Since the start of 2014 I've been writing a blog about our ancestors and the First World War.
At first I told the stories of those grandfathers and great uncles who had served at the Front.
Later I went on to write the stories of people in our family history such as Great Aunt Edith who'd experienced events of particular significance in their lives during the World War One period. When I'd exhausted this line of enquiry I started looking at the lives of each of our other grandparents to explore how their lives had been impacted by the Great War.
Last week I was examining the life of Michael's grandfather Benjamin Magnus (1886 - 1984). Previously I hadn't been able to find any evidence that he'd served in the armed forces but something made me decide to check the Ancestry First World War database again. This time I found some information which caused a complete re-evaluation.
It's been quite a while since I searched the First World War records at Ancestry so maybe they've added more since the last time I looked. Ironically the First World War records were hugely damaged in an air-raid during WW2 and many were lost in the ensuing fire. Even some of the digitised records are just pieces of charred fragments.
I'm reasonably confident that I've got the right person and have managed to add a little bit more to our family story.
You can read about grandfather Benjamin Magnus on my Writing a Family History: First World War Stories if you wish.
This latest find has served as a timely reminder to keep checking sources of information. I started looking for family history records in the late nineties when I stumbled on the 1880 census on what is now known as the Family Search website. In those days it was a very unsophisticated collection which has been greatly enhanced in subsequent years.
I've had a subscription to Ancestry for years but don't visit the site as often as I used to. Here's my early New Year's Resolution: visit the Ancestry site every day and check out the new records that have been added and see if any more pieces of the never-ending family history jigsaw puzzle turn up. Watch this space!
I'm a former primary school head teacher now enjoying family history, e-publishing and gardening. I'm the author of "Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood" and was delighted when the book became an Amazon 2015 bestseller in the Social History category. I'm the founder of Spurwing Ebooks which is at http://www.spurwing-ebooks.com for book details and information about new releases and special offers. Details of my books are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-Murray/e/B009R7CRVC and the other books I've published are at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Murray/e/B007AQZMZK