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  • Sources of UK Records

    Most of the records hat we have had to access in tracing our ancestors have come from England, Scotland and ireland. 
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    The Secrets under grandma's bed

    Family documents are an important source of information.  They may be well filed and organised, or you may come across them in shoeboxes, in cases on top of wardrobes or buried in old chests of drawers.
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    Bringing old photos back to life

    Old photographs are delicate objects. If they haven't been preserved properly, it is likely that they will have incurred some damage between the time they were taken and now.
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    Network of family members

    Use a Family and Home Information Sources Checklist as a guide to sources of information you might find in your home or the home of a relative.
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  • Scottish Records

    If you’ve got Scottish ancestors then you’re in luck because Scotland is a world-leader in providing family history information online.
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    Irish records

    If your ancestors are Irish, you might need to become a good detective.  Better still, if you can, talk to your Granny! She'll start you off in the right place.
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    Genealogy for Beginners

    DIY for you to trace your own family tree.
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    Locate your first primary source

    The most important sources are eye-witness and official documents.  The best first Primary Source is your grandparent's death certificate. It's a Gold Mine!!
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  • How to trace your ancestors

    Getting started is the biggest hurdle. Here's an easy guide to get you going.
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    Collecting evidence

    The best place to start collecting evidence is with the family. Especially the elders.
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    Bigger than you think

    Be warned. Once you start you'll be hooked forever! I had to learn to eat the elephant one toenail at a time.
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    Record keeping

    It's important to have some sort of order and indexing method for keeping your family records.  If not, you'll never be able to out the pieces of the puzzle together.
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My grandmother and I had a very special relationship. A small round woman with white hair and blue eyes that twinkled with humour and life, she was my best friend, my ally, my heroine and my protector.  She used to say;

"Darling, you and I get on so well together because we have an enemy in common!"

For the first three years of my life, Mum, Dad and I lived with Nanny Leah and Poppa in their Victorian home in Moor Park Avenue, the 'posh' part of Preston.  Then my little brother came along and we moved to a series of homes close to Dad's workplaces. 

Once I started school, until I was twelve and the family emigrated to Australia, I spent almost every school holiday with my grandparents. There were times too when the fog came down and the buses stopped running that I couldn't get home from secondary school.  I would walk to Poppa's office in town and he and I would walk home to Moor Park and there I would stay for the night. i think I spent as much time, if not more, with my Nanny than I did with my Mum. No wonder we were close!

Nanny taught to me to cook, to knit and to embroider and while we worked together in the kitchen or sewed in the parlour, she told me tales of my father's childhood, my great grandparents' lives and her peccadilloes as a girl and a young woman. She took to me to visit her sisters - 'The Aunts'.  We would walk across the park, over the railway bridge and along the river bank to Penwortham for tea in the house that had been in the family for almost a century.  The Mayor home. 

I learned my family history as I lived it.  I learned the values, manners and traditions of those who had gone before.  I know where my love of good food, good wine, embroidery and horses comes from.  I know where I am going, because I know from where I have come. The combined genes and experience of the Amblers, the Mayors and the Dawsons have made me the person I am.

This site is a celebration of our gene pool, good and bad. It gives recognition to my Grandmother as the keeper of our family history and serves to remind us that we have a responsibility too.   It says to the present generation;

'This is your heritage.  This is where your talents have come from, gifts that you will pass on to the next generation.  Treasure it, be proud of it, nurture it and pass it on to your children when it is your turn to be the Keeper of the Family History."

There is a purpose to our research

    "You are our living link to the past. Tell your grandchildren the story of the struggles waged, at home and abroad. Of sacrifices made for freedom's sake. And tell them your own story as well — because[everybody] has a story to tell." George H.W. Bush
 
In a complex, mobile society like ours, life's tapestry gets shredded. The continuity of our lives is ripped by transience and fragmentation. Community is fragile, torn, scattered. Our need to examine and to share our stories is vital--for our own mental health, for our relationships and our cohesiveness in community, and for the good of a future that can learn from our past.Dolly Bertholot
 

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