Genes Reunited Blog
Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
The British Newspaper Archive
Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?
I had a great great grandfather, who died 143 years ago. There’s nothing unusual in that, of course. Everybody had great great grandfathers. However, my great great grandfather was Charles Dickens and therefore I am able to find out all there is to know about him with a few clicks on a computer keyboard, and I feel so fortunate to be able to build a complete picture of who he was, where he lived, how he was received and perceived. Whilst learning about Charles Dickens I can see traces of him throughout the current Dickens clan, many of whom are involved in the world of communication. We have writers, actors, journalists, musicians, marketing experts and restaurant owners among our numbers.
I myself am an actor and much of my professional life revolves around the works of Charles Dickens. I record audio books and perform one-man stage adaptations based on his work. I did the voiceover for one of Kent’s top attractions, Dickens World, located in Chatham Maritime. My voice can be heard in the Haunted Man, a dark and sinister part of the Dickens World attraction. I also did the voiceover to go along with spooky holographs at Dickens World known as ‘Pepper’s Ghosts’, an invention of the period used to great effect by Charles Dickens himself. I introduce a whole host of weird and wonderful characters from Miss Havisham (Great Expectations), Stoney Durdles (Edwin Drood) and Wackford Squeers (Nicholas Nickleby), to the spirits of Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come from (A Christmas Carol). Looking at my family lineage and our involvement in the world of communication, I realise it is another wonderful link across the generations and makes me appreciate that despite being separated by more than a century, we are as close as if we knew each other well.
I’m lucky in that my family story is so easily accessible, but the same links exist in every family. It is an amazing thing to discover your forebears, and find out how those ancestors shaped you. I urge anyone to use Genes Reunited and to start an incredible journey.
Gerald Dickens is a professional actor and details of his tours and audio recordings can be found at www.geralddickens.com