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Family History


I began researching my family's history at the end of 2007 and since that time have travelled back, along some of its lines, as far as the 16th century. The word 'travelled' is most appropriate here, as I've come to see the lines connecting those who make up the tree as more than merely 'consanguineal arrows' pointing from one person to another, and more as roads and pathways. They are physical rather than diagrammatical and as such occupy a place in space rather than just time.

Like many families, the history of mine is a mixed affair, with lots of people living their lives quietly and quite anonymously. But there are those whose stories are far from quiet and which, at the time, very far from anonymous. The story of my great-great-great-grandmother, Charlotte Noon is a good example, killed with a sword by her husband - my great-great-great-grandfather Elijah.

There are suicides: my great-great grandfather, Henry Jones, who cut his own throat at home in Wales; and a great-great-uncle who did the same out on the Sussex Downs.

There is the tragic story of my great-great-great-uncle, John Stevens, incarcerated in Moulsford Asylum because of his epilepsy. His wife, Emma, and youngest daughters, Kate and Martha, were sent to the local workhouse, where Emma died from cancer.

Also like many families, we have our own war hero; my great-great-uncle, Jonah Rogers, killed in action at the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge (Second Battle of Ypres) on May 8th 1915.