My name is June Terrington. I have Charcot Marie Toothe Syndrome, am confined to a wheelchair and have been since I was 16.

Beginning with Nothing

With little resources and money, I was able to compile my family tree from the very little I knew to, what has become, a major work in progress.

It started in 2000, not because of the new millennium, but due to a lack of knowledge of my Father and his family, and also a few tempting “titbits” my mother had told me.

My mother, Gladys Card, died in 1996; I had nursed her and seen her to her final rest with little help. I myself had poor health the four following years.

I was lonely, my husband was a drinker. He left me at home alone for extended periods with little to do, my condition making it hard for me to do what many regard as normal amusements.

With the help of one of my elder brothers, I was able to get a PC. He also paid for my internet access, allowing me, from my flat, to reach into the outside world.

There came a burning desire to discover my roots, to dig and find out what I could, not only about my father, but about the family as a whole to compile MY family tree.

Finding a Seed

Where to start? My Mum!


Well, there was Google, so I started by “googling” for family tree sites to help me, and as always with Google, a great big long list of different sites came onto my screen.

So I started looking through them, spending hours into the night finding out, not only about some relatives, but how to go about this task I had set myself.

Though I was at first, too frightened to say anything, I finally plucked up the courage to join “Rootsweb” and some Genealogical mailing lists. I started to ask questions, “talk” with people, and make friends!

Nourishing the Roots

The people on Lincs-Gen were particularly helpful at that time, me being born in Lincolnshire and my father coming from there.

People were giving me census extracts, and information from Parish registers. Many distant cousins even gave me family information and helped me with advice. Complete strangers offered to take photographs for me of my ancestor’s old farms.

A family historian went to records offices and offered to get me copies of pertinent BMD certificates that I would pay for by Postal Order on a monthly basis.

I then started to use Family Search message boards. I found village websites that had amazing amounts of information. I gathered lots of notes and pictures from different sources, making amazing discoveries all along the way. I found that a lot of my family were quite well off in their time, and I also found links to “well known” people. Over time, I joined more mailing lists.

A kind gentleman from London found my mother’s Baptism (she was from the East End), as well as a couple of her Aunties (father’s side) Baptisms too! He also gave me copies of photos from the area, for which I will be forever grateful.

Growing My Family Tree

When I had enough resources, I put my tree on free websites and managed to make contact with relatives in Australia, New Zealand, America, and Canada.

In the meantime my first husband had passed away and I had found myself a new Beau!

We were living together and enjoying life spending time in my old Scunthorpe area, seeing my old house and visiting graveyards nearby that held graves of my relatives.

My new partner worked 3 weeks out of 4 and, though it was not his interest, helped me by visiting places with me.  A regular Birthday present has become an Ancestry/Find My Past subscription.

I also just recently was able to conquer a massive ‘brick wall’. With the help of Dr Cathy Day, I was able to “prove” my Card line (Mother’s maiden name).

In addition, I have had some work done by a professional who looked my work over and was unable to find anything wrong with it! What a proud day that was!

Enjoying the Fruits

My Partner has now become my husband and I have managed to get myself referred to a specialist unit in London for my condition. We go for the day and make an event of it, I have even seen where my Mum lived and went to school, (the house no longer being there, but the school was!), where she was baptised (a wrong turning, I admit), also where my grandmother got married (Bow Church), that being our original destination!

I am very passionate about Family History and am still learning new things all the time.


About June Terrington

June Terrington has been researching now for nearly twenty years. She currently helps out at her local family history society in Peterborough, doing mainly their media FB and Twitter while helping their committee as one of their researchers. Find out more about June on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.


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