a very long process. His wife began a biography of his life, which i have not seen. She, fortunately, can get him to talk about things he won't say to me. I know the project got stalled.... i keep encouraging her to continue.

              Yes, i have seen photographs touched up well, and ones that were touched up HORRIBLY. Have you any idea who might have an original photo or negative of the print you have? In 1880, it would be interesting to see what photographic process was used. If my memory serves there were tintypes, Calotypes and silver halide process (silver halide process is what is used in film developing today).

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              • #8
                I am not sure who will have the negative. It appears to be a studio portrait. This ancester lived in rural Ayrshire. So the picture could have been taken in Ayr or Kilmarnock or even Glasgow on a day out. The picture has a material backing and in pencil in very messy handwriting are the words "Special photographic paper".

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                • #9
                  hahahhaha! Well, that narrows it down, doesn't it?

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                  • #10
                    My interest in Genealolgy.

                    What started my interest in my family Genealogy was a book called "The First Hundred Years" about a town called Lantzville in British Columbia, Canada, which my ancestor first settled. My great-grandmother showed me this book just last year and it sparked an interest in me. Next thing I knew I was typing William Hinksman born 1841 into the Google search box. In about a month with some email messages back and forth from me to a genealogy super-fanatic distant Hinksman cousin of mine, My tree dated back to about 1656. To me Genealogy is not about stories and articles etc, it is about your ancestors, more specifically knowing who your ancestors were and where they had come from, knowing your lineage and genealogical background.


                    Best Wishes,
                    Ryan

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                    • #11
                      What started my interest in genealogy

                      I never knew my grandfather, we were never even allowed to ask what happened to him. The story from my father (which was told to him by his mother) was that my grandfather left her with 3 young children my father was only 2. The problem is that my father's maternal grandfather always told him that his father (my dad's) was a good man. Always struck me odd that a father would stick up for a man who supposedly left his daughter! I believe there was a lot more to it. I know a few facts about my paternal grandfather, he was born in Edinborough, 8 Septemer 1884, and that he was a freemason - being a mason would be in direct contradiction to the things we were taught to believe - that he left my grandmother. I'm sure every family has a skeleton in their closet and I want to find the truth about the man I never knew. (He did try to contact my dad several times throughout his life, but my father being close to his mother would never even give his father a chance, he died believing his father abandoned him.)
                      Suzanne

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                      • #12
                        All my dead relatives were so much more interesting than the living ones, not to mention that Brigadoom made the Auld Sod seem so much more appealing than the New World.

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                        • #13
                          Genealogy

                          I have been so fortunate in my search for family that I have actually found living family in Scotland, what an enormous blessing! I have had the opportunity to "Skype" with my second cousin. I have a photo of the grandfather I never knew, as well as photos of my great and great-great grandparents. It was all due to a post I made a decade ago. So for those who are just beginning, or who have been working, keep at it. If you are lucky you will be as blessed as I have been. It was really important for me to know my "roots", I've truly been blessed.
                          Suzanne

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                          • #14
                            I haven't done much genealogical research for a few years now, but my interest started in the early 1980s - my mother mentioned that we had some sort of connection to Robert Burns, but didn't know what it was. I decided to find out if the story was fact or fiction. It turned out that I have no real relationship to Burns himself, but I am a direct descendant of his grandfather.

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