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Sunday, 28 April 2013

A-Z Challenge - X is for EXperiences

Join me on his A-Z journey  into  A SENSE OF PLACE with reminiscence on places that are connected with my family history or are part of my own personal memories.

Place names beginning with X abound in China and there are some in Wales and Greece  - but I have been to none of these.   So I must admit here to deviating from my Sense of Place theme  and focussing on  some of my family history EXperiences, beyond travel.

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. 
A wedding photograph of the family of my third cousin, Stuart
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.   Here is his signature from his will found in Lancashire Record Office.

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? 
  • 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 poster 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? 

A suffragette meeting, at Towerknowe, Hawick in the Scottish Borders, 1909.
Note - the number of men there.  
Photograph by permission of Scottish Borders Council Museum & Gallery Service
 from the Hawick Museum Collection.

  • 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? 
The possibilities for stories are endless. 
And finally after all of this - EXhaustion!

My father enjoying a snooze in our garden in Edinburgh c.1960's



  1. An eXcellent X post and all attributes that I have also experienced in my research.

  2. I agree. eXcellent use of X that ties right in, to what you love. Great job!

  3. Great post. Agree with all the xs.


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