But things are rarely as easy as they seem. So far in this chapter of my story, I have made many formatting changes and content revisions, which is to be expected considering this is a written document. In the interest of getting a product to the 'finished' stage, however, I finally decided on what you are about to read.
First, I decided on content. The one rule and other conventions I will follow are:
- The one rule: Except for me, I will not name any living relative, which is easy enough and will not take away from my project. All people 'above me' in the tree are deceased; only my siblings, my children, and their children remain alive. To protect their privacy, I will not name them or give any identifiable information about them.
- Birth names are used. Unless otherwise specified, a reader can assume a woman's married last name is the same as her male partner's. Example: My paternal grandparents, Fred and Minnie Wilkinson, shown below.
- Names, spellings, and dates have been verified by at least two separate genealogical source. Considering I have no written history from my ancestors, this has been a challenge. In some cased, determining the "correct" spelling has become a major focus of my journey, even though my family's names are very common and English-based. Example: My paternal grandfather, Fred Wilkinson, appears in some records as Frederick, though not enough to make me wonder if that was his true name; I always knew him a Grampy Fred and my father's name is Fred, not Frederick.
James Michael Wilkinson; born 1949, Nashua, New Hampshire.
- Siblings: Two brothers and two sisters;
- Children: six biological children; four step-children;
- Grandchildren: more than 10;
- Great-grandchildren: None ... yet.
- Since they are all alive, I will not identify any of these people.
- Fred James Wilkinson; born May 3, 1927, Wilton, NH. Died Aug 19, 1990
- Beverly Lorraine Burke; born Nov 22, 1928, Nashua, NH. Died Oct 30, 1987
- John Frances Burke; born July 4, 1891, Wilton, NH. Died Jan 28, 1963
- Nina Lillian Thompson; born Oct 23, 1901, Quebec, Canada. Died Aug 30, 1979
- Fred Wilkinson (no middle name); born Jan 16, 1901, Yorkshire, England. Died Jul 27, 1993
- Minnie Batty (no middle name); born Mar 9, 1898, Lancashire, England. Died May 3, 1968 (she passed away on her son's (my Dad's) 41st birthday)
Next time, I will explain how I learned about these relatives, the sources I used, and any roadblocks I encountered. The search becomes much more complicated and time-consuming as I move back into my past, but there is excitement, too, as I learn about relatives I never heard of in my childhood and those who were close to me when I was young but never met.
Until then, I continue my own climb up my family tree!