|Was there anything
in particular that you hoped to find out when you
Yes, I really didn't know anything about beyond
my grandparents because it wasn't something that
was ever discussed in the family, so I was curious
to find out where they came from, things like that.
Have you found out anything surprising,
any skeleton in the cupboard?
Yes indeed, in fact it was this year when the
1911 census was released, it was released two
years early, I discovered that instead of just
having two aunts and my father there were another
seven children, which I had no knowledge of at
all, including triplets who were one month old,
so, and they were never spoken about and there's
no way of finding out what happened to them or
where they went.
And how did you feel when you
found this out?
I think it made me angry, to be honest, because
my father had never ever mentioned anything like
that, and they were a lot of kids, there were
triplets, there were two more brothers and it
may just have been as though they hadn't lived
at all, because there was no mention ever in the
family about it. And frustratingly, of course,
there's no, absolutely no way I can find out,
so that's a shame.
Why is there no way you can find
Well, there's no record of their birth, there's
no record of their death, if they were given away,
which I don't think is impossible, because they
were a poor family, then the surname would have
changed and there would have been no record of
that, so, and there's no living relatives that
I can talk to.
So have you just given up?
You hate to give up on it and you rack your brains
and think, 'Is there any way I could find out?'
and of course, the only possibility with the Shepherd
family I mentioned in the 1911 census is when
the next one comes out in another ten years, there
might be some possibility of seeing if they were
around somewhere then, but that's a long way away.
Did you find out anything else
I did in fact find some births that were quite
close to the marriage dates, and that was a little
unexpected, but my secret wish, I suppose, was
to hope that Dick Shepherd, the highwayman, might
have been somewhere in the family tree, but if
he is, I haven't got that far back, but I wouldn't
mind at all. It would be quite exciting to have
that sort of ancestor, I think.
Do you think that research into
family histories is addictive?
Oh yes, yes I think any hobby can become so, but
this is a fascinating hobby. Perhaps fortunately
both my wife and I work and we're still working,
so time available is dictated by work schedules,
but yes it can be, it's a fascinating, fascinating