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Treading in the footsteps of ancestral family

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AnnCardiff Report 3 Mar 2014 20:13

I walk in the footsteps of my paternal line almost daily - my Dad's family go back centuries in this village and I walk on the pavements my Dad would have used to go to infant's school - it's a lovely feeling

I can walk past the site of the house where he was born, walk alongside the canal where he learned to swim and walk through the woods where he and his siblings used to play as children

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 2 Mar 2014 12:52

Once again I have enjoyed reading the latest additions to this thread...more wonderful stories :-)
.....just love it !!!

P.S. And a useful reminder to get back on to googlemaps until I am able to personally visit all the places I want to.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 29 Jan 2014 21:21

Thank you :)


MaccollFan1 Report 29 Jan 2014 14:45

Hi Joy. I have been away from GR for a while and just rediscovered your wonderful thread, so thought I would add another tale.

I went over to Ireland in 2012 to see the village where my Nan's family were from. Not only did I see the village and the immaculately kept family graves in the churchyard, but I also met a family who were neighbours of my lot! They invited me back to their house, plied me with tea and scones, and told me a lot about my family.

They then took me to see the actual house my family lived in from about 1900 to 1980 - it is a ruin now but I was able to walk inside and see the sewing machine, the stove, a bed and some other household bits they would have used. It was a wonderful experience.

Walking back to the car, my guides suddenly stopped and pointed to a spot on the side of the road and said:

"Sure, that'll be where your great great granddad collapsed and died, now."

You don't get that sort of information from a death certificate! :D



SuffolkVera Report 17 Sep 2013 18:02

Just had a wonderful week in Devon visiting all the villages my paternal family came from and seeing some of the places they lived and where they were buried. In the early days the family had money and lived in some beautiful houses, the main one now being a slightly run down hotel. We were also able to glean some information from gravestones that we hadn't found elsewhere.

Spent one day at the record office where we were able to photograph dozens of old documents relating to the family. The earliest one was 1580 and I got a real shiver down the spine handling it and realising that Elizabeth 1 was on the throne when it was written. I did have a silent prayer "This document has been around for more than 430 years; please don't let me be the one to damage it".

A great week all round.


Eileen Report 12 Sep 2013 14:49

Unbeknown to me I used to walk in the street where my Mum lived as a child. I had friends in the area and my loveliest times were around there. I didn't find out where she had lived until after she'd died.
I have traced my tree back to Lady Jane Grey and beyond and with living in Leicester, I have been able to visit Bradgate Park many times and walked in the ruins.


martynsue Report 12 Sep 2013 13:58

only in the parish church graveyard whilst looking for them.

I must admit when I go to Greece and see the old site's and relic's (I do not mean other holiday maker's) I find it amazing how they built such wonderful building's. being in places that you have learned about in history for example Olympia home of the game's .

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 11 Sep 2013 18:34

Just re-reading.

Thank you for all of your "journeys".


Persephone Report 4 Jun 2013 04:54

I don't have to go far to see where my Gr grandfather arrived in NZ.. he turned 4 on the way over from Glasgow... his family settled there, where they were given plots of land by the government of the day.

Passengers from another ship the Resolute arrived a few months later and on that was a little girl of five; twentyfour years later they married.

This is a plaque of the landing of the Viola and a bit about the voyage.



MarieCeleste Report 2 Jun 2013 19:58

I've really enjoyed reading people's journeys on this thread, well done Joy.

My paternal grandfather Billy died the year before I was born and dad's side of the family didn't talk much about the family. All I knew was Billy came from a place called Ballyhooly in Ireland and his parents had a pub.

By the time I got round to starting family research all that side of the family was long gone and there was no one to ask. I'd pieced together info from certificates, and found the family on the Irish census (in the pub!) and got some baptisms, etc but it didn't mean a lot, it was just paper.

A couple of years ago I decided on a whim that I'd go to Ballyhooly (which is in County Cork) just to see what it was like. Well, my first surprise was that the great grandparents pub is still there (it features on pubs of Ireland posters). Dropped my bags at the B&B and went straight to the pub. Explained to the (extremely old) landlord why I was there and I got the second surprise - he had known my great grandmother (who died 1934) and he knew my grandfather's brothers (all long gone) but he hadn't known Billy as he'd "had to leave Ireland". He told me many tales about the family.

Word got round that I was in the village and someone came to the B&B with a book for me in which the family were mentioned. They were well known for their political affiliations, apart from having the pub.

I got to go to the church where my great grandparents married in 1875 and where the children were baptised. I found my great-grandmother's grave, along with those of Billy's siblings. I sat on great gran's grave and had a good chat with her, telling her about myself, my brother, my father, etc.

The few days I was there has given me a whole different perspective on that part of the family, they are now real people to me.

Ballyhooly is a beautiful place and it was overwhelming walking along the Blackwater river bank knowing billy and his family had walked there too.

Not only did I walk in their footsteps, I drank in their pub!

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 2 Jun 2013 19:23

One's personal journey of genealogy / family history / call it what you will, can contain such a mixture of facts and varying emotions; of sheer joy and excitement, and of tears and grief, for one's self and for others.

I have experienced all of that; at times from reading books and magazines and from exploring sites in the internet, at others from discoveries that put absolute joy into my mind and heart, and from personally treading in their footsteps.


SpanishEyes Report 30 Apr 2013 07:57

Oops! I must first apologise as I said that I would write about the importance to me of Fingrinhoe in Essex and did not do so.

Fingrinhoe is a small place in Essex England. My maternal Grandparents lived there for many years, during the second WWband left when they needed to be near to my mum and family.

Fingrinhoe is a very old place and has a very church which is worth visiting. The Vicar is always so helpful as are the locals. There is a school next to the Church and my older sister went to school there during WW2 and her and our mum lived with our grandparents. My mothers' only son died 4 hours after birth due to him being so premature. Because he was not Babtised he could, at the time, not be entered in holy ground, but the vicar allowed him to be buried next to the side wall on the left hand side as one walks to the church from the road.

Last year a person who lives in the same place as me in Spain went to Fingrinhoe to visit his daughter, told her about what I have just written and he spoke to the vicar who gave him a copy of the death and burial. People are so kind.

Re maps. I spent hours yesterday googling for maps for my family tree as it was dreadful weather here. Wow what a fantastic thing to add.

Bridget :-)

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 10 Apr 2013 21:07

It is good to be able to use online maps and images to see how it is now and imagine how it used to be once upon a time. :)


SylviaInCanada Report 10 Apr 2013 05:15

have also followed some of OH's family in the area where his father grew up .......

................. the family had been there for a couple of hundred years


KenSE Report 8 Apr 2013 18:27

I agree Cynthia, the Google facilities, especially street view, are a really useful way of looking at those places we can't get to.


Cynthia Report 7 Apr 2013 08:05

I can't get to my ancestral roots at the moment as they are 'down South'!

However, google map comes in very useful if I want to see a certain area.

Not as good as the real thing I must admit.


SylviaInCanada Report 7 Apr 2013 01:42

Like Karen, I've re-visited and walked in my own footsteps

In 2001, we went back to the UK, and visited my aged aunt ................ and then went the extra 3 or 4 streets to see the house where I was born and lived until I was 11, and my grandparents house, just across the street.

That little area was really very much different to what it had been the last time I visited, back about 1975 when we visited the uncle who was still living in grandfather's house.

I took photos of "my" house, hoping no one would think we were casing the joint!!

In 2008, we had another trip to the UK, and went into Wales .................... we tried to find the smithy where OH's grandmother was born, but failed. He thought he knew where ti was from childhood visits ................... but it was in such a small village that it wasn't on any of the maps we had.

It was a spur of the moment side trip ......... we shall be better prepared if there is another visits.


PatinCyprus Report 5 Apr 2013 09:28

Glad you gave this a nudge Cynthia, it's so interesting.

Have recently found a branch of my maternal grandfather's family. Took me a while to find a gt gt gt aunt's marriage.

I only take my family to the 1911 census usually. One of the lady's (gt gt gt aunts grandaughter) in the early 1890s married someone with an unusual name, I told my husband I'd been at school (infants/junior) with a boy of that surname. Thought I should follow the boys of this marriage.

Guess who the lady's great grandson was. He's a distant cousin, wonder if he remembers me. ;-)


Cynthia Report 4 Apr 2013 16:54



Janet Report 29 Mar 2013 09:20

I visited the grave of my gt gt grandfather in St Andrew's cemetery Newcastle at the weekend (dragged my two mates up there after a weekend away)

I guess one of the the last people to stand on that piece of grass would have been my great grandfather.................still don't know where he is !!

I've also been to Berwick upon Tweed and Alnwick to see their old stamping grounds