GENERAL - THEKINGSCANDLESTICKS. Mike Fenn has now pushed the Fenn family back to William Fenne of Thorndon nr Kenton Suffolk born c1490 Sadly I must report the death of Susan Perrett nee Alston. She researched her Royal Descent back to Edward III via her 2 x Gt Grandmother Anne Oxenden & her Australian Convict descent from 3 x Gt Grandfather Richard Fitzgerald who made good in Sydney. She was a specialist on the Bedfordshire Alstons Ella Brewin: In 1901 & 1902 Ella had the good fortune to be the guest of Amea Blair her future sister-in-law, in Canada. They travelled extensively, sometimes in the private carriage of Amea’s father, as he was at the time, Minister for Railways for Canada. Ella wrote numerous letters about her experiences and these have been put together in two books by her Grandson James Holme, considerably enhanced by James extensive Footnotes. See Home Page - Books - My Dearest Mother Canada 1901 or See Home Page - Books - My Dearest Mother Canada 1902 or Her letter dated 19 Oct 1902 describing San Francisco’s China Town is an eye-opener The Julius Family - Northern Rivers New South Wales Australia: Barbara Roach of this family has been making some important discoveries in St Kitts, West Indies, adding weight to the oral tradition that her ancestor William Julius         born c 1795 was from the Island. The Liveing Archive: It is difficult to assess the enormous contribution the Liveing Archive has made to this family history. First to the understanding of this important and interesting family then to an understanding of the World they lived in. From successful fishermen on the South East coast some 400 yrs ago, then operators of a Packet Service from Harwich to Europe, in the 17th & 18th C, to successful professionals, doctors & scientists like George Liveing       known as the father of modern chemistry at Cambridge In making this data available two names stand out, they are Claudia Buxton,  who, over the last 10 yrs has led the scanning and recording of the Liveing Archive. Claudia has worked through several thousand pages of letters dating from the 18th C, notes, images and other memorabilia. This work has now been taken over by Marie Liveing, as it reaches completion Marie is now indexing the collection, an important step in making the data accessible in the future. Thank you very much Claudia & Marie.   A most important part of this effort has been undertaken by  Dr Stanley Lapidge, who approached me some 5 years ago about the Rev Francis Fortescue Knottesford        who, with his son Edward, built the church in Stan’s village. Stan was writing a history of the church and the interesting Fortescue Knottesford family, significant in the Oxford Movement. I mentioned at that time there were a good number of 18th & 19th C letters in the Liveing Archive between members of this family. At that time they were scanned but not transcribed. He offered to tackle some although I warned him Francis’s handwriting was at times almost illegible. Stan rose to the challenge and more than 5yrs later is working on the last of the letters. That his Doctorate in the Classics has helped, is not in question. Thank you very much Stan.   Displaying Letters and other Documents: The documents forming this collection and others, I am now displaying on the individual’s webpage under “Other Records”, even if they are still awaiting transcription. By enlarging them website users can access the data that interests them. Julius/Layard/Hutchins Jane Herasimenko has contributed a vast amount of data on her Layard family, a fascinating lot. Take for example Henry who is best known “as the excavator of Nimrud & Nineveh Assyria” in the 1850’s. Then as a politician and diplomat. His brother Edgar        a prodigious naturalist with an international interest in ornithology and molluscs, his collection weighed 9 tons. Last but not least David Hutchins        an international forestry expert who died in NZ 1920 after laying the foundations of a vast forestry project on otherwise useless land Alston Family: In 2017 several genealogical “brick walls” come down, outstanding amongst them have been the work of Forrest King a member of the extensive American Alston family and Mary Terbrack an English descendant of the Suffolk/Essex Alstons. Some of you may remember in 2013 I made some important discoveries that laid to rest a 100 year old myth concerning the English ancestor of the American Alston family. Since that time research has progressed to find a proven progenitor.   This year Forrest and Mary have come up with an evidence based candidate John Alston bap 1677 Wethersfield Essex       Forrest has put this proposition to considerable scrutiny and has now put together a compelling paper on the matter.   Revealed Capt Robert Fenn born 1785 of Coddenham Suffolk. Of less significance particularly in terms of the number of family affected was a revelation about my 2 x Gt grandfather Robert Fenn        who has been written out of the record by the family for almost 200yrs   On the 200th anniversary of Roberts separation from his wife Harriet in 1817, a letter from his mother-in-law Harriet Liveing, a prolific letter writer, was found in the Liveing Archive. Harriet in her letters is quick to judge, usually with the conviction that her “God” is on her side. She exceeds herself with her appraisal of her son-in-law. Robert is accused of being an adulterer, drinker and a squanderer of his money, amongst other things. That his wife, also Harriet          chose to describe herself in 1864, on her headstone as “widow of Robert Fenn Gent” may mitigate the unhappy matter somewhat.   Robert besides being a farmer was a Capt in the Suffolk Mounted Yeomanry one of many Militias formed in Britain at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. At the least it is clear that at age 38, now married Robert was reluctant to give up his bachelor ways. He could after all claim he was following the example of his Monarch, Geo IV (Gifter of the Kings Candlesticks) at a time labelled “The Age of Scandal” It is most satisfying that Robert’s life is now no longer just a matter of conjecture, the Liveing Archive has delivered up another letter from Roberts grandaughter Isabella Fenn        in 1922, confirming “I knew he was a fast man, but am afraid hard drinking was a very common vice a century or so ago”   For the last few years my Fenn antecedents pre 1700 and those of other Fenn cousins have been in a state of doubt, but the discovery of the Will of Robert Fenn of Baylham of Suffolk dated 1749, has brought some clarity to the matter. Robert now appears part of the Fenn family of Kenton and if all is as it seems, that pushes the history back to Thomas Fenn of Kenton Suffolk in the early 16thC and opens up a whole new field for research.   Home Page Home Page