People who want to find out more about their family history can sometimes wonder how on earth they can make a start.
So for a kick off I think that it is quite interesting to take a look at the National Trust surname search page.
You can then enter in all the family names which you have dug up and it will come up with a map giving you the highest density of that name at a particular time period.
For instance if you enter in the name Carruthers (that always sounds quite a posh name to me somehow), it comes up with Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland as the main area for that surname.
Dumfries and Galloway is close to England but you could never mistake it for England. It always amazes me that the place is so vast and feels so remote. Just miles and miles of hills and sheep, and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of signs of habitation. Very atmospheric though and I think a bit spooky but maybe that’s just because they aren’t the hills of home.
The internet is a fantastic tool for family research and I think if you google just about any county in Britain they will have a genealogy section on their website. All very exciting.
Don’t blame me though if it turns out that you are descended from a long line of cut-throats or sheep thieves!
One of my collateral ancestors was transported to Australia for sedition, but I’m quite proud of him. It was 1795 and he was trying to get the vote for the common man. Unfortunately he ended up dying of yellow fever. He was a tenant farmer, nothing at all exciting until his mouth got the better of himself and he upset the government of the day.