Being a genealogist is akin to riding a rollercoaster at times, it can be a great joy, be totally frustrating and the next minute very rewarding. This week I think I must have been on the ‘Big One’ at Blackpool as the troughs and peaks have been frequent and rapid as I experienced the whole gamut of emotions.

 Fresh from locating some death records, where I had been able to confirm a client’s family rumours concerning the circumstances of their ancestor’s demise, I set about another family tale regarding the same ancestor. Initially this proved to be less of a success than I had hoped. Exhaustive searches for the burial records of the individual drew a blank and equally thorough investigations of cemeteries around the area where he had died, yielded no clues as to the location I sought.


The reason for my specific interest in this burial location, aside from providing the family with it, was that the client had explained a family story to me. It was an account which had been handed down through generations to the present day and held that when their ancestor had been buried he been accorded the biggest memorial in the cemetery.  This piqued my interest even more and set me determined to find it, but how? All of my efforts had produced nothing. Refusing to be defeated I reasoned that if it was such a large memorial, then it was probable that someone somewhere would have noticed it and recorded it as a memorial of interest.


Buoyed up by numerous cups of coffee, I spread my net out further, eating up the hours trawling for memorials of notable interest and then came the breakthrough.  All the other family members had been baptised, married and buried within the Church of England, but I found a potential memorial in a Roman Catholic Cemetery approximately 5 miles away; however, the transcribed record gave a death date 10 years later than the one I had.  My moment of joy came when I accessed the record and found that the transcription had been incorrect and this was indeed the memorial I had been seeking and my client’s oral history had been correct. It was probably the largest one in the cemetery at the time it was erected.


The moral of this story; take nothing for granted, assume nothing and explore every possible avenue until you have exhausted everything and even then, always keep an eye open – just in case!


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