In Our Forefathers' Footsteps - My Passion for Family History

Who we are today is a direct result of those who came before us. Each of us is a living archive, a product of everything we have experienced during our lives, as are our parents, grandparents, friends and relatives.

My passion for family history has at its roots a a rich heritage overflowing with sometimes colourful but often bland characters who my mother often described as saints and sinners. Most importantly it stems from a desire gain an insight into their way of life. By learning something of local history, cultural and religious customs of the day we can gain an insight into the rich history that shaped our ancestor's lives. It is easy to romanticise the past, and although life may have been good for some, for others the day to day life was a far greater struggle. Many critical events have occurred during the past that have altered the paths of our families. Our forefathers have lived through plagues and pestilence, wars, religious persecutions, and extreme economic depressions, fortunes won, lost and regained, even family dishonour. Despite adversity our families retained their strength and fortitude, and continue to persevere to this day.

Family histories and genealogy are important records for us as families. They give us an appreciation of where we've come from and thus, a fuller picture of who we are. Inevitably, there are gaps in our family history: missing names, missing dates, missing detailsthemselves are intriguing. When facts and records fail, a reasonable amount of carefully chosen surmise, probability and imagination can help fill the void.

Every story that an elderly relative recounts or writes about, adds rich detail to the picture of the lives of those who have gone before, and helps bring them to life in the minds of their descendants. Thank you to those who have kept journals or written biographies, no matter how brief, they give us a window into your times.

"I walk in my forefathers' footsteps,
My forefathers walk in my footsteps
I walk in all living beings' footsteps.
All living beings walk in my footsteps.
I walk in future generations' footsteps.
Future generations walk in my footsteps"

This has not been a solitary journey. One of the joys that genealogists and family historians have when they are connected by the internet is the ability to make contact with other like minded people of all ages from many walks of life, engaged on a similar quest and willing share their information and knowledge. I hope that this website will generate a desire for others to help us continue the search and to help build these pages. Although our search is in the past we have found fellowship and friendship in the present. Our website is an on-going work by this collective of family, cousins, friends, and researchers who strive to make this website the authoritative place to discover the origins and history of the differing branches of our respective families.

We look forward to making contact from anyone visiting this site, who feels they may have a connection, however strong or tenuious it may be. We would definitely appreciate any corrections to errors that anyone finds here. So please let us know if you find any or you are just suspicious that something isn't quite right. If you didn't find what you were looking for here, good luck with your search and keep looking with time and perserverance those brick walls will eventually tumble.

Jim Sheppard


PRIVACY POLICY: In order to respect and honour the privacy of family members, we have endeavoured to exclude personal details on anyone that is alive or was born or christened after 1900.