The choices that we make in life are not unique to us.They are a distillation of all that has come before us. The more we become aware of our ancestral lineage, the more freedom we will have to honor what is best and let go of the rest.
This past Saturday I was just about to leave to go shopping when hubby came out and told me to put on the History Channel, that the show was about my ancestors. Indeed it was. Of course I had to take my jacket off and watch--'Barbarians II: Saxons'. Great show. It focused on basically one area, East Angolia which originally consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk. The earliest sign of man in this area-dates back to 9000-5000 BC. During the Iron Age, the area was settled by Celtic tribes, in particular the Iceni (people of the horse) whose queen, Boadicea, led a great rebellion against the Romans
The fact is, many of my ancestors stem from Norfolk, England--Stalham, Barton Turf, Thetford, North Walsham, Lessingham, etc. When working on our genealogy many of us tend to focus on those family we can name and add to our tree, but forget about their history. What of those who came before? Where did they come from? What is their history? Aren't my distant ancestors a part of my history as well? Just because I have been unable to give them a name doesn't mean that the weren't there. Finding records that far back can be pretty darned impossible, but we can understand our ancestors by learning about how they lived. One great book I found about the history of early Norfolk was 'Seahenge: a quest for life and death in Bronze Age Britain' by Francis Pryor.
My great grandmother, Mary Constance, from Stalham. I believe that I met her once before she passed away in 1956. I remember my dad taking me to see two older ladies with an accent. Now I know they were British accents. When my mom found out, she blew a gasket, and that was the last time I saw Mary Constance, by I know she has been with me throughout the years. I remember when hubby and I moved to the house with the huge backyard. I decided I wanted to grow vegetables even though I had never done so. It grew so well that I began to call it my magical garden. Couldn't understand it, though. Never had a garden a day in my life. And then I saw the picture of her, standing in the middle of her garden, proudly showing off a huge tomato she had grown.
As I began doing some research over the weekend, I did find a DNA project in process that was identifying those whose ancestors stemmed from the Iceni tribe. Although I cannot participate because only male DNA is used for this project, I did find one of my family names on the list of those already identified--Harmer. Before that I can find no record, but I've not given up. Ancestry has a new DNA test for both male and female that will provide me with a full breakdown of my genetic ethnicity. I am so excited. My kit should arrive by Friday and in a few weeks I should have a pretty detailed history of who I am.
Below I have listed some free genealogy sites for anyone who might have ancestors from Norfolk.
A really great site is the Norfolk Transcription Archive. Although they are no longer posting information, the site remains standing with thousands of names and records and can be found at Norfolk Transcription Archive
Another site you can gleam information from is Genuki: UK and Ireland Genealogy
For cemetery records you might try Norfolk County Cemetery Records
You can find free census records at Free Cen
And birth, marriage, and death records can be found at FreeBMD
as well as at FreeReg
Genuki, FreeCen, and FreeBMD can be used for all of England. Enjoy