“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” So said William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire lad and THE leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade.
If you are like me and love to go in search of elusive ancestors throughout the vale and dale of the County of Yorkshire; this blog could be just what you are looking for as I follow in the footsteps of my North Riding family, and as there are plenty of them, I have many miles to travel!
Although I have been properly researching the history of my family since 2004, my interest in the gnarled twigs and broken branches of my family tree began in the early teenage years and having always been a diligent hoarder of the scraps of family keepsakes that have come my way; the process of moving abode as I did over a year ago and return to my family in York was undoubtedly made all the more arduous by those numerous large boxes of papers, books, photographs and other assorted genealogical matter that I had to shift down and up several sets of stairs.
King George VI once stated that “the history of York is the history of England’ and this ancient city is not only the place of my birth but also for many of those Dalby and Benson ancestors to whom I have since laid claim; although some of whom certainly add more than a little colour to those gnarled twigs and broken branches.
And even though there’s plenty to occupy this history sleuth within the walls of this chocolate box city; I have also been very busy elsewhere!
For during the course of this year and having discovered the identities of two more ancestors Percy Oswald Wright Edeson from Scarborough and William Lamb of Whitby who having perished in WW1 never lived to see their 21st birthday; I have also been adding to my research into the life of Tuesday’s Child, the elusive Clarice Tibbett from Hull and as my interest has been piqued as of late by the other female ‘greats’ within my clan that I have now discovered, several Yorkshire lasses who have now made a welcome reappearance.
For with the death of both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother last year and with my mother’s ailing health, my feelings of nostalgia have been triggered once more and the floors of my den are now littered with the fruits of my genealogical findings.
And having decided that I would also go in search of this female line of my family; it would be rather nice to share my musings, mishaps and occasional mastery on this blog under the aptly titled category of The Female of the Species!
Not that I believe that my female ancestors were actually deadlier than their male counterparts…
Earlier this week I watched Who Do You Think You Are that featured the fabulous actress Amanda Redman from series one, who I adored in the BBC drama of New Tricks and I listened with interest as she talked about her need to understand why she had always reacted in a particular way and of the ‘inherited behavioural patterns’ she believes that we all possess to some degree or other.
And yes, this resonated with me for as the eldest child of five siblings; my mother having flouted the National Average UK Birth Rate; I have always pondered the reasons for my love of the sea and feeling ‘at home’ in the coastal town of Scarborough; my pleasure in reading, the urge to create my ‘Small Worlds’, my knack for floral design, my passion for history and that as the Graveyard Squirrel; I love nothing more than a wander among the tombstones in York Cemetery.
As I have always been quite unlike anyone else within my family, as a child I often mischievously wondered if I had been switched at birth and a distant family member once described me as a ‘throwback’, albeit in a kindly manner!
I admit that it used to bother me as I was growing up but now I glory in being different from the rest of my clan and if in these times of difficulty I can find solace in the company of my ancestors from generations past; who’s to judge?