Monday, 19 April 2010


Are you sitting comfortably, Then I'll begin....

Armed with the 1911 census I set out to trace the birth and marriage certificates of my parents and grandparents. I concentrated on dad's side first as it seemed easier to continue with one surname.  It seemed ridiculously easy to start with and it wasn't until I posed a question on one of the ancestry forums that I realised how much I was assuming and not actually proving! However several certificates later and I was back on track with a certain amount of confidence.
Then almost taking a wrong turn, ie following the wrong Ernest (my grandfathers name) I found this chap..

This is my cousin, a couple of times removed but a first cousin non the less.

What a brilliant discovery, such a clever man and an awesome writer.  His book, which I am reading, is full of serious technical stuff but his writing is so entertaining it is not stuffy at all.
Just to whet your appetite.....I know its not so interesting if its someone else's reli, but let me off please. When you think your family is ordinary and mundane it's a thrill to find someone to boast about....anyway the dust cover summarises his work thus.....

Quote' After an emotional break with Rolls Royce Hooker joined the British Aeroplane Company in 1949. Here he tugged a rather reluctant company into the jet age, determined to give real competition to Rolls Royce.  So successful was he that in 1966 Rolls Royce decided the best thing to do was to spend £63.6 million and buy its rival.
By this time there was scarcely a single modern British aero engine for which Hooker had not been responsible. By 1966 his main concerns were the propulsion of the Concorde and the Harrier'

This was after already adding 30 per cent more power to the legendary Merlin engine and being a major asset to aviation in WW2.

 You can see a little surely why I am proud to have found him!

Well that did it my sister and I had to go back to the place where both our father and Sir Stanley were born...the Isle of Sheppey...and in May last year on a bright and sunny morning we boarded the train to put life into the pieces of paper we had collected.

Crossing over to Sheppey

We knew that several of our relatives were buried in Sheerness cemetary, and also the task we had set ourselves to find them... It is quite large...and then another twist in the tale..

About a couple of weeks before we set off I was contacted on the geneology site by a lady who though we were related.  She lived in Australia,  thought she had the family bible and she had already been to Sheppey doing research on a previous trip to the 'Old Country'. How lucky were we.  Everything tied up the relationship was confirmed, another cousin, and the night before our trip she emailed over the exact location of our great grandparents' graves.  To add the final wonderful touch to this part of my story, she was coming to England again in July and staying in a hotel only about 35 miles away from our this is another story for another day.

I know I've gone on a bit this time and I've so much to reveal about the Sheppey trip, I will give you time to absorb this before I go on again.

Thanks for letting me bend your ears once again, I hope you haven't got a headache by now! Might be wise though to stock up on paracetamol if you intend to keep following.

Until next time

Night night
Jenny x


  1. It's great finding family we didn't know we had, isn't it? When I got my first home computer in 2006, I discovered a shed load of second cousins living in Leeds! I also found an uncle who's a university professor. (He obviously took up all the brainy bits of the gene pool. that's why I don't have any.) Did you mean to tell us that you're related to a 'Hooker'? :O) SueXX

  2. Hi, I have left an award on my blog for you. SueXX

  3. What an amazing discovery!

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!

  4. lovely story. We had a family reunion a few years ago and found we had cousins close by we had never met. My cousin had done a family tree which she is still working on. How special though that all your hard work researching has found you someone so prominent who has been involved in the history of such a respected company as Rolls Royce.

  5. so when are you off to Australia!

  6. There is something very exciting about finding long lost relatives. My mother got a letter from a bloke in Brazil, asking if she was the descendant of his great aunt. We are! It was funny to learn that my Great grandmother was considered 'lost' by the rest of her family. I look forward to your next installment. Kim :)

  7. Wow thats amazing! I imagine you are very proud with your discovery, I ceratinly would be, a Sir none the less!
    Staying tuned for the next installment!
    PS. If you pop over to my blog I have an award for you!

  8. Thanks for such a lovely part 2 the story just keeps getting better, cant wait for the next bit. ps no headaches my end just intrigue!

  9. I've only just become interested in family history, and have found reference to a church in which my grandfather did some carvings, so I'd like to visit it one day - I think it's taken me growing older to appreciate the connection that goes back through the generations! xx


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