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.

The generations

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

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