Thursday, 11 October 2012

Climbing trees and looking under rocks

Aren't families such funny things ? Not one the same as the other, some small, some large, some nuclear, others extended. Some very close, others constantly battling or not even communicating.

Mine is small - well actually it was about normal when I was growing up. Two parents, two kids, a smattering of cousins and the usual four grandparents. What a difference a generation makes !

I always wanted to be part of a BIG family, or even just having a sister would have been great. They just seemed like they had so much more fun - always someone to play with, talk to, hang out with. I never once considered there could be a negative side to it all - that siblings might not get on with each other, that alliances could be formed and broken just like you see on Survivor.

From quite a young age I have been interested in names - people names, what our parents choose for us. Our first label, for some of us that label can define our lives. The fashions and trends in naming conventions still fascinate me. I remember once, when my Dad had not long started on the genealogical journey of our family, doing a survey of names. Took forever in those pre computer days to count how many James', Williams, Sarahs and Emmas there were. And then, we hadnt gone back as far as we have now !

What I was amazed about was that just the next generation back from my parents - there were the large families I'd always wanted to be a part of. If only I had had the chance to know them better, or if people who did know them had listened better - with interest, and passed the stories on. But of course back just a few generations children were seen and not heard, and you wouldn't have dared ask.

So now that is what I am doing, trying to find out - researching, looking under every stone, putting the flesh back into their lives - and learning what experiences they have shared and had. I love history, and putting historical events into context with my family just helps build the picture of their lives.

 As well as helping my Dad with the branches in his tree, in my Mum's tree I've contacted many long lost (and now rediscovered) cousins all over the world. I have also continued my research into my daughter's fathers family. The ultimate large family ! For most of the branches in these trees there are 5 - 6 generations in New Zealand and Australia before getting back to the mother countries. It's so fun, and addictive in a good way. Hope I can inspire others to find out more about their families while trying to make my research a litttle more orderly.

Come climb a tree or two with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment