Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today would have been Grandad Jones' 88th Birthday. Today I am thankful for the effect he had on my life. My love of geography and in particular, knowing the capital cities I contribute towards him. 

Every Saturday, me and my dad would go food shopping for Grandad, and in the afternoon, we'd sit in his living room and he would quiz me on the capital cities and my times tables. I always wanted to impress him and tried my hardest to learn something new for the next week. And although he is no longer with us, I am proud of my geographical knowledge and the fact that I can do mental arithmetic fairly easily, and I thank him for that.

My only wish is that we had enough time to do the capital cities of the African Continent, because I am truly terrible at them.

Tall tales from Miss Marshall!

I've been talking to my Nan today about my Grandad's family. One of the main reasons I embarked on this mission with nan was because my Grandad always claimed that his mother was born in Ireland. This is what he had been told growing up and accounted for the fact that his middle name was Patrick. Grandad took to this and loved to tell people of his Irish roots. My nan and I wanted to find out all of the details regarding her life and how she came to be living in Chatham, Kent. The search for Rosa Lynda (Grandad's Mother) was not an easy one. We didn't know when she had been born or who her parents were, only that she had been born in County Cork. The maps came out and the search began, looking at different towns and villages in the county to see if any of the names jogged my Grandad's memory. No such luck. Finding a record of my Grandad's birth gave us a maiden name of Marshall, which Grandad agreed with. The only problem was that Rosa Lynda Marshall was born in Sheerness, Kent and NOT County Cork, Ireland. Sheerness sounded viable as it is only roughly 15 miles down the road. Grandad however was not impressed that his roots were not so Irish. Maybe, he thought, it was her mum or dad that gave rise to the story. The search would continue.

Today I was checking over facts regarding my Grandad's family; I successfully located them on the 1911 census, which places her in Sheerness once again. Apart from her birth and death record, the 1911 census is the only evidence I had found of her life. Remembering a story my Grandad had told me about his parents not being married, I questioned my nan to see if this rang true with her. It did. Of course years of research has taught me to take everything with a pinch of salt, especially with Rosa Lynda after the Irish Debacle. Lo and Behold after a quick search of marriages between Marshall and Edge in Kent and a certificate turns up. A phone call to my Great Auntie (Grandad's sister) confirms she had always thought they had never been married either. Apparently she had actually been married before, but the marriage never consummated. This is my next step, to see if I can find record of her previous marriage. Not that I know anything at all about the gentlemen in question or what happened to him. 

It seems that Rosa Lynda liked to tell a tale or two!

Shoring up the big old tree.

I came online this morning to do some research and our internet was playing up. It made me realise that I have no real hard copies of anything and I am truly reliant on technology to keep safe all my long hard working hours. What a scary thought! So I started thinking about creating an offline version of my tree, but it would be no small task. If I was to do it properly, I would  have to download and print out every census, birth record, marriage certificate, death record, baptism's and burials and all the the other evidence I found along the way. It isn't that I don't want to do this, I would absolutely love to have a hard copy of my tree. It would come in very handy when trying to explain what I have found to other members of the family who have a vague interest. 

It is the way in which to do it which has stopped me.

I don't want to have a folder with lots of bits of paper in that are all higgledy-piggledy. I've tried drawing out certain branches before and have made a right mess of it. My family seems to be one that has 10+ children in each generation and I end up running out of space. I've tried doing boxes on the computer with lines connecting them, and that was one big headache. Then there is the problem of where to start. When starting this project way back when, I'd think mum's side, dad's side. But oh no! Of course you have mum's mum and mum's dad. Dad's mum and dad's dad too. and so on a so forth. 

I started my research with my maternal grandad. Their family name is Edge. Being a man, he didn't seem to know much about the details of his family, (although he certainly knew more than my dad does about his side!) The Edge's lived in Medway; Chatham and Gillingham, and were a big family. I did this research quite a few years ago and did it up to a point where I couldn't really do much more. Or so i thought then. Now the 1911 census has been fully released, I can go back and re check everything. I have a feeling that there are going to be some big gaps in my research, information without evidence etc so I am thinking that as I start the re-climb this branch of tree, I'll make hard copies as I go along. Hopefully keep it in some kind of order. At least it is an excuse to go out and buy some lovely stationary! I'll just have to try different approaches to creating the hard data and see which suits me best. I'll keep you updated.

Beginning somewhere in the middle!

I've been researching my Family History for some years now, and I LOVE every minute of it. However I have got to the point now where I have found out so much information that my brain is ready to explode. So unlike a lot of bloggers, who start at the beginning of the journey, I'm wading into the blogging scene fairly late in the game. There is logic to my madness though, (I hope!)

Like most people, the way I researched at the start of my journey horrifies me today. I was so naive that ancestors were who they said they were; that the memories of older relatives were absolute truths; (how could they have possibly embellished stories?) and that everyone should be exactly where they said they were.  O how my experience has changed that way of thinking!

So I'm planning to go back to the beginning, rechecking all of the information, and making sure that I have evidence to back everything up and hoping that i haven't committing any of the great sins of genealogy. Keeping you updated along the way will no doubt help to keep my brain in one piece (well that is the plan) as well as keeping the information all together. The amount of notebooks I have with information scattered through-out and in no particular order is terrifying!