4 Dec 2010

Ancestor Approved

After doing way too much housework and cleaning out my pet rats I sat down (finally) at the laptop and prepared to continue processing my baptism images. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see that dee_burris has given me the Ancestor Approved award. This came as a very pleasant surprise as I haven’t been blogging for that long and I wasn’t entirely sure that anyone would be interested in what I have to say...So thanks dee_burris, you’ve given me a reason to carry on with this.

The award comes with a couple of requests:
1. List ten things that you have learned about your ancestors that surprised, humbled, or enlightened you.
2. Pass the award to ten other genealogy bloggers.

What I've learned:
1.       That you don’t have to go back very far in my family to find an English-man! My dad is, and always has been very proud to be Welsh. In turn I am also. He was shocked to find out that my great great grandfather and his grandfather; Franklin ELLIS was actually from Chester!
2.       My great grandmother; Mary Ellen DAVIES (nee PARRY), was a stout Victorian lady, whom scared the life out of me when I was little. A few months ago on a trip home I was told my one of my Aunts that I reminded her of this great grandmother. I’m choosing to take it as a compliment as she went through many hardships, she could not read or write as she was withdrawn from school to look after her siblings, of which there were many. She was an amazing woman really and I’m humbled that I have been compared to her. Oh and also a little scared too! 
3.       I wrote about my 5-year brick wall regarding a Mr George Rice Price PARRY previously: here. Well after much searching and help from people online at rootschat I found him. His name was actually OWEN. This not only surprised me but reminded me that we can take NOTHING for certain, not even what we have been told is true. 
4.       Another great great great grandmother; Ellen PARRY (nee HAYES) was abandoned by her husband, forced to go into the workhouse where she gave birth to a little girl. I wrote briefly about it here. The fact that an ancestor of mine could leave his pregnant wife to a life of destitution really quite upset me when it dawned on me what had happened. It made me very thankful that my family are still together and if anything like that were to happen I know that they would all pull together to support the family. When you start out on your genealogical quest you hope to find skeleton’s in the cupboard, but you want “juicy” ones, when you find something like this it is a shock to the system and it surprised me that someone could be so callous. Or I may be incredibly naive. 
5.       The old story that my PARRY ancestors once owned a Salt company in Holywell, which they sold to the PAXA Company for a small fortune has little basis in reality! The story that the proceeded were either (a) secreted by one of the sons and kept from the rest of the family or (b) gambled and drank away also have little evidence to support them. Stories about the drinking and gambling are probably true but whether he lost his families fortunes or not is unknown. Either way it caused a split in the PARRY family that still exists to some extent. 
6.       Similarly the tale that the PARRYs are related to Stanley of “Dr Livingstone I presume” fame is also a very very very tall tale. Where they get these from is unknown, they have loads that I won’t go into here but rest assured I’m not making myself popular by disproving them! 
7.       I was proud to find out that my great great grandfather; John HUGHES lived next door to Daniel Owen, a tailor and prolific Welsh author. I also wrote about it here. 
8.      When visiting the record office back home I had to go and a look-see at the original newspapers for a report on the death of a child; Albert PARRY (my great grand uncle). He had been killed by a traction engine when he was eleven years old. I found it fascinating going through the old newspapers and when I actually found the report I was shocked, saddened and amazed that the accident had occurred in the first place and that the family were able to pick themselves up and carry on. My great grandmother mentioned above in 2. was only twelve at the time. I transcribed the documents in a previous blog here. 
9.       We rolled down the hill. I come from a long line of miners, labourers and farmers. They suffered hardships and heartaches but still they got on with their lives. Without them I wouldn’t be here. Without them none of us would be here. So thank you to my ancestors and next time I complain about living conditions / snow / work etc. I’ll be taking a moment to consider everything they had to go through. 
10.   My granddad, bless his soul, knows that I’m researching my family tree and he decided that he would shred, yes shred some old documents he had. Now I know this is supposed to be a list about what I’ve learnt from my ancestors but I had to include this. I have learnt, from my living relatives two things; (1) Shredders are an EVIL invention and (2) You cannot stress enough to family members, especially the older generations, how much their “junk” could mean to you and your research.

2.  I'd like to present the Ancestor Approved award to these bloggers, in no particular order: