Thursday, 9 August 2012

Dad, Genealogist, September 1st 2007

Dad was born in a terraced house like this

Dad’s latest project is to try to trace his forebears on the 1891 London census. He first discovered street maps on the Internet and managed to locate where he grew up and has since researched some of his relatives this way.  Now he has paid for a number of searches into the census document itself. He has been involved in this for the last two years - this is mostly because with his limited vision he can only see about a square inch of his computer screen at a time and thus spends a vast amount of frustrated time deleting things he is supposed to be saving/printing etc. and trying to locate his cursor. (Can you imagine trying to work like that?)  Sometimes he gives up for days in frustration as his computer often gets as confused as he is and therefore does funny things which can only be solved when Eric, my brother is around.  Luckily, dad is networked with my brother’s computer system next door and he can often spot when dad is in trouble which really helps because so often dad is too proud to ask for the regular assistance that he needs.  This week he has been trying to send an e-mail enquiry.  He has made several drafts (which he then couldn’t find  - finally after 3 days asking my help).  But then (typically), after enlisting my assistance and having me send the e-mail, he then solved the query himself - the answer lying amongst the pages of ‘help’ documents about the census that he has printed out.   He now thinks however, that his grandfather must have lived in a tenement building which is why our two ‘clicks’ on the ‘Search’ button have so far yielded no result and have used two of his credits.   The project is now on hold while he reorganises his search requirements and calculates how long his 148 search credits will last.


  1. It is very interesting how the older we get, the more we are interested in our own history, in all its intricacies. Unfortunately, our children couldn't care less; and that rubs us the wrong way! I gave my children copies of my memoir and only one of the three asked me questions, showing me that he actually read the darn thing.

    Old people need the interest of young ones.

  2. You are so right. For a while I printed out my blog in book form thinking that I would make a copy for each child. Not one has showed any interest! At least I am no longer wasting paper and ink.

  3. Cheers to your dad trying to do genealogy. I was able through efforts of others (too damned lazy myself) to find my great...great...(can't remember how many greats) grandparent's graves. He came from Ireland in 1797, she? Who knows. I thought this was pretty cool. Then it struck me, this couple only contributed 1/16 or maybe a 32nd of my genes. Alas the remaining 15/16 or 31/32 will remain unknown.

    Maybe if you printed you blog on money your kids would be more interested. That's about the only way I could get my son to read mine.

  4. i just have to not be insulted that they don't want to. Come to think, they don't read anything - apart from my oldest son, who loves very thick science fiction books.