Welcome to my website. It has been created with one vision in mind – to share with anyone who may be related or who will find my own research useful in tracing their own ancestors.
Genealogy has become an enormous hobby for millions around the globe and I think the reason that it has become more popular in recent years is, in a word, the internet. Before the days of google, it was a very prolonged and drawn out process of writing letters and often waiting weeks for a reply.
My own interest, I think, stemmed from the perennial question “Where do I come from?” It evolved from there.
I knew who my parents were and I learned snippets of my grandparents. But I got to wondering. As I grew older I found that I was fairly good at needlework, had a deep love of horses and had an unusual sense of humour. I wondered where these traits came from. Was it something in me or were they small talents, a genetic influence, that came from my ancestors?
It occurred to me that because of the pure fact that I lived, it meant that my ancestors were survivors. No matter where they were in history, they were the winners. During the wars, they were the soldiers that came home, during the plague my ancestors were those who survived. They lived through times of religious persecutions, civil wars and saw the coming and going of all the kings and queens. During the times of the Romans or invasions of the Huns, Vikings or Goths it would have been my ancestors who either by bravery or the acts of self-preserving cowardice, survived!
Any famous event in history or fascinating historical times – you know that some of your ancestors were living during these times. What did they think about it all? Were they there? How did it affect their lives?
Ancestors are shadowy figures from the past. I wanted to know more about them.
In some cases you will only be lucky enough to find a name. But, armed with a name and with an extraordinary amount of patience to trawl through reams of irrelevant records - you may be lucky enough to find another snippet. You may find a small piece of information which will tell you something about your ancestor.
I grew up with stories of some of my ancestors - stories that were universally handed down through the various families that made up the Gray contingent.
I accepted these stories as being totally gospel. My research proved entirely opposite to the truth as I knew it! I genuinely believe that for every story, there is indeed an element of truth and the handing down of a story gets muddled. Perhaps the characters are muddled. The person who listened to the original story, misheard or left out some important fact. The quest continues to be an eye-opener. Often the truth can be more exciting than the legend.
More than likely, whatever you find will raise more questions. It is these questions that will drive you onwards to try and tease out gently and patiently, a profile of a person who died hundreds of years ago -someone who had a name and a family. Someone who had their trials and tribulations, sadness and happiness. Their blood runs through your veins. You will never know for sure, but you may be the living image of them. You may have their eyes, their talents, their sense of humour or their legendary temper.
You will never know until you begin looking.