I’ve recently begun to draw up my family tree. And it’s a lot harder than it’s made out to be. It’s proving to be difficult to verify something that could be part of your family history but no one is alive to tell you that you’re on the right track.
You can cross reference through all the births, marriage and death indexes and through all the census records (up to 1911 – and that’s where the problem really lies) and see if they match up and no anomaly is sticking out like a sore thumb. It’s detective work, guessing using educated guesswork. I put in all the information that I have and basically hope for the best.
I’ve debated whether to search through my family tree for a while now, and don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with the details of it, because like your own dreams only interest you, only your family tree interests your family. No one really wants to know, unless of course some obscure person turns out to be a distant cousin of the Queen, Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake or any other figure. Which I’m not. So I finally decided to look into my past. But I’m not going to go back too far. My great grandparents, or great great grandparents perhaps but just them. Otherwise I’ve found that they just end up as names on paper. My hope is to build up details about them and try to find out as much as I can from them. Who they were, where they lived and what they did for a living. Sort of build up character profiles of them as any writer would in creating a new character from scratch.
Because for me personally, that’s what I find interesting, the details of the people. I could go further and further back, but I don’t really want to. Realistically, there’s more chance of going wrong the further back I go.
I’m not expecting to find that I’m part of a long line of nobility, twice removed, or anything, with a boundless amount of wealth with my name on it, waiting to be claimed, I’m really not expecting that to happen. Don’t get me wrong it’ll be nice. But my idea of it is to explore my fairly recent past family history and create it, for future generations to add their details to. Hopefully, I’ll build up a fairly comprehensive picture of my family tree, past, present and future.