When I ma exploring my family history, as well as creating or adding to my family tree, I write a little explanation too. I write it in a very plain way, just to get the facts down – one day I hope to use both the tree and the facts creatively, and produce the story of my family in an accessible and interesting way – I am not quite sure how I am going to do that yet!
here is an example – and this is not something I have made up to show what I mean, this is my actual family. If by some chance you recognise some of these people, maybe they are in your family history too, then please do get in touch! Here’s the example in very plain writing:
A woman who maybe was called Ann Barnard or Barnet, married a man called Samuel Older, maybe he was Samuel I Older, Isaac maybe. Samuel died leaving his wife with three daughters and a son. Ann married again, Henry Matthews and she had eight more children with Henry; one of these was a son, Solomon.
Solomon married Sarah Moore, and one of his children was the first in a line of William Matthews. William the first married Mary, maybe she was Davies, maybe she wasn’t. His son, William the second married Fanny Court and their son William Henry, the third, married another Fanny, Fanny Searle. William and Fanny’s son, William Reginald, the fourth, married my grandma, Ida Isabel Walford, and their son William Alan, was the last of the William Matthews as he had two daughters.
Fanny Court was the daughter of Henry and Lucy Court, her grandparents were James and Elizabeth Court. Fanny’s daughter in law Fanny Searle was the daughter of Thomas and Fanny Searle and granddaughter of James Searle and Charlotte Harding. James Searle’s parents were William Searle and Sarah Blackman. William Searle, was the third with that name; his father was married to Mary Linton, his grandfather William was married to Ann Hersey But that William was the son of Richard Blackman. Sarah Blackman was the daughter of yet another William, who was married to Ann Woods. Ann’s parents were John Woods and Ann MacKrill, and Ann had undergone a name spelling change, her parents were John and Mary MacKrell.
William was a popular nineteenth century name, and it is popular today. Coincidentally, my husband who has William as a middle name, comes from a line of Williams too – and our son has William in his name.
Earlier today I was very pleased to announce that my genealogical mystery, Radwinter, is now available as a paperback; my character Thomas followed his family history, and he came across quite a few Thomas’s!
if you’re interested in reading my story, here is a link: