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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree Christmas 2019 > Twiglets


Diarist Gill Shaw charts the rollercoaster ride of researching her family history

Ihave a hunch. I’ve been mulling over the reason why my 2x greatgrandfather Martin Leah might have decided to up sticks and move his family from Macclesfield to Manchester at some point between the 1861 and 1871 Censuses. Did anything significant occur during those 10 years? Well, possibly… One thing that definitely did happen is that in 1865, Martin’s father died.

Now, I’ve a soft spot for my 3x greatgrandfather Joseph Leah. Most of my ancestors were weavers, mill workers, iron workers and the like, and very few of them left a will so, when they have, I’ve been near delirious with excitement.

And, it has to be said, farmer Joseph’s will is an absolute cracker. (It’s online at Findmypast, so if you have a subscription, check it out – the line about leaving his second wife Mary Ann ‘one cow of my livestock’ gets me every time.)

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Celebrate your ancestors and discover how to trace back 300 years! We’ve got must-search records and essential websites to help you trace your Georgian family Plus: Discover the 5 top tips that will help you become a better family history researcher Enjoy our DNA wish list – with 12 ways that DNA might be able to boost your sleuthing Take our Family Tree Academy test and see how good you are at ancestor-hunting Cosy up with our fun family history quiz – 35 questions to celebrate 35 years of Family Tree – helping readers since 1984