In GSQ’s Resource Centre, in a small corner between the shelves holding published family histories and our international resources, is an area some of us call “Elsewhere”. It is the repository for all of our oversized family tree charts. Initially, I had planned to work systematically, on a numerical basis, through each of the more than 100 trees in our holdings and have done so, apart, at this point, from a couple of digressions. After July’s Saturday Education Session, when it came to choosing a family tree chart as the subject for this month’s blog post, I hesitated … standing, facing into the corner, and … just … wondering … On a whim I looked at “Elsewhere” wondering what gems these charts held, what information that could break down how many brickwalls was contained in its scrolls. In a fleeting moment I decided to choose a chart to review, not based on number or content or family name or connection to nobility, but simply because I extracted it from “Elsewhere” first.
The chart that met my eye when I carefully emptied the slim postal tube was made up of a number of yellowing pages of A4 note paper, the blue lines faded so as to be barely visible now, attached in appropriate order by sticky tape, brown and losing its adhesive properties. Family tree chart #76 has at its heart the Lunn family; names and lines and dates between the 1570s and 1920s snaking their way across the more than 260 centimetres of chart. This length has allowed the lady who compiled this resource to provide the most wonderful details of the way in which the Graham family has been connected to the Lunns. I considered analysing naming patterns, names of those who had married into the chart’s core families and the ethnic roots these names could reveal. Apart, however, from the names connected by lines horizontal and vertical, and all they could potentially reveal to a researcher, the GSQ member who has assembled this data has provided extra information that would delight a genealogist’s heart.
“This chart,” the organiser states, “compiled from personal research and information forwarded by “cousins”. It shows the intermarriage of seven families all within seven adjoining parishes of Hampshire between 1740 -1890. It is far from complete. We are working on it.” What a delightfully refreshing statement and one, I feel, that provides context for the information that follows. Refreshing also is the line that is drawn between John Wouldadge, married 13-10-1596 to Mary Sayer, through to an Ellen born 12-5-1844. The line is made up of a series of dashes and half way along its length are the words THIS LINE HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN YET. A statement clearly supportive of the declaration that this chart, at the time, was a work in progress.
Listing individually the seven parishes of Crondall, Dogmersfield, Elvetham, Odiham, Hartley Wintney, Winchfield and Yateley and the family names of Cranford, Grinham, Gould, Hooker, Varndell, Lunn and Vickery in a separate sheet attached to the top of the chart, allows a reader to easily identify the families included without trawling through the very detailed data below. It also sets context for these families by clearly stating the locations from which they came. A separate list, glued to the middle of the chart, indicates those family surnames that relate to the marriages that took place throughout this family’s history and the years each key marriage took place. Each couple, their surnames listed and separated by a dash, has been allocated a capital letter and a researcher merely needs to find that symbol on the chart to follow the antecedents and offspring of that particular couple; a very easy to follow and helpful system.
I don’t think it would be possible to be more ‘genealogically thankful’ to the organiser of this system because she has clearly identified the “Cousins” responsible for assisting her with her research. The final list that graces the top of #76, contains the names of those who were so helpful and either their location or the society with which they were affiliated. A wonderful addition and one that would enable any researcher wishing to progress this tree to potentially make contact and continue the Lunn/Graham story.