Family History – The Darker Side
28th August 2018
For many people with an interest in their own ancestry, the research and detective work involved in tracing their roots can prove to be an absorbing pastime but it can often be frustrating and confusing. Examples of the difficulties which a researcher may encounter were described at this meeting by club member, Roger Truscott.
Roger was born in South Wales but neither of his parents was local to the area. They had both been drawn there in the early 20th century by the prospect of getting employment; his father from Cornwall and his mother from Bristol. Of course, this much of his family history was well known to him, as was that of his grandparents, but it was when he delved into earlier generations that Roger started to encounter problems. In particular, the lineage of his maternal grandmother proved fiendishly difficult to unravel. Eventually, through all the documentation available to him (such as the 10-yearly Census results, registers of births, marriages and deaths, and parish records), he discovered a sometimes murky story of unmarried couples (in the days when cohabitation was definitely taboo), bigamy, theft and imprisonment. Much of his research was done before information was available via the internet.
This was an extremely entertaining talk, delivered with humour and enthusiasm, and it was well received by the audience.
Ray Smith and Roger Truscott