I think I might have reached the end of one of the branches of my English family...he was a Spaniard named...Chinaswind Aquilo Balthes of Visigoths and he lived from 601 ce to 653 ce.
On the way through the centuries there are French, Dutch, Norweigan, Swedes, Finns, Icelanders, Scots, Irish and early English settlers in America...
There are a couple of Scottish Kings...a few Abbots...some Viscounts...a couple of Earls...and quite a few Saints.
Some of the Lords...in keeping with the education for the upper classes of the times, attended Oxford Unversity and read Law and Latin and Greek...they were only little boys but it was considered the correct learning for their future in the 1400's.
In the 1600's the landed gentry were paying taxes for their lands and forests...those who left England and sailed to America are recorded in the first censuses and their names appear on the passengers lists...the ships names are also recorded...one was named the Susan and Mary and she sailed from Plymouth with 150 passengers onboard.
Later on in the 1700 and 1800's most of the men were beginning the long tradition of hatters and tailors which runs through our family until the middle of the 1900's...some were farmers though and others were recorded as being Yeomen farmers.
It is in the 1800's that the personal stories begin to appear...and the rather gruesome deaths which some suffered...swallowing a bee which had settled on a cake...falling from scaffolding...burned in a boiler explosion...and so on.
There were deaths from smallpox and typhoid and some ended their own lives with guns or knives...or drowning.
But further back...to seven and eight hundred years ago, most of my people were involved in battles. They joined the Crusades and fought in the Holy Land...they fought battles on the Scottish/English borders...they lived in remote castles on windswept coastlines and married three, four, five times and produced twenty plus children who died young or went on to fight in other battles...
They were in cahoots with the Kings and have ancestral lines as long as your arm and died from wounds delivered by axes and broadswords...
Some married Icelandic princesses and others wed the daughters of their sworn enemies to seal a truce...
Once you reach the three figure numbers for the years, the history becomes hazy and dates are wild stabs in the dark and the names are virtually unpronouncable...those Dark Ages when it appears most of Europe was at war and even Wikipedia struggles...that leads us to Chinaswind of the Visigoths whose son, Fulk Tulga Tulgades Balthes King de la Visigoths went on to have a daughter who had a daughter and so on until eventually you come to 1948 and my birth...
I have found this branch of the family tree totally unbelivable and over-whelming...I've checked, checked and re-checked...I've printed off all thirteen pages of it twice...I've looked those people up on Wikipedia and the Saints in my book of the Sainted Women of the Middle Ages...and there they are...I've hunted down Earls and ploughed my way through the Oxford Alummi of the 1400's...saved photographs of ruined castles and read about Pepin the Short and poor Bertrada with her big feet...
The early American settlers are a whole new story which I haven't even looked at yet apart from being amazed by the names they gave their children...Deliverance and Thankful...Ichabod and Happy...
Isn't it...amazing.