26 October 2015

Jobs and Ancestors

The ability to do careful, methodical research, in any sort of investigation, is a great skill for anyone to possess in the 21st century.  That is a skill many family historians develop very well indeed.

Have you discovered very much about what your ancestors did for a living?

How might the work of your ancestors have shaped your working life, and your personal life?

If your ancestors were often unemployed, or in poorly paying work and living in poverty, how does that compare with your life today?

If your ancestors were wealthy, was that reflected in the education they - and you - received?

Back in August this year, I had a very interesting message in relation to one of my blog posts.  If you have Huntingdonshire heritage, do you have an ancestor with the surname of Ginn? 

If you have Hertfordshire heritage and the same surname in your family tree then you may be interested in the one-name study conducted by Michael Taylor on his blog:

Ginn Family of Hertfordshire


Mr Taylor is interested in social history, as I am myself.  During his research, several years ago, he went to Huntingdonshire and looked up the parish records for the Ginns, many of whom were my ancestors.  I am very pleased that Mr Taylor has kindly passed on to me the fruits of his labours.

Tom (on left)
Many of the Ginns in Huntingdonshire were tailors.  My Belgian relatives, two of whom married the Ginns, were also originally tailors.

My great, great, great, great grandfather's brother, Robert Ginn, was a sergeant in Wellington's army and was wounded at the Battle of Waterloo, just over two hundred years ago.  My great, great grandfather's eldest son, Arthur Ginn, was killed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli in the First World War, on 25 April 1915.  It is unlikely Arthur would have known about the family history.

Mr Taylor has taken the Ginn family tree back to the 1670s, to a Huntingdonshire village called Southoe, just off the Great North Road.  I now have several additional maiden names to add to my family tree. 

The names Martha Walton, Sarah Rutt, Mary Lawson, Martha Mannering and Ann Saunders are amongst my possible Huntingdonshire ancestors.

I do not have any Hertfordshire heritage, as far as I know.  I do have some Surrey and Middlesex ancestry, mostly around London, through Tom Ginn's second wife, my great, great grandmother Sarah, whose maiden name was Cole.

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I especially appreciate historical insights.