Who do you think you are?

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

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craig1459
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Who do you think you are?

Postby craig1459 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:55 pm

Family history research was my main historical activity before I discovered the joy of dressing up and hitting people...

My own history is rather bland - apart from having ancestors in and around Blore Heath for centuries :D

Her indoors is more interesting:

James Brooker was a noted shipcarver from Maryport in Cumberland. He and his brother George exhibited at the Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, James fell on hard times and went into the Sunderland Workhouse sometime in 1859/1860. There he fell ill after some time and was moved into the County Asylum. After two weeks he died. The cause of death is unclear but it has been suggested that the keeper murdered him! His son William carved the Victoria Hall Disaster Memorial in Sunderland.

Captian William Barron wrote a book called "Old Whaling Days" - which you can still buy. About his days as a whaler - fascinating as it charts the change from sail to steam in the second half of the nineteenth century. He is one of the "stars" of Hull Maritime Museum

Paul Stabler was an immigrant from Stuttgart in the then Kingdom of Wurttemberg. He was a photographer in Sunderland in the mid to late nineteenth century and his pictures of a young Edward VII are in the National Archive. He also has some work in the V&A.

Any more interesting ancestral tales or indeed interesting research stories out there?

:D


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Postby Fillionous » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:44 am

My husbands family does the classic thing of starting off in a small village in Somerset and then suddenly moving to Hammersmith in London... Industiral revolution and all that. About the only intresting things are the posible earlier links to Hammersmith before the main bulk of the family moved from Somerset, which I am still researching. Then there is an eye condition which I have traced back through the male line for four (maybe five) generations, mostly through militery records noting the need for glasses or refusing conscription due to congenital poor eyesight...!

My farther has got his (and his wifes) family lines back about 12 generations now and includes such quirks as a bod hung for piracy, marraige of business between the millers family and the bakers family, a gas light shop owner who showed at the Great Exibition (we have orriginal copies of the advertising posters!) and emigration to Canada (we are now in touch with this branch of the family). The earliest record is a 12 C knight in Rutland being granted a coat of arms, it is quite likely that this is an ancestor, as the name is very rare and the rest of the line seems to be leading to the right bit of the country. Dad is still digging...

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Postby gregory23b » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:09 am

I haven't dug up all that much - mother's side my grandfather was the son of a migrant worker who moved from the North of Portugal to the southern region, grandad then spent his working life in the Portuguese navy as a ship's cook/chef. His parents I know little of.
My grandmother's (his wife) grandparents were quite wealthy but got swindled by their lawyer who committed suicide once he was found out, then they had more meagre means. My great grandmother married and was then divorced - this was in highly conservative Portugal at the turn of the last century if not earlier.
One of my grandfather's nephews was killed in the 1950/60s in Guinea Bissau on some end of colony campaign.

Father's side - weird half his family are from Stornoway the other half from Aberdeenshire but he is pretty much Glaswegian. My great grandfather was taken prisoner during the Kaiserschlacht of 1918 - he had landed in France in February IIRc and was captured in the offensive. He was a gilder by trade which is a bit of a coincidence as I am a mediocre gilder (I didn't know about him until I started my interest).
There was a tale about him being posted MIA/presumed dead, he came home after the war and was told by his wfe to leave the house as she had been claiming widow's pension and didn't want to get nabbed.


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Postby tonw » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:00 pm

I'm me

I've come from my father who's a roofer and my mother whos a teacher they came from their parents who came from theirs

somewhere along the line my family has come from Scotland, Demark, England and Italy

I'm a mongrel and I knows it but I have ties with notable families such as Wallace, Burns, and Sorenson.

I know who I am :P


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Postby m300572 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:12 pm

What is interesting is that you start off thinking you are a certain person, in terms of where your family are from, and discover that you are actually someone totally different. My mother's family lived in Glasgow (emigrated from Chelsea and Cambridgeshire), my great Grandad was a Chelmsford copper, his dad came from Plymouth. My dad's family include an Ipswich tea merchant (who originated in Scotland as far as I know, and a Montrose hatter).

To further confuse future family historians, I have had five sons, one born in Torquay, one in North Yorkshire, one in the hospital in Lanark where I was born and two in Taunton, Somerset, one of whom died as a baby.



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Postby WorkMonkey » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:13 pm

We've been root vegetable farmers for the best part of 20 generations.


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Postby Guest » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:22 pm

I'm descended from a long line of fat lazy b*st*rds.

Although my Grandad, got off his a*rse long enough to take part in Operation Market Garden. Of which i am exceedingly proud.

And mY Great Uncle served with the Chindits in Burma, and was awarded a V.C for saving a mates life under fire and taking out a Jap machine gun nest single handedly, again something of which i am exceedingly proud.

But they both went back to sitting on their lazy A*rses, as soon as they came back. :lol:



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Postby Gyrthofhwicce » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:23 pm

That last one was me BTW


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Postby Annis » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:28 pm

Somewhere along the line, one of my mum's ancestors lived in cumnor hall, where Lady Robert Dudley stayed, but at a later date of course, but unfortunately the hall has gone know, but we still went to see where it was, by standing in the church yard, and looking for graves and stuff like that...very interesting.

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Postby John Waller » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:05 pm

Trouble with geneaology is your 'truth' is based on documentary evidence. Recent reports suggest that many people are not offspring of their supposed fathers and this is likely to be the case throughout history. I'm sure we all know stories of illegitamate children of unmarried youngsters being brought up by married relatives as their own. Family legend has it that my own grandmother brokered an illegal adoption between a young scottish lass who was sent away from home to stay with friends while pregnant and a childless couple who lived in her street.

Don't get me wrong, it's all interesting stuff and my own wife has traced links back to the early 1600's, but take blood-lines with a pinch of salt.


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Postby Lady Cecily » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:27 pm

My sister-in-law is very keen on this - she has done quite a bit professionally. Of the six or eight families she's constantly doing - hers and mine/my brothers she's only managed some spectacular dates with my fathers family. With, she admits some pretty big gaps, she can get that one back to 1300 ish.

She said that one was easiest because it's a fairly unusual name and the family don't appear to have moved far from one small village in all that time. They appear to have been fairly wealthy Lancashire farmers until they failed to understand the industrial revolution and things went downhill from there. No-one interesting, no one famous, no b£$stard that we can see. Staggeringly boring.

As for the other families some of them get stalled in Ireland (the Irish burnt a lot of their records in the Easter uprising I believe) The others I don't think get very far at all - back to the first census dates probably.


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Postby craig1459 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:34 pm

There was a fire in the Four courts building in Dublin in 1922 that destroyed most of it.

Scottish ancestry, at least nineteenth century, is aided by the fact that a lot of it is online and the detail in birth marriage and death certificates is much better than it is in England & Wales.

Rare surnames are a godsend as well. Sara's maiden name is "Smallbone" (he he) which comes from a small part of the country north of Basingstoke and south of Abingdon


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Postby Foxe » Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:05 pm

On my mother's side I come from a long line of sailors.

On my paternal grandfather's side I come from predominantly farming family in the Walthamstow area. Some of that line had more interesting jobs though, my great-great grandfather was the foreman of the gang that knocked down Newgate. The front door of the prison ended up as the attic floor in the family pile (now sold) and I remember being taken up as a child to bang the knocker which was still attached. And yes, it was VERY black. I've now got the shelalegh he used to use when he had to collect the wages. My grandfather lied about his age in order to volunteer at the outbreak of WWII. Went through the desert war and Sicily, but was captured in Italy and spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Poland. When he was released after VE day he was just 23.

When watching war films as a kid I used to wonder why he had never escaped from his PoW camp (hey, everyone escapes don't they?!). Apparently he and some of his mates did try to escape from a holding camp in Italy. They got hold of a couple of ladders from somewhere, then in the dead of night ran at the fence, threw the ladders up and started to climb. Then the fence fell over and all the guards came out to see what was going on. He always said "if only the Germans had built that camp instead of the Italians..." After the war he worked as a surveyor for the OS and was awarded a BEM.

On my paternal grandmother's side my great grandfather was in Fred Carno's company with Stan Laurel et al, but was in hospital when the company went to America. He was the last baby to be born in Pendennis Castle. His father had sailed over to America to fight in the civil war, but it was over by the time he arrived so he joined the cavalry and fought against the indians instead. According to his discharge sheet he was a sergeant after 3-4 years service. On his return to England he joined the Royal Artillery and remained a gunner for 20 years


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Postby EmanwelOfGwent » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:33 am

There used to be a wonderful story about how the first Turnbull got the name: he was supposed to have save Robert the Bruce from a charging bull by siezing its horns and turning it around, so that it charged into a bush, where it got entangled until it had been killed. Nice story. Total fiction but a nice story. Remember being told that when I was about 6.
I also seem to remember that a Turnbull offered single combat on the field of battle during one of the English-Scots conflicts, and was promptly diced by an English knight. Might be another ledgend though.

Since then, my branch of the family moved down from Scotland to Whitby where they built ships for many years, then to Cardiff where they owned ships. In 1910 or 12 the decision was taken to get out of shipping, which the family thought, correctly had reached its peak in Cardiff. I ran across a register of ships owned by Turnbull Bros of Cardiff on the net some time ago. About half were war losses in the first war, the rest sold or wrecked.
One Turnbull, a great-uncle I think was awarded the MC.

In my grandfather's day the family was still rich (I understand a relative of mine bequeathed the land that Heath Hospital is built on to Cardiff Council).

On the other side, I know far less. My Grandfather on that side, a Bavarian Catholic, was drafted and sent to the Eastern Front during WWII (and there are varying family stories about why) but had the good fortune to be shot and wounded before reaching Stalingrad. In depression era Germany he made a living by making radios. After the war he emmigrated to Britian. Grandfather Turnbull was an officer in the RA in Burma.

As for me... Born in London, parents born in Cardiff and Risca, grew up in Gwent, finished school in Devon, at uni in Oxford. Any answer to "so where do you come from?" usually begins with "erm..."



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Postby gregory23b » Thu Jan 19, 2006 8:47 am

Emmmanuel
"usually begins with "erm..."

Amen to that ;-)


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Postby purple peril » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:41 pm

Dad's side of the family traced to knifemakers in Sheffield during 1800's.
Mum's side seems a bit more varied, including Yorkshire farmers, jewellers & watchmakers, alcoholic steam-train drivers in Ceylon (when it was), Huguenots and a seamstress (allegedly) at Napoleon's court. How this all fits together I don't know, but it's nice to have family legends. Mum is hot on the trail



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Postby Tuppence » Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:00 am

Granddaughter of gaol birds on maternal side, and descended from borderer scum on paternal side, so fits right in!!!

Nige is much more interesting - his family set up shops, and got imprisoned in castles and things.

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Postby Cat » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:54 pm

Cotswold wool merchants, farmers and the like on one side. Not sure about t'other, but there's rumours of a ship's surgeon who was killed either by pirates or for being one, and a lone Spaniard.



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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:05 pm

In my immediate family(up to great-grandparents) I have- a lawlord,a High court Judge, UN head bods, international industrialists, one university faculty dean, a jetfighter test pilot in the 1950s,military officers, a professional classical violinist, actors, musicians, senior clergy, ship's captains, liberators of Norway in WWII, harbourers of Norewegian Kings in Exile,a noted war correspondant, one grandparent who claims to have started the Falklands War, a murderer, communists, one Equiry for Princess Diana,one inventor of the Trident System (and that's just the ones I know about-seems I only find out about this stuff at their funerals).

That's before I start digging to find anything interesting in my family's history ;)

I'm waiting for the MASSIVE family reeunion next year in Norway to find all the stuff that I don't know about for many generations on that side of my Mum's family, apparently I have a big Swedish connection I know nothing about (yet).


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:34 pm

Phil the Grips wrote:In my immediate family(up to great-grandparents) I have- a lawlord,a High court Judge, UN head bods, international industrialists, one university faculty dean, a jetfighter test pilot in the 1950s,military officers, a professional classical violinist, actors, musicians, senior clergy, ship's captains, liberators of Norway in WWII, harbourers of Norewegian Kings in Exile,a noted war correspondant, one grandparent who claims to have started the Falklands War, a murderer, communists, one Equiry for Princess Diana,one inventor of the Trident System (and that's just the ones I know about-seems I only find out about this stuff at their funerals).



And then there's you.

Deary deary me. :twisted:


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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:53 pm

Medicus Matt wrote:And then there's you.

Deary deary me. :twisted:

Yup- I am the result of all their redundant genetic material :)


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Postby temporary guy » Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:50 pm

Hey Phil, one of your rellies at Arnhem, there was an hofficer with your surname mentioned in C. Ryan's Bridge too Far.

I was wondering when yoiu would pop by, who aren't you related to is more the case.


But anyway my ancestors go back to before the Normans, a long time before.


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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:26 pm

temporary guy wrote:Hey Phil, one of your rellies at Arnhem, there was an hofficer with your surname mentioned in C. Ryan's Bridge too Far.
I was wondering when yoiu would pop by, who aren't you related to is more the case.
But anyway my ancestors go back to before the Normans, a long time before.

So do mine apparently-it's just that they were in Norway at the time- but did your ex-wife's grandfather get his hereditary peerage from direct lineage Bill the Conk himself (through Bill's daughter), relinquish it in the recent reforms to be awarded another one for his work on designing Trident? or is your uncle in the next new year's Honours List to get his knighthood for becoming a Judge;)

If I dug around with my Granny enough I'm sure we'd find some rellys in common :)

As for the Arnheim he's bound to be a relative since there are two lines of that surname (with that particular spelling) in the UK and both lines(bizarrely) meet at the point that my parents married since one set are my Mum's cousins. In fact my dad worked with some of them at the BBC in the late 70s and didn't realise they were related( by more than a common surname) until a big meeting years later where they showed up.

Most of the family were Royal Scots though (including one Colonel who organised the Carbisdale Covenant at his castle while hosting King Harkon IV)- lost a load in the famous train crash at Gretna before they even got to get overseas to serve. Most family tend towards the RHA in recent times though.


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Postby temporary guy » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:19 am

I was making a joke about my family going way back, we all have medieval/roman ancestors otherwise we wouldn't be here ;-)


caveat <all above comments are opinions - any resemblance to facts alive or dead is entirely coincidental >



caveat inspired by a true caveat by Guthrie. ;-)

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Phil the Grips
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Postby Phil the Grips » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:08 pm

temporary guy wrote:I was making a joke about my family going way back, we all have medieval/roman ancestors otherwise we wouldn't be here ;-)

The difference being that I can name them ;)


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Postby zauberdachs » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:18 pm

Phil the Grips wrote:
If I dug around with my Granny enough I'm sure we'd find some rellys in common :)


huh huh :shock:


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Postby temporary guy » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:52 pm

We know Phil, we knoooow.


caveat <all above comments are opinions - any resemblance to facts alive or dead is entirely coincidental >



caveat inspired by a true caveat by Guthrie. ;-)

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Postby Cat » Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:36 pm

Well, I can't name drop but I can say for certain that James Taylor who was a farmer in Long Compton in 1670 is one of mine. We also claim the wool merchant in the Cotswolds whose brass names him as Iohn Taylour, with a date of 13 something. We can't prove it, but it seems likely. The woolmark he uses (the one on Taylor's Port, the numeral 4 atop two capital X-s) is one that has passed independently down the family.

Somewhere I have the full fammerlee tree down from James, no real excitement but one case of an older chap lying about the his age on a marriage cert to a much younger lass, and one case of a 44 year old Taylor marrying a merry widow in her late 30s, who bore him twins. And one village eccentric.

I have also been to see the Family farmhouse. Very posh.



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Who do you think you are?

Postby Montsegur » Sat Feb 11, 2006 1:27 pm

Aren't we an interesting varied lot.

I always assumed my roots were buried deep in NE Scotland but my ferreting mother has managed to track down her side of the family to the early 1700s.
En route there's the ghillie who brought the news to Victoria that Albert was dead; a Chelsea Pensioner; a Lord Mayor of London; several royal servants in Scotland and at various English palaces (we're a servile lot).
There's also the guy responsible for keeping Spitfires flying during WW2 - Alex was an aviation fuels advisor who was later brought in by NASA to help after one of ther 'ships tragically vapourised
More interesting is that she's been able to trace the family down the east coast of England where they were Ritchie having changed their name from Fatt after fleeing from France in the wake of the St Bartholomew massacre in Paris. Seems they were Huguenots in France.
There's even a French link in my Dad's family, although that's post WW2 - his are claimed to have been MacGregors and Vikings!! Interesting bedfellows.



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Postby Cat » Sun Feb 12, 2006 12:54 pm

As far as I know my only famous ancestor is 'The Father of Geology'?
Somebody Smith, I think.




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