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My Family History…

Welcome to my family history website / blog.  Here I’m hoping to publish the information I have gathered since 2004 about my ancestors and their families.

The menu at the top of this page links to the family trees of my great grandparents, and family group pages for each of my direct ancestors (or at least, will do, when I’ve finished!).  The blog posts listed on this (the front/home) page are where I document other interesting/relevant pieces of information as I go.

Here are some of my favourite / most interesting* ancestors:

“Ultimately, the great truths of family history don’t live in any book. They live in the hearts and minds of the living descendants. They live in the way we conduct our lives, in the passing of traditions and values to those who will follow.

― Laurence Overmire,
A Revolutionary American Family: The McDonalds of Somerset County, New Jersey


A Rose by any other name…

Trying to track down William Butler’s parents… at his baptism in 1811, in Launton, they’re listed as George & Mary Butler, and a George Butler marries a Mary Bloxham in Launton in 1805.  George Butler is found in the 1841 and 1851 censuses; which say he’s from Launton, and his calculated year of birth is 1782.

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Making the link… Staines to Fawley, via Henley?

As described in my post about visiting the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies… I’ve been having some trouble tracing John Randall and Frances Chandler.

What I’m sure of is that Frances Chandler Randall is the child of a John Randall and Frances Chandler. And I’m sure that Frances Jnr was born in Staines, Middlesex… and that the family moved to Richmond upon Thames (now in Surrey) around 1815, and that they stayed there until 1839.

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She got her man in the end!

In 1886, when Amos Palmer Butler was christened the vicar wrote this note in the register,  “Without sponsors the Christian name is that of the father”.  That was on the 11th of September, a few weeks after the court case where Annie aka Hannah Tapping Butler sued Amos Palmer for maintenance:

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Lawrence Castle – 7 days hard labour.

There are always those ancestors in your tree that give you the run around… and most of them, in my tree, are on Edwin Pearce’s branch!  Edwin’s mum was Elizabeth Martha Castle and her parents were Lawrence Castle and Frances Randall.  They married in Reading in 1842 (I can’t find either of them in the 1841 census, yet!).  I did find them in Henley-on-Thames, in the 1851 census, although that took a little time, as Elizabeth Martha wasn’t with them.

I also found this:

Jackson’s Oxford Journal: Saturday, 8th April 1848
Oxford Easter Quarter Sessions:
“Lawrence Castle and Thomas Rathall, indicted for stealing a
gallon of wheat, the property of William Henry Hopkins, of
Henley ; seven days with hard labour.”

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