How discovering your ancestry encourages travel

In Kent, Life, Our Reviews by JanisLeave a Comment

Find out your Ancestry DNA results

I have been researching my family tree for years now, and while it is so fascinating to do, it is so time-consuming.

I get so engrossed in the family history of my ancestors, where they lived, their children and what their occupations were. 

Then there are all their siblings, that lead you off on a tangent, and suddenly before you know it a few hours have disappeared.

Mother and I before Wimbledon

Me and my Mum

Bitten by the bug

This fascination of mine most certainly comes from my mum, as she has been researching her side of the family history, for around 30 years. So, even before the World Wide Web kicked off in August 1991. My mum would head out and start rummaging through parish records and council microfiches. That’s dedication for you. 

The Tubbs Family, Ancesty, DNA

My Dad with his family hop picking

Nowadays, most of my historical research and has been gathered by using the Ancestry.co.uk website. I pay an annual subscription, which gives me access to go and unearth all those little mysteries, on my dad’s side of the family, that my relatives may have been hiding.

Good to know

In 2018 I paid an annual amount of £119.99 for a Premium Subscription. Check out the prices as there are often offers, at Ancestry.com and Ancestry.co.uk.

True Diligence 

It’s from the censuses that you can gain so much information from your ancestor’s lives. The census is completed every 10 years, and access is made available once 100 years have passed. So, now we have access to any census that is prior to 1911.  I can’t wait until 2021.

A copy of a Census record

A copy of a Census record

However, it’s not just the census, you can rummage around war records, births, deaths & marriages and so much more. 

If you know your ancestors are from overseas, you can also subscribe to the worldwide option. I haven’t done this, as I do appear to be British from head to toe – or am I, could there be a DNA spoiler?

My viewpoint on discovering my ancestors is that I need to know 100% that I have the correct person. I don’t just want to take the census as my definitive answer. So, I end up purchasing the birth, death and marriage certificates. You just can’t be too sure, is my philosophy.

A Marriage Certificate

A Marriage Certificate

Between my mum and me we have a collection of certificates that Somerset House would be proud of (now I’m showing my age).

Tip Box

To obtain my certificates I use the General Register Office website – UK, the certificates are around £9.25 each. Ensure you use authenticated websites as some may charge you more or an admin fee.

A pilot scheme is currently being run whereby you can receive some certificates via PDF. They are cheaper at £6 each.

Is Gary just Welsh?

Over the years, I have now planted the inquisitive seed of discovering our ancestry into Gary’s mind. 

Gary’s surname is Williams, and Williams for those who don’t know, has some very deep roots with Wales. After a little bit more research the name ‘Williams’ is derived from the old German names of Willhem and Willelm. It’s also from Northern France, which William the Conqueror most certainly had something to do with.

That must be why Gary and I are often on road trips around Germany & France.

A typical view of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - part of gary's German ancestry

Gary's heritage? - just a little bit German

Gary was born in England; however, his grandfather was Welsh, so the challenge of tracing a Williams in Wales, at times has become a challenge.

Bizarrely though, my brother now lives in Wales, and Gary’s ancestors are from around 8 miles (13km) from where my brother and his family live. What a small world.

Taking it that bit further

Now the next chapter in unearthing our past for Gary and I, means that we have delved a bit deeper, and both completed an Ancestry DNA kit.

The Ancestry DNA Kit

The Ancestry DNA Kit

From applying for the DNA kit to receipt, swabbing and receiving your results, it will usually take around 6/8 weeks.

What did we find?

For me, my origins do appear to be British through and through. During my census digging on my father’s side, I found that the last 150 years or so, we have primarily been ensconced in London and the South-East of England. And, not to venture too far, we also came from South-West of England.  

Then from my mum’s side of the family, there’s an Irish connection, which was evident from the DNA test.

My results were;

Janis - Ancestry DNA Results

My DNA results from Ancestry. Com

A little closer look, seems I'm pretty much British, and a focus on the South East of England. 

Janis - Ancestry DNA Results Drilldown

A closer look at my DNA results

Where did that come from?

Now, Gary’s DNA results threw up a little surprise, is where does his Norwegian lineage come from? 

Gary’s results were;

Gary - Ancestry DNA Results

Gary's DNA Ancestry.Com results

A couple of generations back on Gary’s mum’s side of the family, they are from the Midlands in the UK. So, there weren’t really any surprises there. However, the Norwegian results were a bit of a surprise. More digging is certainly required here.

However, it confirms Gary's is British as he thinks, his relatives migrated to the South East from Wales & the Midlands.

Gary - Ancestry DNA Results

A closer look at Gary's DNA Results

The test

DNA kits from Ancestry.co.uk are £79 full price, although offers are regularly available.

What next?

As mentioned my results didn’t produce any hair-raising oddities, which really doesn’t worry me, as there is still so much more for me to find out, on the records I have access to.

Furthermore, if you allow your DNA results to be shared on the Ancestry website, you'll be able to see, and possibly contact your near and distance relatives from around the world, which have a similar DNA to you. 

 This information is continually updated, the more people that contribute, the more chances you have of finding a long lost relative.  

 Nevertheless, could there be a trip to Norway on the cards and sample their Smörgåsbord/ koldtbord of life for Gary?

What about you? 

Are you intrigued to find out more about your family history, or have you already been digging around in the archives for years? Please share your tales with us, we'd love to hear more.

 If you haven’t started tracing your family tree and are interested in history, believe me you’ll get hooked. It is incredibly fascinating, go on give it a try you’ll never know what you’ll find.

Fifi and Hop
About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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