I found out that one line of my ancestors were sailors – one was a captain of a ship that was sunk off the coast of Nova Scotia, and one was a pirate; one was a first mate who was murdered at sea. Pretty cool, hey? 16 months ago
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How I did it: I've always been fascinated with my family history and the idea of researching my family tree but I think it was 2005/6 when I really started to take it seriously and have a proper look. I opened an account with ancestry.co.uk and started to fill in what I already knew. It then started giving me hints (Or shaking leaves as they call it) to records containing my family and other peoples trees that may also have my ancestors in.
From information gained from the Free BMD site that lists records for Births, Marriages and Deaths I was able to gain the information that enabled me to purchase certificates. These we invaluable as marriage certificates listed fathers names of both spouses and their occupation. They also gave you an idea of where in the country they were living at the time making it easier for me to locate them in Cencus records from 1841 - 1901.
I have now managed to trace all but one of my four grand parents familes back to my forth generation grand parents. (My Grandparents, great grandparents) (I hope that is right.) My Dad's grand father has been the hardest to trace as his mum never mentioned a father's name on his birth certificate and he was registered under her family name. She never married and spent her life living with her parents. I'm not sure i'll ever know who his Dad was to allow me to go back any futher.
It hasn't just linked me to the past either. Through the different sites I use I have also been linked to living relatives who I am now in regular touch with. Family I probably wouldn't have had the chance to meet with out it. I also send letters to a distant cousin of my Nan's who lives in America. Something I would never have done if ancestry hadn't given us a comman interest.
It really is amazing what you can discover. Read how I did it… 11 months ago