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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree October 2019 > DEAR KAREN


Karen Clare chats about great-grandparents and long-lived ancestors, a mystery poem and a very apt surname in this issue’s fascinating collection of stories shared by fellow family history addicts


We have received many wonderful letters and emails on the subject of readers who are lucky enough to have known their great-grandparents (‘Getting to know great-granny’, February FT). One such respondent is Roger Sutton, of West Sussex, who wrote a beautifully evocative letter about his family history, part of which I have reproduced here.

Roger writes: ‘My first memory of my great-grandmother, born Florence Emily Ward (1864-1953), dates back to the 1940s. I was a small boy staying with my great-uncle and great-aunt in Lower Kingswood, Surrey. They lived in a detached bungalow at the end of a cul-de-sac. The bungalow had a large garden consisting mainly of an apple orchard. The ground was strewn with large cooking apples, which were going rotten and were being eaten by the huge slugs…

‘Uncle worked in the advertising department of London Transport and so he was in London all day. I was looked after by Aunty Kit. She had thick white hair and much of this had a ginger hue…

‘Aunty was a kind lady who looked after me well…I was also taken to visit Aunty’s elderly parents who lived a short bus ride away. My great-grandfather was Frederick John Hainsworth (1862-1950), who was born 30 July 1862 at St Pancras, London. My great-grandmother was born on 10 September 1864 at Kennington, London. It is amazing to think both were born before Germany became a united country in 1871.

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About Family Tree

The shops are piled high with ‘back to school’ preparations for the children. But these new beginnings, plans and dreams aren’t just for the kids. This autumn set yourself the goal to learn more too – to devote more time to your family history! In our latest issue we’ve got three cracking ways to make strides in your family history know-how: 1. New to family history? Check out our 8 page guide packed with info on the essential websites – where to search and what to look for. Follow our advice and watch your tree grow in no time! 2. Want to get organised? Already been doing family history a while? Learn new ways to organise the fruits of your family history labour. Check out professional researcher Susie Douglas’s flexible and affordable strategy for super-organised family history records. 3. Immerse yourself in family history From genning up on the latest DNA know-how, discovering the latest new books and events, learning sleuthing skills from our experts’ advice, and enjoying the reader stories – we have page after page to inspire you on your family history mission. Enjoy!