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Treading in the footsteps of ancestral family

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rootgatherer Report 2 Jun 2012 15:44

My poor long suffering husband has driven me around Midlothian, Aberdeenshire, Dumbartonshire, Sirlingshire and Angus photographing graves and houses of his ancestors. (He has no interest beyond the family members that he remembers) Next journey for his side will be to West Sussex where his Grandmother came from. Or maybe even Chicago where his Great Grandmother's brother emigrated to in the 1880s.

For my own family we have scoured Lanarkshire, Perthshire, Wigtownshire, Angus and Tipperary. Tipperary was exciting as we found the house that my Grandmother was born in in 1897. Alas her Dad died when she was only 4 years old and her Mum couldn't manage all the children and she was sent to be raised in a Convent. Some of her older siblings stayed in Ireland and some of the younger ones came to Glasgow with their mother as she was a "Weegie" and had family there. I think the next big trip for my side of the family would be to visit Bulli in New South Wales where my Great uncle emigrated to. I would also like to visit Loughgall in Ireland where my maternal Grandmother live for a time until her parents died there in the earlier 1900s.


YummyMummy Report 2 Jun 2012 16:25

My husband is fortunate that his family history goes back over 400 years within only 6 miles of where we live. Almost every churchyard in the area has ancestors of his to see. He really isnt interested in any of it though. he claims even with certificates you cant prove you have the right ancestors information and he would rather not look without 100% certainty.

With 2 young children in tow I have not yet had the opportunity to track down those places that clearly featured in my family for decades. I have lots of photographs and addresses but the children just dont find it interesting yet and most places are too far away for a day trip while their at school.

I have a list of things I want to do before im 40 and visiting at least 1 ancestral abode is at the top of my list :-D

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 8 Aug 2012 13:46

Great thread!
Surely there are more tales to be told.......c'mon chaps :-)


brummie46 Report 8 Aug 2012 16:30

after finding a relative in Australia to whom we are both direct descendants from and however many greats grandparents. She told me she had visited uk and found the gravestone of our gr gr grandparents and been inside the property they owned in 1800s. General conversation was that she planted primroses on the grave. I myself 4 years later visited the graveyard and all i knew was that the grave was against a surrounding wall and it was covered in ivy. Hence on my arrival the wall surrounding the graveyard was completely covered in ivy, i just stood there and thought where do i begin, on turning to my right approx 30 ft away i could see something yellow on the ground and thought could it be the primroses and as i walked across to the place found it to be a crisp packet. Now how weird is this as i brought my head up i noticed gap (size of a 50p) in the ivy and saw an initial B and as i cleared some of the ivy, there was my gr gr grandparents headstone - it was such a weird feeling as if something had drawn me to this crisp packet and i hadnt had to search whatever for the gravestone. I went to take a picture of the property they owned to which the present owner came out and invited me in, to which he produced certain documents relating to my gr gr grandfather (will/documents) although i was only able to take snippets of these papers with my camera, i asked him and have written to him a couple of times if he would scan them fully for me, but still received nothing from him. (a shame really for these are of no interest/related to him, and thought knowing that we are a true descendant he would be willing to forward such things). Footnote to this saga is that on finding all the info and family tree line from this people, in June2013 myself and other direct descendants as far from Australia, Canada, Spain, Wales and the rest of Uk are all going to meet up for the first time outside the house our gr gr grandparents and gr grandparents lived. How great will that be for all of us are DIRECT descendants of these people in some cases some can be 6 and 7th generation - now that is walking in our ancestors footsteps.


Jacqueline Report 8 Aug 2012 17:11

Yes, I have recently discovered that my grandparents were married in St. Mary's, Lewisham, in 1801. We went to this church once a year to celebrate the foundation of our school. A very long crocodile of somewhat reluctant girls!


SpanishEyes Report 12 Aug 2012 12:27


I have just noted this thread but cannot add just yet as I am not at home until monday ot Tuesday of next week.
I have trodden in quite a few places where my ancestors lived, and some on many occasions.

I have enjoyed reading about 30 entries so far...

I will start with Fingrinhoe in Essex, England


Janet in Yorkshire

Janet in Yorkshire Report 13 Aug 2012 14:21

LOL, Joy I walk in their footsteps every day.
I live in a small, remote village where my mum's paternal ancestors were recorded in 1841; one of their daughters was baptised in the village church in 1839 and my own great-grandfather in 1845.
Mum's maternal gt-grandparents settled here in 1858 after their marriage - they attended the Primitive Methodist chapel, now gone, but the building was still there in my childhood.
The church is still here, although the interior was ripped out and restored in the 1870's, also the pub and some of the farm houses where the single men lived in as farm servants. I attended the village primary school, the same two roomed building attended by my ancestors, one of whom was described by the headmaster as "the slowest reader in the school" who read aloud in a very monotonous voice!
I am old enough to remember the little rows of 2 up 2 down cottages where they lived and also the several "front room" shops where they bought their provisions -all now gone.
As a child I spent many hours observing shoeing and manufacturing in the village smithy, I remember the last village tailor (who used to do repairs and alterations) and I almost daily walk past what used to be the carrier's house and depot.
And of course, with it being such a small community, I was brought up on tales of the exploits of inhabitants past and present!



Jacqueline Report 28 Aug 2012 22:53

My hubby and I earlier this year went to where his ancestors came from. Saw some of the graves of his ancestors in the graveyard. My hubby was born and brought up in the Falkland Islands but his ancestors came from Fettercairn in Scotland. A lovely place and my hubby said it reminded him of the Falkland Islands.


GlasgowLass Report 28 Aug 2012 23:07

My OH and I were both born and raised in a "New Town".
Like everyone else around us, our families were incomers from Glasgow who moved here in the 1950's.
When I started on family history, I did OH's side first and discovered that he had come full circle, and his family originated in this very town in the early 1700's.
His ggg grandfather, married in the town and moved to a neighbouring parish only a few miles away.

I then did my own family research and discovered I have very little Scottish ancestry .
The last time that two Scots entered into a marriage was 1815, as the next 4 generations had an Irish spouse, ending with my own parents.... even my mum was Irish.

Oddly, my Scottish ggg grandparents who married in 1815, also originated and lived in that neighbouring parish.....I later found their grave and also the one for OH's.... in the same churchyard!


Malcolm Report 29 Aug 2012 09:28

My Paternal Grandfathers (Robb) Family were from Fife. My Grandmother was from Rotterdam. I've visited all of the churchyards in Fife over the past few years and got freezing cold and soaking wet. As I commented to the Vicar at one churchyard on a frosty Sunday "You could catch your death out here!"

My Mothers side (Purves/Rutherford) were from Kelso district in the Borders. I've also prowled the churchyards there and visited the farm where the 1820's generation started.

Something I have realised is that the development of Railways combined with the agricultural recession in the 1850's started the move of people off the land and i've discovered some of the old Borders Railways stations which they would have used. The Purves family all ended up in Leith where my parents married.

Visiting the houses and area where your Genes came from adds a whole dimension to your perception of the Family Tree and the individuals in it.


Dame*Shelly*("\(*o*)/") Report 29 Aug 2012 11:45

Treading in the footsteps of ancestral family

i seem to be doing this every day as most of them lived only a street away
and i even have one that live in the same street as i do now


PatinCyprus Report 29 Aug 2012 17:43

Most of my family came from Walsall.

As a child all the family seemed to be about 2 miles from our house. We were on our own over our side.

From young children we walked into town and out the opposite end to visit the family.

My sister in UK was interested in my efforts to track the family down. We were both very surprised at my findings.

Findings - granddad at one time lived opposite my sister's friend. 2 streets from us. Gt gt aunt had lived next to my school friend in the next street 80 years previously. Over 30 families lived in the streets I walked as a child. 3 relatives at least worked at the factory I lived next to.

2 of mum's 2nd cousins via her mother's side lived near us in the 1950s, one about 5 doors from my friend Ann. We may have seen the other one daily as she lived opposite our infants school. She lived almost opposite where my grandfather's aunt and uncle had lived and their children went to the same juniors as us. That aunt and uncle lived 3 doors from our school.

The earlier addresses come from the census, the later, I was very lucky because many of the family had wills, probate documents show the address.

I didn't need to go very far to be in their footprints, I spent 18 years doing it. The others well I'm still trying to get over how much family history was all around me in my chilhood. It's been a shock, we thought we were the only ones when in fact over 100 lived within 4 streets of us.

Pat :-) :-0


JoyDean Report 27 Mar 2013 22:22

Thank you for sharing your journeys :)

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 28 Mar 2013 12:51

Not so long ago I trod in my own footsteps!!!

Unusually, I happened to be quite near to the place where I was born, and to my first home, so took a detour to visit the place I'd last seen when I was 4 years old. I'm so glad I did it. The street and house looked exactly as I remembered, only much smaller of course, but so full of cars, there wasn't a spare inch - it hadn't been like that in the 1950's!
I took photos hoping the people now living in 'my house' weren't thinking I was casing the joint!
It brought back some very happy memories.

A few years ago I took mum back to her childhood home and surrounding villages and towns (W Lothian & Lanarkshire), somewhere neither of us have been for at least 35/40 years. We both had a fabulous time - for mum it was great to reminisce, and for me it was a fantastic opportunity to jog her memory in order to glean more family history info, visit family graves, and take photos of mum's various homes, churches, schools etc while she told me the accompanying stories!


SpanishEyes Report 28 Mar 2013 14:27

On the previous page I made a promised to come back, did not mean to be away for so long. Just a week ago some on An...try I found my fathers parents and a few other family members. He was born in 1912 in Dublin and I always believed as he did
that he was not a member of the family he lived with. He was told that he was adopted unoficialy. OH NO HE WAS NOT!! Now I feel how said that he never really knew who his parents were when they were so close to him.

When I am next in Dublin I will visit him in the Cemetry and leave him a message and then look for the rest of the family.

He was the person who brought me up, he really was my father, although he told me that when he met my mother she was already pregnent and had left her husband. He cherished my mother, he did everything he could to keep her happy. He adored my younger sister and my mothers first daughter.
God Bless you Dad.

Mothers first husband and My dad we're very similar in height, their manner of talking and became reasonable friends. So I believe that I was very fortunate to know them both.

I Am always walking in my family, from Dublin to Scotland, Swisterland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, England, and others! ,


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



Cynthia Report 4 Apr 2013 16:54



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. ;-)


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.


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.