By Marian, an Anchor Hanover customer
Some fellow residents and I recently took advantage of the opportunity to take up funding for digital training, which was offered by our Anchor Hanover location.
It’s very easy to sit back and say that all this computer stuff is for the younger generation, but here was a chance to prove that we "oldies” can take up the challenge to make a difference to the way we live our lives.
It was therefore with some trepidation that we turned up for our first lesson, but our very patient tutor Brian soon showed us the basics of operating a keyboard on a laptop. He provided us with a learning guide book so that we could refer to this whenever the memory failed!
Each lesson took us on to another skill, such as using Google to find information on any subject of interest. This then led on to learning how to shop online. No need to go out in the snow, the shop will bring your goods to you. Or, if you do want to make a special trip out, then try Google maps for the route to get there. We went on to learn how to email, after which Brian taught us how to use Skype, which is very useful when catching up with relations who have emigrated.
Over three months we were able to learn enough to be able to follow up our own individual interests. This encouraged me to further my family history research. It was while I was browsing for information that an advert came up from the “Ancestry” website, with a special offer for a DNA test. Based on the results, you are matched to other people with the same DNA sections, as they must be related to you. I decided to send for a kit, followed the instructions and then sent it back. Within a few weeks, the results were posted to my inbox.
When I first started looking into my family tree before the computer era, it meant travelling up to London to consult all the registers and record libraries. Now, anyone can Google “freebmd” or “familysearch” and get all the information they need, while sitting in an armchair!
My closest relations listed were third and fourth cousins, and I was given access to the messaging service to contact them for more information. As a result, I have now contacted cousins in Australia and New Zealand, plus some who made it across the Atlantic years ago.
The most surprising contact I made was with Margaret, who lives in the same town as me. Her mother or father would have been a very close cousin of mine – and where did they live before they passed away you ask? They were right next door and I never even knew!
So now, if you take up the digital challenge, what will you learn and where will it take you?