Feeling Like an Orphan

We've had friends from New Zealand staying this week. Since we have last seen them I have expanded my genealogy and family history skills by undertaking my formal qualifications and by taking advantage of easy access to UK and Irish archives, seeing we are currently living in Ireland.

Geoff was very interested in finding out about his family. He knew who his parents and siblings are/were and the name of one of his grandfathers but apart from that he felt like an orphan as he knew no-one else, nor much about those he did know of.

There was an interesting puzzle to try to piece together. After a couple of hours I'd found all of his grandparents. After a few days we have grown the tree to 232 with the oldest people going back to the late 1600s. He has one 7G-Grandfather, five 6-G Grandparents and so on, along with great-aunts and great-uncles and numerous cousins. Ten generations in all, moving backwards in time. What a buzz for him to have an extended family, and for me, having found them.

It is not only finding the relatives, their names and dates, but having the documentation to support the findings—census entries, baptism, marriage and deaths in parish records, and the like. Names and dates without documentation are merely 'fairy stories'. Finding hard facts validates the research.

What we have so far are genealogical findings. Turning them into Family History by putting the events into social context will be an interesting exercise.

Jan Powell