Hello and Welcome!

At long last here it is!  my family history site that I really hope will be of interest and assistance to anyone who is looking for information regarding the surnames and family lines featured here, or just genealogy in general. This site has been a long time coming and has its roots way back in the 1980’s when, pre-internet, I began the time consuming task of researching my family history.

Family history research is a path that is long, endless and well worn as millions of people around the world are travelling along it with you. If you are just starting out on this journey you will come into contact with many of them and, surprisingly, you will discover some of them are related to you. They may live down the road, in the next city or even on the other side of the world, I have met people from all of these categories. It is an interest that can remain a casual hobby or it can consume your whole life, depending on how much you really devote yourself to the work. Often it happens gradually.

If you are just beginning you should have a good collection of family data to start with; marriage/birth and death certificates are the essential items to kick off with and all are relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain. As you travel beyond those first three generations the real work starts and if your ancestors were not particular about keeping information recorded you will need to wear your detective hat. Take advantage of those free searches offered by government registries and, lets face it, you will at times have to get out the credit card to purchase documents and the like. As long as you ensure that you follow the usual security measures when paying on-line and that the site concerned is legitimate, definitely fire ahead. Certificates for Great-Great etc Grandparents are worth buying, not just for yourself but for handing down to subsequent generations of your family. My descendants will have a nice collection of family information thanks to the work I have put in over the last 20 years.

I would issue a word of warning though: there are some sites around that offer the public ‘free 7 day trial membership and searches’ of their databases. Proceed carefully here as you stand the high possibility of being fleeced of thousands of dollars. You always have to give them your credit card details BEFORE you can use their ‘free’ search facility and they claim that your card will not be charged until your ‘trial offer’ ends. I have found that they DO in fact charge your card at the start; if you do not take up their ‘offer’ after 7 days getting a refund is just about impossible!. Usually their initial search facility will pop up info relating to any name or info you enter; this is just a ‘sweetener’ to get you to sign up assuming they will have a greater stash of info for you after you pay them. Once again just be careful. Accumulating your information should not cost the earth beyond the usual certificates/documents from reputable and registered organisations. I welcome fellow researchers visiting here to make use of any of the info on the site.

I decided it would be fantastic to get all my stuff onto a website and have it there ‘forever’. For many years I wrote everything down on paper and now I will be transferring it all to this site for safekeeping. And for your interest. It will take a while, and at times I reckon it will feel like I have returned to square one again as I come across new info – this happens all the time which is why this project never gets boring, only more intriguing.

Finally I wish to do something that I always vowed to do once I got the chance and that is I wish to dedicate this site to my aunt – Robyn Hamilton-Matthews. Rob was my mum’s youngest sister and just 15 years older than me, we were like sisters and were best friends. She got me started on this whole crazy thing and was a partner in every sense through it all as we both shared the same curiosity and deep pride in our family history. She provided me with the interest, the enthusiasm and the drive to keep going at it. We also shared endless laughs together, she was so much fun. We also vowed that one day, when we could, we would visit our ancestral home of Brownhall in Ireland together – it was going to be our own pilgrimage and something we both dreamed about and we vowed to make it happen. Sadly Robyn died in August 2002 without realising her long cherished dream, but guess what Rob? I did make it happen. I went to Brownhall just as we always dreamed of doing and, even though you were not with me in person, you most certainly were there with me in spirit. I did it for both of us.

So, with the fondest memories of you…here we go!

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