North Family Tree               St Swithun Church              Betsey Wynne Pub

North Family Genealogy

From Swanbourne to the USA

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 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 American history.


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.


Fortunately 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 newly 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 and brews.  


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.


From 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