Then the Bartholomews unfolded from the genealogical research. From the 1881 census showing William and his wife Mary Ann with their last daughter at The Crown, we had already found the birth of this last daughter; this led to the place where she was born and to the 1861 census in Newmarket. This revealed Sarah's true age and led to her birth certificate. It also led to her parent's marriage certificate, in Chippenham, just North of Newmarket. This lead to Mary Ann Seal's (Sarah's mother) birth registry in that village and to her parents and a host of siblings and then descendants through the 1861 and 1881 censuses. Around 20 Seals have now been added to the family tree. (A flock? Or a herd?)
Sarah had, by the way, reduced her age at both marriages. To my
great-grandfather she gave herself as two years younger than true. To her
second husband she gave herself as eight years younger. So not surprising
that we had difficulty finding her birth.
The other finding was some descendants in Canada of William Cunliffe
Powys, the youngest son of my g-g-g-grandfather Henry Philip Powys by his
second marriage. This was solely the product of finding a couple of Powyses
in the Canadian telephone directory and writing letters to them. I had
known from my grandfather's records that that family had emigrated to
Canada. The distance is slowing up our getting to know one another.
Some good books arrived:
First an excellent Poyntz ancestor table by Ronny Bodine. This is the third edition and is benefiting from scrupulous research.
Second, a reprint of Round's "Studies in Peerage and Family History", taking an enormous hack at some supposed genealogical authorities of his time. An enjoyable read, particularly the debunking of nefarious heralds.
Third, though not quite a book, I was given the 1881 census on CDROM.
Fantastic value for money. I searched first for all my ancestors living in
the UK then and eventually found them all. But the Trotters, with a
magnificent household of 11 family and 15 house servants, took perhaps three
hours to find, as they were down as Trolter. Perhaps the old man, my
great-great-grandfather of 80, did not cross his two 't's well enough?
Anyhow he managed to include in his house his second son who also entered
himself as living some 60 miles away; I believe the latter. The oddest
thing about all that family of Trotters was how few of them had married,
repeated in in his son's, my great-grandfather's, family of six children,
where only one, my grandmother, married and that did not last too long
The only living ancestors missing from the census were, of course, William
and Sarah Powys (as they were then), sunning themselves still in Boulogne,
and shortly to be joined by baby Reginald. I could not find William's
favourite sister Edith either, and wonder if she and her new husband, Alfred
Hill, were visiting her brother, as she had done when he got married.
Finally I completed my entry of the Twisdens, from that superb book "The
Family of Twysden and Twisden" by the last of the Twisdens who died in 1937;
I wish I had met him as there remain some small items that I would like to
compare notes on. I am still putting out feelers on the internet for anyone
else taking an interest in the Twysdens. I have now got every Twysden and
Twisden in his book on this WWW site, so, if you're interested, here they
I am surprised to find that the 3000 odd people in my file when I first launched this site in April 1999 has now grown to 5000. This has principally been by adding in ancestors of the last three or four centuries, minor families not publicly studied. I have not thought it right to pile in any more of the medievals; they started with the descent (or not, depending on the fallibility of the heralds) for the 64 quarterings from the College of Arms; I originally extended this and sorted out the many inter-marriages and but recently I have left it alone.