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Starting your Family Tree

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dot.hawkes | 16:12 Tue 19th Dec 2006 | Genealogy
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Ok if any of you have had the urge to give it a go for a while now, but did not know quite where to start, this next week or so will prove the ideal opportunity to get cracking.
Christmas is a time when families get together and see one another, maybe for the first time in a while, shared memories and experiences and long forgotten secrets are what prompts us to be inquisitive about who came before, where we originated, how we got to where we are today.
Make an effort this Christmas to quizz that elderly Auntie about her grandparents, be nosy about the mysterious uncle that ran off to sea, and find out all you can about your family War Hero. we are all the same, every family has it's characters. Who is yours?


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Someone in my family tree - though he isn't a direct ancestor - had children by three different women. Nothing particularly unusual about that; but these three women were sisters. The first died; to the second, he agreed to make payments to assist with their child; the third, whom he took as his wife, was married to someone else at the time.

My hero is my great great grandfather who started life as an ag lab and then moved onto the railways. He lost his arm in an accident. Out of work and disabled, family legend says that he gave his last shilling away to a beggar on the basis that he would start with nothing. However, he was lucky to receive a small amount of compensation and invested it in property. By the time he died some 50 years later (having been happily married for some 60 years) he was the largest private ratepayer in the city. He was known to everyone locally as "John" and was never seen without his top hat, frock coat and cigar. He was reputed to be a good and indulgent landlord and was known as "from sweep to mayor".
And on the other side there is Joyce. Who clearly forgot she was already married when she married again to husbands 2, 3 and 4. Probably she was still reeling from the shock of the murder of her married brother who had left his wife and gone to the states to make his fortune, only to be shot by his mistress!!!

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