The last eight weeks or so have been extremely busy on a couple of projects. The first is the development of the new Dorset Moths website - more of that to follow when open for business! The other project over the last three weeks when my elderly Mother was staying with us and we were going through many old photos which she had brought over from Ireland at my request. One photo that started me thinking was an old one which I thought was me with my Grandad Box but which turned out to be my Dad, his Dad, Grandmother and Great Grandmother in Normanton about 1940.
|David Allen Box, William Edward Box, Annie Box (nee Speight) and Katherine Speight (nee Rayner).|
This got me on to looking at the four branches of the family tree; the Denyer (Sussex) and Lane (Reigate, Surrey) families on my Mothers side and the Box (Newcastle-under-Lyme and Normanton, Yorkshire) and Deyes (Yorkshire) on my Fathers side. I got back to 1695 on the Box side and 1610 on the Denyer side and just keeping the tree fairly tight managed to get 427 people with 72 unique surnames. It is amazing how starting with me that over 13 generations how quickly the tree spread out, and the only way I have managed is using the GRAMPS (no relation!) software.
|The Denyers of Bersted, Bognor, with my Grandad on the right. c.1920|
|The Deyes and Taylor families, 1st Jan 1903, Normanton, Yorkshire|
|Irene Denyer, William Denyer, Mabel Denyer, Ann Denyer (my Mum), Arthur Lane and Marjorie Lane. c.1942|
I could not get over how many people were born, lived their lives and died all in the same small place. On several occasions I spotted other families names on the same census pages of people who would end up marrying. Most of the Denyers were in and around Bognor Regis, but a couple ended up moving to South Shields as sailors (one having a rather colourful sub-ordinate military record) followed some years later by one of the Denyer girls travelling up and marrying a cousin (I was stumped by two with the same surname getting married....). The Boxes were centred on Newcastle-under-Lyme and there were several entries for the Stafford Courts with one given 7 years and transportation to Tasmania for nicking lead off a roof and some years later his son of the same name getting a 6 month prison sentence for larceny. Some of the Box family moved up to Yorkshire and were heavily involved in mining and the railways. The miscreants aside, of the rest not all lived successful and fulfilling lives with one killed in action in Flanders, another ending up in the Doncaster Workhouse, and another getting injured as a policeman in Leeds and then dying of TB two weeks after his daughter my Nan was born.
So, every family has their black sheep, and I am sure that more interesting characters will appear over the coming weeks. Fascinating stuff, and it has kept me occupied during these cold and wet days and nights although now am looking forward to catching a few moths and more regular updates.