When I became interested in the North family's genealogy,
most of the research work had been done already by my cousin
Kristine. This research entailed long hours of sifting
through piles of microfilm. I have also relied on
additional research provided by another cousin, David, on
the east coast. Happily the fact that the English Census
records are now available on ancestry.com has spared me from
having to spend much time hunched over a microfilm reader.
As with other branches of our family our research has turned
up many interesting facts and debunked some of our family's
myths. Two of the bubbles that were broken early on were stories
dealing with royalty. The first was a long held belief that
the Norths were very tall and served as Queen's Guards. I
guess this myth stemmed from the unusual height of some of
my uncles. Given our ancestor's professions, they were more
likely to be the Queen's Gardeners. The second myth was
some sketchy connection to the infamous Lord North of
American Revolutionary War fame. While this myth can be
attributed to a natural desire to have the family tree
sprout from nobility, I for one am glad that our family is
not connected to this less than distinguished character in
Through this search my cousins and I have corresponded with
extended family members who have remained in England
although we have yet to connect with family still living in
Swanbourne, Buckinghamshire, England. Both of my cousins
have had the good fortune to visit the North homeland. I
had expected to bide my time until my children were out of
college to avoid having to spending time in the Winslow workhouse, as did a
few of our North ancestors. However, last year
to celebrate for
our sons' graduation from College and High School
respectively, we headed to Europe to explore our roots.
This site has been updated with some of the pictures we took
on our visit.
St. Swithun's was open when we visited and we took
the opportunity to take a few pictures of the inside of the
church. Happily, no one else was in the church so we
didn't have to worry about bothering anyone at worship.
We also had a wonderful lunch at
The Betsey Wynne pub
opened just down the Mursley road from St. Swithun's. It was,
all in all, a
rather emotional time for me, especially when the hostess at
the pub welcomed me "Home" when we told her why we were
there. We were treated to wonderful local delicacies
On the tables in the dining room were coasters that
covered a little of the history of Betsey Wynne. The
coaster referred to diaries that Betsey and others in her
family wrote during the
Napoleonic era. I am currently reading some of these
diaries that were later published by the Wynne family.
The book is out of print but still available through some of
the online book stores. I was able to purchase a
used book in good condition. It is a bit like reading
through a "Masterpiece Theater" series.
After moving to Swanbourne, there are lots of references to
kindnesses the Wynne family did for the local "poor" people.
I am sure my relatives were grateful for all benevolence
that flowed from that family to mine. I don't know if
many of my ancestors could read or write but as I doubt we
will every find any diaries from the North side of the
family, I am extremely glad to be able to read about others'
experiences in and around Swanbourne.
our family's trip progressed more or less on the right side
of the road to Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath, Stonehenge, and
ended in London. It is hard to imagine a more
enjoyable and rewarding experience.
I hope you find this site enjoyable and informative. I
am happy to share any and all information I have on the
family. I invite you to contact me at