My grandmother Helen Brodie decided to to start doing family tree research in 1956 she had a list of family buried in the cemetery at Forfar sent to her by the Sexton and the book of memories my grandfather George Kenmer Douglas had given him in 1897 by his aunt when he came on a visit to New Zealand to work for his uncle and visit his sister this contained information of his families, birth ,christenings and marriages in the Cumberland area of England, America and New Zealand. Unfortunately she died before she could add additional information to the certificates she had collected for her siblings so they could collect their pensions at the time she did this I had accompanied her on a trip around all the areas in England and Scotland where she had lived as a child and visited with her husband later. I had been brought up on a diet of family memories and adventures and as I was the oldest cousin it fell to me by default to put it all together. I used this to base my family tree on along with the help of relatives and information given me by my mothers sister Pattie Dalefield and the family I met on returning from Australia in 1979. Along with the inclusion of my husband Gary Barford's research started in 1986 he created our Family Tree program and information was pretty Basic but based essentially by family information we had received while traveling around Australia in 1969 and cheekily telephoning would be relatives or people with the right names in each place we lived. In 2002 I combined our information as he had decided to embark on an additional step of education and the cost of certificates had become too expensive on one income. However through looking at library resources and the kindness of others my research continued along with relatives unhappy with my digging below the surface, promises not to publish and astonishment that even the information in encyclopedias is not always correct as they rely on the person interviewed to be truthful. Murder associations and promises not to publish sensitive information something I have endeavored to record for myself but by omission not publish. Unlike my grandmother who use to say tell the truth and shame the devil I have discovered that sometimes it is better to say nothing than shatter someones illusions as we all want to think our ancestors were special in the nicest way. Also some of those tall tales we have heard about the family always contain a grain of truth not the story you first heard as that has grown like Chinese Whispers as it is told many times. All of our ancestors were special as without them we would not be here. So we went from scraps of paper to note books to diary, tape to stringy to 8 1/2 disk to floppy disk to CD to disaster after disaster Daphne Knowles gave me a beautiful diary when we set off around Australia. I lost that in a Cyclone, hard drives that keep blowing up technology that becomes obsolete and silly mistakes you make yourself. The people I most admire the Vass relation of my husband who was treated so badly because he freed his slaves before it was the law and then was ostracized and died in jail on a trumped up charge and despite the fact he left his estate to his freed slave and his wife neither could collect or live together because of the meanness of relations and neighbors. The wives that carried on and brought up their children despite being widowed or deserted. The younger sons who despite not inheriting managed through hard work and ingenuity to provide a home and future for their children. The grandparents relatives and friends that took in orphaned children and elderly relatives as part of the family when they didn't have to they say charity begins at home and they certainly proved that this was true.
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On 6 Jun 2014 at 08:36 GMT Billy Wallace wrote:
If you've been usng the following sites, please note that the digitization of all GRO records on these sites is not complete and is worth rechecking from time to time.
All the best Billy
On 21 May 2014 at 04:45 GMT Heather Douglas wrote: