Sunday, 13 February 2011

Family History Writing Challenge - Day 8

My Grandmother's family has always been tricky to research. This has been due to a number of factors, but mainly down to the fact that she knew fairly little about her relatives, and geography; as her father's family originated from Warwickshire.

In complete contrast, my Grandfather's family hadn't moved more than 40 miles in 300 years, although they did drift across the borders of Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex. Whilst these are three neighbouring Counties it does need to be remembered that you can cross the border from one County to another in this patch in perhaps a mile or so.

I recall visiting the Bramshott and Liphook Preservation Society offices in Liphook one summers day during the early 1990s. I was on the trail of a connection from the Budd family of Puttenham and Richard Bridger, which appears on my Grandfather's line of descent. Richard Bridger from Headley Hampshire in 1777 and married Mary Budd in Puttenham Surrey in 1797. I knew from researching another family line, the Harris' that the movement between Frensham Surrey, Headley & Bramshott in Hampshire and Lurgershall in Sussex, was common and within a mile or two the boundary had changed.

So, I was sitting writing out various entries from the births, marriage and deaths for the names that I was researching when I spotted the following Eliza Bridger daughter of Richard Bridger marrying William Elstone in Bramshott in 1828. I recall that I had written the entry and turned the page before the slow recognition that I knew those details already. Didn't I? I turned back through my note book and saw that yes I indeed knew the name of William Elstone, as it appeared on my Grandmother's line of descent.

I stopped a moment to reflect. My Grandmother, Lilian Matthews descended from the marriage of William Elstone to Eliza Bridger. My Grandfather, George Butcher who married Lilian Matthews descended from Eliza Bridger who married William Elstone. I still have the scribbled tree that I drew out to see if I could establish just how many times removed my Grandparents were from each other. I recall being so excited. When I got home, I inserted the details into my family history programme then clicked on the relationship calculator button which revealed that my Grandparents were 4th Cousins, sharing the common ancestor of Richard Budd & 4th Cousin sharing the common ancestor of Sarah Collins.

I know that my Grandparents would not have known that fact and I wonder just what they would have made of it. For me, that is just the wonder and fascination of researching my ancestry.

Word count 435

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