Monday, April 9, 2012

The Family Tree Grows

In the late 1980’s our family moved and all my family tree research was packed into boxes to be shipped off to our new home.  Over the next 10-15 years, though I still kept my eyes and ears open for new family information, I didn't have time for any serious research and so these boxes virtually, stayed sealed.  With two young boys starting school, and a family business, there wasn't a lot of spare hours for digging around our family tree roots.

It was interesting though, I had unofficially become the keeper of the family history.   Members of the family would forward on anything they thought I might be interested in.  Also when another member of the family started to delve into the family history, they would be referred to me.  So during this time, my boxes of family memorabilia grew, and gathered dust in our spare room. 

It was almost 15 years later when both my boys had left home and we had moved home again that I finally started to find the time to start digging back into the mysteries of my family tree.  By this time there were numerous online genealogy sites such Ancestry, Genes United and My Heritage. Initially I took a starter package with Genes United. I signed up and was hooked.  I started pulling out all the notes, old pictures  etc and entering the data into my family tree. We invested in a scanner and my poor dear husband scored the task of scanning the reams of photos and certificates.

The feedback that I received from my on-line tree was phenomenal.  I couldn't wait for the next instalment of "hot matches" to come through, so I could make contact with others researching similar trees. I was starting to acquire a large address book of family tree contacts and it was great to be able to share stories, documents and photos.  Over the next few years I invested in a couple of on-line genealogy site memberships, trying them out to see which I found the best.  Now I do my main research and record keeping on Ancestry, but have a number of other memberships with other On Line Family Research sites as I find that some offer advantages that others don't and it also widens my access to other researchers. A word of caution, memberships can become expensive so be careful to look for the option that best meets your needs and budget. 

However, despite my joy at the influx of new information on my family history, a dilemma was developing.  The more information, pictures and documents I collected the harder it was to keep it in order.  I needed to find a way to put all the information into logical order!!  this was not an easy task and I hope to share this learning experience with you in later blogs.  

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