“We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, whether or not we look down to acknowledge them”. From David W. Anthony (2007), The horse, the wheel and language.
Family history research acknowledges those ancestors and their related families. Our ancestors did not live in isolation; they were part of a wider social group. It is sobering to think how many of us are unable to name our four great-grandmothers. The fact that many of us cannot remember their names suggests that in three generations from now our names will also be forgotten. David W. Anthony also goes on to say that “Archaeologists have wrestled surprisingly intimate details out of the silent remains of the preliterate past”. Family historians do the same thing for the ancestors of the more recent literate past! Often the people we research “have left no written accounts of their opinions, their conversations, or their names”. So our research takes us to records of Birth, Deaths and Marriages, Census, Wills, Court Cases, and Newspapers. If we are lucky we find letters and diaries for a few people.
I have been researching my ancestors together with those of people connected to me for the past 12 years. This website is dedicated to sharing the results of my research with a wider audience.
There are four main themes to this site.
The Trees – here you will find the standard genealogical details of the named individuals I have discovered. These details are in chronological order. Birth, baptism, marriage, children and death, together, where know, with details about their working life their social affairs and legal matters.
Lucky Dip – We all have odd bits of memorabilia – letters, poems, press cutting, invitations – gathering dust in dark corners. Many of my items of memorabilia are published here together with a brief explanation. It is wonderful that such things have survived. It makes me curious about the things that have not survived - and those things are impossible to discover.
Photos – We all have old photos of our ancestors and their families. If we are lucky some kind person put the name of the ancestor on the back or front. Some can be identified by their clothes or other internal evidence. It is those photos which cannot be identified that are the most intriguing. In this section most have been identified but there are a few who have not. Perhaps someone will recognise them!
Towsey Tales – In pre-literate times story-tellers kept alive memories of the past. Oral tradition was handed down generation to generation. We can imagine hunter gatherers and early societies sitting down around a camp fire of an evening being enchanted by tales of the deeds of ancestors. Later in a more literate era Chroniclers took over this role of story-teller. They recorded events that they had either seen themselves or others had told them about. They also recorded events from the past. The individual Towsey Tales are gathered from the dry facts from the Trees together with other historical sources. Julian Towsey is the Chronicler here.