Thursday, December 27, 2007

Family visits

Val's sister Elaine Machin (nee Greene) came from Durban on the bus to visit family in Gauteng over Christmas, and we had tea with her and her son Greg and granddaughter Abby this afternoon.

The picture shows Greg with Abby, Elaine and Val.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Val's birthday and name day

It was Val's birthday and Name Day today (St Katherine of Alexandria), and we had a pretty busy day. First we went to the Hours and Readers Service at Mamelodi, and then went to the annual prizegiving at St Athanasius School in Tembisa, with the monks from St Thomas's Orthodox Church in Sunninghill. Here is Val with Fr Evsevije (Eusebius).

At the prizegiving just about all the children got certificates for something, and several of them presented plays or sang songs.

For a fuller report see my Khanya blog.

Ogilvie family and other news

Yesterday we had a letter from Andy Blum in the USA, asking about a David Ogilvie who was mentioned in a family history newsletter from Blue Earth, Minnesota, USA.

This David Ogilvie (1852-1943) had a fairly interesting life, and Andy wondered if he was related to the Ogilvie family of the Eastern Cape, from which Andy himself is descended.
We couldn't trace any connection, however.

The Ogilvie connection is through Emily Ogilvie (1827-1912) who married Edward Lister Green (1827-1887), who was the brother of Val's Great Great Grandfather Frederick Thomas Green (1829-1876). The Green brothers were born in Montreal, Canada, and came to South Africa with their widowed father in the 1840s.

Edward Lister Green was a soldier who served in India, China and Ireland, and eventually moved to New Zealand, where he died in 1887. Some of their children moved to the USA, and Emily died in California where she was living with her daughter Maud Ogilvie Jowett.

Emily was the daughter of William Ogilvie (1795-1850) who fought at Waterloo and came to the Cape Colony with Lord Charles Somerset, the Governor. He married Mary Maria Hollings, who was governess to Lord Charles Somerset's family. They had four sons and four daughters, but none of them seem to have had Minnesota connections, other than some of Emily's descendants. William Ogilvie had a hardware store, and sold Westley-Richards rifles, and two members of the Richards family came from Birmingham to Grahamstown and married two of the Ogilvie daughters. Andy Nation of New Zealand had Edward Lister Green's diary and sent us a copy of it with some family history notes he had made. We have transcribed it on to computer, and can send copies to interested family members. There is more information about the Ogilvies in Some frontier families by I. Mitford-Barberton and Violet White (Cape Town, Human & Rousseau, 1968).

Edward and Emily Green had 6 children, and among their descendants are the Nation, Rutherfurd, Mocine, Lewis and Blum families.

In more immediate family news, our dog Ariel recently had puppies in her old age. For anyone interested, there is a report and pictures on my tribal blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hailee Growden chosen as queen of the Mummers Parade

Does anyone know where Hailee Growden fits in to the family?
clipped from

Miss Maryland Shana Powell, left, crowns Williamsport High School's Hailee Growden as the 2007 Alsatia Mummers Parade queen. (Photo credit: Joe Crocetta / Staff Photographer)

Williamsport High School’s Hailee Growden was chosen as the queen of the parade at the Alsatia Club’s headquarters earlier in the day.

Growden won the crown over nine other local high school homecoming queens by selecting a box with a golden necklace inside.

 blog it

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Romange Growden objects to cemetery party

Romange Growden has objected to a Halloween party in Palmetto, Florida. Not sure if she's related.

Romange Growden says she's mortified the place where her husband and mother are buried -- and the place she'll eventually be -- is the site for a Halloween party.

"I just don't see why a cemetery would get involved in Halloween. Just the thought of it! What, do they want to raise the dead?" she asked.

blog it

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hayes, Dunn, Doddrell

Louise Doddrell left a message in the Bravenet Message Forum (see sidebar for link).

She is descended from Gertrude Hayes who married Robert Seymour Dunn, and we're looking forward to an exchange of family history information.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I took Val back to Sunninghill Hospital yesterday, and they checked her arm, said it was healing, but she now needs to visit a physiotherapist, and must be weaned from the sling gradually.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Val went to a course for work in Johannesburg on Monday and Tuesday, and fell down the stairs at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton on the way down to the parking garage. When she got to the car she found her arm wasn't working, so she phoned me and Jethro to come and fetch her, as she couldn't drive.

I took her to Sunninghill Hospital on the way home, and they put her arm in a sling and did all sorts of X-rays, and asked her to come back and see an orthopaedic specialist the next day. So yestyerday I took her back to the hospital for that, and she got an even more fancy cling, and they said a bone in her shoulder is cracked, so she will be sort of incapacitated for the next six weeks or so.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cottam and Bagot and reading novels

I went to the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg today and transcribed more baptism records for the Cottam, Bagot and Mashiter families.

I reread Rider Haggard's novel Allan Quatermain, and found that family history made me enjoy it more, as it had links with my great grandfather Wyatt Vause and Val's great grandfather Daniel William Pearson. I've written about it more fully in my LiveJournal.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Emily Growden

I'm not sure if this is one of ours, but I found it on Athens Exchange:
Say It In Slang is a vocally sound record, excuse the corny pun. Gonzales delivers his signature dreamlike vocals, but one thing that sets this album apart from other M Coast records is that Emily Growden, wife of band member Derek Almstead, contributed her voice to lead a few of the songs. Her light, feathery voice is a perfect complement to Gonzales' guitar work. It's almost flute-like. The opening track, "Sailing Around the World" starts the album off with her voice, and is more than enough to catch your attention. Needless to say, Emily's voice is a wonderful addition to M Coast's laidback and lazy sound.

Anyway, I'm collecting information on all Growdens, hoping I'll find connections between them some day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Miscellaneous family and research information

Today I moved 367 records of people from one genealogical program to another. Most of them were in material sent by cousins, quite a lot relating to the Nipper and Benoke families (descended from William and Ann Allen of Winscombe, Somerset). I hope to have a kind of consolidated pool of information about the descendants of William and Ann Allen to share with any members of the family who are interested. There are some related families about which we have very little information -- Purnell and Hill, for example.

There was also some information sent by Diana Richter on the Beningfield and Grice families of Durban.

The other day I met John Sutherland of Australia, who was looking for his grandfather Robert Sutherland, some of whose children were born in Pilgrim's Rest. I showed him how to look in the archives, but unfortunately there wasn't much. There was a cryptic reference to a Robert Sutherland who had died in Mozambique, but not enough information to show that he was related.

We're still having bandwidth problems, so if anyone writes e-mails and they bounce, try again at the end of the month, in case we've run out of bandwidth. In the mean time I'll try to be sparing about looking at other people's blogs and web pages, to try to make the e-mail last until the end of the month.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Message forum and guest book - gatvol

As you know, there is a message forum and a guest book that you can use for introductory messages and things that aren't in reply to any particular blog posting.

Here are the usage statistics for your message forum service for 2007. Usage Statistics

Every time a message is posted in either the guest book or message forum I get a notification by e-mail and get all excited, thinking there's a cousin with new news about the family, or even a new cousin that I hadn't known about before, but 90% of the time it turns out to be some clown trying to advertise cheap cigarettes or steroids or something, and so most of the messages have to be deleted.

The statistics shown above are from before I deleted the last junk message -- they now show no messages for March and April, though in fact there were about 10, all of which I had to delete.

The message forum was also for comments on my regular web pages, apart from the blogs, but no one really seems to be using them.

And now I'm gatvol. For those who don't know, "gatvol" is a South African idiom. It literally means "hole full", and is roughly equivalent to "up to here" in other English dialects.

If there was a significant proportion of genuine messages to all the spam it might be worth it, but since genuine messages are getting rarer and rarer I might close the message book and guest book altogether to save me the hassle of going in to delete the junk. The trouble is, that means that the useful messages that are already there will be lost as well. But it doesn't seem as though anyone will miss them. I don't know why the spammers bother, since hardly anyone reads these things anyway.

Comments? Will anyone miss the message forum or the guest book?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A quiet week

Not too much to report on the family history front over the last couple of weeks. We've been recovering after Easter and all the pigging out in bright week. You can say what you like about Easter eggs -- I like mine fried, with bacon. Actually our Bright Week breakfast was the BEST breakfast: Bacon, Egg, Sausage and Tomato.

Taking some people back home after the Easter vigil at about 3:30 AM we fell into a hole in the road, because another car would choose just that place to come down the hill with its lights on bright, and the streetlights were out too. So I've had an enforced stay at home after buying two new tyres and waiting for the wheel to be repaired.

And then yesterday the Internet went off again. No, not again, we said. We increased out limit from 2 Gig to 3 Gig, but it still ran out. So while waiting to get that sorted out, I spent less time on line and played around with askSam for Windows, the program I use to record a lot of information in the archives etc. I used to use askSam for DOS -- still do, in fact, and find it easier to use. But the new Windows printers don't print from DOS programs, so you have to go through all, the schlep of outputting to a file, and then pulling it into a Windows program like Wordpad to print. So I thought I'd play with the Windows version, and it's producing some quite decent reports now. But, unlike the DOS version, it's not so easy to just pull the output into e-mail and send it to family members around the world. But if I keep playing with it, maybe I'll find out. I've been using the DOS version for 16 years now, and it's still hard to beat for sheer usefulness. I use it more than any other program.

And then we did get an e-mail from Val's cousin Peter Decker, which was very encouraging. We visited his father 30 years ago, just after we got married, and pumped him for information about the family, but then he moved away and we lost touch, and so having his son contact us was a nice surprise.

Now our internet connection is working again, so I'm writing this after a couple of disconnected days, but looking at the usage I suspect that it may be caused by spyware or something like that. The uploads are tracking the downloads, which makes it look as though someone is using one of our computers to disseminate spam or something, so we're updating our antivirus and anti spyware programs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Robert Laing of Colington

The Scotsman Mon 19 Mar 2007 carries an obituary for a South African genealogist, Robert Laing of Colington, who died on 12 March, 2007, in Johannesburg, aged 58.

Robert Laing was sometime chairman of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, and was an enthusiastic researcher into genealogy and heraldry, though rather given to claiming dubious and even outright spurious titles for himself, though his friends and fellow genealogists usually good-humouredly granted them to him, and he was referred to in the Genealogical Society's publications as Chevalier Robert Laing, and Robert Laing of Colington.

We had some common research interests as Dorothea Wilhelmina Katerina FLAMME (1816-1858) married Peter LAING in Cape Town in 1836, and they had three children, who went to Scotland with their father. Robert Laing never managed to establish the connection between himself and this Peter Laing, but he did spend quite a lot of time researching it.
Dorothea Wilhelmina Katerina FLAMME was the sister of my wife Val's ancestor Petronella Francina Dorothea FLAMME, who married Henry CRIGHTON.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Huguenot ancestors from Brandenburg

A little less than a year ago I blogged about the Falkenberg branch of Val's family, where we discovered a couple more generations after more than 30 years of searching. But Val's great-great grandfather Christian Falkenberg married as his second wife Justine (Jessie) Schultz, who was 9 years old when they came out on the ship together from Germany.

Back when we first started we found that the Schultz and Falkenberg ancestors came from what was then the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and we thought that that branch was a dead end. But a Mr Hans-Georg Bleibaum in West Germany said he could find a researcher who would look for us, if we would send him some cash for a parcel of groceries. So we sent the cash, and he sent the groceries over to East Germany, and several months later came a letter saying that Val's ancestor Martin Schultz had married a Marie Payard, and he had traced her cancestry back several generations -- all of them descendants of Huguenot refugees from France who had fled to Brandenburg after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

And for several generations they had lived in the same area, the Ueckermark, and married French, so their records were all in the registers of the French Reformed Church. And so we had the families: Payard, Bettac, Bevierre, Berthe, Varembourg, Devantier, de la Croix, Peronne, and several others. One thing that surprised us was that the earliest ancestors were tobacco farmers from the French/Belgian border.

For a long time it just remained a list of names until we made contact with Barry Alexander in Australia through the Fidonet BBS network. He was descended from Devantiers, and had a book about the family. Many of the Brandenburg Huguenots had gone to Denmark and from there to other places. So we had not only a list of remote ancestors, but had made contact with real live cousins as well.

There were so many in these families that we found quite a number of other people researching them, and have managed to compare notes. I'm trying to get all the ones related to us in one file, but they intermarried with each othert so much that it is sometimes hard to work out the relationships, and I keep discovering another researcher who has found some more somewhere.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Internet problems

Still having problems with Internet access. We bought an extra 2 gig of access till the end of the month, but it meant having a new temporary account and changing all sorts of settings, and in the process some e-mail was lost, as they put in the wrong address. Things seem to be working for now, though, so if you sent any e-mail to which you expected a reply, please resend.

And please, before sending any e-mail with big attachments (over 100Kb), ASK FIRST! Running out of bandwidth causes huge problems.

Monday, March 19, 2007

No web access

I've had no access to the Web since last Thursday (15 March), and am posting this from an internet cafe, so there won't be any new postings or responses to comments here until access is restored, whenever that may be. So if you've made a comment on this blog and there has been been no response, that is why.

I'm not sure what the problem is -- my normal e-mail still seems to be working for now, though Web mail on Gmail, Yahoo etc is gone. We've reported it as a fault, but it could be that we have just run out of bandwidth -- kids looking at too many YouTube videos or something. I never look at YouTube myself for precisely this reason, but I think my sons do. If that is the cause, then we'll have to forbid videos altogether. My wife is looking for a job, and losing Web access for 2 weeks each month makes it difficult.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Benoke family - Allen descendants

June Murphy has just sent me a lot of information on the family of her great grandfather Hooper Scott Benoke, and from it I've been able to to work out that June and I are 5th cousins, and we are both descended from William and Ann Allen of Winscombe, Somerset.

The Allen family seems to have been quite prolific. At various times I've discovered mysterious cousins staying with Hayes relatives in censuses in Bristol, and have gradually been tracking them down, and most have turned out to be Allen descendants. Some of the surnames of descendants are Hayes, Williams, Hill, Purnell, Nipper, Benoke and there are probably many more to be discovered.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Nothing much to report.

Several people have got in touch over the last couple of months, and promised to get back to us with more information, but so far none of them have.

Just writing this to show that this blog hasn't been abandoned.

Friday, February 23, 2007

A few more Hayes bits

Yesterday I went to the LDS Family History Centre in Johannesburg, and looked at the microfilms of the parish registers of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. A lot were faint and illegible, but I did manage to find the marriage of John Hayes to Margaritta Jane Caple, and the baptism of their son William Wickham Hayes. John Hayes was the brother of my great great grandfather James Andrew Hayes.

The Caple (or Capel) family were from Winscombe in Somerset.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Allen, Williams, Benoke, and Nipper families of Somerset

June Murphy replied to a query I had left on the RootsWeb message boards, about the Allen, Williams, Benoke and Nipper families of Somerset. She is descended from Hooper Scott Benoke, who was staying with his grandfather Giles Williams in the 1861 census.

June also left a message in our message forum (see sidebar), that Hooper Scott Benoke is her great grandfather, and descended from Ann Williams. She notes that he was married three times, and I only had information about one of his marriages, to Louisa Nipper, who I suspected may have been related to Joseph Nipper and Mary Williams. June confirmed that Louisa was their daughter, and so first cousin to Hooper Scott Benoke, as their mothers were sisters. So now I'm hoping to hear more from June on Hooper Scott Benoke's other marriages, and his descendants.

My great great grandmother was Rachel Allen of Winscombe, Somerset, who married Simon Hayes or Hays. Rachel's sister Hannah married Giles Williams, hence the link between the families. Giles Williams and Hannah Allen had four children, one of whom died young. Hannah appears to have been dead before 1834, though i have not found a record of her death or burial. In 1834 Giles Williams married Sidonia Sweet.

Death of Mary Jane Conway

I've just had a phone call from Belinda Kalantar to say that her mother, Mary Jane Conway, had died a couple of weeks ago.

She couldn't give details, as the phone line was so noisy (I'd only just reported the problem to Telkom when she phoned), and I'll only be able to post this if there are enough clear second on the line.

Mary Jane Conway (born Parsons), or Jane, as she liked to be known, was born in Bristol, England, on 18 February 1928, so yesterday would have been her 79th birthday. She was my second cousin. Her mother, Nora Amy Hayes (1896-1982), was my father's first cousin.

Since my grandfather, Percy Wynn Hayes, had died when I was 7, I knew very little about our Hayes relatives in the UK, but when we got interested in family history I tried to find out more, and wrote to a lot of Hayes families I could find in the Bristol and Somerset telephone directories. One thing I did know, that my father had a cousin with the rather unusual name of Herrick Hayes, whom he had met when he had gone to England for the Scout Jamboree at the age of 14. One of these letters was passed to Jane Conway, and she wrote to me and we have been in correspondence since 1981.

We never met until a couple of years ago, when Val and I took a holiday in England, visiting ancestral places, and we spent a day with Jane Conway and other Hayes relatives in Bristol and North Somerset.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In the photo are Josephine Tsegaye (born Hayes), her sister Catharine Stokes (born Hayes), Jane Conway, and Steve Hayes.

On that day we fetched Jane in Bristol, and went to visit Josephine at her home in Kelston, near Bath, and then Jane came with us and showed us the ancestral home at Axbridge, and Winscombe, where earlier generations of the Hayes and Allen families had lived

We hoped that one day we would be able to save up enough money to go and see her again, but, sadly, that was not to be.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mocine family update

Lois in Wisconsin has just sent us an update on the Mocine family history and we'll be checking through it to see if there are any births, marriages and deaths we don't have, and bring our family tree up to date. Thanks Lois!

Lois lives among strange creatures called Yoopers who wander around in the snow feeding deer, if her blog is to be believed!

For a long tim,e we were in correspondence with Lois's mother and stepfather, Katherine and David Mocine, and most of our knowledge of that branch of the family came from them.

The common ancestors we have are William John Green and Margaret Gray of Quebec. One of their sons, Edward Lister Green, married Emily Ogilvie in Grahamstown, Cape Colony, and eventually settled in New Zealand, and one of their grandchildren went to the USA and married Ralph Fullerton Mocine.

Edward Lister Green's brother Fred was an elephant hunter in what is now Namibia and Botswana, and is Val's great great grandfather.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Crighton or Creighton

When we started doing family history, soon after we were married, one of the first things we did was to ask Val's grandmother, Emma le Sueur, (formerly Greene, formerly Chelin, born Decker), about the family. Val's grandfather was her second husband, Allan Greene, and she couldn't remember very much about her in-laws, other than that their name was Creighton, and they were leather merchants in Cape Town.

Creighton was the name of a small village in Natal, so we looked in the Natal archives, but none of the Creightons we found seemed to fit. Then we went to Cape Town, and looked in the archives there, and found that the spelling of the name was Crighton, not Creighton (with an exception to be noted below). Henry Crighton (1815-1870) was a saddler in Cape Town (Gran's "leather merchant" came close enough), and there was even a newpaper obituary, though like many Victorian obituaries, it was full of padding and no substance. His wife was Petronella Francina Dorothea Flamme, whose grandmother was a slave, and probably the most indigenous South African ancestor we have between us.

The eldest son, William John Crighton (1842-1886), married Anna Maria MacLeod (1849-1917), and their eldest daughter Mary Francis Crighton (1868-1957) married Frederick Vincent Greene (1858-1949), and they were the in-laws.

At least three of the Crightons married into the MacLeod famioly, and we have quite a lot of information about the descendants of both families, so if anyone reading this is linked to any of these please get in touch, or at least leave a comment. There were numerous descendants of Charles Augustus MacLeod (1838-1909) and Annie Crighton (1850-c1934).

Both Henry Crighton and his son William John had several children, and so the Crighton family was quite numerous in South Africa. One of William John Crighton's sons was Daniel John (1880-1939), and in the archives we found correspondence with his granddaughter, Nita Crighton, who lived in America, and was researching the family history too. We were able to make contact with Nita (now Nita Harris of California), and met her when she visited South Africa a couple of years ago.

Daniel John Crighton's brother Frank Percy (1876-1953), however, adopted the Creighton spelling.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Devantier family

A few years ago Deborah Devantier posted this on a message board, and I must have missed it at the time:
I am researching my husband's family tree and know that his gradfather Otto Wilhelm Devantier arrived with his mother and 6 siblings in Queensland Australia in 1874. Unfortunately his father died on the voyage out and all we know was that he was Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Devantier born 1834 in Schonermark. Other names that are given on marriage and death certificates are Schwedt, Angemunde, Niederlandin and Uckermark. I realise there was a large Devantier family in this area, and have seen the family trees posted on the web. Would very much like to connect Carl Wilhelm Friedrich.

I do have a link to this family, and can give information on ancestors, and hope to get some on descendants. So I hope Deboarh (and other Devantier researchers) will get in touch.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lost cousins

If you have British ancestors, you might find the Lost Cousins website useful.

It's free to join, and what you do is enter any members of your family who appeared on the 1881 census of England, Wales or Scotland. And you can find the census on line, too.

Once you've entered them, the Lost Cousins site attempts to match them with data entered by other members, and if you've entered the same family as someone else, chances are you're related!

And the more people who participate, the more chances you have of finding a lost cousin.

I've entered about 120 blood relatives so far.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This explains everything

About a week ago I wrote a bit of family news here and invited some family members to make contact and respond in some way -- leave a comment, sign the guestbook, something, anything.

But after a week, only silence. Oh, there was a Christmas card from cousin Josephine Tsegaye (nee Hayes), but that doesn't count, because she's not on the Internet anyway.

But now I believe I've found what the problem is -- my personality.

Here's the result of my personality test:

Loser- INTP

Talked to another human being lately? I'm serious. You value knowledge above ALL else. You love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. The fact that nobody else cares still hasn't become apparent to you...

Nerd's a great word to describe you, and I seriously couldn't care less about the different definitions of the word and why you're actually more of a geek than a nerd. Don't pretend you weren't thinking that. You want every single miniscule fact and theory to be presented correctly.

Critical? Sarcastic? Cynical? Pessimistic? Just a few words to describe you when you're at your very best...*cough* Sorry, I mean worst. Picking up the dudes or dudettes isn't something you find easy, but don't worry too much about it. You can blame it on your personality type now.

On top of all this, you're shy. Nice one, wench. No wonder you're on OKCupid!
Now, quickly go and delete everything about "theoretical questions" from your profile page. As long as nobody tries to start a conversation with you, just MAYBE you'll now have a chance of picking up a date. But don't get your hopes up.

I am interested though. If a tree fell over in a forest, would it really make a sound?


If you want to learn more about your personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.


The other personality types are as follows...

Loner - Introverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Pushover - Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Criminal - Introverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Borefest - Introverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Almost Perfect - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Freak - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Crackpot - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Clown - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

Sap - Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging

Commander - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Do Gooder - Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Scumbag - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

Busybody - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

Prick - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

Dictator - Extraverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster on Ok Cupid


I always wanted to be a loser.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Family news, links, odds and ends

News of 2006

Check our family home page for general news and background, especially if you landed here without knowing who we are and are not sure if you know us.

Several friends and family members have sent us Christmas cards and letters, giving news of themselves and their doings, and this is a kind of response to them.

Val, after working for ADT security for 8 years, left for a new job at Telezero in July, at a considerable drop in pay. The advantage was that it was much closer to home, and spending four hours a day in traffic jams was just too much. She's now resigned from Telezero, and is waiting for her new job to start.

Our daughter Bridget has just moved to a new house in Athens, close to the university, where she is studying for her master's in theology. She had been working part-time translating books from Greek to English, and is hoping for a job with a big publisher.

Our sons Simon and Jethro are still living at home.

In 2006 we lost three dogs. Our younger dog, Alexa, took ill one morning in January and died before we could get her to the vet. Our other dog, Ariel pined, so we got an Alsatian puppy, Ralf, who died after we had him 12 days. We got him to the vet, and he died on the examination table, and the vet diagnosed biliary, which we think must have been what did in Alexa as well. We got another puppy, Mardigan, a few weeks later, and he was poisoned by the thieves who stole our Toyota Venture from the yard. We got him to the vet, and he seemed likely to recover, but the day after he got home, he had a relapse and died. We later got another puppy, called Samwise, and he is still with us.

In December with the blessing of our Archbishop Seraphim, Steve organised a youth conference with Fr Athanasius Akunda, the first Orthodox youth conference in our diocese. Click here for full report with pictures.

We had a double Christmas in 2006/7 -- if you'd like to see more, with pictures, click here and here.

Blogs and blogrolling

If you look at the column on the right, you will see a "Blogroll" -- that's a list of blogs of people related to us. If you hover the cursor over the name of the blog, you should get a description of which branch of the family they belong to (and so be able to see if they are related to you too).

If you are related to us, and have a personal or family blog or web journal, please tell us about it, so that we can add it to the blogroll. If you just have a web page somewhere, please sign our guest book (you'll also see it in the right-hand column) and put in a link to it, so that we can visit your page.

Comments and links

You can also leave comments about this and any other postings in this blog -- you'll see two places where you can leave comments, and read other comments. If there are no other comments it will say "0 comments", but if you click on it, you can add your own comments. You may be asked to senter a series of letters, as a precaution against spam. Sometimes you have to do it twice before your comment is accepted, but it will tell you when your comment has been saved.

So there are plenty of ways of keeping in touch, and we hope we will hear from you!

Steve & Val Hayes

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Growden cousin

Jackie Seaman recently joined the Growden family discussion forum, and has sent me a chart of the descendants of William Growden and Elizabeth Sandercock she had managed to trace, which shows that she is my fourth cousin once removed.

She has quite a few descendants that I don't have, and I have some that she doesn't have, so we're going to have fun over the next few months comparing notes.