Recently I have really gotten into researching my family tree. I have used both Ancestry and also Scotland’s People (Ancestry doesn’t have all of the records available from Scotland, as far as I’m aware, I have found documents on Scotland’s People which I can’t find on Ancestry) and I’m really enjoying finding out more information about my ancestors.
I have managed to trace my family tree back to the 1700’s but have unfortunately hit a dead-end. It gets much more difficult the further back you go, as record keeping has changed significantly over time – they used to be a lot more relaxed about their records and might not have made a note of all the significant information. This means that you can be left with minimal info, such as name and date but nothing further. It can also be further complicated as many generations have the same name, I have at least 3 generations which are called William, you have to be really diligent and try to figure out the dates that are given to ensure that you have found the right person.
I have thought about hiring a genealogist, or at least someone more skilled than me, to try and go back further but I really enjoy digging around with all of the information and trying to figure it out myself. Plus hiring someone else to do it can be very expensive.
I would really love to have my family tree made into a printed document, just so that I could have it to look at. Going from one website to another can be very confusing, and there’s something nice about having a piece of paper with the information on rather than a computer screen.
Through my research I have managed to find out a lot of interesting things about my ancestors, such as what they did for a living and where they lived. They seemed to move around Scotland quite a lot, being born in one place, married in another and then having children somewhere else. Much like today I suppose, but not really what I was expecting. I always thought that people pretty much stayed where they had been born, rather than moving around.
Most of my ancestors were labourers, or farm servants, I am yet to find any royal or noble connections! I guess we can’t all be related to the aristocracy, no matter how far back we go! I love to think about what my ancestors would have been doing during pivotal events in Scottish history and finding out where they lived and what they were doing during their lives can hold some interesting insights.
I hope to continue with my family tree, going further and further back and then moving from one branch to another. Our family trees are so diverse and have so many people that it is easy to get lost in them.