Family Tree: Part One

Family Tree

I love watching Who Do You Think You Are and seeing how the celebrities trace their family trees. Also, the things that they discover along the way. But I always notice how they often say how they don’t know enough about their close family through one thing or another. I want to be able to pass on as much information as I can to Jaxon when he’s old enough.

Attempting to Build our Family Tree

Before Jaxon was born, we’d had a discussion about names. If baby was a boy, following family tradition, he would carry a specific middle name. This is all to do with the family somehow being related Admiral John Byng. His family carried the Peerage title of Viscount Torrington. Admiral John Byng is particularly famous because, during the Seven Years War, he refused to follow orders and was later court-martialled and found guilty of failing to “do his utmost” to prevent Minorca falling to the French. (You can read more about it here).

I guess at first it didn’t particularly bother me and we’d just name the baby and get on with life. However, with Jaxon getting older, it’s become more important to find out how we are related to the Byng family. That way when Jaxon asks where his name comes from I can tell him the whole story.

Chris’s Side

Finding out some of the information is really easy with Byng’s family carrying an official title (and their family home for many years was at Southill, Bedfordshire so just up the road from where we live). However, some of the relatives around the edges who weren’t as “important” don’t seem to have as much information about them available. One of the challenges at the moment is finding out where Loans is in Surrey – or at least which Parish it belongs to so I might be able to find out some more information.

This week, I’ve had email correspondence with both Surrey Heritage Centre and the Local Studies team at Richmond Council in the hope that one of them may be able to help me narrow it down a bit. So far they haven’t been able to assist me but the lady at Surrey Heritage Centre asked me to email over the information that I did have. That way she might be able to narrow it down or come at it for a different direction possibly. In both cases, they did suggest that I went for a visit to take a look at the information myself. I do like this idea but with the price of the train fare down to London along with any Underground travel needed from St Pancras. I think I need to narrow down a bunch of bits that I’m looking for so that I have a proper plan of action.

My Side

As far as my side of the family, I could get back at least 4 generations on both sides. Some of the bits were just a name or a place others were lots of information. I started from there then added what I could get from my Great Aunt’s version of the family tree. I always knew I was Bedfordian through and through. However, it’s only now that I look through the records do I realise how Bedfordian I am! My 7th Maternal Great Grandfather was born in Roxton, Bedfordshire. Whereas my 2nd Paternal Great-Grandfather was born in County Cork, Ireland. That makes me a little sprinkle of Irish against all that Bedfordian! When I have been looking for specific records, it has been fairly easy to find them as they often stayed within the local parishes. I spent an hour in Bedford Library last week having a look but could have easily spent more time there and still had things to find. In the section about family history, there are records dating back to the 1700s and I was able to find a few members of my distant family – one of whom being my 6th Great Aunt(!) also called Hannah. Some of the information I have found is really interesting but some

When I have been looking for specific records, it has been fairly easy to find them as they often stayed within the local parishes. I spent an hour in Bedford Library last week having a look but could have easily spent more time there and still had things to find. In the section about family history, there are records dating back to the 1700s and I was able to find a few members of my distant family – one of whom being my 6th Great Aunt(!) also called Hannah. Some of the information I have found is really interesting but some

In the section about family history, there are records dating back to the 1700s and I was able to find a few members of my distant family – one of whom being my 6th Great Aunt(!) also called Hannah. Some of the information I have found is really interesting but some is really sad. Hannah and her husband for instance, had a baby boy called Samuel in 1792. Within 5 days of his birth, he had died and they buried him. I had started with births/baptism records as that’s first in the book. I worked my way through all the references with the same surname and noted them down. When I got to the burials the names all rang a bell and that’s when I realised that they’d lost him so soon after he’d been born.

Have you looked into your family tree? Did you find any interesting stories along the way? 

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