Wow it’s been an exciting few weeks on the ancestral trail.
My most exciting non-living connection I’ve found recently is I’ve discovered that one of my 10th great grandfathers was the Reverend Edward Wightman 1566-1612 and he was the last person to be burned at the stake on 11 April 1612 (for heresy). I found that a little disconcerting… here are 2 links to read more about him and the horrendous times he lived in although I don’t think he really helped himself.
I spent another evening surfing the records back on a different line and ended up in 1599 deep in the Kingswinford area of the West Midlands. I hit on the name Skidmore and before I knew it a mini explosion had happened of Skidmore’s on my family tree. The family was extensive and fired-off in all manner of directions; it’ll take me an age to sort it out. It was interesting for me because I’ve already a maternal connection to the geographical area but to go back so many hundreds of years and find a paternal connection to the area as well, filled me with wonder. Even more interesting was that where the Skidmore connection appears in my tree at my 3rd great-grandfather Ephraim Skidmore level, I learned he had four wives! That will add a new dimension and challenge to my research.
The most exciting LIVING connection I’ve found recently is a female second cousin. Well in honesty she found me. Her mum and my dad were first cousins but never met each other to their knowledge. I find that incredibly sad. Our respective grandfathers were brothers and such was the respect of the eldest brother for his youngest, he named a son after him.
I’ve grown up without first cousins and just 3 second cousins (brother and sisters in the same family unit) on my maternal side. I always felt a little lopsided not knowing relatives on my paternal side plus losing my grandfather in his sixties in the 1970s. This new cousin has sprung into my life full of excitement for the research, for the photographs I’ve shared and for the appreciation she knows her information is bringing to me. She still lives in the area and whereas I’ve gone broad and wide in my research, she’s added a real depth to hers. This is fabulous for me where our ancestry overlaps. We’ve talked of meeting up and she’s offered to show me some of the area where we know they lived and worked. You can keep your foreign and exotic holidays, I couldn’t be more excited than spending my time travelling into the past with someone I’m related to who ‘gets it’. An ancestral soul-mate.
These are the great-grandparents we share and this lady died a few weeks after I was born. It was taken just over 100 years ago circa 1910-1912. To put that into context – it was around the time of the Titanic disaster.
Of course at the end of the day where people aren’t still with us and we have no DNA from them to confirm the connections, we can only rely on records and the perhaps vain hope that everyone along the line has been faithful!
Finally, I’m just about to post my father’s DNA. This should strengthen up some of my connections with living cousins as well as bringing new people into the mix. I am aware I can link this DNA into my own tree although don’t yet know how to do that… then let’s bring the party on.