Learning the Ropes

I am passionate about genealogy. Some may say addicted. I don’t mind, I just continue to do my own thing, and ignore the comments, raised eyebrows, and total lack of interest by my friends and families. They just don’t know what they are missing.

I have searched for my English ancestors in the past, but to be honest, there wasn’t alot of records, and it was, well, hard. I mean, why try and locate someone that wasn’t easily accessible, when I have all these folks to research in the states. It made sense, and I am a procrastinator by nature, so I did what I do, I procrastinated.

A decade later, and well, most of my family lines are at a brick wall. I simply have to go places to find the information I need, and quite honestly, can’t. So I am again traversing those long put aside families across the pond as the Brits say.

The whole parish, and district and shire thing at times baffles me. The IGI lists it one way, the census another, and genealogists who are much better informed, another. So no matter my skill set at research, the whole research thing in Britian is an entirely new experience. However, due to some very kind folks on ancestry.com and these boards, I have made some headway, and have truely found alot of facts. Maybe not connections, but at least I am beginning to get a glimpse of who I am researching. And that is exciting.

My great grandmother was a first generation American. She died when I was 13, and so I knew her pretty well. My grandmother and her sister, probably the best oral historians I have run across for accuracy, gave me some more information, and slowly the story of my immigrant ancestor’s is unfolding.

I can only imagine the lifestyle they came from. From all that I have encountered, they were working class, likely not very well off and so different from my other families. For one thing, they knew how to give information in the census. At least that’s one thing, it never changes, it’s always the same. For someone in the states, whose censuses one to the next don’t match, that’s sure a novelty. You can actually find someone based on where they were born, wow… sure wish that were true here. Occupation, now that’s surely interesting. I want to know more about theses glassmakers of West Bromwich. A genealogy friend pointed me in the direction of one factory, and I was able to find photos online. My what gorgeous stuff.

So as I am trying to figure out if the family was in this parish or that, I am learning alot, and I can only hope that folks are patient with me.

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