History 4 All
how to trace YOUR family tree.
Newsletter No.15 – January 2008.
Featured Article –
The Great Genealogical Need
3. Help wanted -
Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk
Next month’s article.
Happy New Year. I hope you are all well and feeling much
better than the weather here in the UK. Suffice to say...there will not be
a hose-pipe ban this year!
We have a very good article
this month. I'm sure you'll be delighted with it. Unfortunately no-one
entered the competition in the last newsletter, so I have had to get my
thinking cap on once again!
As you see I'm running late with the newsletter once
again. I've had a very busy period with my eBay store! I sell photos of
buses on disc, so if you're interested in buses - old and new - then
please take a look:
I sell mainly in the UK but if any of our overseas members are interested
then use the 'Contact Seller' facility and I will oblige.
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2. Featured Article (written by an American but the
sentiments are universal!)
Great Genealogical Need
For those of you that are experienced genealogists and
have so far weathered the storms of years of research through dusty
archives, old Bibles, sweet ancient relatives with unreliable memories,
cold cemeteries, civil war records and all sorts of Vital Records, and who
are now in the ‘nirvana’ of online research…this article is for you.
Who have you introduced, of late, to this most exciting and worthwhile
personal and family past-time, next to the nurturing of our immediate
family of course?
May I ask respectfully, but with conviction, when was the last time you
shared with somebody close to you a heart warming story about one of their
direct, but deceased, ancestors: Perhaps something that they have never
heard before? When did you last take a grandson or granddaughter to visit
a cemetery, or an old church where they could see some old baptismal
records, or to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and Social Security
Death Records (SSDR) offices, or some other place of relevant interest?
For that matter, again with respect, when was the last time you shared
with somebody, who does not get involved with what you know to be of great
personal value, something of a ‘testimonial’ about what is going on in the
earth in relation to those who are responsible for their being here in the
Of the thousands that somehow do commence the pursuit of genealogy (family
history), only few ‘survive’. There are many reasons for this high
‘mortality rate’. One of the most often quoted is, “it simply takes too
much of my time”. It’s true! Genealogy does consume time, and lots of it.
But this is more than just a search for names, dates and places; it is a
search for the discovery of our own identity, and in a sense, the
discovery of our nation, as we seek for those of our ancestors who left
their footprints somewhere in time. Unfortunately the ‘apprentices’ get
worn out before they discover the true joy of this ‘recreation’. This
should be genealogical ‘recreation’, not genealogical ‘work’.
What is needed to maintain the interest and commitment of our ‘new’
colleagues? The answer is simple: They need to find the ‘stories’ of their
ancestors, not just the data. It’s the stories that will keep them coming
back, back to the genealogical libraries, online facilities, the churches,
the cemeteries, back to those Vital Records, back to their living
ancestors, back for more. But they’ll need more data won’t they? Yes they
will, because the data will help them to find the stories.
Encourage them not to get lost in those early days on all the collateral
lines, dealing with cousin ‘this’, and second cousin ‘that’. The almost
irresistible emotional attraction lay in the sagas of the direct
ancestors; the men and women from whom they sprang.
It will help if they understand that each of us is a physical and
‘spiritual’ composite of those who have gone before. We need to encourage
them to look for the stories that are behind the names, dates and places,
so that they can begin to see and feel who they really are: To see the
character traits in ancestors, that they recognize in themselves,
otherwise, researching the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), the Social
Security Death Records (SSDR), the myriad of Vital Records such as birth,
death and marriage certificates, old church baptismal records and the
like, old wills, probate documents and shipping lists, will simply wear
them out. Rather than searching through the cemeteries for those
interesting headstones, they’ll be buried under one.
It may come as a surprise to many of you, but genealogical research needs
every advocate and devotee possible. Why? Because the fact is, that the
more researchers there are, the more records we discover and the more
relevant research we produce.
Since the first Genealogical Society was established back in 1836, more
pages of research have been produced than existed in the world at that
time. For history to make a contemporary contribution, whether family
history or the history of communities or nations, it has to be researched,
written about and indexed. It has to be made available, to be given ‘true’
meaning, by being able to be absorbed into the lives of each of us; to
touch us, to motivate us, or perhaps to cause us to revile at certain
practices of the past. History, and its records, cannot be allowed to lie
dormant and unused.
If you are one of those who has a life-time membership at the SSDI or SSDR
etc, and you are known in genealogical circles from New York to San
Francisco, and you are in the Guinness Book of Records for the most names
submitted to the IGI, please ask yourself, notwithstanding all the data
you have collected, is it not the stories about your direct ancestors that
really touch you, and help to fill your heart and mind with the wonder of
all that has come to you through them?
Well, if this strikes a chord with you, please, make up your mind today,
that you will do something that will stimulate another person’s interest?
You might just add another valuable researcher, perhaps the best yet, to
Leo Talbot enjoys searching
records such as the
social security death index to build his family tree.
3. Help Wanted For Sue.
Sue Maxey, nee Oldham, from Doncaster UK wrote:
Can anyone help me to find a Walter Trueman who was
my Great grandfather. He was born at Ilkeston c. 1875. His father (my 2x
great grandfather) could have been named Abraham Trueman.
Any Trueman information from the Ilkeston, Derbyshire
area would be most appreciated.
Thank you, Sue Maxey
If anyone can help Sue, then
please send any information to us here and we'll pass it on to Sue.
Latest news from
Karen Taylor-Browne discovered ancestors she never knew she
had thanks to Ancestry.co.uk.
Using the UK Census records, Karen discovered her maternal
grandmother’s long-lost brother. The children’s parents were killed in a
train crash in 1888, and they were sent to live with separate families
when Karen’s grandmother was three. A sad but fascinating story – and
Karen’s eager to find out more about the great uncle she never knew she
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5. Next Months Article: The Magic of Internet
Message Boards By:
Paul Duxbury and Kevin Cook
* * *
That’s all for this month folks…I hope you enjoyed this months newsletter.
See you next month.
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