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Researcher envy

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Researcher envy

Postby margaretabram » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:46 pm

Having watched the two shows of the new series, which have been gripping. I started to suffer from a sort of "researcher envy" syndrome. Seeing the jaw-dropping news of royal connections being given to Boris Johnston I wished for the rest of the evening that I could have the benefit of these superb researchers at my disposal.

Today, having thought about it more, I realise that this makes great tv and it would be very boring to watch the hours, weeks, months and years that most of us devote to our family research. There is nothing quite like the moment when you make a major breakthrough. I sought information about my great grandfather's death for two years, when I found my great grandmother's widow's pension file on the National Archives and was able to get the longed-for information. He had died in South Africa after the Boer War as a result of injuries in that war. The excitement of filling in a major blank (tinged with sadness at the story) made all the hours spend in research worthwhile.

I have had family rumours and gossip fleshed out. I have made contact with people all over the world, some related to me, some just helpful, who have given me facts and photos. I have found family in unexpected parts of the country, which means a visit the area so see where they came from. Perhaps I am the lucky one, not Boris or Patsy, because instead of good television, I have done it myself and have had amazing experiences and fun.
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RE: Researcher envy

Postby worrals » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:50 pm

Couldn't agree more. I love the series and really enjoyed the programme about Boris who certainly has fascinating ancestry.
But when you knock down a brickwall its certainly satisfying!
I couldn't find my 5x gt grandfather and searched without success for a few years but had a breakthrough when I was browsing on the National Archives which made my day. He had been in the army and was pensioned out after being badly wounded in the Anglo-American War (1812-1814) which opened up a completely new and unexpected subject to research!
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RE: Researcher envy

Postby Annie08 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:06 am

I also agree, the elation and satisfaction of knocking down those brick walls and finding things out for myself. I spent several years looking for a three x great grandfather and then on a first visit to a particular record office I pulled out an 'index card' and all the documents on it were relating to him and his children. I was on cloud nine all that day and on subsequent visits while I read and copied and wrote out the documents. I never come across anything like that for my family since.

Although the research has been done for them, I still get a certain amount of the thrill I mentioned above when I see their faces at finding something.

I've got an ancestor that was born in a Castle in Kent after the servant 'got friendly' with the owner's son or other relative (this was back in 1780s or abouts), so family myth says. All I have is a Census Return saying he (my 4xgreat grandfather) was born at the particular Castle. Now, if I were a celebrity and the subject in those days had been more open - not covered up then the series could do me....... (I believe something like this was looked into on a previous series, but I can't remember the name of the celebrity concerned - in Ireland I believe?).

Now that's a thought - what about a non-celebrity series between the celebrity series?

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RE: Researcher envy

Postby Baggybooks » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:53 pm

[quote]Now that's a thought - what about a non-celebrity series between the celebrity series?

Didn't they do that in the early days? I'm sure I saw at least one programme featuring a non-celebrity on BBC2 (or one of the other BBC channels). The Adrian Chiles programme used to be handy too - explaining how some of the apparent leaps had been made.
Helen - searching for Abbotts and Monks - East London - 1850's onwards!

Also Lingards - where are you all?
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