Family Stories

All families have stories; some stories are almost myths… did my ancestors really come from Sweden? Were they really river pilots or pirates operating out of the east coast port of King’s Lynn? Some family stories are true, although some facts may be hidden; my great-grandparents loved each other across a religious divide, but where and how did they meet? Some family stories are only revealed through census records and some genealogical detective work. I want to tell the stories of my family, and others who otherwise might be lost in the past.

Faces from the past

My mother’s paternal family name was Matthews; she was the youngest of four children, William Alan, Audrey, Rene Beryl Lois and Phyllis Monica. William Alan, always known as Alan was the eldest son of my grandfather William Reginald, always known as Reg, who in turn was the eldest son of William Henry Matthews. William Henry was always known as Billy […]

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Trying to see the past

Horace Colgate died nearly a hundred years ago at the tragically young age of eighteen… his death was not unusual at that time; millions of young men were giving their lives on the battlefields of World War 1. Horace came from the quiet Surrey village of Bletchingley where he had lived with his mother, step-father and four younger brothers and sisters. […]

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The Dagnalls of Reigate

What a happy day it must have been in the spring of 1878, when twenty-five year old Catherine Colgate married William Thomas Dagnall! They were married in the parish of Godstone in Surrey, but they have been married in the church of St Mary the Virgin in Bletchingley, where Catherine’s family lived. William was a […]

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