A few days in now, so a bit of an update.
Yesterday morning was spent getting the living room cleared from the previous days massive sorting session.
We are now able to actually sit on our sofa.
All is well.
As I had a few things to attend to yesterday, not least booking in the dispersal of my late mothers ashes at Golders Green Crematorium in London, talking to my doctor regarding my current state of mental health and organising with my employer as to when I would be returning to work, I didn't get started on the research until the afternoon.
I spent a short amount of time just messing about on Ancestry.com, putting names of people I have known over the years (and coming up with a few surprises!!!) just to continue getting a feel on how things work on that particular site - I like Ancestry, I have to be honest and I think that I will be taking out a subscription with them once my mothers has either ended or I close it early - probably the latter as I would like to have things in my own name now.
The day before yesterday, I was having something of a quick look through my mothers certificate folder, during the course of which I found the marriage certificate for my paternal grandparents, which in turn gave me the confirmation I wanted regarding pin-pointing the name of my great-grandfather and subsequently his wife. Yesterday, I put her name into the Ancestry search and there she was in the Births index, complete with quarter details, volume number of the registry and the page number of her birth registration. I then headed straight to the General Register Office website and ordered her birth certificate which I am hoping will be here early next week.
It's really quite an experience to start getting the first few pieces of of your puzzle together. As with a jigsaw puzzle, you have your straight bits and then the bits in the middle. I am very much on the straight bits at the moment, my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are my straight bits and I have the four families to make the four sides.
One disappointment yesterday was the Canon scanner not arriving as expected. A snotty and very sarcastic email was sent to Ebuyer (from where I bought it). I appreciate that these are strange times, however, when you offer a service and take money for that service, you deliver it, no excuses. Anyway, today I had an email from Ebuyer telling me that the scanner will now be delivered next Tuesday and some excuse about a mix up or problem at the warehouse - I don't really care about that as I don't like excuses, I know how that sounds, but I work in a service industry and I have no room for second chances with what I do. But, it's a problem easily dealt with, I just won't use them again as this isn't the first time I've had problems with deliveries from Ebuyer. So to spite them (I'm such a child aren't I), I ordered a DigitNow! 22 megapixel film scanner from Amazon (which was delivered today as promised) so that I can scan the many negatives and slides I now have in my possession. I'm very pleased with it, it does exactly what I want it to do.
Tonight whilst sitting with my good lady as she was being very creative (she is a very talented crafter, creating all sorts of weird and wonderful hand-made journals etc), I was looking through the Internet to get an idea of prices for 120 format film scanners (the DigitNow! does 35mm, 126 and 110, but alas not 120 format) and was a little breathless at the prices for a unit that does the job. I then had a quick look at my Facebook feed and noticed a conversation between two people on a posting I had made about the DigitNow! scanner and one of my friends was explaining to the other how to capture negatives using mobile phones - I read with interest, gave it a go and I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the images I was getting. Below are a couple of pictures of my mother and father, taken at the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland (my mothers family were from Scotland) probably somewhere between 1961 and 1963. It's not perfect, but let's remember these photos were taken more than 55 years ago, probably on a Brownie or some such camera.
So, my new hi-tech 120 format "scanning" set up now comprises an old Hudl tablet running an app called Lightbox (for the back light of the negative), a sheet of tracing paper to put over the Hudl screen to eliminate the gridlines that appear in the photos and my Samsung Galaxy A8 2018 smartphone. I then save (automatically) to my OneDrive account whereupon I can pick the images up on my PC and tart them up a bit using Adobe Photoshop. I have to tell you that it's a fantastic little method that's more than suitable for my requirements and about as Heath-Robinson as you can get in the 21st century. A huge shout out to my friend, Stuart McPherson for making me aware of it. Naturally, the set up will evolve as I progress with it and as I settle back into a more normal way of living once my ongoing mental health issues are fully under control.
As mentioned earlier, I contacted Golders Green Crematorium yesterday to arrange the dispersal of my late mothers ashes - she left instructions in her will that she wanted to be scattered in the same place in the Crematorium grounds as my father, which is happening (the people I have dealt with at Golders Green Crematorium have been absolutely wonderful). My son and daughter will be coming with me and once we have scattered my mothers ashes, we are going to head down the road, just a couple of miles, to Hampstead Cemetery, the resting place of my paternal grandfather, and the starting point of my genealogy adventure. COVID-19 is hitting the local council services there and a very pleasant young lady gently told me that even though I had the grave reference, they couldn't provide me with a section map of the cemetery at this time as they are having to focus their manpower on current funerals - I work as an undertaker and embalmer and I completely understand this, so I wasn't really surprised. No matter, it''s been a long held view in our family that if you can't go over or round a mountain, you take the last option - you go through it. So last night, I contacted the Friends of Hampstead Cemetery begging for help with regard a section map. As I explained to them in my email, I would never ask for them to locate the grave and tell me where it is, for one it's quite a rude thing to do and secondly, where's the fun in someone else doing your detective work for you!!! I'm looking forward to hearing back from them quite soon, which I will of course report back on.
Well, the Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, not that it's of any relevance in our household, such is the nature of our little life. Over the next couple of days, I'll be doing bits and pieces around our home to get us closer to a bit of semblance, and thinking about how I will be doing my genealogy with regards to workspace, storage and approach.