Welcome to my blog!

My interest in family history began when, as a child, I listened to stories told by my maternal grandmother about the Ferres and Tonkin families.

I started exploring all lines of my family seriously in the early 80s by using the IGI and purchasing many birth, marriage and death certificates. Researching family records in London and at the Kent, Somerset and Cornwall Record Offices was a highlight of a trip to England at that time.

Apart from a time working with other family members in 1988 to organise a family reunion and to write a book (Bath and Beyond) about the Ferres family, my family history research then came to a halt for nearly 30 years whilst the next generation grew up and I worked as a Physics, Maths and Science teacher.

My gift on retiring from teaching in 2011 was a copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac. Thus began my latest foray into the world of family history research: a very different world of computers, digitisation of images and other records, on-line databases, Blogs, Facebook, Google+, webinars, genealogy cruises, and lots more! Nothing beats the thrill of handling the actual records written about one’s family hundreds of years ago, but the newer way of researching online from home is certainly both cheaper and faster!

My aim is to use this blog as a forum for sharing what I have discovered and what others have generously shared with me whilst ‘exploring family’ over the years, including:

  • recording information discovered about my ancestors’ lives in story form
  • the joys, progress and challenges of research – fitting the ‘pieces of the puzzle’ together
  • locations, occupations and interests of my ancestors
  • questions yet to be answered
  • the painstaking progress of documenting brick walls and the insights gained through questioning and verifying data from many sources
  • some of the interesting side-paths I have followed along the way

I am hopeful that some of this research will be of interest to others and will help me connect with a long-lost cousin or two. If you think we have some common ancestors, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me.

The text of all posts on this blog are copyrighted to me. Whilst I am happy for people to mention something in them, I would appreciate that you also include a link back to this website: http://www.exploringfamily.com

I am happy to share further information and better copies of photos with other descendants of my ancestors and would welcome receiving the same from you.


7 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi,
    I’ve been doing some research into the Ferres family history too. I’ve traced it back to Isaac Ferris (another Isaac Ferris, father of Isaac Ferris in your book!). Please email me if you would like this information – I’m actually in your book too.

      1. Doh! I knew I’d do that one day Maureen! I should have checked the membership list first. Well I’m glad to have you on board. 🙂
        No pressure on posting either.

  2. Hi Maureen,we are related through the Roberts side.My father is Kevin Roberts,son of Ernest Roberts who was the brother of Frederick Arthur Roberts.As my Dad is turning 90 this year my sister and I are trying to trace back the Roberts family tree. I have some information about Arthur and Ellen from their wedding certificate and I know Arthur’s father was Frederick but thats it! Do you have any further information-where,when Arthur was born,mothers name,anything really.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Hi Jill, I’m glad you’ve contacted me. Trying to track down some of my Roberts relatives has been on my “to do” list for quite some time. Like you, I have not been able to identify Arthur’s parents. There are lots of Arthur/William/Arthur William Roberts in the indexes of approx. the right age, but none that I can find with a father called Frederick. As well as their marriage certificate, I have found the Banns record from their Church and a description of where Arthur was living in the same year (1889) from a London voter’s roll. His birthplace is tricky too! On the marriage certificate and some of the children’s birth certificates, it is listed as Bedfordshire. On the rest it is Buckinghamshire! Perhaps he came from somewhere near the border of the two counties? Also on my “to do” list is to send for the microfilms of Parish records from that area and go through them one by one – a very large task indeed! It’s such a pity that none of his relatives were witnesses to their marriage. Ellen Louisa’s family was so easy to trace once I knew her father and sister’s names. Some time back, my Auntie Gwen sent me a copy of some notes about the Roberts family, compiled by your father. It was very helpful in finding the shipping record for Arthur and Louisa. One thing that I can offer is a selection of copies of newspaper articles (from the Trove website) that refer to various members of the Roberts family during their years in Monbulk.
      If you are living in the hills or the Melbourne area, it would be great to catch up in person some time.

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