I began researching my paternal ancestry in about 1980, although it had not been planned, nor had it been an ambition. It was early one Sunday afternoon, I had just completed the organisation of a weekend seminar at a hotel in Northampton and was preparing to drive to London. As it was Sunday afternoon I decided not to drive via the M1, but to take a more scenic route, via the town of my birth, Kettering, which is some 15 miles from Northampton. The journey took me through the village of Broughton; I knew that my paternal grandfather had been born in that village and decided to have a look at some of the headstones in the churchyard. There were a number of Wood memorial stones, but I had no idea if any of those buried there were related to me. I was advised by the vicar that all of the parish records were located at the Northamptonshire Record Office (NRO) in Northampton.
I was intrigued, but not yet bitten by the family history bug; it did not take long before discovering that the only feasible method of carrying out the study of genealogy was to physically examine the parish records and other material at the NRO, remember, it was the early 1980s. My problem was that I was living in northeast England; however, my employment took me to London on a regular basis. The NRO had a late opening day, until 21.00hrs each Thursday; therefore, I used to organise my visits to London so that I could return home on a Thursday, via the M1 motorway, and call in at Northampton. I also joined the Society of Genealogists and used its fairly extensive facilities when I was in London; by this time I had been bitten by that family history bug.
My maternal heritage proved to be a different challenge altogether. Whilst my mother and both her parents were English by birth, they had 100% Irish origins. Again, my work sometimes took me to Ireland, to both sides of the current border, and I was able to carry out limited research there. I mention the ‘current border’, because my Irish ancestors came from what is now either side of it, Roscommon, Leitrim and Derry.
I have now began to add the LORRAINE pedigree of my wife, together with the various maternal lineages from that; this may take some time to complete, as I still have a lot more to add to my own family history.
Whilst I have found basic genealogical research appealing, my greatest interest has been the social history surrounding my ancestors, which raises many questions and can unlock the various societal aspects affecting the lives of all of our forebears, together with other more general consequences lost in the mists of time. I’ve tried to bridge this curiosity by researching and writing more than 40 social history based articles, each one using a life experience of my ancestors to some degree.
Most of the articles will eventually be included on the site; go to people and scroll down to ‘stories’. As the articles index automatically sorts in numerical and then in alphabetical order, it did not necessarily list in alphabetical groups nor in chronological order. To overcome this, I've prefixed each article heading with a number, followed by a lower case letter where there is more than one story to a particular surname, or group of surnames: Wood 1
Also, in addition to the aforementioned exercise in relation to articles, listed as ‘stories’, I’ve also included other published work, uploaded as Jpeg images, under the name(s) of various individuals to whoever that piece of written work relates. Some of these works have been published in various commercial and retail genealogical magazines and others as desktop publishing documents. There are instances where some detail is duplicated, as certain articles are similar; however, none of them are identical. This, I believe, concentrates a piece of written work, which relates to a particular ancestor, more directly to that individual.
As tribalpages.com is a USA owned site, it does not appear to recognise the British change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752; consequently, any Julian calendar dates before 1752 are shown as Gregorian, i.e. 17 January 1712/13, is shown as 17 January 1713.
All of my genealogical research was originally on the Applemac software, Reunion 8, and the details of in excess of 3,800 individuals were manually transferred to http://timberslackery.tribalpages.com. Unlike most family history software, tribalpages.com does not appear to warn of any obvious errors, particularly with regard to mistyped dates; consequently, there will be errors and I would be grateful to anyone discovering any if they could let me know.
Details concerning many of my direct ancestors were entered first and I omitted to enter information regarding source material. Where this detail has not been entered, this will be done in due course.