Monday, 1 October 2012

Visiting your ancestors

Have you ever visited the places your ancestors came from? This is something I always enjoy doing, even if it’s just walking around the town they once lived in; sometimes I’ve have nothing more to go on – having gleaned this sparse info from an old census. I try to make a point of visiting the parish church, as this is where many important events would have taken place (baptisms, marriages and burials).

If I’m lucky, the census or other documentation will reveal a fuller address which enables me to track down the house, or at least the street where my ancestors’ lived.

A few weeks ago, I took myself off to the lovely Wiltshire town of Chippenham where, according to the 1881 census, my great grandmother was born. At the time the census was taken, Rachel Peace was 14 years old and living with her family in Twerton, Somerset. 

That’s the great thing about consulting these records – they tell you each family members’ birthplace as well as where they were living when the census was taken. And of course, I just had to hunt down the street listed in Twerton where – on 3rd April 1881 at least – my great great grandparents resided with Rachel and their other children.