- who and what I have written about so far and, perhaps more importantly,
- who I haven't.
I suppose the branch closest to my heart was the one I started doing long before even thinking about looking for my birth parents and their ancestors. As has been well documented, I took an early trip down an incorrect path into the lovely picturesque Northamptonshire village of Everdon taking my "William Bird of Newnham" - you are the weakest link (W99) - four generations further back to the Great Fire of London.
After discovering this "Newnham" wasn't in any way connected to the earliest Bird in my branch, I was, and still am, left wanting to find out more about the patriarch of the family, William Bird (W43).
William was a very successful builder who we know contributed significantly to the development of the village of Lambeth. Whether he was self made, or if funding came from either his or his wife's parents, has yet to be determined. Either way, he left a large inheritance which was enjoyed by his descendants for many decades to come.
One of the 10 children born to William and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth Elliott, was farmer, George Bird (W48), who owned Chessington Court Farm on the outskirts of London. The others being :
- William Henry Elliott Bird (W63) who, like his father, was another successful builder.
- Mary Ann and Sarah Elizabeth Bird (W64) who both sadly died during infancy.
- Anne Bird (W58) who married Francis Ross and whose son, Henry Ross (W35 and W41), left invaluable genealogical evidence in the family bible. She later married John Styles, a dissenting minister.
- Charles Elliott Bird who was born in 1808. As a widower, he married George Bird's wife's younger sister just before his death in 1869. I feel a need to find out more about Charles.
- Henry Bird who was born and christened in 1811. Nothing more about him is yet known.
- Harriett Bird who married John Coveney of Swanscombe Manor. They 'adopted' Henry Ross (above) before moving to Chestham Park, Henfield.
- Elizabeth Bird who married Thomas Ross (W29), five times Mayor of Hastings. He came from a fascinating line of Ross but I haven't yet found any relationship between these two Ross families.
- Susannah Sophia Bird who died before her 20th birthday in one of the properties her father built.
George and his wife, Margaret Sparkes, had 6 children including Henry Ross Bird (W49) who, like his father, was a farm owner. He was the youngest of his siblings ........
- Eliza Margaret Bird who married the aforesaid Henry Ross, son of her aunt, Anne Bird, and went on to live at the manor house at Chestham Park.
- Sarah Harriett Bird who was living on her father's farm in 1881 but then the trail goes cold.
- Louisa Bird who is living on the farm in 1871 but then disappears.
- Emily Margaret Bird who married Captain Jorgen Wildfang, a German national.
- George Coveney Bird (Georgie) (W4) who, by all accounts, was a fascinating character. He purchased The Rhodrons manor house and met an unfortunate death.
Henry and his wife, Louisa Maria Pim Wareham, had 3 children including my hapless grandfather, Percy Hyde Bird (W44). He seems to have been remembered by history as a rather unfortunate individual who had no luck at all either with relationships or in business. His two siblings were :
- Florence Mary Bird who was born and died in infancy before Percy was a twinkle in his parents' eye. Living family were not aware of her until I discovered her during my research.
- His younger brother Leslie Bird (W38) who was considerably more successful than him and who became a leader in his local British Legion.
Percy married Margaret Benson and they had three children - my adopted father, Derek Bird (W47), and two younger boys, Tony and Hugh.
I shall always be grateful to Dad for adopting me and giving me the opportunities I would not otherwise have had.
How much of 'ME' is because of the experiences and lessons my parents gave me and how much comes from my genes ? This is the question I am ultimately trying to resolve.
I have also written a number of other blogs about Birds which I list here for completeness :
Would Caroline Bird from France please make herself known – a story about a mystery woman on the census who by all accounts should have been Selina, wife of William Henry Elliott Bird.
Edwin Bird (1829 - 1870) – a grandson of William Bird, son of William Henry Elliott Bird who temporarily moved to Australia before bringing his Irish born wife back to Blighty.
William Henry Bird the 1st class schoolmaster – son of William Henry Elliott Bird who was a schoolmaster with the Grenadier Guards.
Frederick Edwin Bird (1861 - 1920) – son of William Henry Bird who emigrated to Australia.
A family killed by a V2 rocket – two granddaughters of William Henry Elliott Bird, Christina Chatterton Bird and Gertrude Pattie Friend and Gertrude's daughter, Christine Chatterton Friend who were all killed by a single V2 rocket in Wanstead.