Welcome to my genealogy project, A London Family, where I describe the journey I undertook to discover more about the elusive paternal side of my family – The Skeltons. The story starts in Thatcher’s London, when, as an unemployed science graduate, I fell into the job of ‘heir hunter’ (see The Incidental Genealogist is Born), then continues to follow my research to date. Such a real-time study is, however, eclectic by nature; and rather than a traditional linear family history, my stories explore a number of different themes related to genealogical enquiry in general.
I should also like to add that my ancestors are not actually ‘lost’ in the traditional sense of the word – although a number of them are certainly more so than others. Nonetheless, I do believe that all those who have gone before are lost to us in some way: at best we can only make a futile attempt at recreating their lives through memories, words and images. I have worked with and examined these limitations in the project, and by doing so have attempted to better understand the motivations for embarking on such a quest.
From September 2021 I will no longer be adding new material to my blog as I am working on a new project detailing my Scottish ancestors through old family photographs. Called A Scottish Family Album, it will build on the strengths of A London Family and as such should be a more personal journey. However, A London Family will continue to remain ‘live’ so other researchers are able to access the material, as well as continue to contact me and leave comments.
The Incidental Genealogist, September 2015 (updated September 2021).