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Greetings to all of my relatives - those of you I know and those of you I have met only through the wonders of the Internet. I hope you will enjoy looking around the site as much I enjoy researching the facts which enable me to glimpse a little of the lives of our ancestors. Where they lived ~ how they lived - how they worked and played. Wherever possible I have included photographs, copies of certificates and quoted references applicable to many of the indiviuals named here. Much of the photographic material has been sent to me by many of my newly discoverd kinsfolk and I would like to say a very special thankyou to you all ~ Alison re sharp, Anne re Tosdevin, Bridget re Elkins, Chris and Ron re Prior, Edith re Jacobs/Haysom, Helen re Jacobs, Hilary re Knight, Ian re Sotcott/Jacobs, Kathy re Lindsay, Jim re Jacobs , John H re Sharp, John W re Jacobs , Keith re Phillips/Reynolds, Lin re Bramble, Pat from Alberta, Canada re Brake and the Barnardo's Home Child information and all the Brake photographs, Margaret re Tosdevin/Jacobs/Curtis, Paula re Sothcott/Jacobs, Sally re Lindsay, Thelma re Hunnybun/Bloomfield/Broomfield and Tony re Lindsay/Frampton, ~ for all the wonderful photographs you have sent and allowed me to include here, in addition to copies of certificates and certain source information. Also very special thanks to Nick H for his painstaking efforts to photograph and decipher the Sharp and Beere headstones on such a wet and windy day. Thanks also to Nicky for information on the Tosdevin surname, and for helping to confirm the link between Isle of Wight Tosdevin's and the Tosdvine's of Christchurch. This is not 'my' tree - it is ours and that of our people of times past - long past and recent past - nevertheless it belongs to us all! Surname: Tosdevin This unusual and interesting surname, recorded in Church Registers of Guernsey in the Channel Islands from the early 18th Century under the variant spellings Tostevin and Tostivin, is of Old French origin, and derives from the Old French "toster", to toast, with "vin", wine; hence, "tostervin". This phrase was originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to someone at a festival or fair who toasted bread for the purpose of dipping or soaking it in wine, or as a nickname to one who habitually enjoyed this epicurean fare. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary, whereas nicknames were given with reference to physical attributes or peculiarities, and to repeated habits of dress, behaviour or occupation. On April 18th 1734, the marriage of Abraham Tosdevin to Marie Cohu took place at Castel, Guernsey, and on October 14th 1811, Moses Tosdevin and Ann Grimes were married at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London. Recordings from French Church Registers are later, and include the marriage of Jean Augustin Tostevin to Anne Dathuy at Uzer, Ardeche, on February 10th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Leonard Tostervin, which was dated July 30th 1707, marriage to Collete Guilbert, at Forest, Guernsey, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1702 - 1714. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. Latest Updates 29 January 2010 Added ancestors of Sarah Jeffrey * Updated profile of Harriet Tosdevin 26 January 2010 Added profile and photgraphs re. Harry Owen Brake his wife and daughters * Added family of Clara Koster