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Friday, 22 June 2012

G is for Gripe, Groan, Grumble - plus Gratitude.

Having just finished a quick sprint through one A-Z challenge from Ros at
http://genwestuk.blogspot.com/, I could not resist participating in a further series from Aona at


My focus here is on what we experience on our family history journey.

G is for:

Gripe, Groan and Grumble  - I win no prizes for originality here,  as many other geneabloggers have touched on this -  namely the information that appears on online trees such as Ancestry, without any references to sources and shows major differences from  what I consider to be my robust research. 

I have tried to make contact with polite requests about "being very interested to know the source of your information,  as mine differs etc." - but usually never get a reply.  So that approach seems a waste of time.  

The concern is that mistakes are perpetuated and there is plenty of scope with my Rawcliffe family - a not uncommon name in Lancashire. It proved to be story of eight daughters, the early death of their mother, a step mother with three illegitimate children, and four half-brothers and sisters.  So rather a complex family tree, but I have the marriage certificates and birth certificates to support my findings.
My great grandmother Maria Danson, nee Rawcliffe
with her granddaughter. Annie Maria.

My family photographs are precious to me, and I did start adding key ones to my Ancestry tree, hoping it would increase interest from possible family connections.  I shouldn't have been surprised that they were uplifted and appeared on other trees, but this was another grumble - these were mine!  I would have happily given consent, but would like to have been approached first of all.

Perhaps though there is one benefit in discovering these instances  - it has forced me to reconsider  "Am I right in my findings" and to review my early research.  Not a bad thing to do, and so far I stand by my work!   So a Gripe, Groan or Grumble can be turned into a positive.

Gratitude for the Gifts I have received from my family history activities:
  • The fact that people are interested enough to read my blog.
  • The pleasure and increased knowledge gained from researching, writing and networking.
  • The contribution of Geneabloggers (www.geneabloggers.com).  It was recommended to me in the early weeks of starting my blog in summer 2010. I fully expected to have run out of material for postings by now, but geneabloggers' prompts, plus the support of like-minded enthusiasts are so stimulating, I have never looked back.
  • The online friendships made.
  • The new cousins discovered, such as the son of Elsie Oldham (below)  - my mother's second cousin.  The new found connection brought a great boost in the way of photographs and stories to my blog.  Elsie set up a hairdressing business "Elise"  in her home in Blackpool in the 1920's.  What a difference that slight change in her name makes to marketing her business!!

Elsie Oldham -
"Elise" c. 1920's

    Copyright © 2012 · Susan Donaldson.
    All Rights Reserved


    1. Great Group of Genealogy Gs, Susan. I'm loving this series. How Good it is to have contributions from all over the Globe.

    2. Many thanks, Jill, for your comment. I liked your G responses in Good and Globe - I had not thought of those.

    3. I totally relate Susan. In my early days, I was very guilty of copying others trees, only to find later that the information was incorrect. Lot of "groans" when I had to fix all the wrong information. I am always happy to share my research but I had a "grumble" when I emailed an old photo to a distant family member, telling them that I "thought" it could be my great great grandparents but I wasn't sure and hoped they could help me identify it. He then proceeded to put it on ancestry (without asking me) and now 100's of people have it and it may not even be the right person!

    4. Amen Susan! Those gripes and grumbles are so valid. I get cross when there's no courtesy, no acknowledgements and no replies when you send info/pictures. But you're right..it does make one re-think whether it's our own research that's taken a wrong turn. And yes, lots to be grateful for.

    5. Another Great post from a Geneablogger! And as Jill said "how Good it is to have contributions from all over the Globe" :D

    6. Great G post! Good to follow a grumble with gratitude.

    7. Thank you to everyone for their comments - much appreciated and very motivational.


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