Looking Back

Well in the words of Adam Kay on Twitter “It’s next f***ing week again”. So here we are. I’ve crawled out of a seemingly endless weekend which despite my grumpiness was punctuated with really lovely things. The kids camped in the garden and managed to get through the cold temperatures and the terrifying woodpigeons. Two fantastic friends called by to deliver or pick up things and we had an actual chat (from a distance of course). Seeing other people’s real faces rather than in 2D makes quite a bit of difference. We picked up a monitor from Paul’s work to help with my sore back and neck from working on a laptop, and I have blue paint to be able to paint my little office a brighter colour. We toasted massive marshmallows and had a fantastic Indian meal in the garden (delivered via City Grab). Plus I talked to my Mum and Dad. On top of all that some of my lovely friends said my last post helped them – and frankly that to me is priceless. Thanks if you got in touch – it lifted my spirits.

There is however something else that feels really engaging and positive at the moment and that’s the fact that my youngest and I have well and truly got the genealogy bug. My Dad has spent years researching our family history and I can’t thank him enough. The mountain of legwork he’s put in has meant we can drop in at a very late stage and take advantage of everything. He’d given the kids a print out of everything so far, so we took a free trial of Find My Past and P spent hours carefully plugging in all the info. Well apart from occasionally getting the gender wrong and not being keen on capital letters but you can’t have everything.

So we have a family tree laid out before us with 224 people in it so far. We aren’t related to kings of queens. Let’s face it there was always going to be a heck of a lot of Lincolnshire manual labour going on. There are families with 13 kids and very occasionally someone who left the county to go and learn farming somewhere else before coming back. Wow they’d love us on Who Do You Think You Are. Occasionally I annoy the kids by talking about social history and saying things like “can you imagine living with 8 other people in a tiny terraced house?” When we find an address we look it up on Google Streetview.

We spent hours pouring over the 1939 census yesterday trying to find households and occupations (more ‘ag lab’ and excitingly someone who sold booze). And even more hours checking out the hints the website provides. We found a marriage certificate that might be useful to Dad and the possibility of a man in the family being called Hand. I mean it looks like Hand but surely not. Harold maybe? I’d rather it was Hand.

Anyway I’d recommend it. It’s escapist and massive. I’m keen to get some photos on the tree where we have some to be able to visualise better, and very excited to find out more about Hand. So we’re going to pay for a couple of months I think, at least while we have lots of time to spend on it.

Mary Ann Jackson


Feature Image Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

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