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Off to Kew – 18 April

It’s that time of year again, as we ‘winged’ our way to Kew last Saturday there was a quiet expectancy among the ‘family’, or maybe it was just tiredness, it was after all only 7am.

KewPic3The day whizzed by as usual and we make our way home.  The coach was buzzing with excitement; it seems most people found out information about those elusive relatives.

Pat O’Neil from Newport branch had a lovely surprise, finding by accident a WW2 record for her father, although Auntie Lily’s details still remain a mystery.


Roger from Ebbw Vale branch was searching his wife’s families and was quite excited to not only find they originated from Yorkshire but mother in law was present in a certain census, revealing the unmarried surname of the wife.  Another name to add to the tree.

Philip Wray hadn’t come to Kew for a few years and told me he had a book released on 15 Feb this year called “History of Preston in KewPic1Hertfordshire”, which had sold out in ten days.  However, he was very excitingly relating to another member how he’d found by accident, a criminal court case in 1838 whereby a 2xgreat grandfather had surfaced as a witness giving testimony.  However, he was amazed to find a twelve page document on his great grandfather who was a shipwright and how he had suffered a serious accident in 1913 and how he received compensation.  Philip had no idea such a document existed but it answered a lot of questions on how his great grandfather looked after his family. Philip also has an article coming out in June’s Family Tree magazine.

KewPic2Monty Dart from Newport topped us all though, she found no less than twenty files, including many old photographs of Newport and was a very happy ‘bunny’.

Finally, it was with sadness that Mrs Anne Vinnicombe, who has organised the Kew trips for sixteen years, announced she was ‘retiring’ but hoped someone else would come forward for the trips to continue.  Our grateful thanks were duly offered by all on the coach.

However it wasn’t all sadness for Anne as she had discovered a document which bridged a gap.  Her 5xgreat grandfather was captured by the Americans in March 1778 and she found him, some years later, travelling back to Britain on the HMS Emerald. It seems he could have been part of a prisoner exchange when he was released onto the HMS Otter and later transferred to the HMS Emerald.

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