Anyone who’s checked out this blog recently will note that it’s been a while since I posted. I haven’t done much genealogy research though the summer , and I admit to feeling a little bit disheartened by the whole project. Exactly why am I investigating my family history, and why bother to write it up on the blog?
I’ve made some superb connections with other researchers who have been so generous with their time and information. I’m so grateful to everyone who has taken the time and trouble to contact me and contribute in any way to my research. What I’ve found difficult to understand are those people who are keen to take the information I’ve found, but appear to be reluctant to share anything of their own.
When I began my research I didn’t have much to go on. My parents, who divorced in 1972, both died in the 1990s and I have very few photographs of my ancestors. I believe that quite a lot of my mother’s family “stuff” was destroyed in the Blitz. My uncle on my father’s side was very helpful, sharing a few photos of the Mason and Brittain families, and for that I’m really grateful. Almost all my “visual” family history evidence starts in about 1930, so somewhere there are probably photographs which could help me to fill in the details about my heritage. Most of my ancestors live only as names and extracts from the records and certificates – it would be so good to see them “in person”.
Complete strangers have been really kind enough to share their very detailed research, especially about the Sheepwash and Ferry families, but I’ve received help from others too as you can see from the comments made on the blog. I really feel that this has helped me to gain an understanding of my family background which I knew very little about until I began researching 15 years ago.
I do wonder why some people who’ve made contact either via the blog or through various online sites and forums have then suddenly stopped responding, even when we have met in person to share information? Perhaps you were unhappy about aspects of the research? Or maybe you’re worried that I will publish your research or photographs online without your permission? If that’s the case then please rest assured that I will never do that. Several researchers have given me information but are concerned about the use of public family trees on Ancestry and other sites; my tree on Ancestry is private (although I accept that there may still be data protection issues with that). I will only publish full details of any research if the records are now available online and therefore accessible to anyone. If you have spent many years in record offices, poring over old documents, then I certainly won’t put your information in the public domain with asking you.
Having written this, I think I’m beginning to be a bit clearer about the direction in which I will try to take this blog. The information needs to be presented more clearly so that other researchers can find the connections more easily. I need to find more images which help to locate the people firmly in their environment , especially as I don’t have photographs of many of the characters about whom I’m writing. As time allows I will set up some additional pages with more information about each family so that it’s easier to follow.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. If you are connected in any way to any of my ancestral lines, or have any suggestions about how I can develop this blog, then please get in touch.