There is an urgency to family history, which most of us do not recognise when we are young.
All too often I have found mysteries in my tree, which I would dearly love to solve, only to realise that those who could give me answers were no longer around, when only a few years previosly, I might have been able to drop them a line or ask them in person.
- When my father died, he left behind a pile of paperwork to try to understand and photos to identify. How much easier would it have been, had I talked to him more about it, while he were alive? As it turned out my Father had a whole other life online, as a family historian. Even my Mother could not answer my questions. Below I intend to compile a list of things which I wish I had done thirty years ago, which I intend adding to occasionally:-Going through every photo I could find, talking about them with previous generations and labelling them with as much detail as possible.
I arm so grateful to the people who did think to record these things in the past. Thanks to people like them, I have at least two illustrations of family members from the 1840s. As it is I am waiting for accurate facial-recognition and global sharing, to perhaps solve some mysteries for me.
When I have managed to get my timing right, it has thrilled me, like the occasion I started googling an interesting name in an old address book. Never did I dream that I would find him both alive and using email. I was able to communicate with both him and his wife for an extended period, before he died, a few years ago. He had been part of major world events and through him, I began to feel part of them too.
There was also the wife of the man who taught my Mother to ride. To my astonishment , a few posts online led me to her, through her granddaughter. My Mother sobbed when I told her of my discovery and we were able to spend a wonderful day with her and her family. My Mother was like a young girl again that day
I will be telling these and many other stories in the blog posts which follow..