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It’s all in the bones

Apart from having an addiction to travelling, I long ago discovered genealogy was in my bones, or should that be blood? Whichever way you describe it, I can spend hours online looking for the who’s who of family, and how they are connected, clicking away to my heart’s content. I’m like a bloodhound. I can spot a lead when I see one – and detect when a link doesn’t seem quite right. It’s that passion and gut feeling that led me to writing family sagas. I love digging deeper to find the key that unlocks the past.

You see, it’s about following the path, step by step. Maternal lines are the most difficult to trace – as I wrote about in ‘Elinor’. There are a million Jane’s who married a John, it’s deciding which one. Are the birth places listed the same, did the men of the family work in the same industry, was their home near other family members from either side. The deeper I dig the more I discover.

But more than finding the bare facts, the ‘he’ who married ‘she’, the children who married and had children, what I love is finding about the social history and events of the time. Did they appear in the newspapers? That is what gives me the flesh on the bones.

I can never guarantee that my ‘John’ or ‘Jane’ is going to be a villain or a hero – and even the most ordinary of lives can produce both – I can take a guess at who they might have been by understanding the era, their living conditions and their occupations, and interpret the possibilities. That is the fun part.

It’s been a month now since Elinor was released into the world and I’ve been delighted to see a few 5 star ratings pop up, but what I enjoy most about releasing a new book, is the invitations I get to speak at libraries, retirement villages, and clubs.

I have one coming up soon at my local genealogy branch. The focus of that talk will be about turning the myriad of information researchers collect into fact based stories that bring the past – and the people – alive. Other talks might be about the research phase, or the writing phase, or publishing. There are so many aspects to producing a book. Don’t hesitate to contact me if your club would like to hear more about my stories.

It is those stories, those characteristics, that certain turn of the head or something someone says who reminds you of someone else that ties us together as family past, present and future. I love it.
Won’t you tell me your story?

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