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Different strokes

Sally George paints a rich picture of the lives of her ancestors, who range from fishermen and farm workers to sailors, shipwrights and even a policeman-turned opiate trader. Their movements have left a trail of descendants stretching from Yorkshire to Scotland, and Wales to East Anglia, and their ancestral tales continue to echo down the decades…


The East Riding of Yorkshire is where one branch of my family lived for generations in such places as Kexby, West Ella and Hull. From farm workers in the countryside they joined the masses who moved to the cities during the Industrial Revolution and Hull was the place where the men took up their occupations as wood turners, shipwrights and latterly fishermen. The First and Second World Wars were not the only thing to mix the gene pool as the fishing industry in Hull took my ancestors to live and work in Aberdeen, Great Yarmouth and even Milford Haven in Wales. The last ancestor on my direct line to be born in Hull was my great-grandmother Hannah Lumley (née Hodgson) in 1881 and I do have a photo of her at the age of 75 when I was only two. With the Scottish influence I was born with the surname of McDonald but in a village on the edge of the Lincolnshire Fens, where I suppose my surname was unusual at school and only upstaged by some Eastern European names such as Rogalski and Schuller. The Stackowicz family changed their surname to Stacey.

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About Family Tree

What is it that you're yearning to discover about your family history? Just thinking of starting to do your family tree? We can help (see our beginner tips this issue). Looking to stretch your learning? Check out our Academy pages to get practical experience to improve your research knowledge and skills. Or just want a spot of ancestor-hunting inspiration and a great read (our reader stories are cracking!)? You've come to the right place. These are just a few of the genealogy gems to be found within the pages of Family Tree - enjoy!