Our Family Tree Pedigree Charts are now online

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

A section from Annie's Pedigree Chart
A section from Annie's Pedigree Chart

I've added a new feature to my family history website - family tree pedigree charts of Harvey's and my direct ancestors. The charts are in PDF format and can be zoomed in and out in order to view different parts of the family.

These charts are especially useful as a starting point for those matching our DNA but they can also help anyone interested in finding out where individuals might fit into our trees.


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The Barnes Family Tree has grown

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Barnes Family Tree

You haven't seen many blog posts from me in recent months but this isn't to say I haven't been busy with genealogy. On the contrary, I thought it was about time I worked on expanding Harvey's family tree which, until recently, had 88 individuals within 32 families. The BARNES Tree has now grown to 506 individuals within 171 families covering all of Harvey's ancestral lines.

Some branches remain fairly sparse whereas others reach back to the 17th century and it's interesting to discover where some of his families come from.

Harvey's dad was from Newlyn in Cornwall and three quarters of Harvey's paternal side hailed from this area or from within a few miles of the village. Some of the primary names include BARNES, HARVEY, THOMAS, REYNOLDS, DAWES, TRELEAVEN, TREGURTHA, KEIGWIN, KELYNACK, COTTON, TONKIN, REED, PAUL, LEAH and GUY. The final quarter comprised the WRIGHT family from East Devon and the DEVERILL family from Mere in Wiltshire.

Harvey's maternal families are more widely spread. His grandad's father, William SMITH, was from Selkirk and the generation before him was from Dumfries. Harvey's grandad's mother's line was the London-based BYDEN family with older generations originating from Southampton and there were also the DAVEYs from Sussex. We also find offshoots from Harvey's maternal grandmother living in parts of Kent. These were the GARDNER, BUTCHER, CROTHALL, LAW and WORGER families. In London we find ancestors by the names of ADAMS and HARLEY. Finally, in Norfolk, we have the APPLEGATE, ALLEN, BIRD, EVERETT, JACKSON and WABON families.

There are two 9 x great-grandfathers in the tree; Richard JENNENS/JENNINGS from Ludgvan, Cornwall, whose eldest child was born in about 1684; and John ARGOLL, also from Ludgvan, whose daughter was born in about 1681. There may, in fact, be 8 x great-grandparents who were even older; Robert BUTCHER and his wife, Mary STROUDE, married in Monks Horton, Kent, in 1670.

The least developed branch are the Scottish SMITH family, hindered by the fact that I don't have access to many Scottish records and the surname being so common. Nevertheless, I hope to make some more discoveries in future as we are still within the number of generations where autosomal DNA can help to provide answers.

Please click here to explore the BARNES FAMILY TREE.

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Church Record Sunday: DNA helps me find more ancestors

Category: DNA

St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel
St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel.

My latest breakthrough has come via DNA testing. For some time now I have known my 5 x great-grandmother was called Anne Twogood/Toogood. She married my 5 x great-grandfather, Robert Weaver snr., in Curry Rivel, Somerset, in 1779 but I had nothing else to go on. There were no suitable baptisms in the village and I didn't know when she was born.

Then last week I received an email from a person matching my maternal aunt's DNA and I immediately noticed the name, Toogood, in his tree. It turns out this person is descended from Anne's brother, James Toogood, and so, through parish records, I was able to ascertain that my 6 x great-grandparents were Robert Toogood and Elizabeth Ostler.

Robert Toogood was baptized in nearby Aller and this is where he married Elizabeth. I went on to discover that Elizabeth's family were from Curry Rivel and so my association with this village on this line dates back to at least the early 18th century when my 7 x great-grandparents, Edward Ostler and Mary Rich, married there in 1724 and had a total of eleven children. Sadly, so many of them died as infants or children, two of them being buried within a week of each other.

Because of the random nature of DNA, it's interesting to note that my mum didn't share any DNA with this match so, not surprisingly, neither did I. This is why it's great to have other family members tested.

[Why Church Record Sunday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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New Genealogical DNA web page

Category: DNA


I have today launched a new page on my website briefly outlining a few suggestions for people who match our families' DNA.

There are plenty of resources on the internet offering detailed information about the subject of genealogical DNA. Rather than reinventing the wheel, my page is a starter for anyone who thinks they may be related to me or Harvey and would like to know where we tested and what else they can do with their DNA results in order to carry out deeper analysis.

Topics include: 'Cousins, please consider testing', 'What is the AncestryDNA test' and 'Upload your raw data to GEDmatch'.

Click to view my Genealogical DNA web page.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Sympathy Saturday: Remembering Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando

Category: Sharing Memories

Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando
My paternal grandmother, Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando.

Remembering my Granny Hibbitt (Ivy Alice Hibbitt, nee Dando) today on the 24th anniversary of her death.

[Why Sympathy Saturday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

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My AncestryDNA results say I'm from the Emerald Isle

Category: DNA

Annie's Ethnicity Chart
Annie's Ethnicity Chart

Yesterday, I received the results of my AncestryDNA test. In a previous post I hinted that I thought I'd be predominantly British with possibly some Irish, Scandinavian and Western European genes. I wasn't too far off except to learn that I've inherited a substantial percentage of Irish ethnicity, estimated to be more than half.

I find this quite surprising as the only link to Ireland that I've made is a 2 x great-grandmother on my mother's side. I believe she was called Mary Ann Burgoyne but there is even confusion over her maiden name as my great-grandmother's birth certificate states she was previously called Congdon.

Mary Ann married John Gale Hellier/Hellyer in Shanagolden, Limerick, Ireland in 1871 and their first child was born in Devonport, Plymouth in 1878. John was in the Royal Navy but it is nevertheless puzzling as to why there were so many years between the marriage and the children arriving, especially as I have a feeling he may have been shored-based at various times during this period. Did Mary Ann stay in Ireland for a few years after she was married?

To add to the confusion, Mary Ann's father, William, was described as a sailor on her marriage certificate so it is possible that her own family moved around when she was growing up. Burgoyne is not an uncommon name in Tavistock, Devon, which is where the Hellyer family were from so could she have been a local girl after all?

None of this explains the exceptionally strong Irish connection in my DNA but, as DNA is passed down randomly, it's possible that I've inherited more Irish genes than I might have done if I'd been created on another day!

The DNA results incorporate hundreds of years, even up to a thousand, so it was interesting, though not surprising, to discover that I'm definitely from the European continent:

Ireland - 52%
Great Britain - 15%
Scandinavia - 15%
Iberian Peninsula (ie. Spain & Portugal) - 10%
Europe West - 5%

Plus less than 1% traces each of Europe West, Italy/Greece and Asia South which apparently may or may not be part of my genetic ethnicity.

Obviously there was a lot of migration between neighbouring regions so these figures are merely estimates but I find it fascinating nonetheless.

If other family members take the test, it makes it easier to see which DNA matches we have in common and therefore can offer clues about how we might be related to other people and which ancestral line we are connected through. My mum and dad have already agreed to take part.

If you're related to me and this interests you, may I encourage you to take an AncestryDNA test so we can compare notes and find those elusive ancestors.

You can see my ethnicity page here.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

I've ordered my AncestryDNA kit!

Category: DNA


I've just had an email to let me know my AncestryDNA kit is on its way. Having deliberated about whether to take the ethnicity and genealogical DNA test for more than a year, I've finally decided to grab the bull by the horns and get it done.

Ancestry are currently discounting the test by £20 - £79 plus £20 P+P. If you order two tests at once the postage cost on the second one is £10 instead of £20.

I'm curious to know how British I am as my research has hardly taken me outside the country. There could be some Irish blood as one of my 2 x great-grandmothers may have been Irish. And I'm imagining there might be some Scandinavian from the Vikings or Continental links from the Normans or the Saxons. If anything else turns up, it'll be quite a surprise. Getting excited already!!

As DNA is passed down randomly, it is suggested that other family members be tested too. That's because your cousin or your sibling could have inherited different sections of DNA than yourself and so more matches could show up between you. For instance, your brother could have a match to your second cousin where you might not but you'll be able to make a connection because of your brother's DNA results.

If you're related to me and you decide to take the test (or have already done so) please let me know and perhaps we could compare notes.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Voice from Outer Space

Category: Making Memories

A couple of weeks ago my dad, who's been a radio ham for 50 years, heard a radio contact between the British astronaut, Tim Peake, and a school in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. He had to dig out his 2 metres rig which he hadn't used for ages - a small handheld receiver with a rubber duck antenna. Not having a decent aerial, he was amazed that it worked. It was the first transmission he'd heard from outer space.

Today I visited dad and listened out for another ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) contact from the ISS, this time with the City of Norwich Schools. We heard Tim Peake from here in Plymouth and I recorded it on a dictaphone and then edited it in Windows Movie Maker using screenshots from the live webcast and a photograph of dad's radio set.

This video can also be viewed on my YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/S-FYxga-0f4

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Photograph by Harvey's Grandad to feature on German TV almost a century after it was taken

Category: Making Memories

Last year I posted in the Great War Forum a number of photographs which were taken by Harvey's grandad during World War I. I wanted to see if any of the forum members could identify the places and indeed they were extremely helpful.

Amongst Cyril Ellen's collection was a series of photographs of the Lower Struma in Greece, believed to have been taken by him when he was an Observer Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Air Service, based at nearby Stavros. At the time, the River Struma formed the Front Line between the Allied and Central Powers.

Series of Photographs of the Lower Struma, September 1917
Series of Photographs of the Lower Struma, September 1917
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Six pictures were glued onto some paper to form a panorama and, at one end, a village called Kato Krusoves/Krusovo is to be seen overlooking the river. This area is now known as Kato Kerdylia because the village was destroyed by the Germans in 1941 and the male population was massacred. Only the church was rebuilt, and the original bell tower still stands as a memorial to the 230 dead of Ano and Kato Kerdylia. A forum member informed me that photographs of the village before its destruction are rare and that the picture could be of historical interest.

Zoom of the village of Kato Krusoves during the First World War
Zoom of the village of Kato Krusoves during the First World War
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

This brings me on to an unusual request which came via my family history website last week. A German television network called Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln or WDR (West German Broadcasting Cologne) got in touch and asked for permission to use Cyril's photo of the village in a major documentary about the atrocities committed by German forces during the Greek occupation in World War II.

Eager to find out more, I wrote back and learnt that the purpose of the documentary is to educate the German public about the atrocities in this partly forgotten aspect of the war. The background to this is the recent controversy over Greek demands for compensation relating to the time of the occupation, amounting to billions of Euros, and the programme will serve to inform people of the facts.

The TV crew visited Kerdylia a few months ago and went up to the former village, together with one of the few survivors of the massacre, the village being the first of more than 1000 completely destroyed with thousands of innocent people killed in the action to take revenge for partisan attacks.

Cyril's photographs were originally taken in 1917 when they were used together with a trench map and lists of enemy positions. The map can be viewed here and the observation post, from where the picture was taken, is clearly marked as a blue dot in Sector 47 H. More on the photographs can be seen here.

The programme, called Schuld und Schulden (Guilt and Debt), is due to be broadcast on 27th April 2016 and I understand it will also be available to watch online. As I don't speak German, I doubt I shall know what is being said which is a pity as it sounds like an interesting documentary.

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]

Surname Saturday: My Oldest Direct Line to Date

Category: What's New at Hibbitt.org.uk

Hibbitt Family Tree section

I've recently been investigating my North Devon ancestors, in particular the Martin family who lived in the village of Shebbear, and I've managed to trace back further in time than any other line so far.

Henry Martin was my 11 x great-grandfather, which accounts for 15 generations if we include my son's generation. Henry married his first wife, Margery/Margarett Gawman, in 1613 so I would hazard a guess that he was born prior to 1595 when Queen Elizabeth I would have been on the throne and the 1588 invasion of the Spanish Armada would still have been fresh in the minds of her subjects. 1595 saw the Spanish Raids which destroyed Penzance, Newlyn, Mousehole and Paul.

The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in September 1620 and Margery died three months later. Henry married Johane/Joan Stapledon in the following June. There were three young children to care for so this may account for the haste. King James I had ascended to the throne in 1603 and in the following years England saw the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, the publishing of the King James Authorized Version of the Bible in 1611 and the death of William Shakespeare in 1616.

King Charles I inherited the throne from his father in March 1625 and six months later Henry and Johane's third child, Edward, was baptized in St Michael's Church, Shebbear. Edward Martin was my 10 x great-grandfather and would have been in his late teens and early 20s during the English Civil War which began in 1642. There was a decisive battle called the Battle of Torrington in February 1646 which ended Royalist resistance in the West Country. Great Torrington is less than 10 miles from Shebbear so might Edward have been involved in the fighting?

Edward's first wife, Rachell, died in 1660 but not before producing three children over a ten year period. Just a few months prior to this, Charles II had been restored to the throne after eleven years of Parliamentary rule known as the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell and then his son, Richard.

1666 saw the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague having broken out in the previous year. Edward married my 10 x great-grandmother, Rebecca, in 1672 and their eldest child, Mary, my 9 x great-grandmother, later married John Hopper.

Henry Martin passed away in 1674 and in 1687, Isaac Newton published his book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. James II ruled from 1685 to 1688 until William of Orange and his wife Mary took the throne from the exiled James in what became known as 'The Glorious Revolution', then Queen Mary II died in 1694. She was followed by her husband in 1702 when Queen Anne succeeded her brother-in-law and Edward Martin died in November of the same year.

The Acts of Union took effect on 1st May 1707 uniting England and Scotland under one legislature, and Edward Martin's widow, Rebecca, died in early 1708 leaving £8 2s 0d in her will.

St Michael's Church, Shebbear
St Michael's Church, Shebbear
(Click the image above to view a larger version.)

Listed below are the direct descendants of Henry Martin through to my maternal grandmother:

1 HENRY MARTIN d: 1674
+JOHANE STAPLEDON m: 11 Jun 1621 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

2 EDWARD MARTIN b: Abt. 1625 in Shebbear, Devon d: 1702
+REBECCA UNKNOWN m: 26 Nov 1672 in Germansweek, Devon d: Abt. 1708

3 MARY MARTIN b: Abt. 1674 in Shebbear, Devon
+JOHN HOPPER m: 02 May 1706 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

4 MARY HOPPER b: Abt. 1707 in Shebbear, Devon
+JAMES LARKWORTHY m: 12 Sep 1728 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

5 MAUD LARKWORTHY b: Abt. 1729 in Shebbear, Devon d: 1802
+JOHN RIGSBY m: 21 Feb 1751 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon

6 ANN RIGSBY b: Abt. 1754 in Shebbear, Devon d: 12 Oct 1811
+LEWIS BURDON HORN b: Abt. 1748 in Black Torrington, Devon m: 25 Sep 1773 in St Michael's Church, Shebbear, Devon d: 1833 in Black Torrington, Devon

7 WILLIAM HORN b: Abt. 1792 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 02 Sep 1870 in Black Torrington, Devon
+ANN BAYLEY b: Abt. 1792 in Black Torrington, Devon m: 29 Aug 1813 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon d: Abt. 1858 in District of Holsworthy, Devon

8 ELIZABETH HORN b: Abt. 1816 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 15 Jul 1895 in Black Torrington, Devon
+JAMES SMALE b: Abt. 1813 in Shebbear, Devon m: 10 Aug 1836 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon d: 1889 in The District of St Thomas, Devon

9 WILLIAM SMALE b: Abt. 1838 in Black Torrington, Devon d: 25 Jun 1872 in Black Torrington, Devon
+MARY JANE MOORE b: 31 Aug 1834 in Beaford, Devon m: 05 Dec 1857 in St Mary's Church, Black Torrington, Devon

10 WILLIAM HENRY SMALE b: 14 Jun 1865 in Sheepwash, Devon d: 1943 in 42 Bannawell Street, Tavistock, Devon
+GRACE MARTIN b: 15 Dec 1856 in Bradford, Devon m: 1885 in The District of Holsworthy, Devon d: 09 Mar 1925 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon

11 FLORENCE SMALE b: 11 Jan 1888 in Heathfield, Tavistock, Devon d: 18 Aug 1921 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon
+HENRY JAMES WEAVER b: 03 Oct 1882 in Curry Rivel, Somerset m: 12 Dec 1915 in St Andrew's Church, Curry Rivel, Somerset d: 08 Sep 1916 in France

12 PHYLLIS GRACE WEAVER b: 18 Sep 1916 in 22 Ford Street, Tavistock, Devon d: 10 Jun 2005 in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon
+WILLIAM HELLYER GEAKE b: 25 Apr 1917 in Gilfach Goch, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Glamorgan, Wales m: 14 Aug 1938 in St Eustachius Church, Tavistock, Devon d: 18 Jun 1994 in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon

[Why Surname Saturday? This phrase has been included in the title in order to take part in Daily Blogging Prompts at Geneabloggers]

[Note: All content on the Hibbitt & Barnes Family History website and blog is copyrighted. Click here for conditions of use.]
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