Reading and responding to entries in this blog

Comments on postings

In the three months since I started this blog, very few people have used the Comments feature to comment on anything I have posted here, though some have responded by private e-mail. That is rather sad, because it means that others in the family can’t see what you have written. There are actually two places where you can comment — just click where it says “Comments” at the bottom of each post.

In addition, if you look at the side bar on the right, there is also a Forum and a Guestbook. The forum option is suitable for continuing discussions on research into a particular family member, such as the mystery of Alfred John Dawson Francis and his several wives.

Of course if you want to discuss something very private, that you don’t want anyone else to read, it is best to use e-mail, but much of what we are discussing here is about people who are long dead, and so it should not be a problem.


I’ve been checking the Search facility, and find that the Search this blog one doesn’t work too well. If you want to search for something like “Alfred Dawson Francis”, enter it in the search space at the top of the page and click on Search all blogs. That seems to work better.

Telling others

If you know anyone else in the family who might be interested in a particular post in this blog, click on the little envelope icon at the bottom — a window will open in which you can enter their e-mail address, and a note on what they might find interesting.

Growdon/Growden family page, and other web updates

Growden page

I’ve updated the Growdon/Growden family page, so if you have Growden ancestors or relatives, please have a look.

My tribes

I’ve also found a replacement for my Yahoo 360 pages, which were closed in May. For a while I tried MySpace as a substitute, but it was clunky and hard to use. I’ve found something better than both of them at, where I invite you to join me. If you go there, you can see and link to the latest updates from this blog. I found it quicker, easier to use and more useful than either Yahoo 360 or MySpace.

I’ve put some of these links down the column on the right of this blog, where I hope they will be easy to find.


Some people seem to have been having difficulty in commenting on posts here.

When I’ve posted something on a branch of the family, I sometimes send an e-mail announcement to members of that branch of the family who I think might be interested. Some have replied by e-mail, which means that no one else can see it.

If you want to comment on an article here, please click on the “COMMENTS” at the bottom to add a comment, or to see what comments others have made. There are actually two places where you can do this, but the better one to use is the one that says “0 COMMENTS” (or 1, or 2). If it says “0 comments” and you add a comment there, the next person who comes along will see that it says “1 COMMENT”, and so on.

If there are more than 10 comments, it might be better to move the discussion to the Bravenet Forum, which you can see in the sidebar on the right. Just make sure you give it a clear and meaningful subject line, especially with the surname of the branch of the family, so that others can find it easily.

If you have comments or questions on this business of commenting, please click on “COMMENTS” below, and ask away or have your say!

Thwaites, Green families in Australia

I’ve just had some correspondence with Emma Hannah, who was married to Roger Thwaites, son of FJ Thwaites, the Australian novelist, who was the grandson of Margaret Agnes Ann Green and Walter Thwaites. This adds something to what we know of the Thwaites side of the family.

Margaret Agnes Ann Green (known as Agnes) and her younger brother Alfred both lived in Australia. We have been in contact with several of Agnes Green’s descendants, from all three of her husbands, some of whom returned to southern Africa in later generations, and some fought on opposite side in the First and Second World Wars.

There is a possibility that at least two of her husbands committed bigamy by marrying her.

We have not managed to make contact with any of Alfred’s descendants though. One of them William Alfred Goodall Esdaile Green lived in South Africa for several years, and changed his name to William d’Este Stuart-Grey. Another, Frederick, died young. A daughter, Henrietta Caroline married William Henry Browne.

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Sandercock/Saundercock family

Nola Buzza writes:

I’m very excited to report that I have just found three Saundercock brothers who died in USA – William born 1866, Thomas H born 1870, Robert born 1872 – sons of William Thomas Saundercock & Emma Jane Wellington. It seems that William may have married and had at least one daughter – more research needed there. Great fun isn’t it? Hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Cheers – Nola

That’s a signal for the rest of us Sandercock – Saundercock researchers to get busy!

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Searching Bedminster marriage registers

Nothing much to report on the research front. I had to go to a meeting in Johannesburg, where I met an old friend Mike Murphy. Not a relation, but I first met him nearly 50 years ago when he and his sister Brigid came to stay with some cousins ofn theirs who lived next door to us in Johannesburg. We were kids then. Saw him again about 20 tyears later, and now again after another 30 years.

But after the meeting I went to the Mormon Family History Library and went through the Bedminster Marriage registers from about 1875 to 1895. Didn’t find very much, but there was Joseph Hayes, son of Sander, whose brother Christopher Albert Hayes was Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1910 or thereabouts. And my great grandmother Mary Barber Stooke’s sister Sarah married Charles Parker.

The others were mostly unrelated people of similar names. I made a note of them for future reference, in case I find them and think they are a new branch of the family. It’s a sort of “you know about those already” thing.

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Andrew’s Amusing Anecdotes: The Family Cottam

Looks like another Cottam family

Andrew’s Amusing Anecdotes: The Family Cottam

I wonder if there is any connection. Ours was from Lancaster, and I seem to recollect seeing a place near Lancaster with a name similar to a place in Country Durham — was it Sunderland? I’ll have to check.

Our main family history page

Just another reminder that our main family history page has moved to If you visit it, please don’t forget to sign the Guestbook!

At the old site it was linked to a family tree, but we have not managed to to that on the new site yet, but I hope to get a new one done soon.

And please leave a comment here if you have anything to add to the family news and research news we put here. What you write may help to jog someone else’s memory!

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Nation family of New Zealand

For a long time we were in correspondence with a distant cousin, Henry Andrew (Andy) Nation, of Punawaitai, Waipawa, New Zealand. He was descended from Edward Lister Green, the brother of Val’s great great grandfather Frederick Thomas Green. Andy was interested in family history, and sent us a copy of Edward Lister Green’s diary and a lot of other family information.

Since Andy died about 10 years ago, we have more or less lost contact with the New Zealand branch of Nation family, though we have continued to be in touch with the Mocine branch in the USA, and through them recently made contact with Andy Blum, who is descended from the Lewis branch, also in the USA.

Ione Evans, descended from one of the other Green brothers, Henry, is now also in New Zealand, and has made contact with another member of the Nation family, Louisa Palairet (born Nation). So we look forward to hearing more news of them.

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Visit our family web pages

This blog contains mostly new family information as we find it, and so you might wonder where it fits together.

You can check our main family web pages by clicking on the image below.

Not everything is there yet, but you will find links to more family information, and places where you can see the family tree.

Growden in Canada

I know that at least one branch of our Growden/Growdon family went to Canada, and wonder if the Rick Growden mentioned in this article is a member of this family:

A wasted two years for Durham? – Jun 1, 2006

The Growden who went to Canada was James Growden (1837-?), son of Thomas and Sidwell Growden who was born in Bodmin, Cornwall, and married Harriet Baldwin of Ontario about 1860. They had eight children.

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