Ancestry

Yes, that' s my mother in the middle

Yes, that' s my mother in the middle

I’ve been researching my family tree – off and on – for the past few years. I’ve started from the information handed down from various other family members – in particular the Longley and Lambert tree that my Uncle Gerald produced many years ago, and the work that my father did in trying to connect what he knew, to some other information from a distant cousin.

The internet has revolutionised genealogical research. Not only is it possible to search through millions of census records and birth, marriage and death indexes in a matter of moments, you can also discover other people who have an ancestor in common with you and swap information.  I came across a person in Sydney who would, at best, be a seventh cousin – we have to go back to the eighteenth century to find a common ancestor – but he gave me an enormous mass of names and dates about the Case family in Norfolk, going back to the 1600s. As it turns out, his data also prompted a few questions that I have been curious to find answers to.

This year (2009) I was planning a visit to England, so I decided to spend some time travelling around – not so much to visit county and parish record offices, more to see the places where my forebears had lived, and to see what traces were left. I found answers to some of my questions, and a whole lot of new questions. Most importantly, the visits helped transform a dry collection of names and dates and confusing relationships into real peoples’ stories.

I am putting all the information into the family tree – there are nearly 500 names on it so far – but I decided also to write a short narrative of my trip around England, which really highlights most of what I have learned both in my internet research and on the tour.

I am writing this as a record for people who already know some of the background, and for others who don’t, but may be interested one day. Since only my children and my brother share more than half my ancestors, some of this will be irrelevant to some readers. But I think that everyone will find something new about their own ancestors as well.

I spent a couple of weeks in Rickmansworth before heading off. My brother Andrew is still living there: the family moved there in the early 1950s (in fact I think I remember the Coronation more clearly than moving house, and I was only 4 years old at the time of the Coronation.) And as the family are all inveterate hoarders, it remains a goldmine for information about grandparents and before. My mother had a good collection of photos – some going back to the late 1800s – and I will always be grateful that she took the trouble, late in her life, to write names on the back of most of them. I’ll attach a few to this document: it is amazing how a photo brings a long-dead person to life!

I left on a beautifully sunny and warm day in mid June 2009. I headed towards Norfolk, where the Case family had lived as far back as I can trace (1600s at least), and where my mother had been born and brought up. From there I would head through Lincolnshire to Yorkshire, tracing back the Longleys to Leeds, and the Lamberts for one generation just a little further south, in Monk Bretton.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by wendy [nee Case] on April 22, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    From one Case to another! Loved your blog
    Do you have a family tree covering the ‘early’ years. I count your elder Thomas b1663 as my sixth great grandfather and would like to compare info if poss.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Derek on October 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I’m researching the origins of clan Cunningham and a lot of names come together at conisholme “King Inges Island” I seen in detailed maps that one of the fields is called Ings Farm. Do you have any information on this part of conisholme? It would really help our research

    Thanks

    Derek

    Reply

    • Hi Derek
      I don’t have any information that could help you myself. My great grandfather Canon Thomas Longley researched the history of the land in astonishing detail – his huge work on the Lincolnshire Domesday Book and Lindsey Survey (Foster & Longley 1924) is held by the Lincolnshire Archives and there is a copy online (easy to find in Google). I think he did other work too – much of his correspondence is also held at the Archive. I’m not sure if any of it covers the period you are researching though – and sadly I have no other leads for you.

      Sorry I can’t offer more.
      cheers
      Dominic

      Reply

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