Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

On losing the original database a couple of years ago, which had to be rebuilt from backup data, we also lost all our source references.  Albeit these days with it being so easy to trace family lines from census records on Ancestry and family data on the Mormon's Family Search database it's not so critical now as it was a few years ago.  Although 'Family Trees' published on the web (like this one) can be a useful source of data to give you a lead in your research, as any good genealogy researcher will know, you should not entirely rely on them but should (where possible) independently verify the important information with your own research so as to satisfy yourself and others of the authenticity and accuracy of the data.  Then out of courtesy let the owner of the family tree (from where you got your initial lead) know of any major errors or omissions on their family tree so they have the opportunity to make the correction and additions for the benefit of others.

Of the 18,000 plus names on this family tree the initial 500 was based on personal family records and documents passed down through the generation, some of the documentation dating back to the early half of 19th century.  This initial core family tree consists mainly of the England, Jenner, Burgess and Baglin family line and associated branches; and with the help of my cousins in Australia, the Stickler and associated family lines.

From this initial core, and long before the days of computers, I spent many years of research visiting local records office and the main library personally searching through copies of original documents by hand piecing together vast amounts of data to extend the tree in all directions.  Since the advent of computers and the Internet the vast bulk of the information has come from other fellow researchers who have been as dedicated in researching their roots as I have; some more fastidious than others and overtime we have corrected each other's mistakes.

Currently, with research being so much easier than it has ever been, we are in the process of consolidating our research, double checking and where appropriate amending our existing data as part of quality control exercise.  This couldn't be easier these days with a superb source of well indexed data on Ancestry (provided you are willing to pay their subscription) including all the census records released every ten years from 1841 to 1911 and BMDs dating back to the 1550s; and the immersive source of data on the Mormon's fully free and fully open 'Family Search' database.  As part of this process we aim to update this tree on-line (on this website) every few months where possible; and sometimes more frequently when there have been a number of major changes to the tree within a short period of time.  Therefore, if you are one of the many following progress on this tree remember to check back from time to time; and if you have any queries or wish to contribute to our efforts then please drop us a line by email.



As the vast majority of my ancestors are from Bristol and the surrounding area one of the banes of Bristol sources is that although Bristol has been a city and county since 1373 (except for a ten year period from 1973 to 1983 when it was part of Avon) no genealogy databases recognise Bristol as a county in its own right.  Persistently, although Bristol is a county in its own right, genealogy resources quote Bristol or its suburbs as being either in the county of Gloucestershire or Somerset dependant on whether its north Bristol or south Bristol; albeit some of Bristol's outer suburbs comes under the authorities of these two other counties.

Historically Bristol had three Registration Districts, Bedminster, Clifton and Barton Regis; all within a mile of the city centre.  In spite of this you frequently see quoted for example Barton Regis, Gloucestershire and worse still Barton Regis, Gloucester; Gloucester being a town (35 miles from Bristol) in the county of Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire adjoins Bristol to the north and Somerset to the south. It's difficult to define the exact boundaries of Bristol with Gloucestershire and Somerset at any particular time as not only have these boundaries changed a number of times over the centuries but also because of the different types of boundaries dependant on the context e.g. the city, the built-up area (suburbs), the county, and of course the political local and central government boundaries. 

All this is better explained on Wikipedia for Bristol under the sub-heading 'Boundaries'.