Monday, 1 April 2013

A-Z 2013 - 'A' is for ANCESTORS

Last year, for the 2012 A-Z challenge, I did a thriller serial  with a new 100-word episode each day. I did contemplate another for this year, but time has escaped me so I've fallen back on my second idea - genealogy.

I've been tracing my family history for a few years now and one of these days I will go through and properly organise the jigsaw-puzzle-like elements of births, marriages and deaths along with census returns and facsimiles of parish registers that I have accumulated digitally, as hard-copies or even scrawled on scraps of paper! (Well, I can dream, anyway! ;-p)

So, to start off this year's challenge, I decided on:


I have to say they are a motley crew - 'ag/labs' (agricultural labourers), stonemasons, coalminers, military, naval - even a 'tea-dealer'! The 'tree' spreads upwards and outwards; so far I'm back to 1651 (confirmed) but I have a few 'branches' that hint even further back, still awaiting documentation proof. 

Digging deep, these people become more than just names and statistics; slowly I'm finding out about their lives, realising that even a couple of hundred years ago how mobile they were (settling in Canada, Australia, India - even one born in an Army barracks in Bermuda!). There are connections to Queen Victoria and Bonnie Prince Charlie and even the Russian Royal House of Romanov! 

Alas, I have yet to find any millionaires - but equally, no axe-murderers, thank goodness!

I wonder what these people would have made of their descendents and the very different world we live in?


  1. This is a fantastic theme for the A-Z! Family history is so fascinating whether it's mine or someone else's. Looking forward to the rest of the month.

  2. Great Idea Sue! I would love to take the time and trace my family tree. You may inspire me to start once this A-Z is over. Glad there are no axe-murders yet!!

  3. Family histories are always fascinating to research. We've only traced mine back to the early 1800's, how on earth did you manage to get back so far!

    1. Luckily, I managed to tap into genealogy done by an earlier relative - mind you, I had to dig to discover that, too!

  4. I don't know how I'd feel if I found axe-murderers in my family tree - excited or terrified!

  5. Hi Sue .. what a great way to do the A-Z and I love your approach to working backwards with your ancestors - they sound fascinating!

    Cheers Hilary

  6. Family history can be completely absorbing. Hopefully you will have time to wrote about what you are doing.

  7. This is great, Sue. You have an adventure of discovery ahead as you reach back and mean your ancestors. I have always wanted to do more of this. Great post and beginning to the A to Z. Have a blessed month. Maria at Delight Directed Living

  8. Ancestors are really interesting. It's amazing how similar people look from the same era. I wonder if the same thing will apply to us in the future.

  9. I was leaving a comment and right in the middle of typing it disappeared. I don't know if I inadvertently hit the send button or what? If I did, you will receive a comment, in midstream. In any event, I am intrigued by your fascinating theme and look forward to the rest of the month. I am a new follower from the challenge.

  10. I find genealogy fascinating. I'm amazed by how far back you have been able to trace your family tree!

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of your a to z posts!

    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  11. I used to be fascinated with genealogy, but then my interest fell off. As my daughter gets older, I imagine it will respark as she asks questions about family history.

    Hi from Nagzilla bloghopping A to Z

  12. I love learning about my ancestors. Some of there struggles are no different from our own. And sometimes they have something to teach us. Great post and wanted to say 'hi' in the a-z/

  13. My grandmother did our family tree and discovered that we are related to French royalty la de da de daaaah

  14. I'm just starting my journey. I'm joining your blog so I can gleen any tips I can from you if you don't mind!

  15. Well for a start, cousin, I'm here! I look forward to looking through the rest of your month's posts, but for now I'm up to my neck Pembertoning!
    Oh, btw, as we're related you now also link through to the first Briton to scale K2; the man who owned the original Grey Mare that Grey Mare Lane market is named after in Manchester; the guy behind the biggest explosion that Hounslow Gunpowder Mills ever knew; and the winner of the national prize for manufacturing ice cream in nineteen thirty something-or-other. None of them Pembertons though (sorry!).