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Simms and Dixon Family Movements

Simms family

The earliest ancestor i can currently locate within the Simms family tree is my 9th great-grandfather William Symes (Born. 1590). His descendants lived in Warwickshire for around THREE centuries! This was initially in Barton-on-the-heath but a great deal of it was spent in Brailes. Eventually, in the very early 1900's, my great-grandfather Alfred Simms moved down to surrey. They lived in Great Bookham and later, Epsom and Leatherhead. I love in surrey - but was born in Leatherhead. I even work at a company in Leatherhead nowadays. A significant branch, led by my 2nd great-uncle Joseph Simms, migrated to the USA.

Dixon Family

The earliest ancestor i can currently locate within the Dixon family tree is my (likely) 5th great-grandfather Francis Dixon (Born. 1761). The Dixon's spent a noteworthy amount of time in Yorkshire and specifically Ryedale (see previous articles) before eventually finding themselves in York. My (likely) great-grandfather Frederick Shann Dixon eventually found himself down in Dorking after serving in the first world war. My father is highly likely to be descended from him - although i am trying to track that connection down and verify it.

My father and mother likely met in the Dorking / Leatherhead area. As an adopted child many questions still remain and yet i have been able (especially with thanks to DNA) answer and figure out extensive family history without having uttered a single word to either - without having even had laid eyes upon them. This is something i hope changes in the future, obviously.... though that is out of my control.


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The mystery death of Kezia Rosina Southon

I often seek to investigate the reason for unusually young deaths within my family tree - especially as we get into more modern times when such things were at least a little rarer (well, supposedly). One such case was my 2nd Great Aunt, Kezia Rosina Southon who died aged 22. Rosina was the name given my birth mothers sister so it appeared to have been passed on and was something that had profoundly affected the family. Rosina has appeared, so far, just one other time before in my maternal family.

I received her death certificate yesterday and the cause of death was as equally surprising as the location.

She died on the 21st of June 1915 at the Royal School for the Blind in Leatherhead. This location is now called "SeeAbility". I certainly prefer the original name!

Her death was listed as Peritonitis, lasting 5 days, and exhaustion. On wikipedia the potential causes of this "include perforation of the intestinal tract, pancreatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, stomach u…

Tracking down Frank Bloxham - Part 1

Frank Bloxham has no direct connection to me as such - however, his likely son, Frank Henry Simms does indeed carries the genes of my 2nd great-aunt Charlotte Simms. I contacted a descendant of the family of Frank Henry Simms and passed the information i had over. I decided to take a closer look at this individual. To uncover the story behind the article and to track his movements after - and also, his origins. He was commonly called "Frank" (as such many were) but was born Francis A Bloxham.

Like many families in Brailes there were common groups of families. The Bloxhams were quite a unique name and not as common compared to others. Brailes being as small as it was - and still is - it remains comparatively easy to track them around. Whilst working for a grocer in the following census he met Charlotte Simms.

Francis was working as a grocers apprentice and Charlotte as a general servant (domestic).

This happened not long after the census. So what happened to Frank after this?…

The family of Emil Winker - Part 1

I offered to help trace the family history of a good friend of mine recently and, after he passed on the details i needed to begin my search, i asked him which branch he would like me to delve into first and this [Emil] was the one he chose. Details of living (or recently deceased) people are withheld - exactly as they would be for any similar such research shared online. This information i am sharing here is 100% publicly available to anyone.

The start point for my research is for Emil Winker (1866-1919).

I knew the details of his son which in turn gave me my start point for him. Emil Winker spent most of his life in Iowa. We know this thanks to the various Iowa State / US Federal Census' records that we have (more on that). From the records we quickly learn that he was not native born in Iowa. He was actually from Germany. He arrived in the USA in May 1883 from a ship sailing from Hamburg as a 17 year old teenager and was among some 1.4 million German settlers who came to the un…