Writing my family’s history

If there’s been less activity on this blog recently, it’s not because I’ve given up on my family history research: far from it. But I thought it was about time I put what I’ve found out into some kind of coherent, chronological form. So I’ve been busy collating information from this site, and from my various family trees at Ancestry and elsewhere, and trying to turn them into something like continuous prose.

I’ve begun with the Robbs – my father’s family – beginning from our earliest records in 18th century Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, and following them down to Yorkshire, then central London, before they moved eastwards to Mile End and East Ham. I’ve decided to include only information that I’m pretty sure of, and to leave out some of my more speculative leaps. Of course, all history is provisional, and I’m expecting to have to review and revise the document as new facts emerge.

Once I’ve got the story of the Robbs into some kind of shape, I’ll move on to the Roes, the most documented strand of my mother’s family, probably starting with Eliza Holdsworth and Daniel Roe in the early 19th century, but perhaps with a glance back at the earlier history of the Holdsworths and the Blanches – again, because it’s relatively well sourced.

I will, of course, acknowledge the work of my fellow family historians in anything I write. The next stage will be to find an online home for these narratives – which will probably mean setting up a dedicated website (or two). I’d also be happy to email copies of these provisional histories (or sections from them) to anyone who’s interested.

Watch this space for updates.

By the way, I was astonished – and gratified – to see from my stats that this blog is regularly attracting up to 60 hits a day. If you do visit, and find something useful, or something you think is inaccurate, please leave a comment. It’s always good to link up with others researching in similar areas – and of course, to communicate with relatives, however distant.

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2 Responses to Writing my family’s history

  1. Greetings Martin,
    I think we have been in touch previously.
    My great-grandfather (on my father’s side) was Edward William Seager. is daughter Ethel Wilson S married Harry Stacpoole Batchelor (his second marriage).
    I expect you will be reasonably familiar with the EWS story so won’t go any further down that track.
    I notice the name Bowman in your heading. There is a Bowman family near here at Katikati. Fred Bowman is a dairy farmer. In my younger days I played a lot of cricket with (and against) Fred. He was a rather fast bowler. Reference to the Tauranga telephone directory shows that there are also several other Bowmans in this part of the world. Having regard to history (Agincourt and all that) I suppose that it is not an uncommon English surname.
    Kind regards
    Michael B.

    • Martin says:

      Hello again Michael. Good to hear from you, and do let me know if you find out any interesting facts about the Seagers. I’d love to know if they had any continuing contact with the Robbs after they emigrated to NZ. As for the Bowmans: my g-grandfather Charles Edward Robb, son of Fanny Sarah Seager and William Robb, married Louisa Bowman in 1877. You’re right that it’s an old English name, but at one time I thought there might be a Jewish connection, as it can also be an anglicised Jewish name, and my family lived in a very Jewish area of Whitechapel.

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