About This Blog

The purpose of my blog is to write about my family history; I find that turning facts into a story helps me work out what further research I need to do and double checks that everything I've assigned to a person in my tree(s) is correct to the best of my ability. 

Being disabled (though the government doesn't seem to understand this) my blog also gives me a platform for discussing how I feel about being ill and an outlet for my feelings when things get a bit difficult.  I'll try to be positive though!

Whenever I upload a post I share it on Twitter (and also with my Facebook friends), so if you follow me using the button on the left you'll never miss a post!


Here is a link to my first blog where I introduce myself.

Due to marrying a Barnsley chap (or the OH as I call him in my blogs) in 2004 I am now based here in the very centre of England.  I have extended his family tree to the point where his ancestors and their descendants are intermarrying not only with each other but with the ancestors of many of our friends in Barnsley.  Not that I'm saying Barnsley is a small place, it's just that I've spent so long on this bit of research that I am no longer surprised to find that my OH's father's best friend was also his fifth cousin twice removed, or that my friend GB is related by marriage to her husband through my husband!


You will note that I have a page headed Family History Stories, this is where I am collecting links to my blogs which heavily feature stories about members of my family tree.

My online family tree pages can be found here.  The page Surname Interests in this blog lists most of the names in my tree and the OH's and the places our families lived so you can have a quick look to see if you might be connected to us.

I am particularly attached to my Hutton family, who were a family of Master Mariners and Shipowners in Sunderland and Hartlepool.  Hence the sailing ship on my header. 

Other family names from Sunderland are Mordey, Douglas, Elstob and Vaux (of the brewery).  I have traced each of these families back to the early 18th century, and would like to investigate the complex links between these families of middle-class merchants, shipowners, master mariners, lawyers and doctors (surgeons). Unfortunately I live over 100 miles away from the relevant archives, so currently my research is limited to what I can glean online or by sending for documents through the post.

I have a long standing interest in the suburb of Heeley in Sheffield and was involved in the Heeley History Workshop until I moved to Barnsley in 2003.

My husband's family also have sailing roots, on canals from Manchester to Goole and onwards into the Humber estuary.


I did a big public talk on 11th March 2013 for the Friends of the Barnsley Archives.  It was on Barnsley Soldiers of the First World War.  It went very well and I have plans to do others, you can download a leaflet about my talks here and read more about them on my History Talks tab above.

As a consequence of that talk I decided to write up the stories of the various WW1 soldier ancestors in mine and the OH's trees - the page World War One Soldiers' Stories will display the links to these in one convenient list as I write them.

Contact Me

You can leave a comment on any of my blog posts - I monitor them by email and will respond or you can email me direct if you prefer.


ruth52 said...

I find your blog very interesting. I too am researching my family history. I have a question about Charles Wagstaff, whose daughter Ann married Richard Hey.
My ancestor (also called Ann Wagstaff!) bapt 1794 married George Barber (bleacher) in 1814.
Her father was also a bleacher named Charles. Do you think it is possible that 'my' Ann and 'your' Charles were brother and sister?
I haven't been able to make any progress past Charles Wagstaff born @1771 and his wife Hellen Burrows married 1791 in Silkstone, although I have a considerable amount of George Barbers history.

BarnsleyHistorian said...

Hi Ruth,
It has been a long time since I looked at that part of the OH's family tree. Ann Wagstaff's first husband was a Brettoner and somewhere down the line a Brettoner marries into the OH's family. This is a perfect example of me following a line just to see where it goes! I doubt I'll be revisiting that part of the tree again.
However it sounds like you know what you are doing, so I wish you good luck with your search for your Wagstaff ancestors.
Thank you for reading my blog,