One year back at my genealogy work and I’ve discovered over 1470 people across Scotland and England – the equivalent of a small village! The majority long-dead, but I’m in touch with newly-discovered distant family in England, Canada and Australia (step-third-cousins by marriage – who said modern families were complicated!?). All really nice people and interested in keeping in touch and sharing discoveries.
I’ve also met my cousin in Plymouth for the first time, and met his father again after several decades. We’ve talked for hours about all sorts of things, and I’ve seen glimpses of early 20th century life and heard stories of my grandparents which I’d never heard before.
I’ve encountered colourful characters yet many ancestors still elude me. I’ve discovered multiple marriages, missing fathers, long lives, sticky ends and people with long, hard, working days in Argyll, Devon and latterly in Yorkshire.
I’ve started working to clean and restore graves in the Historic Kirkyards of Clackmannanshire project with Ochils Landscape Partnership. I’m not always very comfortable reading handwriting so gravestones are (mostly) much more my thing. I’d like to do one of these transcribing projects but I wouldn’t have the confidence in my accuracy. Yet.
I’ve got back to my writing after several years and started blogging so that is an unexpected bonus.
So thanks to one email kick-starting it all from the OLP, and an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher (thanks Elma!) I’ve had a fascinating and rewarding year.
Next I want to find out more about military history, to learn more about resources and my family in Yorkshire and Devon. I’ve applied to do a military history course in February, fingers crossed I get a place.
It’s a hundred years from the merging of three of the local areas in Plymouth, my family’s patch. Although I won’t be able to get down to Plymouth History Festival in May there may be some publications or new record sets available perhaps.
It’s also Homecoming Scotland 2014 so maybe there will be events to look out locally and in Argyll.
Finally it’s the 100th anniversary of the start of the first world war. Although I find this a bit grim – couldn’t we celebrate in 2018 instead? – there may be the opportunity to find out about my ancestors’ service in the Army and the Navy.
So here’s to the undiscovered country, and the re-discovered family! May 2014 be just as interesting as 2013.