A few years ago I started to research my family tree using my Father as the starting point of my search. I started by getting as much information I could from my Father who is now 89 and by piecing information I could recall from things I had heard from other relatives. It’s very important when starting your research to get as much as you can from living relatiives. There are a number of websites that you can use to trace birth, Death and marriage information on line and Census reports are extremely important when locating people and finding out what work they did. I chose to join Ancestry.co.uk http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ which is perhaps the largest of its type and offers an extremely large collection of resources, just and warning it is not cheap to be a member but check with your local library first for they might be able to offer a free link to there resources. Another source of information is local history websites for the home town of your ancestors, most of my ancestors over the past 100 or more lived in the Town of Long Eaton in Derbyshire and I was very fortunate in that the have an excellent local history website http://www.long-eaton.com/.
So far I have been able to trace my linage back on my paternal side to the 18th century; all of my ancestors at the time were working on the land mainly as farm labourers. The Marshalls came from Shepshead a small rural area in Leicestershire and on my grandmothers side my Grt Grt Grt Grandfather John Parker was born in Long Eaton in 1792. This period in history just prior to the Industrial revolution was dominated by large landowners buying up pieces of open farm land and enclosing them in the way they are today, and as such putting many of the rural community out of work. Many from this community moved into towns that were just beginning to grow to find new opportunities. All through the 18th century I can trace my family being much involved in industry. My great Grandfather became a lace maker as did many of my ancestors and his wife was born and lived most of her young life aboard a working barge out of Shardlow. They became very productive Enoch involved in lace making and Mary running a grocers shop in the Front room of the house and one of there sons opened the first cycle shop in Long Eaton. They were fast becoming well respected in the community and also in the Parish Church community. Looking through the census returns of the day I discovered my great grandmother Harriet Parker living in the same street as my great grandfather Samuel Goddard lodging just across the same street, Samuel was a railway man and had moved to Long Eaton from Nottingham because there was more opportunities in the fast expanding railway town, Samuel was also a non conformist Methodist and from a start did not hit it off with Herriot’s farther Enoch. I had already heard the tale from an aunt of how Enoch disowned is daughter because he claim she was marrying below her status and I suspect is wife who coming from a boating background who hated the railway because it had damaged the profitability of the canals was also an influence in the split. From this day on most of my family were involved in the railway, I have found ancestors who were station masters, signalmen and my Grandfather was a engine driver all is working life.