Monday, 19 April 2010


For the past couple of years or so, I've been researching both mine and my husband's family tree.
At first, I was a bit half-hearted about it, but as time has gone on, I've started to get really involved. I've managed to get 2 branches back to the mid-1500's, and one branch back to 1340!

Ploughing through huge amounts of parish records, has turned up some fascinating details about both our families. For instance, quite a few of his emigrated to Australia - and not purely by choice! Whereas, some of mine were hanged for being smugglers in Kent and Susssex.

I already knew that my maternal grandmother's family were show-folk and gypsies, so there were few surprises there.

But it has been some of the finer details that have affected me most. For example, over 3 generations, three of my husband's relatives committed suicide. The strange thing was, they were all called John. I hope that's a lesson to anyone in his family who is currently expecting a baby!

But it was the baptism records for one small Kent village that had me laughing and crying alternately. comments like...........

'Baptism: George - sone of ye known Hore' (that was from the late 1500's) that one made me giggle, despite myself.

But the saddest?.............

'Baptism: twins. one a male child being called Simon, the other having no name, being called a creature'

That one had me puzzled, and left me feeling slightly disgusted. After a lot of thought, I came up with a plausible (although very sad) answer. Spina Biffida is very prevalent in my mother's family, and it has resulted in some terrible disabilities, even in my lifetime. It is possible that one twin was so severely deformed, that it could not even be sexed, let alone named.

I intend to carry on my investigations. If nothing else, it gives me an excuse to go ride my motorcycle all over the county, with the pretext of 'research' ;)

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