Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Lucy.

Lucy Lavelle has been a member of our community since July of 2013.  She is active in several projects as a Connector, Data Doctor and Sourcerer and she was the winner of both our Source-a-Thon and Clean-a-Thon!

Surnames you are researching?

Kelleher, Lawrence, Cryer, Lavelle, Harington, Markham

Locations you are researching?

A bit of everywhere! Most of my ancestors are from Wales, England and Ireland.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

In early 2013 I moved from my hometown of Cardiff, Wales to live in Oxfordshire, England. It was the first time I had lived far away from my family and I was terribly homesick so it was a good way to feel closer to them (and a great excuse for phoning my parents every day!). Slightly later I also read a news article about how Prince William and Kate Middleton were 11th cousins, which led to me wondering how related I was to my husband. That thought brought me into the world of collaborative genealogy, and I never looked back. I never did find out how my husband and I were related though!

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Each ancestor I find becomes a temporary obsession until the next one, but the ancestor that I always seem to go back to is my 12th Great Grandfather John Harington. He invented the first flushing toilet, though only two were ever made. He kept one for himself and had the other installed as a gift to his Godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, though she refused to use it as she said it was too loud! He was temporarily banished from the royal court for showing a piece of saucy Italian poetry that he had translated to respectable young ladies. He was told not to return until he had translated the entire 38736 line poem as a punishment, which he eventually accomplished and presented to the Queen. I feel like he would fit right in with my family!

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

I recently discovered a distant aunt that was believed to have died young without marrying had actually married, had several children and lived to be around 80 years old. It was a really lucky find as I stumbled on a document suggesting that she inherited a small manor from her mother, which would not normally have interested me, except it happened to be just 7 miles from where I now live in Oxfordshire. A quick Google found evidence of her ownership of the manor, which then passed to her husband, before passing back to her after his death.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

I don’t think I can pick just one person, I’m just going to carry on connecting people to the big tree until I’m connected to everybody in history so that I don’t have to decide!

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I love to read. A few years ago I decided I wanted to read 1000 books before I reached my 30th birthday, I’m now 28 and reading my 959th book, so I’m on track to make it! I also love video games, which is great since my husband is a video game designer and my daughter is obsessed with MineCraft!

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I’ve been on WikiTree since 2013, and I’m pretty active. It’s rare that I don’t visit WikiTree at some point in my day, it’s one of my favourite places to be!

What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I love WikiTree’s collaborative nature, and I love the amount of emails I get from cousins who have found me via WikiTree. I also love how friendly and helpful the WikiTree community is – almost every conversation I have with WikiTreers feels like a warm hug!

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Don’t be scared! Start with what you know and work out from there.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we’re all family after all!

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

Don’t give your children common names. It’s really hard to find them in Census records….

I’m kidding, I’d tell them to have adventures, make happy memories and always be kind.


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