All posts by Eric Linfield

Some ideas for future researches

Reading ‘The Essential Guide to Genealogy’ (edited by Ellen Galford, published earlier this year by Marshall Publishing) reminds me that family history provides an interesting opening to the vast area of social history. With this new book as a guide, here are a few suggestions for extending research into other avenues for our Lin(d)field Group’.

(i). The manor of Linkfield

According to Stanford Smith, since we had no ancient connections with the villages of Lindfield and Lingfield, our manorial origin was Linkfield (now part of Redhill) in Surrey. In Nigel Dunne’s book ‘The Redhill Story’ (published in 1994) we find a brief introduction to its history (pp. 8-18). Linkfield was a sub-manor of Reigate and first recorded in 1315 when it was owned by Nicholas de Lynkefeld. The manor house stood on what used to be the corner of Station Road and Linkfield Lane, before the roundabout was built.

It would be useful to know more about Linkfield, as Linkfield Street remains one of the main roads in Redhill. Any member living in the Redhill, Reigate or Kingston areas might tackle this intriguing part of our Norman and Medieval family origins.

(ii). Our family connections with some well-known Sussex land-owning families

These include such families as the Wyndhams of Petworth House and later the Egremonts, the Stanfords of Preston Manor, the Shelleys of Field Place and Castle Goring, the Borrers of Henfield and Hurstpierpoint, Samson Copestake of Ewhurst Manor and Shermanbury Place, and so on.

These associations could be as Linfield tenant farmers or as employees on their estates or in their large houses. As Joan Ham has shown in her local research on Storrington and district, Linfield family references occur in many places; her recent work on the Canon Palmer Diaries has thrown up some interesting details about some of my 19th century ancestors! However, as Malcolm has often pointed out in his articles, the Linfields’ fortunes were moderate and typical of tenant and small farmers, craftsmen like blacksmiths, brickmakers and stonehealers, with various categories of manual worker. Luckily from time to time there was the emergence of an academic, a cleric or some other scholar!! This naturally leads to suggestion (iii).

(iii). Academic/professional Lin(d)fields

In past issues of ‘Longshot’, we have had articles on the following: Robert Linfield of Barnards Inn, Professor Frederick Bloomfield Linfield, Ralph Parkinson Linfield, and Gilbert Lindfield M.P. of Ipswich. But we still need more information on John Lyndefeld, Archdeacon of Chichester who had links with All Souls College, Oxford, John Linfield of Coolhurst and any other Linfields recorded as Oxbridge or other university graduates.

In the House of Commons Library, there are details on the various Lin(d)field M.P.s. Another source of information are the various Institutes of Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical and other types of Engineer for Lin(d)field references. In some cases, old school records would be useful too.

Finally, recent television programmes, such as the 1900 House, the 1940 House and ‘Surviving the Iron Age’, have introduced the latest approach at historical understanding. Using any data that we have in our family records, or in ‘Longshot’, someone might write a ‘day in the life’ of one of their ancestors. So here is my first attempt (!) with Peter Linfield of Storrington, in the Summer of 1781:

"Our step daughter Sarah was twenty earlier in the year so she is now a very valuable member of the family in assisting my wife Sarah with her children. Anne has just celebrated her 13th birthday and William his 12th. In May our youngest child Peter was born so he joins Lucy (10), Edward (7), Thomas (5) and James (3). Since we still have the farm at Palmers, West Chiltington, as well as our shop in Church Street and another house in the village, we are all kept very well occupied with our various duties. William is my butcher’s assistant in the shop whereas I have John Humphries as farm manager at Palmers. We are lucky to have a pleasant house to live in as well as the shop to run, so we have some comfort for all the family to enjoy. Also, we have arranged for our children to have some lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic; Anne and Lucy are doing very well and progressing. We eat well and the children take part in village and church activities."

(This could be elaborated with some imaginative description of late 18th century Storrington village life).

Palmer’s Farm House as it is today

Palmer’s Farm House as it is today – Peter Linfield (1734-91), his mother Sarah (nee Dave) and his second wife Sarah Sayers moved there soon after their marriage in 1766.

An Update on my Family History Researches

This millennium year 2000 has enabled me to extend my family history in several ways and briefly I review the main elements.

The publication of two fascinating books by the Horsham Museum Society in January, “The Shelleys of Field Place” – the story of the family and their estates – and “The letters of Bysshe and Timothy Shelley” and other documents put me in touch with Mr George Bason of Hove. Mr Bason has researched the history of Castle Goring for many years, and I am extremely grateful to him for sending me a file of notes and photographs, including one of the gamekeeper’s cottage where my grandmother, Katherine Leach lived with her father Noah Leech, gamekeeper in the mid-19th century. The gamekeeper’s cottage remains an architectural gem, as does Castle Goring itself, originally built for Sir Timothy Bysshe Shelley in 1790-1810, the poet Shelley’s grandfather (see Pevsner’s account on pages 125/7, The Buildings of England: Sussex , Penguin 1965).

My father often talked to me of his mother’s domestic service at Castle Goring and it had obviously affected her greatly. As she only married when she was 35 on July 18th 1885, she registered her first child Frederick in 1887 as resident at Castle Goring, so the connection obviously continued after marriage for a while. Castle Goring near Worthing is now a language school! Unfortunately, my grandmother died before I was born and Uncle Fred, too, had been killed in 1917 whilst near Arras in the First World War.

We spent a delightful week’s holiday at Eastbourne in June. Whilst there I visited Summerdown Road to find the large house, Muskoday, where my aunt Elizabeth Linfield was in domestic service at the time of her tragic death – she was found drowned at Pevensey Bay on November 12th 1924 (see Longshot Vol 5 No 2 p.52). Unfortunately we failed to find the house – no wonder, it had been destroyed by a German bomb. In a recent letter from Vera Hodsoll (formerly Hon. Secretary of the Eastbourne Local History Society) she told me that the house was destroyed in a heavy raid by Focke-Wolfe FW 190s in the afternoon of June 6th 1943, exactly one year before D-day. So it is sometimes impossible to see the houses where one’s family has had connections in the past, despite my suggestion in a previous Longshot (see Vol 1 No 2, p.42, “Starting a Picture Story of One’s Own Family”.)

However, I have been able to build up a collection of photographs where my father, grandfather and his grandfather’s grandfather, Peter Linfield (1734-91) lived. They make a very colourful and interesting album and I am adding a copy of the Gamekeeper’s Cottage, Castle Goring shortly!

Reflections from the President

In my early researches about the geographical and cultural origins of the Linfields, knowing that we were probably associated with the growing of flax, I wrote to the Linfield Football and Athletic Club, of Windsor Park, Donegall Avenue, Belfast, N. Ireland enquiring if there were any family connections. No link was established. However, since then Linfield Athletic have published ‘LINFIELD- 100 YEARS’ by Malcolm Brodie (1985) which describes its first hundred years since its foundation in March 1886. The following extracts are of interest and show that there are a number of associations with our ancient family name:

“There is no other football club in Ireland quite like Linfield. They are loved and hated. Loved by thousands of fans – some of whom have had their ashes scattered at Windsor Park while others were buried in their Linfield regalia. Hated down the years by the opposition for an implacable enmity, a fierce and relentless sporting rivalry has always existed between Linfield and all other teams.

The tradition of Linfield hits you the moment you step through the turnstiles or into the dressing and boardrooms at Windsor. They are a big club who never permit themselves to be parochial in outlook although they jealously guard their rights. Dignity and dedication are two essentials to being a Linfield player or official.”

“It is the proud boast of many Linfield fans that theirs is the bluest of the blue. It is a club with a distinctly Protestant following but, in answer to often-repeated criticism that they don’t play Roman Catholics, club officials point out there is nothing in the rules to prevent this. In fact, many of the distinguished players in the past have been Roman Catholics . . .”

“Everyone wants to triumph over the Blues. “I don’t care who wins so long as Linfield are beaten”, is a comment frequently heard. That has not happened too often for a search of the records reveals few seasons in which Linfield didn’t win a trophy nor have they ever applied for re-election to the Irish League. Supporters look upon success as commonplace and that is the way it has been down the years . . .”

“Everyone owes a supreme allegiance to Linfield but, through the club, they have helped by positive thinking to ensure Northern Ireland football marches on. Another century approaches and no doubt during it the name of Linfield will be in the forefront as it has been since that day in 1886 when the club was conceived in a linen mill . . .”

It was in the latter part of 1885 “that Bob McClurg, an employee in the Linfield mill of the Ulster Spinning Company, led a deputation . . . to ask directors permission to form a team and to use the ground at the back of the mill called “The Meadow”. This was granted and the company even offered the facilities of the dining hall where they had first discussed the prospects of setting up the club.”

“So in March 1886, the club, known as Linfield Athletic, was officially founded; it was decided to limit team membership to employees but it soon became evident that if success was to be attained, the doors had to be opened to all-comers. Therefore six outsiders were welcomed simply because they strengthened the side . . .”

“Throughout the summer of 1886 players trained assidiously, even during lunchbreaks. All wanted to play for Linfield, to be founder members. In the opening match against Distillery . . . Linfield won 6-5 . . . Distillery, already well established, had a highly competent side led by Matthew Wilson who was amazed at the performance of Linfield, nicknamed by the workers as ‘The Sprinters’. “You staggered us . . . we expected to beat a junior side”, he told committee members. That victory established the name of Linfield . .”

During the last few months, I have begun research into the life of George Hayler Linfield who left the SullingtonStorringtonWashington area in the early 1840s and worked for many years as a gardener at Brenchley, near Paddock Wood in Kent. He was one of the grandsons of Peter Linfield, the butcher of Storrington (see Longshot, Vol 2 No 1, May 1993 p. 10). I visited Brenchley for the first time earlier this year and I hope to go again in the Autumn. It’s a beautiful little village with a splendid view of the surrounding countryside from Castle Hill. The following is taken from our database and gives his family history in outline:

GEORGE HAYLER LINFIELD born abt. 1816, Sullington, occupation Gardener, married before 1844 in Brenchley, Kent, Anne born abt. 1812 Brenchley, Kent, living 1891, Castle Hill, Brenchley. George died 1892 (reg.Tonbridge). Anne shown in CR91 as aged 79, bn. Brenchley.

Children:

Bertha Hayler Linfield, b. 1844.
Elizabeth Ann Linfield, b. 1846. Occupation: School Matron in CR 1891.
Emma Josephine Linfield, b. 1848. Occupation: Cook domestic, living 1891 at Castle Hill, Brenchley.

Bertha married (i) Thomas Whibley, 21 Nov 1868 at Brenchley (ii) —– Hannaford, before 1920.

Database outlines such as the above give the basic information for my current research. My daughter, Janet Anderson (nee Linfield) lives at Larkfield, Kent about 10 miles from Brenchley.

Finally, a personal memory of my early respect for William Henry Borrer, the famous botanist, of Barrow Hill, Henfield. My family have always been great tree lovers and we valued the grandeur of the cedar trees planted in the little plantation on the left at the top of Barrow Hill. On the flint wall the Borrer family had placed a plaque saying the trees were planted with seed from Lebanon in 1843. I passed these trees every school day for the three years that I attended Henfield Boys (CE) Elementary School, 1928-31 before I began my grammar school education as a rural scholarship boy at Steyning, and often collected pine cones there. I was, of course, completely unaware then of the Borrer/Lindfield connection: William Borrer’s mother was Mary Lindfield (1758-1813), daughter and heir to Nathaniel Lindfield, owner of Pickwell in Cuckfield, which she brought by marriage in 1780 to William Borrer of Pakyns Manor in Hurstpierpoint. William Borrer, botanist, was born on June 13 1781. He died on January 10 1862. The following extract comes from The Story of Henfield by Henry de Candole, Vicar of Henfield (Cambridges, Hove, 1947):

On the upper slope of Barrow Hill, a “new mansion was built by his father for William Borrer the third, a great name in the Henfield of the 19th century. The Borrer family owned, and still own, Pakyns Manor in Hurstpierpoint bought by William Borrer the first in 1783. His son, William Borrer II, was High Sheriff of the county, raised a troop of Horse for defence against Napoleon, and is described as having proved “a very successful caterer for the needs of the crowds of men and horses assembled in Sussex” at the time of the Napoleonic scare. He already had connections with Henfield, and his son, William Borrer III, was born and baptised here in 1781 and showed his devotion to the place during a long life as a generous benefactor to the Church, Schools and village, and an originator of many schemes for their welfare. But his fame was more than local, for he was one of the leading botanists of his time, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Tradition tells of a letter sent to him, and safely delivered, as “that illustrious man Wm. Borrer, England.” In particular, he was an authority on the plants of his own county and parish as the frequency of allusions to Henfield in the recent ‘Sussex Flora’ by Wolley-Dod (1937) amply testifies. “As soon as he had a home of his own,” we are told, “he betook himself to gardening, and amassed one of the best collections of plants ever grown in the English climate.” The garden at Barrow Hill was indeed famous; in 1860 his gardener made a list of over 6600 plants, the most remarkable of which were given at his death to Kew Gardens. Others of his family shared his interests, and are responsible for the red oaks, and for the cedars brought from Lebanon in 1843 and flourishing opposite Spring Hills. His eldest son William Borrer IV of Cowfold became an authority on ornithology and wrote ‘The Birds of Sussex’, in which may be found his startling record of having once seen no less than 14 golden orioles on a single bush on Henfield Common. But the glories of Barrow Hill are past; the house has been deserted since the death of Borrer’s granddaughter, and the once lovely garden is now, alas! a tangled wilderness.”

The last connection of the Lindfields with the Borrers was in the last century when Mr Lindfield Borrer still lived at Barrow Hill.

Miscellany (2)

Reflections from the President, December 1996

Browsing through the first nine issues of Longshot (1992-96), I am impressed by the energies of our Chairman, Malcolm and Secretary, Alan in establishing such a wealth of knowledge of the Lin(d)fields over the generations. I realise that their research work has opened up an extremely interesting family story and certain topics have suggested themselves as subjects for further investigation:

One topic might be the other Sussex families associated with the Lin(d)fields through marriage, such as the Stanfords and the Borrers. Perhaps we could invite a contribution from any family historian in those families.

Another interesting area would be the Lin(d)fields and their various religious quests, which appears so varied in a small family. We know that John Linfield was Archdeacon of Chichester in the early years of the 15th century (he died in 1440) but, as a lawyer concerned with civil law, he had contact with Rome for papal dispensations in connection with other benefices that he held. As I reported at one of our AGMs, he is worthy of more research some time. He bequeathed his better books on civil law and case law to All Souls College library, Oxford but only MS 55 has survived and can be seen at the library by prior appointment.

Malcolm has written extensively7 on the 17th and 18th century Quaker Linfields. The Worthing Linfields were prominent Methodists, and two of our members the Rev. Derek Lindfield and Alan Linfield have other non-conformist connections. I have sometimes called myself a Quaker Catholic but there were some years of my life when I was a member of the British Humanist Association and also in the 1950s I attended meetings of the London Buddhist Society where I met Christmas Humphreys, a Buddhist Judge who presided at some famous Old Bailey trials.

We also know that Peter Linfield, the Storrington butcher was a churchwarden at the Parish Church at some time when he was living at Palmers Farm, West Chiltington. There must be other family details. Additionally, we might ask members to write potted autobiographies of their working life.

Perhaps we could do a feature some time on celebrities we have met; Christmas Humphreys was very helpful in recommending books to me. Another Buddhist, whom I first met in the 1950s when he came to visit the school where I was teaching on thr edge of Epping Forest, was Professor UD Jayabekera of Colombo, Sri Lanka. We have corresponded at Christmas time for over 40 years – he is nearly 80 now but is a very interesting and scholarly man.

When I was at Cambridge I met poets and politicians, writers and jazz men, and many others. More recently, I have had close contact with Tracy, Marchioness Worcester who is a well known local environmental campaigner – the Times did an article on her last year.

Last October, through the kind service that Alan supplies, ordering copies of birth, marriage and death certificates from St. Catherine’s House, I solved one of my outstanding queries which should enable me to complete my picture of my father’s and grandfather’s story. I refer to it briefly in my article in Longshot Vol 3 No 2, pp. 51-53. Here are the details from the death certificate for Elizabeth Linfield – my aunt who died mysteriously in 1924. (My father was 33 when he had his accident and she died when she was 33, so my mother, a Knapp often said 33 was the Linfields’ unlucky number – avoid it if you ever buy a National Lottery ticket!) :

“12th November 1924. Found dead washed up by the sea at Pevensey Bay, Pevensey RD. Elizabeth Linfield, female, 33 years, General Servant (Domestic), at Buskoday Summerdown Road, Eastbourne. Found drowned on the beach at Pevensey Bay, washed up by the Sea. No evidence to show how she came to be in the water. Certificate received from G. Vere Benson, Coroner for Sussex. Inquest held Fourteenth November 1924.”

My aunt’s death remains a mystery as the coroner’s verdict was Accidental Death, but I have the documentary evidence of his views at the inquest now. Family history research would be much easier if we had GRO evidence of births, marriages and deaths before 1837 when it began; parish records, nonconformist records etc. are interesting but their searches are often very difficult. I well remember an afternoon in the summer of 1973 when I searched the West Chiltington Parish register in the church vestry.

The other interesting information also arrived in October, discovered by Rosemary Milton in researching old Sussex newspapers. It appears in the Sussex Weekly Advertiser of October 11 1779:

WHEREAS we EDMUND SEARL and PETER LINDFIELD, both of STORRINGTON, in the County of SUSSEX, Butchers, did appear before Sir Harry Goring, Baronet, one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County, in Pursuance of his Summons for that Purpose, at the Chequer Inn, in Steyning, on the 10th Day of February last, in order to prove that John Scardefield, of Storrington, aforesaid, had sold two Hares to Henry Baker, of the same place, Farmer; the said Sir Harry Goring, Baronet, having an Information thereof lodged before him by William Green, Esq. another of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the said County, and which we could have proved, but with great Contempt refused to be sworn for that Purpose; And whereas an Indictment hath been preferred against us for such our Contempt, and the same came on this day to be tried at the Quarter Sessions, at Petworth, in the said County, but at our earnest Request, and on our paying the Costs and Ten Pounds, to be distributed as the above-mentioned Justices of the Peace shall direct, the Court, with the kind Consent of our Prosecutors, forgave us, on our promising to ask Pardon in this public Manner, and paying the Money and Costs above-mentioned; We, therefore, hereby most humbly ask Pardon for such our scandalous Behaviour, and do acknowledge the great Goodness of the Court, and our Prosecutors, for their kind Forgiveness on such easy Terms, and do promise for ourselves, and recommend to every Body else, never to be guilty of the like Contempt to Magistracy in future. As Witness our Hands, this 5th Day of October, 1779. PETER LINDFIELD, EDMUND SEARL.

Malcolm, Alan and I have met occasionally at the Chequers in recent years for exchanging Lin(d)field information, so it seems that the Lin(d)field families have over 200 years association with that lovely old inn in the heart of Steyning High Street.

Once again, can I invite our Lin(d)field One Name Group members to submit some written record of their branch of an unusual Wealden family to the Editor.

Miscellany (1)

Reflections from the President June 1996

Our journal Longshot represents the most essential and interesting form of communication open to us at present. It enables us to expand our Lin(d)field horizon so that we can appreciate the significance of all the branches of the tree. As Professor Steve Jones is showing in his current BBC 2 series, In the Blood, both Genealogy and Genetics have a common linguistic link, the gene. During the last few years, I have lectured on the Human Genome project and Genetic Engineering, as it seems necessary for us all to understand the significance of scientific research and its technological application. I wonder how many genealogists share my search for this understanding. Finally, on this topic, it gives me great pleasure that I live next door to the parents of Dr Richard Roberts, whom I have known since he was completing his PhD at Sheffield University. Richard shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1994 for his pioneering work on the split gene. Perhaps it would interest our members if I produced a short reading list to encourage reading on the fascinating story of Human Genetics!

Writing as a Hobby

So Communication in all its channels – the media – must depend ultimately on words. Indeed, forty or more years ago at university, I spent some time studying symbolic logic because I had been inspired by Bertrand Russell’s writings and FP Ramsey’s ‘Foundations of Mathematics.’ However, the work of the Viennese logician Carnap and some of his contemporaries seemed so arid that I became more interested in the work of Russell’s famous pupil, Ludwig Wittgenstein than symbolic logic. So I decided that statistics and experimental psychology were more appropriate in part II of the Tripos, as I really wanted to communicate as an educator with “all sorts and conditions of people.” Writing, like lecturing, has always attracted me, and whether it’s a personal letter, a book review, a magazine article or a press report, I enjoy the process. Sometimes words fail me and I look for some mathematical measure like opinion polls but our individual thoughts and feelings seem infinitely more important than marks on a scale. Every Lin(d)field has a unique story to tell and if anyone would like any help in its shaping with words on paper, I would be pleased to help.

Mary Offer’s delightful article “How did it all begin?” in the last issue of Longshot (Vol 4 No 2) seemed an excellent beginning. Even if your linkage with any of our known branches has not yet been fully established, write down some personal family history, especially memories of your own grandparents or interesting family friends or places you may like. There are vast areas of our Lin(d)field family heritage still to explore and every field is interesting. You might find the new journal ‘Family History Monthly’ useful to inspect as it aims to make family history more popular.

Field Name and Place Name Research

Until early 1994, when I had my slight stroke, I was alternately Secretary and Chairman of our Keynsham and Saltford Local History Society (1981-1994), although I had no academic qualification in History. However, both as an evening class student in Archaeology and Local History in Essex, Hertfordshire, Hampshire and here in the West Country, I have probably heard more lectures on historical subjects than on any other!!

Place names and field names fascinate me as much as family names, for research on names involve similar methods, as they all have connections. Anyone having the word FIELD as their whole surname or part thereof, as with us Lin(d)fields, must have an ancient connection with the land and/or farming. Field is derived from FELD (Old English) and corresponds to FELD in Old Frisian and Old Saxon, VELD (Dutch) and FELD (Old High German and German). LIN(D) is more difficult to identify as it can be any of the following in its origin: 

  • LINN, a waterfall, obsolete variant.
  • LIN, made of flax.
  • Variant of LITHE from the Old High German word LINDI, German LIND meaning soft and agreeable (of things) and gentle, meek (of persons).
  • Old English LIND or LINDE was the lime tree and also Old English LINDEN, LIND also meant made of the wood of the lime tree.

Whatever the historical origins of our family name, I will settle for gentle, meek, growers of flax in some Saxon fields!! (The Sermon on the Mount in the A.V. New Testament tells us “Blessed are the Meek”.)

Research on place names is often more disappointing; for instance, in recent years I have tried to trace two cottages mentioned on early Census Returns but I have been unable to locate their sites as so many cottages do not last more than a hundred years. One was at Hammerpot between Crossbush and Clapham, the home of NOAH LEACH, gamekeeper, my father’s maternal grandfather (1851 Census) and Granary Cottage in the parish of Shermanbury, where my maternal grandfather, GEORGE KNAPP is recorded as a nine year old scholar in the 1861 Census. However, I was delighted to find in recent research that my maternal grandfather, George Knapp, lived at Shermanbury from 1851 to 1877 when he married and moved to Woodmancote. My grandfather, GEORGE LINFIELD, and his two sons, my father George, and Uncle Fred, lived and worked at Ewhurst Farm, Shermanbury from the late 1890s until 1918/19, the end of the First World War. This discovery of links with the same place from both my maternal and paternal grandfathers has explained my fascination with this really rural tiny Sussex parish beside the upper reaches of the River Adur.

The Storrington Linfields & their poor relations of Sullington and Washington: part 2

My first instalment of this family history of my branch of the Linfield tree (Longshot, Vol 2 No 2) needs some clarification, as some confusion may occur if one fails to realise that PETER LINFIELD’S (1734-91) two sons, WILLIAM (1769-1835) and EDWARD (1774-1861), both had two sons named WILLIAM and HENRY. They can be seen on the Register format listing in the article on the Monk’s Gate murder elsewhere in this issue. Peter’s eldest son, William, married HARRIET STANFORD and formed the trunk of H. STANFORD SMITH’S researches in the 1950s. Both WILLIAM, and his brother, EDWARD, my great great great grandfather, were both described as butchers in various documents, but it is obvious that the major Linfield farming interests in Storrington were the inheritance of his sons, William and Henry and not his nephews, William and Henry, my direct ancestors. We can only fill in the story of the fifty years from Peter’s death in 1791 to 1841 by some future research into the archives of the Egremont/Wyndham family of Petworth House, especially any details of land ownership and farm tenancies (See Joan Ham: Storrington in Georgian and Victorian Times, 1991 and Lord Egremont: Wyndham and Children First, Macmillan, 1968.) Continue reading

Starting a Picture Story of One’s Family

In Thomas Hood’s famous poem “I REMEMBER”, he refers nostalgically to the house where I was born, and despite the changes in the birth situation, with hospitals being more frequent than homes, in the last 100 years, one’s birth place remains a significant environment for one to remember. Similarly, other homes that one’s ancestors have lived in seem important parts of the genealogical story. As I indicated at the conclusion of my last article for LONGSHOT, part of one’s genealogical researches might include a visit to or photograph of the homes of one’s ancestors in so far as the buildings still exist or their sites are known. Continue reading

My Early Researches

My real interest in the LINFIELDS began after my father, George Mark Linfield, died in 1953. I had met his father, also George Linfield, vary rarely, as he had remarried after his wife’s death in 1917 and lived latterly at Firle, near Lewes, whereas we lived at Henfield. My mother (neé Annie Knapp) moved to Shoreham-by-Sea in 1955 to live with my sister, and she kept me posted with West Sussex news by sending me newspapers and newspaper cuttings. Indeed, it was a newspaper cutting from the Worthing Herald in November 1963 sent to me here at Saltford, a village on the Avon half-way between Bath and Bristol where I still live, that stimulated my first researches into the LINFIELD family tree and my own links with it. Continue reading