#blogging4charity – G is for Genealogy


Probably the most addictive thing I have come across is researching my family history! I started in 2009 with my mum in hope we could find out a bit more about our family. 6 years later, we are both still completely hooked on trying to find out more about our ancestors. 

We’re currently at the stage of fact-finding and backing up the tree we have. I have noticed in the 6 years of research using Ancestry that there are some researchers who are looking up the same ancestors as I am, but they’ve jumped to dramatic conclusions without backing up their claims. It’s usually that the guesswork ends up linking the family into lords, ladies and royalty. I great example was a link with my family from Fife in Scotland. My family were shepherds but with one guess someone had linked the family back to Charlemagne!!! Nice thought, but very unlikely, I thought. Sure enough, when I went to check records I found two families in the same area with similar names, one being Lord and Lady and the others were shepherds.

Researching is probably my greatest dyslexic strength. I love it! I have the patience of a saint with it and will keep going until I find what I need to back up my claims. 6 years on and I’m still as excited as a kid in a toy shop when I find a new connection that I wasn’t aware of before. I’ve had some individuals that I’ve been trying to find out about for years and suddenly a new piece of information is the key to unlock the door!

I think the best example is my great great great great great grandfather, Robert Carry. We knew from his marriage record and from the Christening of my great great great great grandfather (his son), that Robert was in the 42nd Regiment of Foot during the time of the Napoleonic Wars. We found this on a trip to Register House in Edinburgh and found out information about his regiment. It was struggling to find any information on Robert himself as a Private. I asked on a military forum for information and someone suggested trying Find My Past for information. And lo and behold I found records!

The problem was we had several similar surnames for him, Carry, Cairy, Carey and Kerry. I guess that’s when my dyslexia comes in useful as I can think up various spellings of words that would seem correct to someone writing it down just from what someone had said, as back in the 18th-19th century many people were illiterate and wouldn’t have been able to write or spell their own names. I’ve found that many times it’s been a variation of a surname that is where you unlock the information that’s been holding you back.

I found out that Robert was born in Ireland and that he fought in Corunna, Toulouse and Waterloo as he was injured at all three battles. This was in his records from when he was discharged from the army. Once I had this information from Find My Past and added it to what I had on Ancestry I found he was also in Canada in 1806.

Even last night I was finding out even more information, this is 4/5 years after we found the first records. Robert’s wife was a young Scottish girl of 16 who he met while stationed in Musselburgh near Edinburgh. Her twin brother was also in the regiment and I assume that’s how they met. I have a new hunch that her father was also a military man and many of his descendants became members of the armed forces, though not through our direct branch back.

In my family there is a church minister, an author, a journeyman, a number of soldiers, miners and shepherds among a diverse group. I will never meet these people, but I love learning a bit about their individual stories and where they came from. I think it’s as exciting as any novel, tv series or movie, perhaps more so knowing these people are your own flesh and blood.

It can be an expensive hobby, but I think it’s well worth it. And maybe one day I’ll prove that actually the Lord and Lady that someone guessed is actually correct. Maybe.

How To Donate

Thank you to Mike, Dougie, Tom and the anonymous person who have all donated so far. Together you have helped me to raise £80.00 for the British Dyslexia Association!

Remember, you can donate as little as £1 or $1. Every penny makes a difference, so please consider donating £1 to my fundraiser.

To donate to #blogging4charity, visit my JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/Blog4Char2015. There you can donate from most countries within your own currency. You can donate from across the world through this link.

If you are in the UK you can donate by SMS by texting DAMF51 £1 to 70070. £1 is a guided amount as it is the lowest you can donate in £s. Please note, this is UK ONLY!


Posted on March 9, 2015, in #blogging4charity and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Its funny because we dyslexics when we are researching stuff tend to branch off into directions that interest us, Go off in directions that take us away from the focus of what we are researching. But in genealogy maybe that is a dyslexic strength because its all about branches. When I was doing the pro musician thing I used to love jamming out new tunes…….it can go anywhere, you don’t have a real goal as such………just get a feel when its right…..Of the few tapes of old bands I was in my fave are the jamming ones. Same with my bootleg collection love the ones where the bands are just jamming stuff through.


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