Category Archives: Editorials

The Future of LONG

As we announced at the AGM, we feel that after 21 years of operation, we need to consider how to manage the Group in the future in the light of several factors:

  • a steadily declining membership
  • the general lack of contributions by members of material for publications (though with some honourable exceptions for which we are very grateful!)
  • the lack of members who are willing to join the Committee or assist with the running of the Group
  • the trend towards electronic exchange of information and the decline and cost of printed matter Continue reading The Future of LONG

Signing Off

I am hoping to produce an article in the next issue of Longshot about the Coolhurst branch of the Linfields. This family is particularly interesting, especially as we presently have no idea where they came from – so they form an isolated branch of their own.

The earliest known member of this branch is John Linfield, attorney who married Anne Coe at Horsham in 1690. John became involved in illegal vote rigging at Horsham in one of the general elections, for which he was severely reprimanded by the Sergeant-in-Arms at the House of Commons. It was he who purchased the Coolhurst estate, to the east of Horsham, which remained in the family till 1807 when his grandson Charles sold it to the Earl of Chichester. Unfortunately, there are possible indications that some of the members of this family suffered from a mental illness, and I will expand on this in the forthcoming article. Since the Coolhurst Linfields were among the minor Horsham gentry, there are plenty of references to them in various records (including John Baker’s Horsham diary) and my intention will be to reveal the full extent of our current knowledge about them.

At AGM in June, Eric asked whether anyone was acquainted with a member of the Littlehampton branch of the Linfields. I believe the long established building firm of James Linfield & Sons was founded in Littlehampton in the 1880s, and we have a reference to the company building houses in Gloucester Road in 1893. Is there is anyone out there who has access to information about this business, as we would really like to know more about it? It would make a very interesting article.

I am also hoping to start a regular series about some of the houses where the Lin(d)fields lived, hopefully accompanied by photographs if the properties still survive. There is a picture in the current issue of Palmer’s Cottage in West Chiltington, home of Peter Linfield and his family before they moved to Storrington in 1779. This property will be the first to feature in the series. Interestingly enough, the premises where they moved to – including the shop – also survive. I have seen a photograph of this building around 1890, showing a wonderful display of animal carcases hanging along the front. This was taken just a few years after the death of Thomas Linfield in 1884, and it must have looked exactly the same during the time of the Linfields.

Finally, you will have read Alan’s piece about the Reunion next year. Please let me remind you that we will be wanting a lot of volunteers on the day. If you can help, then please contact Alan as soon as possible since we need find people willing to carry out the various tasks long before the event! People are particularly wanted for manning the door, collecting data and hosting the displays connected with their branches. Duties can also be rotated to enable everyone to fully participate in the day’s activities. We hope to make the day a great success, but we will only be able to achieve this with a certain amount of help.

Malcolm Linfield


I don’t always intend to write an editorial, but on this occasion I will – firstly, to fill up an extra page; and secondly to introduce myself properly – for better or for worse – as the new editor of Longshot. Alan deserves a well-earned rest after nine years of doing a magnificent job.

I must make a bit of an apology for the overwhelmingly horticultural flavour of this issue. But I do hope you will find the rather technical diversions into the qualities of seaweed and growing mushrooms to be of interest! There are also articles from Mary Offer and Eric Linfield, whilst Alan Lindfield reports on the ideas recently discussed at the AGM on June 30th for a grand reunion and exhibition next year to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Lin(d)field One Name Group. This promises to be an exciting occasion for everyone and we hope to see all of you there (although we do excuse our overseas members – nevertheless we would be delighted to see any of you who can make it!)

Ten years is perhaps a good time to reflect on our achievements and the future. Alan’s database now contains some 30,000 names (not all Lin(d)fields but including names related by marriage) and we have identified several different branches; but there is still much to do if we are ever going to find the links between these branches. I can confidently predict there is enough work to do for at least another ten years, and probably many more years after that! Family history, however, is not just about connecting lists of people together in some enormous jigsaw. It is much more than that; the real fascination is finding information about the people concerned, where they lived and worked, what motivated them and how they were affected by events which impacted on their lives. In other words, the interaction of social and local history is just as important to the overall picture as the pure genealogy.

In many ways, Longshot is a manifestation of this process. Many of the articles, which appear, are often the culmination of a piece of research, telling us about an individual or a family. Hopefully the articles are interesting and enjoyable to read as well.

Unfortunately, we are not being sent enough material to enable this journal to appear more regularly so I am making a plea to all our members to please put pen to paper. It would be nice to have a letters page with any comments or queries you may have.

I await your articles and letters with eager anticipation!