A review of 30 years research

At home with old newspapers

One of the situations that arise during family history research is not fulfilling the expectations of those whom you come into contact with. I can look back at several incidents when I have been unable to confirm family stories passed down through their ancestors. I remember one Teasdale who travelled through Europe and the UK where he thought his ancestors originated. After we corresponded, many years later, I was able to take one of his family members to the original buildings where his ancestors lived; the churches where they were baptised and married and the church-yards where they lie to this day. We became great friends despite the distance between us. I can sense the disappointment, through correspondence with others, when a key piece of evidence does not materialise after many hours of research and what was written in their family histories does not match the evidence. I read that a long since deceased originator of a particular story was renowned for making up names and places to suit family trees and justify his fees. I cannot tell people that their family stories don’t match the evidence; I just say that new evidence may come to light as more information & transcriptions become available; this after all is what has been happening in genealogy for the past 30 years as a revolution in technology has been and is taking place. During the 30 years that I have been researching the Teasdale & variant names I have experienced a wide range of family history knowledge & expertise from my correspondents, some of whom have  visited me when I lived in the north-east of England. I accept that there are different levels of interest and not everyone has the time or resources to do much. There is a group of dedicated correspondents who have shared their knowledge and worked towards a better understanding of their ancestors and the times that they lived in. It is only natural for me to have a high regard for these individuals but offers of help & information is welcome from any source and I try to help anyone who contacts me. I’m not really an expert in genealogy; just someone who has made a small effort to collect names, has a bit of interest in history & topology and who has made a small contribution to the understanding of family history. The past 30 years has been an interesting journey, it has allowed me to have a better understanding of their lives and times, their sorrow at high infant & life mortality, their plagues and epidemics, their hopes for a better life.