Anne Bradshaw is the author of the genealogy bestseller “True Miracles with Genealogy” and has written books for more than twenty years. She was born in England, is a spouse, a mother and grandmother, and has lived in the USA for many years. Besides writing books Anne has a personal blog and a website for her latest book.
MyHeritage.com talked to Anne about her interesting bestseller, her background and her kinship with the legendary singer Phil Collins.
For the people that didn’t read your book could you tell us what it is about?
“True Miracles with Genealogy” contains fascinating family-history research stories. They’re the kind of stories where you know that ancestors were making things happen. Material came in from the USA and many other countries such as England, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. Each story is unique. It was inspiring to learn about the many different ways descendants discovered information.
How did you get all the interesting user stories and how long did it take you to finish the book?
Researching, compiling and publishing the book took a little over one year. Marketing is taking much longer. Most of the stories came to me through Internet contacts on websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and from many genealogy-networking groups. Once the word spread, the whole thing snowballed and friends told friends until I had enough stories to fill 132 pages.
Have you experienced spiritual guidance in your own work?
Oh, yes. In the book’s introduction, I tell the surprising story of how I discovered in my father’s Tozer line that the singer Phil Collins and I have a great-grandmother in common—Sarah Ann Whall from London, England. I’ve had two other experiences, but considering I’ve been researching on-and-off since 1964, I would say such events are unusual. I often wonder if some ancestors are not ready to be found, for whatever reason. Either that or they choose to reject their lineage. Since we all have free agency, both in this life and the next, many will remain unlinked from family.
I have noticed that you write different genres but they all seem related to family topics, is there a special reason for this?
As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nicknamed Mormon), I believe that families are of the highest importance and are eternal in nature. No matter what the size, a family can be a place of refuge and progress when love is strong, and when there are enough good rules to keep everyone safe. These days, it seems there is a conspiracy to bombard and destroy families; pulling them apart and creating anger, resentment, and even hatred. If there’s any small thing I can do through my writing to help keep families together in the way God intended, then I’m happy to do it.
What is your family background?
I’m grandmother to fifteen, mother to four, and wife to one – Bob Bradshaw. I grew up in a conservative, middle-class British family with a brother and sister. My parents set high standards, and taught us to obey, and to study hard. They had no religious beliefs. I found God and Jesus Christ for myself as a young adult.
Did you ever do family research of your own and what are the results so far?
Yes, I’ve been researching since 1964, and have discovered around two thousand names going back in some cases to the 1600s, mostly in the United Kingdom. There is still much to do, but research gets easier every year. Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to fit in every good thing.
I found a fascinating woman named Hannah Snell on my mother’s side. She was a notorious female soldier back in the 1700s when women didn’t do that kind of thing. Quite a character from all accounts.
So what do you have planned for the near future? Touring for your book maybe?
No, I don’t have a tour planned, though it’s a good idea. I’m currently working on a sequel to “True Miracles with Genealogy,” and finding and editing new stories is taking up most of my time – between blogging and keeping the book website updated with writing tips and genealogical quotes. If any of your readers have stories they’d like to share, I’d love to hear from them.
Do you have some advice for genealogy researchers and family historians at MyHeritage.com?
I think it’s important to remain open to receiving a nudge or two from the other side, in whatever way it might come, but don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t. Time, as we know it in this life, is different in the next. Keep up a regular schedule of research because there’s much that can be done with easily accessible information, and prepare for a surprise or two here and there.
Have you ever received help from beyond the veil? If so, let us know!
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