Saturday, July 2, 2011

Try Adding Family Ancestry With Your Macaroni Salad This 4th July!

Celebrate Your Family History This Weekend.

With Independence Day celebrations coming up many of you will spend time with your family over this weekend.  If you have an interest in your family tree but have never taken the time to ask those important questions about your ancestry, make 2011 your year for rediscovering your family’s heritage.
While you’re spending time with relatives, preparing food, heating up the bbq, or already eating your macaroni salad and hot dogs, make some time to ask questions about your family history, especially from the older members of the family.  It’s a great way to reconnect with family members and you’ll be amazed at the information that may be revealed (be prepared to take notes!).  You’ll find out that grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all have a wealth of family knowledge just waiting to be captured, documented and passed onto future generations.   There may even be a box of family photos you’ve never seen before too!

Once you have had a lesson in your family’s ancestors, the next step is to document the information.  You can start your family tree on paper, listing out each ancestor from the information your family provides.  Start by writing down yourself, your parents, grandparents etc. (see family tree example).  The next step is to start the research process, verifying and adding more information about each relative.  Verification is an important early step, as you will likely find that many names you were given were actually nicknames or the ages you have don’t exactly match what the records tell you.

To research your ancestry you can visit one of the nationwide FamilySearch Centers, or if you prefer to research from home, you may want to start a free 14 day trial on one of the Ancestry Research or Family Tree websites. 

I began my family tree with pen & paper and took a free trial on  Any one of the genealogy research websites will enable you to look at valuable census records, birth death & marriage indexes as well as thousands of other directories and records to help you discover your family ancestry.

The one caveat is that you will need a lot of time.  To successfully research your family history takes hundreds of hours over many months requiring commitment and basic computer skills.  If you keep yourself open and persevere, you will no doubt find a new admiration for your family, country and the life your ancestors have led, as I have. 

If you don’t have the time, you could contact a local genealogist or family historian to do the research for you.  Some people find it’s best to leave it to a professional!  They will do all the research work for you and provide you with accurate and detailed information in record time with your family tree also documented online for other family members to access.

If you already had your macaroni salad and family history lesson at last year’s 4th of July party and now have much of your research complete, consider getting your family tree printed for all members to read, or take your children and siblings on a family ancestry vacation back to the home towns of your relatives.  It’s a great way to bond with your family and put you in touch with your ancestral roots.

Don’t waste another year wondering about your family’s history.  Try mixing in some ancestry talk with that macaroni salad and have a great Independence Day!

For information on all research services mentioned in this blog see links below: – Research & Information

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Flocking to Bucklebury - Explore the Villages of Your Ancestors Instead!

If I ask you where is Bucklebury?  You probably now have some knowledge that Bucklebury is a village in Berkshire (pronounced bark-sheer) England where Her Royal Highness, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, (a.k.a. Kate Middleton) is from. 

Before and after the grand Royal wedding of Prince William to his beloved Kate, thousands of people have flocked to the small West Berkshire village, of just over 2000 residents, hoping to get a glimpse of this magical place where a commoner can be raised and become a princess.

Bucklebury is definitely one of those quintessential English Villages verified by it’s open Common aptly named Bucklebury Common, which is open & free space to all “commoners” i.e. the general population of the village to use.  And of course no British village would be complete without the main public house and historical Church.    Depsite it’s recent press and newly written history, Bucklebury has a very royal and documented history dating back to the Domesday Book and the Royal Manor of Bucklebury owned by Edward the Confessor during his reign in the 11th Century.   The same can be said about thousands of villages across England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales if you think about it.

Mayfield, East Sussex, England ©
My own "Bucklebury" is the historical and beautiful wealden village of Mayfield in East Sussex.  The village has a stunning High Street still adorned with shops and small cottages dating back to the Tudor period in the 1500s.  Having left Mayfield for over 10 years,  I now realize I didn’t truly value growing up in a historic English village.  When I return now, I can’t wait to soak up all its historical gems, visit the old pub, pay my respects to my ancestors in the church graveyard and marvel at how much of the main village has remained the same for generations and hopefully will for more generations to come.

Having been researching my own family tree and villages of my ancestors for several years, I realize not only do I have a lot of villages to still visit myself,  but that everyone like me also has multiple “Bucklebury’s” in their ancestral past all just waiting to be rediscovered and past stories brought back to life! 

Why would so many people rush to Bucklebury and not want to visit the villages where their own ancestors were born, went to church and raised their families – all whom are blood relations and with whom a true connection is shared? 

So how do you find your own “Bucklebury” you ask?

Start with your direct family ancestry and start learning about your family history .  Start with either your mother or father’s family information, get online & start a free 14 day trial to one of the many genealogy sites.  Once you have a good idea of where your family hailed from, start planning visits back to the villages of your ancestors.  If your geographical knowledge or available research time is limited get someone to do your genealogy research for you!  For more details Ancestors in England can help you offers many links to start your free trial or find genealogy resources.

If you wish to research villages in Ireland or mainland Europe visit or