My direct ancestors were mainly located in the outlying areas of Newcastle-under- Lyme, namely Wolstanton, Chesterton, Apedale, Red Street, Spring Wood and were mostly from a mining background. However research into the more distant past has taken me to the Potteries; St Helen's in Lancashire; areas of the West Midlands such as West Bromwich and Wolverhampton and to south Cheshire, notably Audlem and the Hack Green Locks where my 3 x great grandfather was a Wharfingers Clerk. More recently I have been taken back to the Black Country and 10 generations of colliers.
This has, so far, been an exhilarating and, on occasions, emotional journey. My research began in 1998 and my enthusiasm has been boosted by family members (some hitherto unknown to me) who have encouraged and motivated me. I have amassed a great collection of photographs; memoirs and extremely useful information and at the same time made many new friends.
I have tried to verify all the facts that have been added and where I have not been able to verify them I have made notes accordingly. Please let me know if you find anything that is not correct, does not make sense or if you know something I don't know. I have copies of many birth, marriage and death certificates, so please let me know if you want to have a look.
There is still much research to be done and this work is very much ongoing, so keep on checking.
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I have met many new friends and relatives I did not know existed until I began this family history, and that has been a wonderful experience in itself. Fred, Cyril and Nora were all kind and helpful. They have all since died, but their input was invaluable. My thanks to Bernard, Beryl, John, Liz, Michael, Norman, Pamela, Penny, Peter, Roger, Roy, for their contributions to my research and their enthusiasm and support; to my lovely auntie, Rosa (who has now died), for her love and support; to my sister Carol for her constant support; to my nephew Ian for getting me going in the first place, and to Jim and Sheila for introducing me to the Berrisfords and encouraging my research into Jim and Phils' family history.
A special thanks to Joan for her generous help in assisting me to find who the Dooleys and Shukers were, and for helping me find Joseph Robinson in the 1851 Census. Thank you to Rex for his kindness in sharing his research and stories of the Skidmore family, and to Linda Moffatt for her meticulous and tremendous research of the Skidmore Families of the Black Country and Birmingham, and for taking me back further than I could ever have imagined. Thank you to Edmund in Canada, who has provided me with a very interesting history of a branch of the Howards who went to live in Canada in the 1920s.
Most of all thank you to my patient husband, Dave, who listens to me endlessly going on about my ancestors and is ever-ready to accompany me on nostalgic expeditions.
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