Genealogy enthusiast, Susan Smith of Darlington, shares the story of how she became hooked on history ...
'I've done a DNA Test!'
That’s what Mother suddenly came out with one day about 3 years ago.
It certainly came as a surprise to me! I had previously had a passing interest in my family history and an Ancestry.co.uk subscription on and off for a few years, but the thought of Mother taking a DNA test was a daunting yet curious and exciting prospect.
It all came about when a distant relative contacted Mother out of the blue, asking her if she would agree to take an Ancestry DNA test as they were exploring the paternity of someone in their own family history. Mother was his closest living relative (or not as it turned out!).
My Mother’s family history research began when her own Mother died in 1998 and she received a bundle of papers to sort through. In amongst the various old passports, driving licences, Cooperative Stamp Books and pension paraphernalia was her Fathers Birth Certificate.
And something was missing.
The story Mother had grown up with was that her father, Stanley McDermott, was the youngest of nine children and his parents were Thomas and Susan McDermott of Bradbury, County Durham.
But these names were not written on his birth certificate!
Once Mothers DNA results appeared on her Ancestry account my curiosity sprang to life and I had to begin to investigate who Mother’s biological Grandfather actually was. Initially, I was faced with a huge list of her relatives, there were more than 17000 of them and we didn’t recognise ANY of their names. So the process of finding out who all these people sharing DNA with my Mother were began. Since then family history has become an obsession!
The team at #AncestryHour would love to make this slot a regular feature, so do send us the story of how you too caught the #familyhistory bug. Please email your 500 to 750 words and a couple of pics to the team and we shall share them with the followers! If you have any questions please feel free to contact us