Family history 2 articles

Family history 2 group articles

Group report

This is an article published in the Summer 2018 newsletter ….

In pursuing Genealogy, one never knows what might suddenly be discovered even though it is all buried in history. The internet has played an incredible part in enabling research to be undertaken at a touch of a button from the comfort of our homes. By contrast, I well remember trips up to London to visit Somerset House and later St Catherine’s House as well as the records office where one would systematically wade through huge volumes to find details of births, marriages and deaths, or strain the eyes peering at endless reels of blurry microfilm images.

Modern technology has enabled our members to trace their ancestry back to at least the 17th century and some even earlier. But it is not just a case of adding another name and some dates. We study their occupations, their geographical movements and the social conditions in which they survived. In addition, there has been the opportunity to find lost cousins through the family history websites and more recently through DNA tests and some of our members have had the most enjoyable reunions even as far as Australia. There seems to be an instant rapport with persons that you’ve never met before with the only link being that you share some common ancestors. There is no doubt that blood is thicker than water!

Paul Chapman

Group report

This is an article published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Hayling Island U3A newsletter...

Apart from the regular brick-wall sessions whereby we use our collective brains to resolve an impasse that a member has reached in the development of a family tree, we have investigated the conditions under which our ancestors lived. We selected a period 1820-1850 and each member of the group undertook to research the developments in a range of conditions such as Politics and Voting, Medicine, Industrial Development, Philosophy, Punishments, Transport and Investment, Growth of Empire, Social and Living conditions, Science, Finance and Wages, Agriculture, Communications and Entertainment.

It has been a fascinating exercise and our ancestors experienced a rate of change in their lifestyle that was just as radical as it is today driven by the development of the steam engine and the fear that the spirit of the French Revolution might cross the channel!