Wednesday, 13 March 2013



Why do I write about the Bottrill family? Originally, like everyone else, it was to earn about my immediate forebears. But I found the family history goes back further and further, eventually getting to 1066 and then back to Rollo, the Viking. You don't get much more ancient than that.

Records are often chaotic, and it's a real thrill to be able to find enough clues - through Wills etc. - to be able to reconstruct a family tree. And records may be in Latin or Old French on crackly parchment or vellum.

It was even more exciting to find hints of what the family actually got up to in their daily lives - so exciting in fact that I'm writing a series of books about the development of the family through the centuries.

It's relatively easy to get back to c.1800, and many researchers stop there. Why should you care about what happened earlier? Well, the family had to come from somewhere originally.

 It's one thing to be vetted by government departments to prove that your family was English for the past 100 years: you can show it has been English for 1000 years!

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