Yesterday Mum and I went to Epping Library to have a half hour taster session on Ancestry.com. The website contains details or Census records, birth, marriage and death records, military records etc. however although you can see the basic name and details on the website you can't see any further details without paying a fee. for an annual subscription the fee is £80.
on her lunch time walk, when returning some maps to the library on day mum spotted a leaflet about this family history taster session and convinced me to phone and book one of the half hour slots, and i'm so glad she did!
it turns out that Essex county council has somehow got free access to the website and all the detailed information on it including images of the records at every Essex Library.
as the man was showing us how the website worked and what it had to offer, we used some of the details that i have from a family tree that a solicitor in sussex did for Grandpa a few years back. We entered the name of Grandpa's grandfather and found him! we were able to tell it was him as all the brothers and sisters listed matched those listed on my family tree, with a few extra added on! so now i have birth years for them and also know the name's and birth year's of their parents - which is grandpa's great grandparents!
mum and i were getting so excited when a woman from the library came over to tell the man that our half our was almost up. frustrating i know, but such a boost and kick start. he also gave us tips of drawing a family tree, one being; use a roll of wallpaper, as it's big and easy to transport. which is what i didn when i came home. i also went back to the ancestry website to see what information i could access from home. it is only basic names and years but i was able to find some years of deaths which also provided a couple of middle names. for example on the details i already had there was a Queenie A L Taylor. i put those details into the deaths search narrowing my search to england. i didn't even need to narrow it to sussex as in the list there was only one person of that name listed with those initials and that person died in sussex, which is where the person on my tree was last listed as living. on the website she was listed as Queenie Agnes L Taylor - so now i have a middle name for her as well!
i have nothing to do today, apart from maybe try and take some more photos for my christmas cards (as only 3 out of the dozen or so that i've tried look any good) so i can spend all day with the family tree finding out as many basic names and birth years as i can so that when i go to an essex library i have something to work from.
i can't wait to get going, i just hope my enthusiam and motivation for this can last.