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Magazine Articles

The Family Tree Forum Online Magazine was written and put together by the members of The Family Tree Forum. As one of the editors, I was able to twist some arms and  the following articles were originally written for the Family Tree Forum Online Magazine.

A wide variety of topics were covered in the magazine. Most articles were drawn from the authors’ own research into interesting relatives who they have come across, others inspired by questions posed in the forums. Alongside these, you will find in depth articles giving an historical context to our ancestors’ way of life. Some of the issues looked at specific occupations and related trades. 

Generally the magazine followed a loose theme in each issue, but there were also two series of special features, ‘My Kind of Town’ where members focus on a specific location, and ‘Family Treasures’ where members describe objects which have been passed down to them.

The Gillett Spoons

My parents had a motley collection of cutlery with various monograms, which had been passed down to my mother. This includes two incomplete sets of rather worn silver plated spoons, which are used every day. One set is monogrammed GAG, the other JSG but we weren’t...

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Auctioneer of Reading

Robert Tompkins, a resident of Reading, Berkshire, was the second son of Robert Tompkins and Ann Osborn and seemed to have  led an interesting life. While browsing through some 19th Century newspapers recently, looking for a different surname entirely, I vaguely...

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Servant of this house

  Herbert George de Fraine, son of George Turner, spent 55 years at the Bank of England and his recollections of life with the bank were published after his death at the age of 88, by his daughter in "Servant of This House" in 1960. From its earliest beginnings...

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G T de Fraine’s summer holiday

  Herbert George de Fraine also wrote about his family life in Aylesbury where his father was the publisher and printer of the local paper 'The Bucks Herald'. They lived a fairly affluent life. Herbert says that when his father had their bathroom installed it was...

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A Paper Chase

  While searching the digital newspapers, looking for information about John de Fraine, several entries for a certain G.H. de Fraine kept popping up in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle. As he was probably a distant relative I thought that I would...

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Schooldays

The de Fraine, Tompkins and Gillett families often sent both their sons and daughters away from home for a few years of education, and I have several times spotted familiar surnames on lists of pupils, which when I have tracked them through other census returns and through birth registrations have turned out to be related to the name I was originally looking for.

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The Preacher

  Some thirty years ago while house-hunting we went to see what the agent said was a small chapel ‘ripe for conversion’ in the village of West Wickham in Cambridgeshire. The chapel was tiny and needed far too much done to it for us to afford to make it habitable...

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Bluestocking

  Towards the end of the nineteenth century, both my grandmothers went to the local school and when they were old enough were sent away to board for a short time at a young ladies boarding school where they learnt the three Rs, needlework, music and possibly...

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Summer Holiday 1930s

Summer Holiday 1930s

  What happened to the railway carriages in which Herbert and his family travelled to Ramsgate in the 1880s? As the new carriages became fitted up with upholstered seats and lavatories the old ones were sold off for sheds and chicken house. (Some of which are...

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Wartime Memories

Wartime Memories

. I remember it was a lovely sunny Sunday morning the day war broke out.. We listened to Mr Chamberlain’s speech on the wireless in the kitchen, the only wireless we had, and my parents were very serious and shooshed us when we, my two younger sisters and I started to speak, not really understanding what it was all about. My father took us across to the air raid shelter he had made in an old underground farm slurry tank and said that we would have to go into this dark, damp and smelly room if there was an air raid.

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Dear Sir

Dear Sir

It used to be extremely disconcerting to walk into a bank in the early 70s and to be asked by the teller if you were related to “the Lewcock who wrote those books”, with the emphasis on those. At that time Francis James Lewcock’s books on banking were still required...

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Printer and entomologist

Printer and entomologist

George Albert Lewcock was born in 1841 in Farnham in Surrey, the son of James who was a baker and confectioner, continuing the family business started by his father Samuel.James died in 1848, leaving a young family and his wife, Jessamine remarried the following year...

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Skeleton by marriage?

Skeleton by marriage?

When I registered for the 1911 census, I was really only expecting to confirm what I already knew, to see if some of my ancestors were still alive to narrow down dates for searching for their deaths and perhaps bring some of the distant twigs up to date. What I didn’t...

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Of Sparrow Hawk and Ladybirds

Of Sparrow Hawk and Ladybirds

A cause of curiosity to all and horror to some, I have a battered glass case in my living room containing a stuffed sparrow hawk with her bullfinch prey.  This is a macabre memorial to the collecting activities of the Lewcocks.

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