I thought I’d do a quick blog on our research over the past year.

We made major progress on proving all Willingales are related with the moving of the Samuel & Charles branches over to the main family tree, although the DNA Surname project results for the Charles branch are still somewhat confusing.

Back in June the society was contacted by a Stephen Cook who came across a photo album at a car boot sale, which contained a number of photos and postcards formerly belong to a Lizzie Willingale. Although he sold on the postcards, Stephen was good enough to pass to the society the photographs and provide scans of the postcards, which date from the early 1900s. All these items can be found on the website under the ‘car boot sale’ album.

We have also received a number of other interesting items from society members, Peter Willingale has provided some additional photos from the same family group as Lizzie and managed to identify a number of individuals in the car boot sale photos, those that we can’t identify are listed in the Most Wanted area of the members area on the website. Richard Smith and Ann Sutcliffe have also provided some photos, all of which are now on the website, along with Mark Willingale who sent in the photo of the Singapore War Memorial listing George W C Willingale.

The total media now displayed on the society’s website is 1,100 items; this includes numerous photos along with press cuttings, passenger lists and military records. Our family trees have also grown to a total of 6,700 people.

We have also updated the public area of the website, which is now in a ‘blog’ format. This allows us to provide brief updates to members in between the twice yearly journals and show to potential members we are actively researching. Our old website also gets a mention in Researching Your Family History Online for Dummies.

We also provided some corrections to Epping Forest District Council, who repeated a number of classic mistakes about Thomas Willingale the Lopper in their draft conservation area documentation.

Our research is continuing, with the main focus this year being on double checking the early Willingales in the family tree, now the parish registers are online on SEAX, together with attempting to move more people over into the main tree. We are also continuing our research on Thomas Willingale in an attempt to provide a definitive history of the Lopping rights saga.