Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Puzzle of Genealogy

Many many years ago a fellow genealogist said that family history is like a huge jigsaw puzzle without any edge pieces. I have always enjoyed puzzles and can't leave them alone until they are finished, yet miss the challenge once they are completed. In genealogy, we start with ourselves in the middle and work out from there.

My puzzle was started for me with the help of John Hopkins on the Butchart side and Vera Becklake on the Crockett side but I had very little to go on with the ancestors of my two grandfathers, William Davies and John Bellamy. I have gradually been able to add ancestors on all sides to the early 1800s but there are many missing pieces of aunts, uncles, and cousins missing near the middle and, of course, the edges will never be completed.

Last night my cousin on the Bellamy side, Hugh Nichols, forwarded an email from Ruairidh Greig in England. His uncle, David Miller, has some letters that were sent from Canada from the Bellamy family and Ruairidh has put the letters (28 pages) on Picasa. The album is called Bellamy Letters and can be found at

I have printed, cut, and arranged the pages into seven letters dated from March 4, 1903 until September 26, 1910 and I will deal with letters in detail in separate blogs to follow. The letters were addressed to Gertrude (Gertie) Taylor in Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Gertie and her sister, Dorothy, were nieces of my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Rason.

From these letters I have been able to add some missing pieces to my family tree, and more importantly to me, I now have some idea of the people behind the letters.

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry, the picassa links have been removed. I hope to restore the original images from my computer to the web soon.