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Bruce*Weeden*Mimms*Chapman*Dellow*Catchpole*Jarrod*Root*Hayhow*Shilcock*Thornton*Canwell*Bonus*Downes*Wood*family history Downham Norfolk Helpringham Bourne Eaton Socon Little Barford St Neots Wellingborough Barkway Barley Freiston Ringwood Burley Wereham West Dereham Wimbotsham Stow Bardolph Croydon

I began my research into my family tree soon after my mum, Joan BRUCE (née WEEDEN) died in July 2001. I'd always been particularly interested in the old sepia family photo albums and knew that "one day" I would inherit them. Mum started plotting the Family Tree in the 1940's on a huge roll of wallpaper based on long interviews with her paternal grandmother Helena WEEDEN (née MIMMS), who had a wonderful memory. I feel it was 'meant' that I should inherit this work, and I feel very privileged to be the family member to whom the custodianship of the tree has passed.

Using Mum's tree as a basis, my search has taken me away from Norfolk, where I began my quest. I have "travelled" into the Lincolnshire fens, the New Forest of Hampshire (might be smugglers here!), Hertfordshire, the Southwark docklands, Exmoor, Somerset and the Midlands. I have found a town councillor; many agricultural labourers; farmers and farm bailiffs; a soldier at Waterloo; blacksmiths; carpenters; domestic servants; woodmen; railway workers; coopers; maltsters; brewers; and a fair sprinkling of publicans thrown in for good measure. I have also found several victims of the two World Wars in my family.

I would heartily recommend this "hobby" to anyone with time on their hands, and a need to find some kind of grounding in their lives. I certainly feel I am slowly coming to a better understanding of myself through having begun on this journey. Mum has left me a wonderful legacy, and in continuing this work I feel that her spirit lives on. How she would loved to have seen my discoveries. This site is dedicated to her memory.

Please note that I hold much additional information about most of the main branches on my tree. I have respected several fears voiced to me from living relatives about anonymity, However, if you email me privately I *may* be able to give you more information than appears here on my website. My database currently holds 5,500 people.