Posts Tagged ‘genealogical research’

Have you had your DNA tested?  I haven’t, but I’m tempted.  I considered doing it in the past, but balked at the cost.  A friend had hers done ten years ago, and she never managed to access the website that would give her detailed information.  I’ve read that different companies can give different results about your ethnic heritage, and that rather put me off.

One of my readers is thrilled that her DNA test led to the discovery of a previously unknown half-sister, but I don’t expect any such revelations.  Recent contact with a remote cousin has renewed my interest in genealogy and DNA tests.  I know these can be done through Ancestry.com.

I thought I could access Ancestry,com for free through Christchurch City Libraries, but when I checked I found they have a special library version which can be accessed only at a library, not through your home computer, and it doesn’t offer the full range of Ancestry.com facilities.  Sadly DNA kits and results are one of the exclusions.  My genealogical research has been dormant in recent years, but I had always thought that when I finished paid work I would transfer my Brother’s Keeper database with its 4,000 names on to Ancestry.com.  I’m now considering whether I might do at least some of that at the library.  I’m reluctant to pay for an Ancestry.com subscription, and I’m uncertain whether I want to get hooked on genealogy again.  It can be addictive and expensive!

Jane Tolerton has written an excellent book about my war hero relation, and an Australian history professor has written a book about my grandfather.  Those stories I know about my ancestors I’ve  recorded in the Family Stories category of my blog, mainly between 2007 and 2009.  A friend researched her family and wrote an excellent novel about them, but I’ve no ambition to do that.  However, I would be pleased to make contact with new relations, and to know which of the seven daughters of Eve are my foremothers.

I wonder if my DNA
would lead me on new paths today?

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This “story of everyone who ever lived in our house” is fascinating and inspiring.  Julie’s house is in Clapham, London, and was built in 1872.  With careful detective work she tracks down descendents of those who had lived there and learns their stories.  I found it captivating and was often reminded of my early genealogical research, and the thrill I got when making a new connection.

The author suggests we leave our emotional and spiritual fingerprints on buildings and places.  This is thought-provoking when we think of the many buildings that have been lost in Christchurch.  Have our emotional and spiritual fingerprints been obliterated by the earthquakes?  What is the difference between leaving a place voluntarily and being force out by circumstances beyond your control?  In 2002 when I left an office I’d occupied for more than seven years, I felt compelled to write my name inside a cupboard, to leave some tangible relic of the time I’d spent there.  I remarked to a colleague that I’d been there long enough to have shed my skin completely – she was not impressed!  When the February 2012 earthquake forced me from another office, there was no opportunity to leave a deliberate mark, and the memories have a very different flavour.

When we first bought our Cottage (built in the 1860s) we obtained a title where the earliest owner shown was in 1877.  The City Council had no earlier records.  After reading this book I’m inspired to do more research – when I have time!  Perhaps you’ll read about this in a future blog post.

The book is long, 450 pages, but never boring.

“More people have called this house home
enough to fill a lengthy tome.”

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