I began to investigate my family history when it was too late to ask questions of my parents, who had by then both died. My son asked about his paternal grandparents who he had never known and I in turn realised that I knew almost nothing about them either, of my paternal grandparents having died before I was bon.
My paternal grandfather died in 1945 and my paternal grandmother in 1918 as a consequence of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
I did not in fact know their forenames!, I did however know the names of my aunts and uncles, my father being one of 6 children. Only two of whom married, my father Edward and his sister Annie. I also knew the name of one of his aunts, Himmen. The name being pretty unusual was a key to my successful early steps in tracing my history.
It had been a longstanding family joke that I claimed we were descended from huguenot immigrants of the Berry Region of France whilst my wife thought it more likely to be as a result of Irish immigration. In fact it turned out that the Berry family have lived in and around Prescot, Lancashire, England for almost 300 years.
I have so far been able to trace back 8 generations to John Berry who died in Prescot in 1763. The surprise was however that my great Grandfather was illegitimate and his father is unknown.
My lineage is as follows
|Edward Berry||1910...1971||F||M||Florence Mather||1924...1989|
|Edward Berry||1874...1945||GF||GM||Ann Birchall Mead||1874...1918|
|John Berry||1843...NK||gGF||gGM||Martha Brown||1843...1905|
|Not known||ggGF||ggGM||Ellen Berry||1823...1858|
|William Berry||1797...1872||gggGF||gggGM||Ellen Stott||1799...1880|
|Willian Berry||1759...1800||ggggGF||ggggGM||Ann Nxn||1759...NK|
|John Berry||1722...1763||gggggGF||gggggGM||Rachel Fletcher||1722...1770|