Friday, 8 April 2011

G is for .....Genealogy

In 2001 we got a new PC with internet facilities and I vowed, as a New Year resolution, that I would stop talking about tracing my family history and actually get on with it!
I started with asking my siblings to dredge up any old documents and photos and having ascertained a few facts about my Grandfather's place and date of birth I began tracing clues through Genealogy websites. Within 24 hours I’d managed to track back 250 years!!!

Genealogy is not an exact science, though - the historical documents such as Census Returns, Parish Records and Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates are accurate only in-so-much that they record what the scribe 'heard' and what the informant 'said'! In some cases those informants may have imparted the facts to the best of their knowledge - others may have had a reason to be 'economical' with the truth! (as in the case of my own father.....but that's another story!)

This is the oldest photograph we have uncovered so far, my 2XGreat Grandparents, William and Mary Routledge, with some of their children.

To research my Family Tree I've had to combine two skills - the ability to do 'mental' jigsaw puzzles, coupled with a hefty bit of detective work! There are family 'myths' that have been, so far, unproved - and a few which most certainly have!! Sadly, I’ve not uncovered any millionaires but, thankfully, no axe-murderers either!

The branches continue to spread out further into the future - new generations of 'twigs' flourish and grow! So far, we have managed to get back to 1651, with the birth of my 7XGreat Grandfather, John Hounam!

This is a work which, to some extent will never be completed! The roots of the tree are firmly embedded in the past - only the lack of recorded information halts the proceedings. This is just the start and hopefully when I'm long gone others will continue to add to it!

(BTW - the charming man with the jauntily styled hat at the head of this blog post is my Great Grandfather, Joseph Edward Beattie. We have no idea if he owned the 'boneshaker' bicycle or it was just a photographer's 'prop'!)


  1. This is wonderful. How exciting to trace your family back that far. :)

  2. Sue I have been thinking about doing this same thing. That all got stirred up again at Christmas when I was revisiting some of my fathers personal keepsakes. He has been gone for 40 years and some of it I have just now seen. Great job on how far you HAVE managed to get!

  3. Genealogy was going to be my G post! But I have been thinking of some other G topics, so I don't know which on I will choose. All of my old photos haven't been scanned and saved yet, so perhaps I should wait and do that another time around. :) Excellent post and best of luck on your continued search! :)

  4. It's amazing you get to know so much about your family history. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

  5. I've always wanted to trace my family tree back as far as I can. Maybe I have some famous author relatives!

    What an amazing pic of GreatGrandaddySue! I want a jaunty hat!

  6. Steven - my Gt Uncle was a writer - but mainly non-fiction

  7. I also want to trace back my family history. (Got plenty of interesting people, but want to know the hows and whys.)


  8. Wow, you've traced your family all the way back to the 1600's? Amazing. I've never thought of doing this. But I've been after my son-in-law to do his own research on his family since he is a descendant of a President of the USA. My granddaughter has political blood in her!! Ha!

    Congrats on a continuing job well done, Sue.

  9. I haven't been into it but my son has. I do find it very interesting.

    Thank you for visiting my blog. We do seem to have a lot in common. I do plan to follow yours.