How to get started on your family’s history...

Members of the Grantham branch of Lincolnshire Family History Society.
Members of the Grantham branch of Lincolnshire Family History Society.

GENEALOGY is an increasingly popular past time and Grantham is luckier than most to have an organisation like the Grantham branch of the Lincolnshire Family History Society.

The group meets on the third Wednesday of every month (except August and December) at Harrowby Lane Methodist Church and is open to all.

Speakers are regularly invited along to offer tips on how to make further in-roads with a family tree and each meeting regularly attracts around 40 people.

Peter Reichelt, secretary of the branch, has been researching his own family tree for years. It is an experience which saw him head to Canada to meet up with family he had no idea he ever had.

Peter said: “All the history of your family is out there, the secret is to find it.”

The group has an open day on October 8 where people can come along and receive tips on how to get started. A range of books and other reference material are on offer.

Peter gave his tip to anyone starting out.

He said: “You start with yourself. Who do you know more about than yourself?

“You likely know your parents and you will have your own birth certificate and marriage certificate. From that you can find out where they lived and their occupation.

“Gradually, you can start working backwards from yourself.”

Genealogy is a hobby which will last a lifetime. People who get started usually get hooked but it is also a never-ending hobby as a tree can always be traced back further and more light can always be shed on people’s lives

Peter said: “The further you go back the more difficult it becomes but the achievements are greater.

“My interest is in how they lived. I would love to go back and see how they lived. If we could do that, I guarantee there would be no more moaning about how bad it is today!”