Amazing what one document can do for you. This far on into my family history research, and I finally come up with the right information for my grandfather and where he was born, and from that was able to get his birth certificate. The day it came in the mail was amazing. With that in hand, two hours online provided me with a birth record for his mother and sister, a marriage record for his parents and a 1901 census record and image of them when they were young newlyweds without any children.
So now I have to update his page and put in all the information that I know so far. I have three other siblings births to find, and then will be needing to get some of the certificates to further my research. I also need to find the time and cash to send away for his military records from the British Army, so that I can find out more about his time in India (Pune/Poona)and what happened on the way there.
So I am back to researching again and getting closer to knowing where my granpop came from and what moulded him into the man he became.
Me aged about 6, taken in Bude. 1961
Not only that but I'm adding extras to the site ... just look below and click on the links for the surname board and message board. Please post on the message board for your genealogy wants and finds, we can make it a nice community for those of us who enjoy this hobby! It is a bit bare right now. With your help though, it can only become bigger and better!
Check out these links!!!!!
Excellent site if you are searching for schoolfriends or former work colleagues in the UK. This is the site where I found a couple of my relatives.
Another UK site, includes gravestone and other searches, so not only for finding the living.
American site for tracking down former classmates. This is where my husband has found some of his old friends.
Births, Deaths, Marriages and Census Information
This is the British site where you can order all manner of British birth, death and marriage certificates.
This site, run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is one of the most extensive in the world. Not only do they have US statistical information on families but they also hold copies of information from other countries.
I started researching for a book "Memories For My Children's Children" in 1994, at that point it was going to be my childhood memories of people who were special to me and who were no longer with us. People whose names and personalities, I did not want forgotten, because they had been such an important part of my growing up.
Then, I kept coming up with black holes - I had a memory of a place but needed a photo or picture to show what I was talking about. I didn't realise how much history we've destroyed in our stupidity.
A row of Victorian terraced flats, on a street where gaslights still stood in the 1960's gone to make way for a car park. Gone forever, no more children able to run up circular stone steps and hear that distinct echo that my siblings and I recollect almost 40 years later.
That was the beginning of that search, to find a photo or drawing of that place, once so special to me and who knows how many others?
I pored over websites, spent hours emailing and posting on message boards, ordered books from Amazon.co.uk and from Amazon.com. There truly is a wealth of information out there for those of us who are looking.
I had photos of my grandfather, Edward Lewis in India, during the last years of British rule, and as time progressed, I found myself wanting to know more about his time there. Another avenue of research.
The Lewis family motto and the coat of arms associated with our branch of the Lewis's is here. I was unable to find an exact copy so have had to cut different pieces from other heraldry and piece together - apologies that it is amateurish, but at least you can see basically what it looks like.
My grandmother (2nd from the left in this photo from the 1930's), who raised me for the first couple of years of my life and who I spent summers and holidays with, had regaled me with stories of her childhood, and introduced me to history and art. Suddenly, I wanted more.
Her maiden name was Poyser and I began to research the name and fill out all that she had told me, to search for the places she had known as a child and a young adult.
My searches became almost all-consuming, leaving my husband feeling like an unnecessary appendage playing second fiddle to our computer, on many occasions. Yet, even he could see the effect this was having on me. It was an assuaging of guilt, some real, some imagined, and a coming to terms with some things that had happened in my life.
And, as illness entered my life, in the form of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and as feeling unwell became a part of my being as I battled various medications that were to "help", it also became a part of my need to contact my natural father, Alec Leggett,were he still living. I needed more than a name, I needed a medical history - to know what other nasties might be around the corner, waiting to jump out on me when least expected. I also needed answers to questions that had risen in my mind over the years. The rest of the puzzle of who I am, so to speak.
Not that my looking for him took away any from the relationship I will have with the one and only person who is my dad, William Bland. The one who put up with a lot from me during my very stressed teens. He earned the badge of "dad" the hard way. Looking at us now, you'd never think we'd ever been any other than extremely close.
Unfortunately, although I managed to locate my half-sister, she wasn't comfortable in putting me in touch with my father, as he had suffered a couple of heart attacks a few years previously. In February 2005, she emailed me that he had passed away from cancer, so there will never be an answer to the many questions that I had wanted to ask him. And she did not want me contacting my younger half-brother as she felt he would not accept the knowledge of an older half-sister ... yet now I find myself wondering about the person that he is too.