The Kilted Ancestors prompt for April 2023 in line with the Annual Genealogy Challenges & Triumphs topic was in relation to Correspondence.
If during our research we can obtain copies of correspondence written by our Ancestors, then we might catch a glimpse of what their day to day lives consisted of.
This may be in the form of letters & postcards or perhaps in more recent times emails. Information contained in these may relate to our Ancestors personal lives, business activities or societies they may have been members of.
When we ask family members for information to assist our research Birth, Marriage or Death certificates or Photographs may be the first thing we ask for. Always remember to ask for any correspondence that may also be in their possession as this may include letters or postcards written by a much wider family.
Aside from asking Family members don’t forget that Correspondence written to or by our Ancestors could also be hiding in an Archive somewhere!
Sometime ago when I made contact with a distant cousin overseas, he sent me a letter written between two cousins one in Australia & one in the US. This letter discussed all the family members who married whom & who their children were.
Its funny as this was pretty much the same list that had been created by my grandfather many years ago & was actually the beginnings of my own family tree when I first started.
The interesting thing was that it backed up a lot of what my grandfather said, but also added a lot of little facts about peoples personalities as well as some interesting stories that gave an amazing insight into their family life. Such as trips to Oban for holidays during the summer months, buying clothes in London & that two of the siblings owned a Kangaroo that they kept in the Summer House & how they thought their father had let it out! Yes!! a Kangaroo in Scotland, something that my Friend & Colleague Christine Woodcock loves to laugh at!!
This letter also provided an interesting insight into being members of the Church of Scotland & how strict it was. Sunday meals had to be prepared on a Saturday, children were not allowed to play games & didn’t dare whistle on the Sabbath & although they were allowed to take walks, Sundays were a day of worship.
So, remember next time you are chatting to extended family to ask if they know of any correspondence that may have been owned by our Ancestors, you just never know what it might contain!
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