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It all began with "Jack The Ripper" (Or ?getting started because of him?) this story was writtenby my late husband Ken and published in the Cockney Ancestor around 1999.

I have read many articles in various genealogical publications where the authors give their reasons for getting started. I was reminded of my incentive when I read an article in the Cockney Ancestor (No 75) by Paul M Clark.

Many years ago when I was only fourteen years of age my grandmother sowed the seeds of curiosity in me by hinting that we had a skeleton in our family cupboard, which was in some way connected to ?Jack The Ripper?. At that age I was not interested in family history and so it was many years later before my curiosity surfaced. I was looking for a book to read on a flight home from Singapore and spotted ?The Complete Jack The Ripper? by Donald Rumbelow and could hear the bones in our cupboard rattling. The third victim of the Ripper as most readers will know was Elizabeth Stride(Long Liz) nee GUSTAFSDOTTER and was the only victim that escaped being disembowelled , she was also the first of two murders that took place on the same night. Her husband was John Thomas Stride(b1827) but he came from Sheerness and we all came from the east end of London so how could we be related? By now I was hooked and felt I just had to research my family tree. Unfortunately at that time I was still earning a living in our own business and could spare very little time for such a time consuming hobby. A further six years went by before I could start in earnest and only then because I was forced to retire early through ill health.

I now enjoy family history research enormously and feel I have progressed quite well in the short time we have been researching. I say ?we? because my wife and I both work together as we have done for many years. John Thomas Stride was the second son of my 3x great grandfather, William Stride the elder and was supposed to have drowned together with two of their children when the ? Princess Alice? went down after a collision on the Thames. Donald Rumbelow in the first edition of his book indicated that he had doubts about the veracity of that and in view of his very thorough research especially in the case of Elizabeth I had to agree with him.
On the 1881 census three years after the ?Alice? disaster I found John and Elizabeth supposedly living together at 69 Usher road. However there was no sign of any children some twelve years after their marriage in 1869.

Since writing the above article I have progressed further and now know that Thomas died in 1884 in Poplar workhouse and most probably separated from Elizabeth long before that in about 1875. Why they were on the census together in 1881 is beyond me unless it was another of Elizabeth?s lies.

We have now moved on to family history research in earnest discovering previously unknown relatives down to the present day. Having said that, it is becoming more difficult more expensive and certainly much slower especially since the Church of The Latter Day Saints have relocated their resources from South Auckland to Australia some three years ago. Some of the micro films I ordered took as long as four months to arrive. One thing I have had to learn in this frustrating past time is patience. Perhaps if we were back in England now that we have retired we would be able to access the resources more easily. However since that is not the case we have no other option and need to be patient.
My first introduction to genealogy was through the international genealogical index (IGI)for Kent. All the Stride's I found there in Sheerness proved to be my ancestors and gave me a very good start. By colour coding the family's I was able to ascertain that they all descended from William and Eleanor except for Thomas Stride, William's brother.

Why are so many sites now trying to match other genealogists up to each other?

My Heritage are one of the worst I know, I now see folk with up to 12,000 + people in their tree, where they have just added other people's trees to theirs. So much of the data is innaccurate at times. I like to do things the old fashion way of getting certificates and verification sources, that is the fun of this hobby.

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