I’ve been pondering the idea of creating a family history blog for a few years now, and I’ve decided it is finally going to happen in 2016. I can’t promise I’ll post regularly as I don’t seem to have much time to devote to genealogy, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading my posts when I do post them!
Setting up this blog has proved more challenging than I thought it would be. The hardest task by far was giving it a name. Genealogy is such a popular pastime and, as a result, everyone is blogging about it. What does this mean for me? It means all the typical genealogy-related blog names are already taken and I had the difficult task of trying to find a very unique name. I have spent a couple of days trying to find a name that a) isn’t already in use and b) encompasses all my ancestors. “Roots and Ramblings”? Taken! “From Moor and Mountain”? Perfect for my ancestors who lived in the mountains of Canada or beside the moors in Lastingham – but not very inclusive for those who lived in Middlesbrough or Wolverhampton!
I finally decided to brainstorm to determine what (if anything!) all my ancestors had in common. All from England? Nope. All farmers? Nope. All paupers? All Non-Conformists? All from villages? Nope. Nope. Nope. Just when I was beginning to despair, it hit me: hearths! My ancestors all came from very different backgrounds, but I bet they all gathered around the family hearth on a cold winter’s day.
In historic and modern usage, a hearth /ˈhɑrθ/ is a brick– or stone-lined fireplace, with or without an oven, used for heating and originally also used for cooking food. For centuries, the hearth was such an integral part of a home, usually its central and most important feature . ~Wikipedia
The hearth has been present in homes for centuries. I have vivid memories of both my grandfathers lighting fires in their respective hearths. I can still feel the chilly morning air around me as they worked diligently to get their fires started. I can still smell the coal. I can still hear the crackle of the kindling. I remember Grandad Carter shaving with a razor and shaving brush in front of his hearth. And I remember Grandad Pearson feeding Pip Lion bars in front of his. The hearth really does feature prominently in my memories, and picturing my distant ancestors around their hearths makes them feel more like living, breathing people to me. And, thus, the name of this blog was born!
Until next time, I hope you all stay warm around your hearths (or have the luxury of turning on your central heating!) . . .
(PS – Do any of you have memories that feature the hearths of your grandparents or other relatives?)