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Thursday, 25 October 2012

X if for EXcitement, EXamining, EXpressing, EXploring & EXcursions - A-Z Challenge ,

My belated contribution on X as we draw near the end of Aona's inspirational A-Z challenge at

I must admit I am taking the easy way out here with the letter X and repeating  some of my family history  EXperiences first listed under E - but still worth restating nevertheless.

X is for:

EXcitement at finding ancestors who were unknown to me. After many years of appearing on message boards etc. with minimal success, my blog was discovered by three different third cousins and resulted in new photographs and new stories.  Here is Mary Jane Danson (my great grandfather's cousin), with her husband and children.
EXchanging Information: In pre-Internet days this activity came from joining Family History Societies and studying their listings of Members Interests. Now the world is open to us. My first venture into Internet research on my Bryning connections resulted in more information in four weeks than I had unearthed in four years. A wonderful tool - as long as you check sources!
EXamining Records: The fascination and pleasure in touching documents written over a century ago that relate to my ancestor's life.

Roxburghshire Militia List of 1797
Courtesy of Heritage Hub, Hawick -

EXceeding EXpectations: When I first started on my family history trail, I thought I would be lucky to trace my very ordinary Danson family back to the 1841 census. I have far exceeded that, discovering my great great great, great grandfather John Danson, born 1736, son of Peter.


EXpressing the family stories: Research is an all absorbing task, but turning the facts, names and dates into a family story that people are interested in reading, whether through blog or book, is my favourite FH occupation. 

EXcursions into Local and Social History - The possibilities are endless. for adding colour to a family story.............,,,,,
  • Was your ancestor alive when a Napoleonic invasion threatened  towns and villages ready to light beacons to warn of the French attack? t
  • Might your ancestors have seen the Jacobite army marching through Scotland and the north of England in 1745 as Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) attempted to take the Hanoverian throne?
  • What entertainment did your ancestors enjoy locally?
Concert psoter in the collection  of the Heritage Hub, Hawick www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub
  • The coming of the railway to a community must have been a thrilling event to witness, with local newspapers giving extensive coverage of the excitement generated.
  • Peebles Station in the Scottish Borders, c 1910.
    With kind permission of the Heritage Hub, Hawick

  • What about the impact of the invention of the sewing machine on the task of making a family's clothes?
  • Might your female ancestors have seen suffragettes campaigning locally? 

  • When was your local cottage hospital built, or the local football club formed?
  • How did your ancestral town or village mark Queen Victoria's Jubilees in 1887 and 1897 and her death in 1901?

EXpense: I have read comments in family history magazines about the expense of the hobby. I have been lucky in that I have not had to spend much on obtaining BMD certificates. I can appreciate that people are on a tight budget, but it can be a question of being very focused in accessing paid internet sites - being sure you have done the background work through other means and especially that you have found the "correct" person - admittedly not easy if you are researching a popular name. But it is worth remembering so many leisure activities come at some cost, whether it be sport, music, art and crafts, collecting etc.

And finally after all of this - EXhaustion!


  1. Great posts as always Susan. I agree we can't expect everything for nothing as all hobbies have a cost, even reading.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your bunch of X's Susan. Can relate to them all... especially EXceeding EXpectations, EXcursions and laughed so much when I got to EXhaustion. It sure is that but such a joy, eh? :-) Thanks, Catherine.

  3. Love the X words you've chosen, all totally relevant. And well done on eXceeding eXpectations, I'm sure there was much eXitement and happy dancing involved when you got past your 'goal'.

  4. Again thank you to veryone for their encouraging comments. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

  5. eXactly! And eXtraordinary finds :)


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