Saturday, 25 June 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History #26: Songs

This challenge asked me to find out the No.1 when I was born: "Travellin' Light" by Cliff Richard and the Shadows (by going to ).

I also remember my mother telling me that, when I would cry as a baby and wouldn't go to sleep, she and Dad took turns in pacing up and down the living room, singing Adam Faith's "What Do You Want?" - over and over again.  It was the only song that worked...

Part of the lyrics:
What do you want if you don't want money
What do you want if you don't want gold
Say what you want and I'll give it you darling
Wish you wanted my love baby

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day 2011: I Miss My Dad So Much

I began to sort through some photos of my Dad in preparation for today's post. And I ended up crying. He died in 2002 - how I miss him! Here are the photos that aren't tear-stained of Edmund Samuel Murch HAYWOOD (1933-2002):

His first computer - a ZX81


Monday, 13 June 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Jane Ball DAMERELL

Jane BALL was one of my great great grandmothers.  She was born on 6 October 1831 in Charleton, Devon, and christened in the same place on 23 October 1831.  Her first child, Emma Jane, was born in 1850 when Jane was just 19.

On 24 June 1857 - again, in Charleton - Jane married Henry DAMERELL; the witness were Jane Clements and Mary (surname illegible).  Her best friends?  Henry is recorded as a sailor.

Jane went on to bear seven children, and died on 30 August 1880 - I wouldn't be surprised if this event also occurred in Charleton!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Why are you doing this?

I read a fascinating post written by Marian of Marian's Roots and Rambles, in which she discussed her three top bits of advice for blogging.

She first asked: what is your goal in blogging? (for instance, to attract clients, share  your knowledge etc).  This made me think.  Why am I blogging? Why am I doing this? is it just to give myself another excuse to beat myself up at the weekends when I realise I haven't posted even once during the previous week?

No, I'm not trying to attract clients.  Nor even distant cousins.  I am happy to demonstrate my knowledge of a particular area, but don't for a moment imagine that anybody reads it.  So why am I blogging?  When I set up GenWestUK, it was just along the lines of "it seemed a good idea at the time", and "everybody else is doing it".  What I found was something quite surprising.   When you have to post about a time, an ancestor, a type of occupation, and so on - it focuses you tremendously!  Although for years I have been warning beginners against the scattergun approach of trying to research all your ancestors at once, I have not followed my own advice.  This sees me "doing family history" like a butterfly, zooming from the same ancestor to another same ancestor - you know, the brickwalls that frustrate you every time.  So many of my ancestors are missing out on my attention.

Blogging has changed all that.  In order to write a decent post, I have been forced to sit down and concentrate on one th (oh, look! a bird) ing at a time.  And this has opened up new horizons for me - gosh, new vistas.  I had never slowed down and stayed in one place long enough to realise that my great-grandmother, Annie Marian BUCKINGHAM, saw the first horse-drawn tram in Plymouth, travelled to Ireland, lived through the invention of the car and plane, then went to Australia! or that a great great grandmother, Eliza ELLIOTT wasn't just a dressmaker- she made fancy frocks out of damask and brocade. 

I look forward to learning more about my forgotten ancestors, now that blogging has made me sit still in one place...


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