The Lives of the Tree

My Genealogy Journey

genealogy brick walls, review your research, go back a generationFor many years my ancestors have held great interest for me.  I don’t know whether it was because we lived on the opposite side of the world to my dad’s English family.  Or because we lived on the opposite side of Australia to my mum’s family.  Whatever it is I have always wanted to know more.  Whenever I journeyed to Perth to visit the family I would be asking my older relatives loads of questions – about family members, where they came from and what they did.  I started my family tree the old fashioned way – with a paper and pen.  I amassed copious amounts of paper, documents and photos.


I loved the day my brother purchased me the most amazing present – The Master Genealogist software program for my computer.  This opened up a whole new world for me in undertaking my research.  No longer did I have to carry large cumbersome folders filled with paper trails whenever I visited the library or family history organisation.  I had it all at my fingertips on my laptop.  Then the internet arrived and unlocked many more options for family historians.  The arrival of websites such as Ancestry and Family Search allowed me to conduct research from the comfort of home.

Over the years, I have researched my family off and on.  Sometimes there has been many months, or years going by without me having time to dedicate the time to my research.  Children, work, uni, life just got in the way.  However, this year, with my dad becoming critically ill and the death of my grandma I decided I wanted to really dedicate time to this passion of mine.  I want to capture more of my history before I lose more links to my past.  I have only done minimal work on my tree over the past few years.  I intend to remedy that in the coming years.


My Grandma in 1942 with the only fish she ever caught
My Grandma in 1942 with the only fish she ever caught

For the past nine years, I was fortunate to have my grandma live with me.  I was privileged to hear stories she told me of her life.  However, I stupidly didn’t write them down and now it’s just memory as I try to recreate her life.  Since her death, I have discovered there are many gaps in the story and now I have the lost the chance to explore these further with her.  I am sad that I kept thinking there was time to gather some more and never documented the stories she told me.


I am very lucky that she showed me the many photos and documents that she had acquired over the years.  I was able to convert them to digital copies.  Unfortunately, she was nearly blind when she lived with me so wasn’t always able to tell me who the photo contained.  Some names may be forever lost in my lack of foresight in getting information from her years ago.  I don’t want to continue making that mistake.  I want to start putting the stories and history in an accessible place so my family has a record.  I want to share my passion with others and help people to find their ancestors.


I hope you enjoy my blog and come back soon.

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3 thoughts on “My Genealogy Journey

  1. Hi Megan, very nice post. Yes I think one day I will be retracing my family tree. It looks like an exciting adventure. I checked out your Surnames in your tree. Quite an impressive list you have. Nearly every letter in the alphabet for your surnames LOL. I wish you luck and enjoy yourself. John

  2. We did research on our family tree for my mother’s 75th birthday. Unfortunately, we were only able to go back to my great grandpa. The tree stops there due to the knowledge that someone in our family had done something illegal and went away and changed our family name. My mother had dementia and she was the oldest living member of our family at the time, that has fallen to me and I know not much of the story or where to even start to find out what happened. As a genealogist to you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Sylvia

      Have you got the names of siblings of the person who changed their name? Sometimes going sideways can lead us back to the person. The other thing – is the change of name only a story, or did it actually happen? Sometimes stories come down through the family aren’t true to make things more exciting than they really were. Like my great-great-great-grandfather George Brand – the story was he stole a loaf of bread and he was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia. I believed this for years, because why would my grandma not tell me the truth? I finally got his court records and discovered he stole much, much more than a loaf of bread and a loaf of bread didn’t even appear on the charge list. So why the story? Embarrassment, making it seem like he was punished very harshly for such a small crime. I don’t know. However, I would try digging sideways – go up through cousins, aunts, uncles, on that side of the family and see if you can find where the change came from that.


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