I wonder if any of our guests at Thistledowne have ever booked their few days in Sunderland in order to research their family history. No-one has mentioned searching for skeletons or digging up the family tree as being the reason for staying at the house and perhaps few if any are interested in genealogy – but it occurred to me that we may have hosted families with unbeknown connected ancestry. Rather like ships that pass in the night, these families could well sail past each other without knowing of each other’s existence.
Are you from Sunderland or thereabouts? Has it ever occurred to you that some of those comments in the visitors’ book may be from guests who knew your family years ago, or even more excitingly, may share some DNA with you via some long forgotten relative? Almost 50% of our bookings come from people who were born in or have close ties with Sunderland and the immediate area. How many may be connected in some way? Did your grandfather have his evening pint pulled for him by my grandfather in the Roker Hotel bar? Are your Sunderland ancestors related to the guests who have booked in for a couple of weeks later in the year? Did your father/grandfather attend Bede School? Is he in the photo below alongside my father (middle back row)?
If you are staying at Thistledowne why not get in touch and I will try and help start you on your family history journey. Why not spend some time exploring the area where your family lived in bygone days. Who knows what and who you may discover.