My Family History page

Seasoned Family Historians can miss this Intro...
scroll to the Bottom of the Page for Links etc or Click HERE to do so

The Hobby / Interest of Family History mainly involves tracing your personal ancestral line.
There are Millions of Family Historians Worldwide and since the expansion of the Internet in recent years
the previously difficult and time-consuming task of tracing your Ancestors has become much easier.

In earlier years records of ancestors were only available at Record Centres, Libraries, Register Offices and Archive Centres.
These days 99% of the information you will need to compile your Family Tree are available right here on the Internet.

Family Historians also known as Genealogists used to keep their records on paper...
either in book form or index cards both of which were both time consuming to compile and very difficult to use once the "Tree"
grew in size.

These days there are many many programs for PC or MAC which make the task of logging your gathered data
much easier than previously. Many programs are available Totally free of charge. Others require a payment for full usage.

A few FACTS about family History
1) it can be VERY ADDICTIVE indeed...
2) It is Great Fun
3) you will meets some very nice people along your journey
4) you are very likely to find some relatives you didn't know existed

From this point on I will assume you are using a PC and of course have access to the Internet !
and are resident in the UK. Global resources are massive but to talk Globally is beyond the scope of these pages.

I first became Interested in Family History (FH) in 1999 when a I recalled my Maternal grandmother telling me about relatives
that died on the Titanic in 1912.
I wanted to find out more and so began on what I am now sure is a never ending trail.

By 1999 all my "blood relatives" had died.  My Maternal grandmother being the last survivor .. she Died in 1992.
Oh how I wish I had found my interest before she passed away. The information she took with her when she died would have been
priceless to anyone researching the area around my Home.  What she didn't know about the town, villages and people
of Eastwood, Awsworth, Ilkeston, Stanley Common, Greasley, Kimberley.... etc was not worth knowing.
(All the above places are located around Nottingham)

But that's that... I had to find the data I sought somewhere else.
As I work 6 days a week.. Sunday being my only day off... it was clear I couldn't visit the various archive centres or other sources
of data without taking many hours off work....  it was then that I decided to search the Internet for assistance.

What I found... and indeed after 9 years am STILL finding.. Blew my Mind !!!

I of course knew my personal details... those of my Parents and Grandparents and those of my Wife, her Parents and Grandparents..
although my wife's "side" had a few unaccounted for gaps of information.

SO... Right away I had data for 14 people...
Birth dates, Death Dates (where applicable) Marriage Info etc

At this point I hit THE FAMILY HISTORIAN BRICK WALL.. well in the UK anyway.

Data for ALL UK citizens is collected every 10 years in the form of the National Census....
the first being taken in 1841 although in very basic form.
Around March in 1851, 1961, 1871 et al at 10 year intervals a Census was taken the results being compiled and held by the
national records Office.
These records grew in detail as time progressed... later Census details included Names, Ages, Employment details of all
the occupants of an address... at the date the census was taken.

Now the PROBLEM...
The UK has a Law called "The Hundred Years Rule"... basically this means that personal data is NOT available to the public..
even data for yourself is covered... this means that the last Census to be made Public was the 1901 census
 which became available on line in 2002.
The 1911 Census not becoming available until 100 years have passed in 2012.

The Problem is that you will need personal information for a family member who was born BEFORE 1901 if you
are going to find details of their family prior to 1901.
Once you have this data then its relatively easy to trace the family line back to 1841 by tracking the family ancestry back via
each 10 year census.. 1891..1881..1871..1861..1851..1841.

Anyway... I managed to "jump the wall" and before I knew it I had another generation or two listed.

A few years later my "tree" held data for around 90 persons.

I then proceeded to join what is now known as Find My Past , Genes Reunited and Ancestry.Com (Links Below)

In December 2005 I uploaded my latest tree to Genes Re-United... this held data for 160 people.
The result was ASTOUNDING...  from December 15th 2005 to the end of January 2006 I was receiving between
20 and 30 emails DAILY from other Genes Reunited (GR) users who had possible links to
persons listed in my tree.

At the present time I have a "Local Tree"  of over 5300... yes FIVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED people.. and have
met people with trees holding data of over 25,000 people (Not really trees , these I call family FORESTS).

I don't spend every free hour researching my tree... it tends to come and go in waves like every other Hobby or Pastime but the
whole "FH Thing" still has me firmly gripped.

if you are at all Interested in Family History I urge you to start your journey NOW.
DON'T wait... talk to your relatives and make notes of anything and everything you can find.. even rumour.
If you have Kids the result will be a Great present for them in later years... they will thank you for your
interest well after your death !!! as will their kids... and their kids...  et al

Update 22/11/2008
I have now found the data relating to the Titanic that I have been researching since 1999.
My memories of what my Grandmother told me were somewhat jaded...
I have recently found the Relatives that I thought died on the Titanic actually died during the sinking of
"The Empress of Ireland" , St Lawrence Seaway May 1914.
The sinking is still the greatest loss of life in a Maritime disaster in Canadian History when 1075 persons lost their lives.
It is a fascinating story in it's own right.
For further information Google "Empress of Ireland" or click here


OK, so that's the Introduction Over.
Click on the links below if you want to find out more about Family History

Family History Programs for the PC
Family History On-Line Resources
Family History resources Off-Line