Article by Ceri Wheeldon
As we begin Day 12 of the challenge, I am suggesting that you find out more about who you are – where did those many talents originate?
We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise. – Edward Sellner
When we entered lockdown in November I decided to research my family tree. On the basis that I wouldn’t be able to do any socialising, and reading in the garden wasn’t as attractive a proposition as it had been during the summer, I decided to take the opportunity to do something I had wanted to do for a while- but never seemed to have the time.
I have only just scratched the surface, but so far I have learned so much about my family.
My Welsh heritage doesn’t go back as far as the family believed (which may explain my lack of singing voice), my great grandfather was not a vicar- he actually ran a pub, and way back a 10 year old ancestor was sent to Barbados as a boy soldier (this one I am still exploring to learn more).
Sharing anecdotes with family
My discoveries so far have opened up all sorts of conversations with family members. Many anecdotes have been shared as a result – and it has certainly given us some interesting things to talk about on family Zoom calls!
I actually registered with Ancestry.com taking advantage of a free trial, but even if you don’t want to go down that route, talk to other family members to learn more about what they remember about grandparents and great grandparents. I remember meeting my great grandmother – I have a very vivid memory of her even though I would only have been about five years old at the time. I can still visualise her (and her china and lace tablecloth!) My cousins are all younger than me so I have been able to pass my memory on to them. It transpires that she was widowed and brought up her family alone. Although she later met somebody who wanted to marry her, she wouldn’t remarry as long as she still had a son living at home. Her son didn’t want to marry and leave his mother alone. It turns out that they both married on the same day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon . A lovely story and one I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t started this process and had the conversations about what people remember.
Personally I feel a real sense of achievement when I follow a thread that leads to the discovery of another ancestor and find out more about them.
So your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to uncover facts about three ancestors that you didn’t know before, whether through conversations or online research.
You never know what you might learn – although I should warn you that it can become addictive!!
You can share your challenge on our Facebook Pages @Fabafterfifty @StyleConfidenceandSuccesswithJulia and don’t forget to follow us if you don’t already ) and if you love using social media you can also share your looks on Instagram or Twitter with #NewYearNewYouChallenge2021.
Would love you share what you do with that extra time with our facebook community!