Sunday, 28 December 2014

History Takes Unique Curves

Being a 'retiree'....I have time to waste (so my wife tells me).

I've spent a couple of days redigging family history.  There are some footnotes, which I've come to add to the story.

Last year, I dug deep enough to go back to around the mid-1500s and fifteen generations of the family.  Presently, I've dug down to 1290 (John Hammond of Suffolk, England), and added four more generations onto the story.

But there are two curious references I've come across.

First, this guy who made the journey from London to the new world with his son....it appears that this wasn't really his first trip to the new world.  There are a fair number of bits of information to indicate that this guy (John was his name) was listed as a mariner, and had traveled a good bit via ships. It would appear that he was a ship's officer and signed various documents to which you'd need some education and authority to accomplish.

So this guy built up a career of roughly two decades....sailing back and forth in the 1640s and 1650s.  At some point, his first wife passes on.  Toward 1666, John makes up two decisions....one to remarry and the second to end the sail-life.  John is in his late fifties and marries up with a gal who was twenty-one years old.  In the spring of 1666....prior to the London fire, but in the midst of the plague period.....John takes his wife and his son with him.....leaving England for good.

The second reference which came up oddly.....is this group of Hammonds who settled up originally in the Norfolk area of England (a hundred miles north-east of London).....weren't exactly life-long English guys.

For a number of generations, they'd lived there and farmed off the local lands.  They were English by every standard you could imagine for the time.  However, there's not much on records or history to go past the 1300s.  However, there is this odd thing about old gravesites in the Kirby-Bedon region where they settled.  A fair number of the sites have markings related to the Normans (the French).

Around 1066....the Normans finally invaded England.  The French force?  It was made up of various Europe 'tribes' and a remarkable invasion force.  Epic books and movies have been made over the Norman invasion of England, and the British loss.

At the conclusion.....the Normans needed to ensure control over the new territory.  Most historians will agree that around eight-thousand Normans were brought in.....given title and property (land and farms) as part of their contribution to the war....but their bigger contribution was to control England and the losing party.

Kirby-Bedone?  It's a pretty rural area, and you can sit and imagine some folks arriving with some authority on their shoulders....and just setting up shop.

A written line to cover this period?  None.  I am left to an odd family line which seems to go past Kirby-Bedone, and might actually end up on the northern coast of Normandy and have a French connection.....preferring civilization and farming.

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