APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2005-12 > 1136091037
From: Mike Murray <>
Subject: Re: [APG] How old were you when you started your genealogy? What got you started?
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2006 12:50:37 +0800
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <001001c60e61$20798810$16a1fea9@connieb> <email@example.com>
Hi Tom (and others) from down under
Haven't seen any starting reasons quite like ours, so here goes...
I had no interest at all in genealogy for most of my life. My parents
emigrated to Australia in 1959 bringing me and my siblings out here
with them. My father came from the Isle of Lewis (off the NW coast of
Scotland) and my mother from Co Longford in Ireland. They had
connections back there, and I dimly remembered them.
We all went about living our lives in various parts of Australia and
doing our own thing. If I needed to know anything about relatives all
I had to do was call Mum...she knew everything and was the family
hub, the source of knowledge about who was who and what they were
doing. She stayed in touch as the rest of us moved around, wed, had
kids, divorced, wed again, you know, usual stuff.
In 1989 (when I was 46), Mum suddenly died in Adelaide. The family
gathered for the funeral (travelling from Sydney, Darwin and
Brisbane) and it fell on me as the eldest son to provide information
for the eulogy... (Dad was in shock and unable to help).
I managed to scrape together enough information to get by, but I
resolved there and then that we'd better do something about finding
out who we were as a family. The only person who really knew had just
So I started researching. And for those who know, research in the
Isle of Lewis is not easy (records started quite late) and of course,
Ireland... So it was a struggle.
I made big breakthroughs when I went back to the UK for a couple of
months in 1991 and managed to talk to some of my elderly relatives in
Lewis and since then (with the help of expert Bill Lawson) I've
established a fairly good genealogy for my father's side. With
further professional help in Ireland we've also had some success on
my mother's line.
Lesley my wife, watched this with some interest and decided to have a
go at finding out about her side. Both her parents were alive at that
stage, but knew very little, other than the fact 'they'd always been
Londoners'. So by gradually accumulating certificates, slogging
through Parish register and census films, corresponding with contacts
found through the GRD and Family History Societies, she built up a
great history of her family with some lines going back into into the
1400s. And almost all of it outside London, throughout England and
Wales. All before the wide-spread use of the internet. And in recent
years with the cascading amount of material now becoming available
online, she's done even better. I get quite jealous when I see what
you can find out in England compared to my lot!
This interest (and success) prompted her to try her hand as a
professional, so she started TimeTrackers about 5 years ago. It's now
our major occupation, both business and hobby. We have clients
throughout Australia and a few in USA, Canada and Europe. We
specialise in UK and Australian research (but not Ireland!) and
teach, talk, research, produce books, make videos and are heavily
engaged in our local genealogy society where we run a couple of
special interest groups.
All because my Mum died unexpectedly.
Mike Murray and Lesley Silvester
Tel +61 8 9339 8078
Fax +61 8 9339 0519
Specialists in genealogical and historical research,
education, publishing and film-making