we got snow and the kids were out of school all last week ........ and guess what ....... it's currently snowing so they might be out tomorrow. So before I get side-tracked with other things ..... yet again ... here's my 10 things that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me about my ancestors (and my search).
1. If there is no paper trail, there's no paper trail.
Sometimes records just plain do not exist, and it's not because "there was a fire and the court burned down." So our ancestor William Lindsay is still without parentage and no records that exist (that we can find) tell who they are. To those ancestors who found the money to pay to register .... thank-you. To those that could not ... I totally understand ... no hard feelings.
2. Some family tree "no issue" couples did a fairly good job of populating the planet :) I bet their descendants would love to see that part of the tree if I could ever track them down :)
3. Some occupations were surprising and thought provoking - keeper of orphans, prison matron, carriage maker, gunsmith, master shoemaker, spirit dealer, being a few of them.
4. Some of my brick wall research has been solved by unknown cousins who just "popped up out of nowhere" and handed over years of information "because no-one else in the family was interested."
5. My grandma and grandpa Hall never told my mother how they met.
6. There's always two sides to every family story. It's important to either keep, or develop an open mind. Ancient family "fall outs" can be reconciled and wonderful relationships created.
7. My great grandfather lost his "drawing" arm in an industrial accident and used his stump to hold his mechanical drawing instruments.
8. My great-uncle married his daughter-in-laws mother (marriage #2 for both) so said son and spouse are now step brother and sister !!!!
9. You need an iron stomach, a good dictionary, and lots of paper tissues if you take an interest in researching "cause of death" e.g progressive emaciation, gangrene, softening of the brain, miners lung, run over by a train, paralysis.
10. My seemingly very quiet, and wonderful, great aunt actually led a very active interesting life. I did not know too much about it all till after she died :( One of the disadvantages of moving to a different country as an adult (me).
Here's another general one - I miss my active research at Edinburgh's New Register House. I loved going up the the spiral staircase and being able to see the hand written documents up close and personal. Being able to share my excitement on finding someone's info with the person showing it to me was a real treat "back in the day." Having said that Scottish on-line research is amazing and I am truly thankful for what our wee country has available. Spoiled rotten we are ........ spoiled rotten.