All posts by Malcolm Linfield

Parish of Nuthurst

Henry Linfield of Nuthurst

Wills, Administrations and Inventories

Wills, administrations and inventories are valuable documents to family historians: they provide us with a glimpse of our ancestors not available in other records, of a nature which helps to bring them to life as people in their society and time. Wills not only help to clarify family relationships, but they usually give us information about occupation and property ownership. Of course, not everybody made a will, so they are a special bonus when found. Continue reading

Family History from Old Newspapers – Part 2

In the first part of this article, I introduced Frederick Linfield, who was Mayor of Worthing from 1906 to 1908. Another story I came across in an issue of 1903 could very easily have ruined Frederick’s political career. The events described must, at the very least, have worried him considerably. They concern the antics of a certain Emily Frances Linfield, a middle aged spinster who had lived most of her life in Brighton, where she had helped her mother run a lodging house. Unfortunately, Emily Frances became a habitual drunkard, always pestering her aged mother for money. In desperation to get away from her, her mother came to Worthing in October 1902, where she took up lodgings in Warwick Road. Mary Emma Linfield was 90 years old on February 2nd 1903. Somehow or other, Emily eventually managed to track her down and continued to extract money from her to finance her squalid drinking binges. Continue reading

Family History from Old Newspapers – Part 1

Old newspapers are a fascinating source of information to family historians. All the large public libraries have collections of local newspapers, and among the more obvious things to look for are obituaries. Since my great great grandfather, William Linfield, had been a public official in Victorian Worthing, I expected to find an obituary notice in one of the local papers when he died in 1892. I was duly rewarded in the July 20th issue of the Worthing Gazette; though brief, it told me he had a “genial temperament and obliging disposition” (true Linfield characteristics, I like to think!) However, when time permits, the best finds are usually made by chance. Continue reading