I remember my search for my grandfather's family history. He was very dear to me and I would fondly recall the stories of his childhood he would tell me when I was younger, full of adventure. I'd always wanted to ask about his family and where he came from, only knowing that he'd lived in England for his childhood but left to Australia as soon as he was old enough. My mother and grandmother always told me that he didn't like talking about it, particularly his brothers and sisters, so I avoided the subject for many, many years, though my mother shared with me what she knew. Finally I got the courage to ask him about his family, but by this stage there was little point due to his dementia, and the series of micro strokes that had occurred unbeknownst to us.
He just smiled at me and told me a story. It almost felt like I was little again, except he couldn't really tell it that well due to constantly repeating the same parts over and over again.
I ended up going to Google to seek out my answers, and in this sense I was somewhat lucky as my Grandfather's family had a position of respect in a particular job position and rivalled with a, perhaps, slightly more famous French family. I'm not saying that the surname would be well known, only if you had an interest in that particular field of English history, but renown enough for several books to be written.
I ordered a copy of one of the books, one purely focused on his family and told him about it. He was genuinely excited about it and I felt really proud that I could give it to him as a gift. I contacted the woman who wrote the book in hopes of finding out more information and the author gave my email to the man who she'd spoken to about the family, who turned out to be my grandfather's cousin's son and we conversed and shared what information we had.
Unfortunately my grandfather passed away before I could give him the book, but it is one of my more treasured possessions, I just wish I could have shared it with him.
Edited by Zheri on 12/13/2012 4:51 AM PST