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2018 Genealogical New Year’s Resolution

Family History ResearchAt this point, mid way through January, the goals and resolutions we set at the turn of the year often become lost in the reality of day to day life. Genealogical goals are no different and keeping that research momentum going throughout the year requires planning and identifying tools to help us achieve our aims and break down those brick walls. Often we recognise the need for further support – a course we want to attend; books to read or calling in a professional to review existing research. One of the simplest steps is to tell someone about your goal.

As a professional genealogist time spent on my own family tree is often low priority in any week, so this year I am taking up Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge to blog about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Week 1 – the Starting Point

Beatrice Laing nee Beattie

Beatrice on her wedding day , December 1922

My interest in family history started as a wee girl listening to my maternal grandmother, Gran Laing talk about her family. Born Beatrice Beattie on the 3rd August 1898 Gran was illegitimate, her mother died from TB in February 1907 leaving six year old orphaned Beatrice to be raised by her maternal grandparents Peter and Jean Edward.

Peter and Jean had 12 children who survived to adulthood and their humble household often accommodated extended family members. Six of their children emigrated and throughout her life Beatrice maintained a connection with these scattered family members.

Widowed at the age of 67, Beatrice moved in with my parents when I was a toddler and lived with us for the next 17 years. The stories from the dispersed Edward family and how the choices each sibling had made led to a very different life, some filled with success and others with hardship, started me on the family history research  journey. The tales of my grandfather’s family were equally intriguing- why did Willy leave home and never return? What became of his sisters? Was he really related to Major-General Tom Gordon Rennie?

Beatrice Laing

Beatrice with great grandchild Susan Paterson, 1969

In the years since her death I have answered some of these questions and reconnected with descendants from most of the branches of the Edward family. However there are always more questions to research. I look forward to sharing the successes and the remaining challenges throughout 2018.