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1:39pm on Sunday, 4th November, 2012:

Genealogical Priorities


My wife has spent most of this and the previous two weekends looking up references to her ancestors in the various workhouse and bastardy records of mid-19th century East Grinstead, to no avail. Multiple unmarried women with the same name (Emily Heasman) and conflicting interpretations by everyone else who has trod this path before her add to the confusion.

That's on her mother's side. On her father's side, the problem isn't unnamed fathers but fathers with the same name as 10,000 other people. If you really want to screw up your descendants' chance of tracking you down, being called John Martin when John is the #1 male name and Martin is the #20 surname is a good way to go about it.

One thing that my father-in-law remembers about his own father, who died young, is that he used to be the stallion man (my wife comes from Newmarket) for a grey racehorse called Poltava. Here is the family tree for Poltrava. The male line goes back to 1700.

It's a little sad when horses have a better-recorded genealogy than people.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).