Some years ago, my brother and I did some research on my father's side of the family. Using transcribed parish records, Mormon fiches (the Mormons have very good records) and local library searches we managed a direct line back to the 1500s in the South Hams of Devon and found one reference to land ownership in South Huish, S.Devon in 1428. With more effort we could probably get back further still. Lapthorn was Loppedethorn.
We are related (1700s link) to the Gosport sail-makers Ratsey and Lapthorn who made the sails for HMS Victory.
As far as I can tell, we were "ordinary" folk: mariners, millwights, etc. I have not found links to nobility or royalty!
This represents 13 generations back to the 1500s. My research has been corroborated by fellow genealogist Norman Ford.
As yet, I have not checked out other branches. For each generation back there are 2 trees, so go back 13 generations and there are a vast number of possible ancestoral lines! I am still humbled to think that ALL these ancestors had to have lived and breathed for me to be here today, right back ti the beginning of time. Life is indeed precious.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
At the moment my wife is doing the same sort of research using on-line resources and is already back to 1686. We've found out some branches of her family come from nearby Norfolk where her ancestors were farm labourers before they moved to the industrial north when work on the land was hard and the agricultural depression was at its height. So, today we took a trip to some of the places in Norfolk where her ancestors hailed from. We saw and touched the very font in which our grandson's great, great, great, great, great grandfather was christened in a lonely Norfolk church way back in 1797. My wife was visibly moved to "connect" to her forefathers in this way.
Isn't it amazing to think that each and every one of us is here because of a series of encounters stretching back to the beginning of time. If just one of these encounters had not occurred then each one of us would not be here. Our very existence is precious and truly wonderful.