Willingale Genealogy

The Willingale Family Society

The latest edition of the LT has now been posted to all members. If any member does not receive their copy please contact keith@willingale.org.


OBE Award

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Fiona Ballantyne nee. Mackay (I10525) was awarded an OBE for ‘Services to Culture in Scotland’ in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year. The award was presented to Fiona by Prince William at Buckingham Palace on November14, 2014. Fiona is the 2nd Great-granddaughter of Mary Elizabeth Willingale born 1831. On behalf of WFS members we congratulate you Fiona.

This is the second known OBE awarded to a member of our family. The other was awarded in 1993 to Geoffrey Willingale Wood (I2503) for services to the ‘Board of the Inland Revenue’.

Steven Willingale (I0370) reports as follows: “My cousin Jane (I1402) has given birth to a baby boy on 15th Feb 2015 named Zacharias Willingale Panteli (Zach). The father is Felipe Panteli. The birth was in Auckland, NZ.”
Thanks for the info, Steven, action has been taken. Please convey WFS congratulations to the proud parents.

A message from Graham:

I’ve heard on good authority that a comedy film has been made at Willingale Village for the BBC’s Red Nose Day programme. It stars Rowan Atkinson and Dawn French, among others, and willing residents of the village. It’s set in the two Churches and makes fun of the story of the two sisters who fell out and each built their own Church.

The latest edition has now been posted / emailed. Any member who has not received their copy by Christmas should contact me – keith@willingale.org

Alan John Willingale’s wife Monelea gave birth to their first child yesterday. Scarlett Lily Willingale was born 4th January 2014 in the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, Kent.

Lopping Times

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The December 2013 edition of the Lopping Times has now been sent out to all members.

The Lopping Times is our twice yearly journal where we write up some of the more interesting items discovered during our genealogical research.

This edition contains the following articles:

Chairman’s Introduction
Addition to the Willingale Family
Members Letters
Willingale Court Martial
Willingale Drowning
Les Willingale Award

It’s been a while since we blogged anything, however that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy researching. The family tree on the website continues to grow thanks to the efforts of our three researchers, Graham, Kim and Linda.

In one of my regular sweeps of the net for new information I’ve come across a couple of items that warrant review.

Firstly, the photo we have of the Willingale Axe may not actually be the Willingale Axe! A Bob Burgess who runs the Billhooks website has noted that the axe I photographed was made by a William Swift of Kent. He was still producing billhooks in 1911, which sort of rules out that axe being over 100 years old as quoted in by the Essex Field Club. Was the Essex Field Club wrong, or have we photographed the wrong axe? Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, the records of the EFC & Corporation relating to the axe are not all they could be.

Secondly I came across another blog which mentioned Thomas Willingale, where again the classic mistake of Thomas being imprisoned is made and this time a photo captioned as Thomas Willingale is included in the blog. This photo is in fact Thomas Willingale Jnr (Thomas the Lopper’s son) whose only contribution to saving Epping Forest was to be fined for poaching. We know this is not Thomas the Lopper, because he died in 1870 when photography was still very cumbersome, especially for outdoor shots like the one shown. This photo is held in a collection at the Museum of English Rural Life, which also has shots of William Willingale, another of Thomas the Lopper’s sons, and Thomas Jnr in the same setting, and from their ages we can deduce they are most likely brothers rather than father & son. It’s interesting to note that these images are from a collection originally belonging to the Commons Preservation Society, now the Open Spaces Society. Yet the only photos they have are of Thomas & William, who were notorious for claiming involvement in the saving of the forest, but have no photos of Samuel Willingale, Alfred Willingale or William Higgins, who were actually imprisoned for exercising their right to lop.

WFS Members can now download an exclusively produced e-book on Thomas Willingale and his involvement in the saving of Epping Forest.

The link is http://www.willingale.org/tng/showmedia.php?mediaID=1780

New Milestone

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Just a short note to say we have recently passed 10,000 names on the main family tree. Back in December 2002 at our first AGM we had a tree containing 539 names on display, so the tree has grown substantially over the past 10 years!

Also our ‘Willingale Archive’ of photos, documents and press cuttings is now just shy of 1,700 items.