Welcome to my family history blog!
I suppose my interest in family history began when I was about 9 when my paternal grandmother gave me two silk cards from the First World War and told me that my great-grandfather (Herbert Cecil MASON) had sent them to his sister during the war. Unfortunately I didn’t ask very much about them, but I took them home and treasured them. The cards are a bit faded now and it’s hard to decipher the messages, but I am so pleased that I own them. At around the same time, my grandma also told me that there was a baron in the family. I have very vague memories of someone with an American accent visiting my grandparents’ house in Muswell Hill, North London, with a large roll of paper upon which was written some sort of pedigree or family tree which apparently proved the link to the baron. Again, I didn’t ask much at the time (and no-one really told me who this American was) but I remembered what I’d been told – nearly 40 years later I decided to see what, if anything, I could find out about the MASON family and their supposed links to the baronetcy!
On my mother’s side of the family (SHEEPWASH) there were rumours about a French connection, and there was also a suggestion of a German ancestor in the family, which was always mentioned when I started learning languages at secondary school and found the subject quite easy. This was supposed to have been inherited from the mysterious foreign ancestors from several generations back! I didn’t believe that an ability to learn languages could lie dormant for many generations and suddenly resurface, but when I began my research I was spurred on to try to find out why the family thought that they had these European links. It took some time , and I still haven’t really got to the bottom of the story, but I’m getting closer.