Researching the family tree is something I started too late in life, by which time many of the people with knowledge were no longer around. A lesson learnt too late. Like all families, research turns up surprises. It also brings new connections as branches of the extended family are located and friendships developed. I use the ancestry.co.uk website for the keeping of the tree, coupled with a fortune invested with the UK Births, Marriages and Deaths office obtaining copies of certificates to verify information. With a common surname, such as Freeman, it is still disappointing the number of amateur researchers who jump to conclusions on family links, when in fact, no relationship exists. The internet has certainly made research easier, but has also allowed the easy distribution of incorrect information, that if not corrected, will become the new history.
The Freeman branch starts in the 1700’s in Redbourn, Hertfordshire. It relocates to London, Bow area, in the early 1800’s. Grandfather and great-grandfather were in the stationery trade, with WH Smith. The Lewisham area was home. One matter that emerged from the researchwas my grandfather had a brother, who lived nearby from the 1920’s to their deaths one month apart in 1968. Yet it appears they fell out for some reason, and to this day, no-one knows why. Finding and visiting descendants of this brother has been one outcome of the research. I have also located family living in Canada, South Africa and Australia.
On my mother’s side, a long history in Singapore from 1928-1958 of my grandfather’s service is still found in the online records of the Strait Times newspaper. Gathering articles on civilian prisoner life in Changi Goal and Syme Rd camp during WW2, where my grandfather spent the war, has been interesting.
The Freeman Ancestors tree can be viewed here.
A brief descendant tree can be viewed here.