Sunday, 22 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions

For a genealogist I'm not as organised as I should be. Over the years I've carried out thousands of hours of research on Swadling families in the United Kingdom. Most of the information I've collected has been recorded on reams of paper and then later transferred into databases or arranged into family trees. Some of these family trees are constructed of hundreds of branches and each branch will contain dozens of names.

Today there is so much data on line that family history can be researched 24/7 and we can find out all about our ancestors from the comfort of our armchair. I use two subscription websites, Ancestry and Find My Past. Both of these websites offer access to millions of records. These records include events from the cradle to the grave, such as baptism registers and probate information. Personal data has been collected for centuries. Our whereabouts have been recorded by the illegible scribble of the enumerator on a census page or in the form of a soldier's enlistment papers during wars. Even our misdemeanours or our need for a better life are recorded in convict's transportation registers or ship's passenger lists.

With so many records available to search through, it is very easy to get overloaded with data or not process the information that's collected. After nearly twenty years of researching I'm familiar with most of the branches of the English Swadlings but occasionally when I'm searching in a new set of records I may come across a Swadling I'm not familiar with. Unfortunately I'm easily distracted and my original searches are soon abandoned since I'm curious to find out who this person is and which branch they belong to. I'll copy out the details on a small scrap of paper, perhaps print off a document or two that relates to this person and then put the information to one side before continuing with my original search. Weeks or months later I'll find these scribbled notes and wonder what branch they refer to. I'll then have to spend a little time retracing my steps to remind myself of who they are.

Last week I found a printout of a page from the 1911 census for a family of Hoiles and a piece of paper headed Clara Hannah. So who was Clara Hannah and where does she come from?

1 comment:

Crissouli said...

Well done, Pat.. another step forward.