Tuesday 26 October 2010

Not Just Ancestors

It's four years ago tomorrow that Dad died. I'm writing this today because someone is about to take the back off my computer ...

The other day I had a note from an Nth cousin about the Ash family. My great grandmother was Elizabeth Ann Ash and she married George Horswill (b1851). There's a photo of her below in an earlier post. I'd always thought she must have missed her family when they moved to the north east but that wasn't the case. Her entire family (she was one of 12 children) moved to Durham. No doubt entire villages moved for the work. Dad always thought they would have heard about the coal mining opportunities as the ships passed through Plymouth and indeed that's how they would have travelled. That's another research line there in the ships' passenger records. My great great grandfather Roger Horswill went back to Plymouth to find his second wife. ie after his first wife had died, not a Mormon thing!

It was a revelation to me that the Ash family had moved to Durham. I immediately thought "I must tell Dad". It's amazing how you forget people are gone.

To many the family tree research looks dull and boring and getting people to join in is like pulling teeth. This is a shame because in another 20 years the people who can't be bothered will have their grandhildren asking "Nana, why don't we have a family tree?" Duh ....

A family tree is more than a list of dead people. It connects you to your ancestors. Not just ancestors - these people are your family and you are who you are because of them. My cousins in Co Durham live there because the family made a momentous decision to moved 500 miles 140 years ago. Finding out more and more brings me closer to Dad as if he's still here.

It's not just dead ancestors either. I've found lots of second, third and "we're sill working on it" cousins, many of them in our Facebook group if you'd like to meet them too. I found a fifth cousins three times removed of John's who worked with my second cousin. Small world ... We all pool research and find whole branches of family this way.

Dad would absolutely love all the work we're doing on the family tree. I wish we could have done it years ago so it could have joined in but the online research methods have really only come into play in the last few years.

So let's do it - join us on the My Heritage tree now: www.horswillfamilytree.com and join our Facebook group. All the links are on www.horswillfamilyphotos.com

Here's a nice pic of Dad:

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