I’ve been working on my family tree for the past while. Learned fuck-tons about my family. Before I start, I honestly knew very little. I managed to trace back convincingly to the 1670’s to my 9th great-grandparents. My 8th great-grandmother’s nephew owned a castle here. I’ve visited it before, but never knew we had family connections to it.
On other lineages of the tree, I managed to get back to the late 1700’s / early 1800’s. It really just depends on what records you get lucky on.
Found out two of my great-grandfathers fought in WW1, a long with 2 of my 2nd great-grandfathers. Found all of their military records. My great-grandmother lost her first husband on the Western Front in WW1, he was gassed by the Germans apparently. I did him the honour of researching him as best I can so he won’t be forgotten. Even found his grave (It’s in Belgium). Perhaps I’ll visit it one day. She also lost her child a few months later to the Spanish Flu. I can only imagine how difficult that year was for her.
The best part of the journey though was getting to know relatives that were completely disconnected from my family.
All of my grandfather’s siblings moved to Ireland to England, with the exception of him who stayed here in Ireland. So we kinda lost contact with them. But after DNA testing - on my dad’s side - my dad’s first cousin, and my 2nd cousin both popped up on my DNA relatives. They knew very little about my side of the family, so I told them everything I knew about the family. Sent them on pictures, records, personal stories, etc… It helped them tons. They basically knew nothing about the Irish side of the family.
On my mother’s side, my mother’s first cousin and a 2nd cousin popped up. Both of them had been researching my mother’s side of the family for decades and had tons of information and photos that they shared with me. We’re going to all meet up soon once I’m vaccinated and talk about research. I’m looking forward to it.
Honestly, doing this over the past year has helped me get through the year. It’s been a fucking weird one, that’s for sure.
I definitely recommend anyone who hasn’t done it to give it a bash! If anyone needs help with Irish records, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help. I’ve subscriptions to all the major records.
Any personal stories on research? Would love to hear them!