N is for next generation

We tend to think of family history as people before us but it’s important to record current generations too. The next generation will thank you for it, eventually!

How to help the next generation

  • Have you added names to all your family photos? Hardcopy ones, yes maybe? But what about all the digital ones? Here’s an article with information on how to write on the back of a digital photo
  • Are you storing photographs and documents in the best way? The US National Archives has information on preserving family papers and photographs with pictures to help . There’s briefer advice from a UK archivist here or some more detailed advice from Staffordshire Archives.
  • Are you building up an archive of current events – birth For the next generation pic of my uncle's funeral leafletannouncement cards, wedding invitations, funeral service leaflets and so on? You could scan these documents too in order to minimise wear and tear on them. This page from my uncle’s funeral leaflet has a lot of valuable information.
  • What about recording your memories about these people, stories from your own childhood, the things you reminisce about at family gatherings?

This is just a starter list. Don’t forget to celebrate the next generation and record their achievements too. Here’s a link to my first cousin twice removed and her band, Hellia. First cousin twice removed? Her grandfather is my first cousin.

A new fourth cousin…

A very overdue update on my last post where I talked about a big discovery thanks to Ancestry’s ‘shaky leaves’ hints.  Well I checked out the records cited, the research seemed correct and I made contact with the owner of the tree on Ancestry. He is my fourth cousin, a descendant of Jean, sister of my great great grandmother, Barbara Sinclair. Jean immigrated to Australia with her father, Thomas Sinclair, step-mother and half siblings in the 1850s. She and Barbara wrote to each other and swapped photographs over many years it seems. The photographs and letters have not survived house clearances in Orkney sadly. But my newly-discovered fourth cousin in Australia has shared some wonderful photographs as well as a lot of information. (What’s a fourth cousin? Check foot of page)

Photos

This is my favourite photo. ItPhoto of x2 great grandparents and 2 youngest daughters shows my great great grandmother, Barbara Millar Sinclair (1826-1914), my great great grandfather, Nicol Slater (1820-1875) and their two youngest daughters, Catherine, Mrs Andrew Robertson, (1865-1945) and Barbara, Mrs Thomas Clouston, (1869-1961).  It is the first photo of Nicol I have ever seen, so I am thrilled. I have a photo of Barbara, his wife, as an old woman, but what stuns me about this one is that my uncle is so like her. We have always thought that “he takes after his father’s side”. There is no copy in Orkney as far as I know yet the photo sent to Barbara’s sister Jean thousands of miles away in Australia back in the 1870s has been preserved. And it seems there may be another in the USA, probably sent to Nicol Slater’s cousin William Slater who also  immigrated.

So, yes, Ancestry shaky leaf hints can be very worthwhile so long as you and your contact have both done your research well. I’ve been sending photos and other information to Australia too for these things should never be one-way. I am reluctant to share much with people who give little or nothing in return. Generally, I’ve found third, and now, fourth, cousins to be great contacts.

Fourth cousin: we share great great great grandparents – Thomas Sinclair is our mutual x3 great grandfather. First cousins share grandparents, second cousins share great grandparents, third cousins share great great grandparents)