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Stranger Than Fiction 24th April 2007 Family History
After many years researching in to our family history, tracing one branch back to 1550, I decided to start on my daughter-in-laws family to create a complete family tree for my grandchildren.

My son Andrew was born in Wales, my daughter-in-law Kerry in Portsmouth, at the other side of the country, but they met and married in Wales. Our family come from various areas of the UK, including Scotland, Ireland, Somerset, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and London. Kerry’s family mainly originated from Wales and Somerset, with some from other areas including London.

I traced her great great great grandfather Samuel Stock, born 1842, to London and on the 1881 and 1891 census Samuel Stock and his daughter Charlotte (Kerry’s maternal great great grandmother) were living at 28 Reeves Place, Shoreditch, London.

This address seemed familiar so I trawled through my records and found that my son’s great great grandfather John Barton was living at 5 Reeves Place, Shoreditch in 1881, but by the time of the birth of his daughter Rosina (Andrew’s great grandmother) in 1886, they had moved to 29 Reeves Place, next door to the Stock family.

Bearing in mind that there were over 5 million inhabitants of Greater London in the 1880’s and 90’s and that there were 28 million people living in England at the time, the likely hood that my son and his wife should have ancestors living in the same district would be highly unusual. What must the odds be that their ancestors actually lived next door to each in the 1880’s and that just over 100 years later they should meet, fall in love and marry hundreds of miles from where their ancestors once lived?.

Another coincidence I discovered with the two families was that Andrew’s 3x great grandfather James Winters, born 1823, lived at 13 Upper St John Street Shoreditch, and was a furniture maker, and Kerry’s 3x great grandfather Robert Cox, born 1831, lived at 8 Lower St John Street Shoreditch, and was a cabinet maker.

Just to complete the strange coincidences Andrew and Kerry share the same birthday (maybe they were fated to meet).

By Heather Bellamy

Heather Bellamy

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