End of the line…..or not!

Hermione screamed in pain, and Harry turned his wand on her in time to see a jewelled goblet tumbling from her grip. But as it fell, it split, became a shower of goblets, so that a second later, with a great clatter, the floor was covered in identical cups rolling in every direction, the original impossible to discern amongst them.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, chapter 26.

The Doubling Charm or Gemino Curse is a wonderful analogy for family history. Each ancestor we identify creates two new people to research. Go beyond the basics and each person you add to your tree creates a multiplicity of avenues to follow: parents and children, villages and towns, occupations and religions, local history and world changing events.

Most of the time it’s why I love family history; there’s always a new direction to explore, a new connection to make. But for the completer-finisher part of me it can be a bit of a curse. The stories increase exponentially and I’m barely managing to systematically capture the basics. I am starting to drown in the genealogical gold.

This is why I was weirdly excited to get to know Frances (Morrell) and Thomas Robinson, two of my 5xG Grandparents. I have their marriage (on 25 August 1796 at St Andrews Church in Aldborough), their children’s baptisms, their burials and a story idea linking them back to the present. But neither were baptised in Aldborough, there is no record of a Frances Morrell being baptised anywhere in the locality and there are so many potential options for Thomas that I am never going to be able to identify which one is mine. They are officially the end of the line, and it feels powerful.

I thought Frances and Thomas’s story will be the first of a new blog series entitled “the end of the line,” but then as I started to the ancestors to which this might apply and found that almost every short line offered some plausible hints as to the next generation and, often, the bones of a story. Hence the “…or not,” to recognise that those exploding goblets just don’t want to be contained!

The official end of line stories are listed below.


Wid Swinden (remembered in poetry) – 7xG Grandmother, mother of Ann Swinden, mother of Martha Bottom, mother of Rachel Hall, mother of George Bentley, mother of Annie Bentley, mother of Marion Moody, mother of Nana.


Sarah Dickinson and John Windsor (in a tale of the impact of an Icelandic volcano eruption on a remote village in Yorkshire) – 5xG Grandparents, being parents of Mary Windsor, mother of Thomas Wellock, father of Richard Wellock, father of Mary Wellock, mother of Grandpy. I do have a clue on the Windsor side, as John may have been baptised on 27 October 1745 at Arncliffe, the son of a Thomas Windsor.

Mary and James Sympson (the beginning of our connection with Garnshaw) – 9xG Grandparents, being parents of Agnes Symson, mother of William (3) Wellock, father of William (2) Wellock, father of William Wellock, father of Richard (2) Wellock, father of Thomas Wellock, father of Richard Wellock, father of Mary Wellock, mother of Grandpy.



Frances Morrell and Thomas Robinson – 5xG Grandparents, being parents of Mary Robinson, mother of Jane Howson, mother of Mary Ann Wilkinson, mother of Mary Abigail Clapham, mother of Grandad.

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