First Things First
For my first blog here I thought I should start with a little bit about me and why I am blogging.
About 15 years ago my husband introduced me to genealogy – he has been researching his family tree for quite some time – and fairly quickly I was hooked. To start with I realised that I didn’t know some basic information such as the names of my grandparents. They had died when I was quite young and to me they had only ever been Grandma and Grandad, Nana and Grandpa. I didn’t know where they were born or where they met or what they did for a living. When you are a child these aren’t the things you ask. Luckily my parents were able to fill in the gaps for me and this helped to set me off on the right tracks to go back further (although I often made the novice mistake of accepting other people’s work without checking and have had to reset branches of my tree more than once).
I was born and brought up in the North East of England, in a small town that used to prosper when the coal mines were open but not any more. My aunts and uncles and cousins all lived close by and as far as I knew this is where the family had always lived. It was therefore a revelation to me to learn that only a couple of generations ago the majority of my family were from Kent and Hampshire at the other end of the country, “down South”. Ironically, I learnt this when my husband and I had moved to Kent and I did wonder at the co-incidence of going back to my roots!
My DNA suggests that I am almost 100% English, whatever that means, and even though I know there are French Huguenots in my tree. Ancestry suggests an elusive 2% from Sweden but I haven’t worked that one out yet. But overall my DNA shows that I am predominately from the North and from the South of England – hence the title of this blog.
Researching my family tree has uncovered poverty and nobility, clerics and criminals and one line that takes me back to 1066! But there are lots of blockages, lots of gaps and puzzles and this blog will explore those and share some of my research in the hope that others may also find it useful.