My Family and Other Annals Adventures in Family History by Diane Lindsay - Read Online
My Family and Other Annals Adventures in Family History
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Summary

Diane Lindsay is the author of Family Tree magazine's regular column 'Thoughts on...' and this ebook contains a collection of those short stories. Diane’s the woman who puts the ‘family’ and the ‘story’ into family history, recounting ancestral escapades and misty-eyed memories that are sure to ring bells with many aspects of your own family anecdotes too.
Just like the rest of us, many of Diane’s ancestors were a motley crew, but she dotes on them all dearly and treasures the details of the lives they once led. Whether by stomping off to record offices, or scouring the internet into the small hours, she’s on a mission – as every family historian will understand – to learn as much as she possibly can about these people – her family – and their bygone times.

Published: Family Tree on
ISBN: 9781301328086
List price: $3.99
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My Family and Other Annals Adventures in Family History - Diane Lindsay

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~~~

Foreword

It’s time to get yourself a cup of tea and sit back to enjoy Diane’s tales from the world of family history. Your mum, your granny, your favourite aunt – Diane Lindsay is all these and more. She’s the woman who puts the ‘family’ and the ‘story’ into family history, recounting ancestral escapades and misty-eyed memories that are sure to ring bells with many aspects of your own family anecdotes too.

Just like the rest of us, many of Diane’s ancestors were a motley crew, but she dotes on them all dearly and treasures the details of the lives they once led. Whether by stomping off to record offices, or scouring the internet into the small hours, she’s on a mission – as every family historian will understand – to learn as much as she possibly can about these people – her family – and their bygone times.

In every issue of Family Tree, we’re delighted to include Diane’s wise and humorous writing and decided to share a selection of her work in this little treat of an eBook. And if you find that you’re hankering after further instalments from Diane, you can always find her tucked away in the pages of Family Tree.

So have a read, cherish the memories, and enjoy.

Helen Tovey

Editor

Family Tree

www.family-tree.co.uk

~~~

Preface

I was eight when I began my Family History by asking my romantic Tennyson loving dad what he knew about his ancestors. He told me with quiet pride that our Veasey name descended from Robert de Vesci, one of William the Conqueror’s knights at Hastings. I believed him totally and trotted it out every time at school I was called Easy Veasey, or more truthfully, Sneezy Veasey. Delusions of grandeur flourished soon after when I visited my mum’s Yorkshire family; not only did they live just up the road from Wuthering Heights, but my mum claimed some connection to Norton Tower, a ruined 16th century hunting lodge nearby, which features in William Wordsworth’s poem The White Doe of Rylstone.

The fantasy held until I found myself, mother of three young children, at the University of Warwick studying English and History and training to be a teacher, together with my husband. Having discovered the free and harmless delights of research, I didn’t know I was already hooked on a life of addiction. In between mothering, teaching practice and producing two theses, I would lose myself in the lovely dusty delights of parish registers that you could still hold, censuses that only went as far as 1871 and St Catherine’s House, that wonderful cold draughty cathedral to civil registration. At about the same time I won myself a typewriter in a national short story competition and found that I could teach, inspire, make people laugh and sometimes make them cry with my writing. It was a heady time indeed!

Robert de Vesci toppled first, felled by Professor Reaney’s great book on surnames. Old French our name’s origin might be, but probably derived from l’envesie, a nickname meaning wanton, frivolous, and flippant. Flippant? Moi? Mais Non! Visions of chivalric knights and fair damsels swiftly dimmed into amorous foot soldiers and saucy camp followers. (Was Easy Veasey apt after all?) As one agricultural labour after another rose and took form and toiled from dusty tomes up my family tree, and as Norton Tower crumbled under generations of hill farmers and lead miners, I tossed away the family myths and learned what is for me the real thrill of ancestry. Thirty five years on, I still feel proud that warts, foibles, quirks and all, the real heritage I have inherited from my forebears is that they were survivors, ordinary people who maybe didn’t make history, but as sure as great oaks from small acorns grow, they lived through it against all the odds.

And somewhere in that long procession from the past were people like me, who cried a lot but saw the funny side of things, who couldn’t sing but sang anyway, who liked dogs and cats and kids and poetry who just couldn’t help pontificating about things they knew and loved to anyone who would listen. (That’s the teacher gene.) I like to think that if they’d had the skills of reading and writing, which few of them did, they might have told their stories as I have tried to do. With love and humour and pride.

Diane Lindsay

~~~

Comfort in remembering

The longer I spend reconstructing ancestral families, the more I realise that the neat two parent, one boy, one girl, family unit idea I grew up on, is probably as much myth as are silver-haired knitting grannies and tweedy grandads.

The whole post-war package, albeit as cosy and comforting as Ovaltine and crumpets toasted before a roaring fire, was almost certainly invented to cheer a populace battered by war.

My own family had many cheery moments but also a father five years absent in the Army, who spent several more post-war years in Civvy Street looking for work that wasn’t there. He survived physically intact, if prey to despondency, as had his father before him, in a previous ‘war to end all wars’ war. Not so the