Digging into our family's past with Ancestry family trees!
For a few years now, I have been looking into mine and Chris' family trees. I have managed to get both trees back to the 1600's, which is no mean feat, so I thought I'd share some interesting facts.
Due to a pretty major computer crash a couple of years ago, I lost a lot of my own family tree information and basically had to start again with the whole process. Fortunately, the information I had collected for Chris was intact, so I actually have more info for his family than mine at the moment.
Chris' Family Tree
So far, I have found 917 people for his tree and have over 800 individual records attached to them, things like birth, marriage, death notices, military records etc. I have managed to take the tree back to 1650 for definite, but with a tangible link back to 1606, yet to be proven.
It is interesting that all of his family, so far, are contained within a few English counties: Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Hertfordshire, Devon and Somerset. Chris' father is from South Wales, so there are quite a few people coming from that side too. Interestingly, a part of his family is now in New South Wales, Australia having emigrated there back in the 1860's.
Much of his father's line were coal miners in Wales, and at least one was killed in a mining accident. He also has quite a few pub landlords in the family, so that was quite amusing, especially as he doesn't drink himself.
I also managed to unearth a few scandals, such as illegitimate children and multiple marriages, some seeming to begin before others ended! But that could just be down to not finding the right records.
There are only four letter of the alphabet that do not have surnames attached to them in his tree: Q, V, X and Z!
Jane's Family Tree
As I said, I did lose quite a bit of data from my tree. I had originally traced it back to the early 1600's, but now can only go back to the early 1700's. As I have time, I will obviously trace it back further again.
I have 488 people in my tree with over 1,000 records. My family seems to be more spread out than Chris' as it involves many more English counties: Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Kent, London, Bedfordshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Essex, Staffordshire, and Middlesex. I also have family who emigrated, this time to New Zealand back in 1882.
One thing that I did manage to find was my grandfathers family line. Unfortunately, he died in 2000 without knowing where he came from. He was adopted when he was a young boy and never knew his father or mother. I managed to find his family and who is mother and father were and I know he would have loved to know all this, but I started all the research way too late for that.
He did keep in touch with his siblings and I knew many of them myself, although they have all passed now. But he did not know about his parents. I found out that his mother died when he was 6 years old and that is when he was adopted. I assume his father couldn't cope with her death. I've tracked both his parents' lines back to the 1850's and will try to go back further.
I have more unused surname letters than Chris: E, I, O, Q, U, V, X, Y & Z.
As I have some time, now all the house moving stuff is out the way, I will be looking into the trees again and see what else I can dig up. More and more information is being added all the time to the various online databases, so I'm sure once I get stuck in, I'll unearth lots more info. The trouble is, It is very addictive and very time consuming, so it could take some time!