Genealogy: Do You Know Where You Come From?

I absolutely love researching my family’s history, it started when my Mam told me I had a big sister who was born when she was young and unmarried. Being pregnant and unmarried in the 1960s isn’t the same as being in the same predicament today, or even when I found myself in the same situation just over 16 years ago. It was very much frowned upon, my Mam was sent away during her pregnancy and didn’t return home until 6 weeks after my sister arrived, my Nana told the family that she would be working away from home for a few months.

Annmarie Loughlin, my big sister.

My big sister, Annmarie Loughlin. She looks just like my eldest daughter!

My Nana took a great many secrets to her grave when she died in 2003, she thought my sister was one of them but I just didn’t tell her that I knew. Deep down I know she felt a lot of guilt because it put strain on her mother-daughter relationship but she was too proud to admit it and she wasn’t thinking with a clear head as her son had just been killed overseas. I think she was consumed by grief, anger and guilt.

William Alan Loughlin

My late Uncle William Alan Loughlin (b.1939 Glasgow, d. 1961 Singapore).

Near the end of March in 2004, I found my sister on Genes Reunited after only searching for less than a month. When I started searching I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to get my Mam’s hopes up incase I found nothing but I had the opposite problem. I had to tell her that I started looking for her long-lost daughter behind her back with information she gave me ten years earlier and that I had found her. I’m sure you can imagine the range of expressions that ran through her face. She was angry, excited, impressed, shocked and racked with guilt.

Patricia Elizabeth Loughlin

My Mam, Patricia Elizabeth Loughlin.

That first find is what gave me the genealogy bug and I’ve searched ever since. To date I’ve learned that my Grand Uncle Thomas Hollywood was the President of The National Union of Railwaymen ((Tragedy in the USSR.))and very recently discovered living cousins ((Grandpa Joe on Twitter.))  ((Grandpa Joe on Amazon)) from my Grandfather’s (William James Aitken Loughlin) second marriage.

Each little story that I’ve uncovered so far has a lot of information so I will go into each of them individually at some point in the future but for now; do you know where you come from?