The 4th August is an important date in my life as a genealogist. This was the date I gained my “inspiration”, the inspiration that would lead me to a career in Genealogy.
When we begin our journey into researching our family history, it is important we have this inspiration. In order to maintain the hours of research, late nights and long weekends spent trawling through archive and making endless notes on the findings we have uncovered that inevitably lie ahead, we need to be able to stop and remember why we are doing this. Whether as with myself it is to fulfil a promise to a loved one, a personal journey of discovery or to find answers to those family stories, there is always a trigger, a moment that leads you to begin your journey, your inspiration.
It is important to identify and reflect back on this inspiration throughout our journey into the past, it is this that gives us guidance and direction in our research. It offers us motivation when we hit a brick wall or we are snowed under with all the fantastic things we have found. Use your inspiration to identify and unlock the reasons why you began your journey. Write your inspiration on a board in your office, set a picture of your inspiration as a screen saver on your computer whatever you do make it a focal point to remind you why you are doing this and to keep that motivation and passion strong
My Inspiration was my grandmother. As a child I had many conversations with her about where she came from and who our ancestors were, what is was like living in the “olden days” or picking her brains for my history projects at school, only to discover that she knew very little about her family roots other than her direct family. The usual answer was that she came from an era where certain things were not talked about, but it had clearly not prevented her wanting to know the answers. Many years after our initial conversations, on a visit for a cup of tea and a chat, we began talking about her ancestors again, this time I made a promise, I promised to find the answers to these questions and let her know all the things she wanted to know. One week after I made this promise she unfortunately passed away. From this day, 4th August, I decided I will honour this promise and trace the family history and answer those questions she had wanted to know.
To this day my Grandmother is the first person I tell about any new discoveries and about the experiences I encounter in the best career I have ever had, the career she unknowingly inspired, unlocking the past for many others as a professional genealogist.