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Family History 4 All

 Learn how to trace YOUR family tree.

Newsletter No. 23 - October 2008.

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I hope this message finds you all in good health. If you have an article or amusing story to share with us then please don’t be afraid to send it for publication…you can remain anonymous if you prefer but we want you all to feel you can contribute if you want to. Just send an with the words ‘Newsletter item’ in the subject box. And we will include it at the first opportunity, subject to editing, if necessary of course.

1. Our welcome message.

2. Featured Article – Distasteful Family Members In Our Family Tree By: Charity Hope

3. Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.

4. Next month’s article. People Search: How to Quickly and Easily Find Someone You Lost Track Of - Very interesting!


1. Hi all,

I hope you are all well.

Did everyone enjoy the recent series of 'Who Do You Think You Are'? (UK Only). We found it very enjoyable. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our family history researched by a TV program? One of the main sponsors of WDYTYA is  www.Ancestry.co.uk (Join or get a free trial here.). So although we can't all afford to use the TV experts, we can use the same tools that they use.

Another resource I have found recently is:

There will be an article next time about 'Net Detective'

Don't forget, you can send us an article for publication, related to family history of course.

We can now accept your 'Members Interest' requests. You will be familiar with these if you are a member of your local Family History Society, which you should be, as they are a great resource for family historians. (Here's a link to find your local FHS -  Family History Society) Just send us as much information about the person/name you are looking for as you can, along with your contact details (Which will be kept private and only used by us to forward any replies to your enquiry.) We will publish your enquiry and send you any replies.


2. Featured Article:

 Distasteful Family Members In Our Family Tree By: Charity Hope

Charity stood alongside her mother in the living room of the palatial family home. People from all over the state had gathered to bid their farewell to the dearly departed. There were naturally many family members present that Charity had no clue who were or how they fit into the family tree. She only knew they were close relatives of her grandmother’s.

Charity’s grandmother and mother were exchanging some harsh words with a family member that Charity didn’t know. The only thing she knew was that her mother was highly insulted and angry. Charity’s grandmother and aunt were trying to calm her mother down somewhat.

She didn’t pay a lot of attention to the conversation at hand but realized right off that her mother was upset over something someone had done regarding the removal of a page of names from the family Bible.

You see, Charity’s cousin had been born with a physical defect. The medical profession that existed during that time didn’t have a word for the birth defect. The only explanation that existed for members of the elite family was harsh and judgmental. Charity’s cousin, Matt had been born with what is referred to these days as intersexed or transgendered. That means that Matt had been born literally with both male and female genitalia, leaving her real sex a question.

While Matt was raised, for the most part, male, she and her family realized early on that raising her as a male had been a mistake. It was clear to everyone that Matt should have been raised a female. This birth defect not only raised questions within the family but also shrouded Matt’s head with confusion and doubt.

When Matt was old enough to receive the proper treatment for her condition she was taken to a physician who at the time, was on the cutting edge of technology. Matt’s condition was corrected and Matt finally became Mattie. The transformation brought a huge sigh of relief to her family, not to mention the peace it brought Mattie, but as much as it was a relief to many of the family members, it was a black mark and embarrassment to other members of the family.

Members of the family who were pious and self-righteous could not understand or accept the transformation of Matt to Mattie. They looked at the situation as evil and devilish. They instantly condemned family members who had anything to do with Matt’s transformation and refused to see the circumstances for what they really were. It was totally against everything they believed in and was the subsequent reason for the actions they decided to take.

Mattie’s immediate family, which included everyone from Mattie to her grandmother and anyone who agreed with the transformation and everyone in between, were immediately ostracized from the pious half of the family. Mattie’s grandmother’s sister, who was by all rights the most religious of the bunch, decided that Mattie’s family should be removed and discarded as a portion of her family. The pages that listed the names of Mattie’s side of the family and all of her kin were torn out of the hundred year old family Bible and all traces and memories of that side of the family would never be considered as a part of their family.

When Mattie’s mother was informed of the action taken by what she believed was her loving Aunt, she was outraged and hurt. She voiced her opinion on the matter in front of everyone who was present at the family gathering and she didn’t hold back a word of how she felt. After all, Mattie was a completely normal, loving child and didn’t deserve to be judge in this manner from people who were literally no better than anyone else. The only thing that made them better was their warped belief system and inability to practice what they preached so heavily.

As the years continued to pass, Mattie’s life can only be described as her brother put it. Mattie had transformed from a confused gawky child into a well-rounded, intelligent individual. It was as though a beautiful butterfly had emerged from a lifelong cocoon that had been filled with sadness and confusion. Mattie blossomed into a beautiful young woman.

The other side of the family couldn’t accept the distasteful transformation and vowed never to associate with Mattie’s family again.

With each generation, a storyteller is born. There exists an individual in every family who has a built in desire to investigate the past and bring forth the spirits of their ancestry. Mattie was the storyteller in her family.

When she was still a young girl of fourteen, her desire to research her family tree grew. The family incident in her grandmother’s house had long been forgotten and life had taken the different families on their own journey.

Mattie, her mother and her mother’s mother filled page after page of family history. While certain questions were always ignored or left unanswered, through the years, Mattie uncovered family members and ancestors from hundreds of years back. The more Mattie uncovered from her ancestry, the more she dug for answers.

Throughout the search of her ancestry, there always remained one particular portion of her family that continued to puzzle her. When she found clues to that side of the family or when she found someone who knew anything or had answers, when they realized they were speaking to Mattie, all communication ceased. That puzzled Mattie, although she had an idea as to why.

It never failed. When Mattie could finally discover a family member from that side of the tree, she would seek as much information from them as possible. But, when they realized whom they were dealing with, which was the Black Sheep, the one who had been ostracized so many years ago, correspondence of any kind stopped and not a word more was exchanged. It was as though the descendants from that side of the family had continued to carry on the judgmental actions their ancestors had cursed them with so long ago. The judgmental conditions continue to exist to this day.

The actions and decisions from so many years ago, passed down to the next generations and beyond have left Mattie with a whole in her ancestry. Not only has it left Mattie without the privilege of a portion of her ancestry, it leaves that side of the family without the ability to share the experiences and events that molded Mattie’s life and the lives of her other ancestors.

Without knowing the circumstances or situations in Mattie’s family’s lives, members of Mattie’s ancestry took it upon themselves to try their best to remove the existence of Mattie from their heritage. They have unwittingly denied themselves of knowing about Mattie and her immediate family. They have denied knowing or sharing any portion of Mattie’s life as well as denying themselves the privilege of knowing first hand any accomplishment or positive part of Mattie. They have automatically labeled Mattie and anyone connected to her as someone not good enough to be listed as part of their family.

While these ancestors and descendants of a noble family continue to carry on their legacy, they don’t realize they leave a very important part of their heritage by the wayside. The shame and embarrassment they possess; the distaste they carry for Mattie and anyone like her; the judgment they harbor in their hearts can only be described as selfish and unwavering. It leaves us all with a bitter taste in our mouths and too much pride in our hearts.

Every family has their skeletons, some more than others. For anyone who performs research into their family heritage who denies the existence and finds a person such as Mattie hidden within their family tree they should remind themselves of one thing. They are a part of one big family that is made up of different individuals.

Not everyone is going to believe the same things. Not every family member is going to follow family tradition. Everyone is a complete, special and unique individual with their own set of circumstances and ways to cope with the life that is handed to them. Not every life is given a smooth path to follow. Not every family member is handed a life that is not fraught with difficulty. To deny any family member the promise of their heritage is to deny that person a part of their legacy; a part of their family. The people who have the notion they are better than anyone else or consider a particular family member to be evil or demon possessed should stop for a while and take stock into their own life. They should realize we all make up ‘the family’ and should realize that their family is a part of every other family, which makes up who we are. To simply hide these people or remove them from existence doesn’t alter the fact that these people such as Mattie exist and are an important part of their very own family.

While we all would like to uncover that we are somehow related to nobility of kings and queens, the fact remains that some of us are just common, hard-working individuals who deserve, at the very least, the same respect and consideration as anyone else. My suggestion to these people, who consider themselves better than anyone else or holier than thou, is to try and look at the people they have discarded as human beings. They have mother and fathers just like everyone else. They have spouses and children too. They have lives that are just as valuable as the rest of the world and they are special people in their own right.

Before anyone can rightly judge them, they should consider what actions they might have taken were they thrust into the same circumstances. These people should remember, that God loves everyone. He loves the prostitute and the tax collector equally. He loves us all, just as much as He loves Mattie and her family and if God can allow Mattie and her family to be in His family, why can’t the rest of the family allow it too? Don’t we all descend from the same source? Didn’t he make us all? Didn’t He make the circumstance that existed in Mattie’s life as well as He made the circumstances in everyone else’s life?

There are still some who would suggest that God didn’t have anything to do with Mattie or her circumstances, but I for one, beg to differ with a belief that God has His hand in each and every circumstance in every person’s life.

I know Mattie personally and I know that she is a genuinely loving individual who has done the best with the circumstances she was forced to deal with. Given the chance to know Mattie and anyone in her family, you would probably love her too and we all need a little love in this world.

The next time you, as a family tree researcher, come across someone whom you find to be a distasteful family member, someone whom you had rather not list in your family tree, I hope you think about Mattie and her family. Consider for a moment that Mattie could possible be your child. How would you feel if a part of your family ostracized you and excluded you and your family from their rightful heritage?

Article Source: familyhistoryarticles.com 


3. Latest news from www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.

New partnership with the
London Metropolitan Archives

From Spring 2009, you'll be able to view London life through the ages thanks to an exciting new partnership with the London Metropolitan Archives – the Uk's largest local authority record office.

Featuring records that go back centuries, the LMA's historical parish content will include Church of England archives, wills, school admission and discharge registers – and much more.

Released in stages, there will be an astounding 77 million records in total, from over 700 churches in London and Middlesex – the largest online collection of its kind and unavailable to view anywhere else. For more information on the types of records that will be available on  www.Ancestry.co.uk Join or get a free trial here.


4. Next month’s article. People Search: How to Quickly and Easily Find Someone You Lost Track Of - Very interesting!


That’s all for this month folks…I hope you enjoyed this months newsletter. And in case you forgot earlier - Please sign the  Guestbook. See you next month.

Jim. Editor

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