Does age matter?

Posted on 08/09/2015 Tag by , , , , , Category in Blog

Starting your family research is like embarking on a journey – it may take you a little longer to get there if you are older, but, you probably won’t be in such a rush to reach your destination than when you were younger. You may well be a lot wiser with the advantage of your years.

With the advent of thousands of online resources for the budding genealogist, it’s easy to forget that not every record can be obtained as a result of an internet search. Having watched the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are and seen the delight on Sophie Raworth’s face when she was shown original letters written by her ancestors, it’s definitely worth getting out an about and heading to an archive.

However, the younger you start with your quest, the more likely you will be to have older generations to ask about long forgotten lines of the family. Take time to go through your old family photographs, and annotate in pencil on the back of each one who the people are. Chances are this information will be forgotten very quickly if you don’t write it down.

I inherited an album of gorgeous old photographs when my grandmother died – trouble is, she only ever wrote down the name of the dog featured in each image. I have no idea who the people are. As I connect with newly found third and fourth cousins in my family research, I always make a point of asking them if they have similar images with better annotations within their own collection. Gradually I’m discovering what my ancestors looked like and that’s far more powerful than knowing when they were born, married or died.


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