Welcome to my blog where I intend to explore my genealogical roots: connecting to the past, through research in the present, and sharing the knowledge for the future generations.
My journey began alongside my father, Wilfred West, in 1970 when he received two letters from the USA: one from Dorothy Anne West, a grand-daughter of James West and Sarah Ann Richardson, who had migrated from the English Fens to the United States in 1865, eventually settling in Lake County, Ohio; and the other from Randy Reynoldson, a descendant of Robert Reynoldson and Mary West who had migrated from Wisbech to Canada, before settling in Plum Creek, Nebraska in 1872. My father responded with what he knew – quite a lot as it happened, which is no doubt why his English based family had provided everyone with our address in New Zealand.
The following months were busy as Dad compiled all that he knew, drew huge trees, and corresponded with his new found cousins, sharing the knowledge gained during generations on both sides of the Atlantic, and being distilled together in the Southern Hemisphere. All the while I sat and watched, listened and absorbed, and began my lifetime genealogical journey (and obsession).
When Dad died in 1981 his papers, letters, photographs and charts were passed to me and I have continued to research our family history ever since. The journey has taken me around the world, to England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, the United States of America, and Australia; and through the internet to many other places as well. I have contacted many members of my extended family and to them I owe many debts - for without their knowledge I would not have been able to undertake this research. Their generosity of spirit and hospitality is much appreciated.
I often wonder what my father and his cousins would make of the family research world of today: from their world of writing letters, hand drawing charts and waiting (and waiting) for a reply before the cycle began again, to that we inhabit today - where writing an email often gets an almost instant reply; all our data goes into a research database and it draws the charts; those longed for records can be accessed on the desk in our own home; and we can even attend seminars from other parts of the world in our own lounge (or bed if it is too early in the morning or late at night).
I hope that my periodic blogs will inspire you to continue to do your research and provide you with some entertainment along the way.
I will leave you with a thought for the day: 'To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain a child' (Cicero, I Caesar).
© 2011, Maureen R West
All Rights Reserved