Category Archives: Stories

A Draper’s Tale

Thomas Port, my great great grandfather, was born on 22 August 1822 in St Pancras, London. There is, however, no official record of his birth or baptism – at least none that I have ever been able to find. The … Continue reading

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The Darkest Day

The date is Tuesday, 29 January 1895 and Edinburgh is in the grip of a snowstorm. In fact, the whole country is suffering; snow fell uninterruptedly for 12 hours in Birmingham yesterday and London is experiencing temperatures of 15° Fahrenheit … Continue reading

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Just trying to get by…

The pressures of society weighed heavily on our ancestors; in particular, the expectation that they should live good, God-fearing lives and that they should conform to the beliefs and values of the Anglican church, particularly when it came to matters … Continue reading

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Conjectures, traditions and the search for the truth…

Sir Denner Strutt, Knt., was of Little Warley, of which place he was created a baronet in 1641; he suffered severely from the arbitrary exactions of the parliament in the time of King Charles the First, being compelled to pay … Continue reading

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Back From The Dead?

This is the second part of the story of Stephen Willis, the Ramsgate hawker, and his parents, Stephen Willis senior and Ellen (née Foley). In the first part, we followed Stephen senior from his birth in Bishopsbourne near Canterbury in … Continue reading

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A Waste of Time and Money

I remember thinking, when I was just setting out on my family history research as a naïve fifteen year old, that this genealogy business was quite a simple affair. Once you’d found a record of someone’s birth, you looked for … Continue reading

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Unhappy Differences

It’s every family historian’s dream to have the opportunity to research and write about an ancestor who left a mark. It doesn’t even need to have been a big mark. Perhaps they were involved in a major political event or, … Continue reading

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Blank spaces and circumstantial evidence

This is the fourth part of the three-part story of the life of my great, great, great grandmother, Mary Ann Port, which aims to explain why, despite the absence of evidence that she ever had any children, I believe her … Continue reading

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My friend Miss Mary Ann Port

This is the third and final part of the story of my great, great, great grandmother, Mary Ann Port. You can read the first part here and the second part here. The long, drawn-out Chancery Case, Port v. Hovil[1], had … Continue reading

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Humbly complaining

This is the second part of the story of my great, great, great grandmother, Mary Ann Port. You can read the first part here. Humbly complaining shew unto your Lordship your Oratrixes and Orator Elizabeth Port of Samuel Street Saint … Continue reading

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