Of Death Certificates, DNA and other Updates

The arrival of the huge pile small number of death certificates following my ‘beat the price rise’ ordering fest has focussed my mind on various branches of my family tree. I had fun investigating the ‘crushed by a train’ death. Safe to say, considerably more fun than was had by the poor victim at any rate. I have, after more than four decades of researching, begun to put some of my family history narratives online. I have to stress from the outset that these are not beautifully written stories. Instead, they are working documents, intended to set out all the known facts on a particular family, together with the sources for each piece of information. Some do have smatterings of local and social historical context added. So, if you are related to the Dawsons of Essex, the Bulleys of Norfolk, The Oughs of Cornwall, the Pepperells of Devon, the Hoggs of Northumberland, the Meads of Yorkshire, the Seears of London or several other related families, there is something there for you and more will, eventually, follow. Do take a look at the many other surnames of interest that are listed, who knows, we may be related.

 

My DNA estimates June 2017

My regional breakdown based on the documentary evidence

At Christmas, I persuaded Martha to take a DNA test. I was pretty convinced she hadn’t been swapped at birth, so I was certain who her parents were but I was interested in the profile for the ancestry that we do not share. We chose to go for Living DNA as I had been impressed by how accurately my own regional breakdown that they had provided matched the documentary evidence. I wrote about this here. Finding matches was not a priority. I must stress that I am a DNA dabbler and am by no means an expert. I do however understand a few basic principles (I think). I know that we inherit exactly half our DNA from each of our parents (except when it seems we don’t – see below). It is a random half, which is why siblings differ (unless they are identical twins) so in theory it would be possible to inherit nothing from one grandparent (although this would be very unlikely) and the further back you go, the likelihood that no DNA has come down from a particular ancestor increases greatly. I also know that if I am 20% Cornish, Martha will not necessarily be 10% Cornish. She may have inherited more or less than 10% of my Cornish DNA, or indeed none at all. I also understand a little about migration and population movements. You often see posts on online forums complaining that such and such a DNA company hasn’t shown any of granny’s Irish ancestry. This is ignoring the fact that many Irish families were Scottish or English in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It also ignores the fact that these ethnicity estimates are just that, estimates. This is an emerging science and should really only be regarded as a bit of fun.

 

Martha Living DNA regipnal breakdown actual

Martha’s Living DNA regional breakdown

Nonetheless, when Martha’s regional breakdown arrived it was, to put it mildly, weird. She is now wearing lederhosen and eating sauerkraut. These are my thoughts, maybe my DNA expert friends will chip in and find holes in this argument. If half Martha’s DNA is mine, I am interested in the other half. It has been very easy to identify the majority of this. Martha shows as being 34.6% Germanic; I have none. She also has 5% more Scandinavian ancestry than I have, 4.5% more from South Central England and 0.2% more from Northumberland. That adds up to a whopping 44.3% that we do not share, which, as I understand it must represent what she inherits from her father. From whom, I am reasoning, she has also inherited 5.7% of something I can’t identify because it overlaps with mine. I have been following the documentary trail since before Martha was born and I am a reasonable way back on all lines.

Martha documentary

Martha’a regional breakdown based on the documentary evidence

This ethnicity profile in no way reflects what I know of her father’s ancestry, which I would expect to reflect elements from the Channel Islands and Scotland as well as a significant portion from Gloucestershire. The latter came from the Forest of Dean, which is known as historically being a remote community, very unlikely to have been influenced by European in-migration within the genealogical time-frame and beyond. Martha’s paternal aunt has tested with Ancestry and her ethnicity estimate more closely reflects the documentary trail, with nothing Germanic at all.

 

We have been eagerly awaiting Martha’s matches to appear and today they arrived. It may be a relief for her to know that she is who she thinks she is as she matches both me and her aunt, who uploaded her Ancestry results to Living DNA, with the expected relationship. I still don’t understand why, according to Living DNA Martha and I share 47.72% of our DNA and not 50% but I have a great deal to learn about DNA.

For those of you who have taken an interest in our BeingEdward story. I am pleased to report that the number who have read my original post has now reached four figures; so thank you so much to all who read and shared. This week, Martha has posted some insights into what life with BeingEdward means.

Oh and if you were wondering about the progress of the ‘spring’ cleaning, it may be better not to enquire. I have however now discovered that I have enough candles to survive any post-apocalyptic catastrophe, providing I can work out how to run the laptop using candle power.

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Heredity, Hammocks and Heat: DNA and other adventures

I really wanted this post to be about some very exciting news but I am not allowed to tell anyone yet (no, no one in the family is, as far as I know, pregnant), so that will have to wait for another time. I could talk about the weather. Here in the UK we have been experiencing a mini heat wave. I was stuck in a northern city in a motel whose room did not go below 29 degrees for three days. What a joy to come back to my beautifully cool home (they knew what they were doing when they built houses in the 1600s) with the sounds of the local sheep baaing, I could even forgive the aroma of silage making. No problem, UK heatwaves never last long and we are back to normal today.

My partly revamped garden is still mid-makeover. Given the heat and my absence I am quite glad that I delayed laying new turf. I was pleased that the plants survived my healthy neglect during the record-breaking temperatures. The hot weather made it seem like a good idea to erect a hammock that I have had for about twenty years but never used (I think it was free with something). All it required was two trees sturdy enough to support my burgeoning weight (it’s all that eating on expenses that does it). My tiny garden isn’t over burdened with trees but two were identified and with assistance from the fisherman of my acquaintance we began to adjust the ropes to what seemed to be a sensible height. This kind of occasion is when it is useful to know someone who can tie a decent knot or two. After one or two false starts (I ended up sitting on the ground) the hammock was in place and I was enjoying a meditate. The observant amongst you will have noted the word ‘trees’ above. Hammocks tied to trees mean, inevitably, that you are, to some extent, under a tree. Trees mean birds. Birds have digestive processes, need I say more? No sooner had I laid back and closed my eyes than I was required to move. Somewhere there is photographic evidence of this. Fortunately the photographer finds getting pictures from his phone to anywhere else a little challenging – phew!

Actually there is some really exciting news that I can convey and that is that my DNA results from Living DNA have arrived. This company calculate your ethnic origin on a regional level. Having ancestry that is, at least on paper, 100% English, I was particularly interested to see what this would reveal. As a teenager I longed to be Spanish, pretended to have Spanish ancestry and despite my total inability at languages, even tried to teach myself Spanish. Was this due to some ancestral memory?

After more than forty years of researching my family history, I know the names and geographical origins of 31 of my 32 3x great grand-parents and 75% of the generation before that. This means that I have a pretty good idea where the families came from before they all began to converge on London in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Whilst I was patiently (well, ok actually not that patiently) awaiting the results. I analysed my documentary evidence to work out what I might expect. I am aware that the DNA that I have inherited does not come equally from all my 3 x great-grandparents and that some of them may have left no trace in my profile but I had no way of taking account of this. I had a slight issue in that Living DNA don’t seem to acknowledge the existence of Buckinghamshire, which accounts for an eighth of my ancestry but I used my initiative and counted it as South Central England.

So did the test support the proportions that I estimated and what surprises were in store? Living in Devon and having a direct paternal line that for 37 years I believed was Cornish but has now been traced back to Devon, I am particularly attached to the 25% of my ancestry that comes from south-west England. Based on my knowledge, my expectation was that my genetic make-up should show that I was 20% Cornish, with 5% from Devon. Living DNA’s percentages were 7.4% from Cornwall and 11.7% from Devon. As my lot spent their lives on both sides of the Tamar, very close to the Devon-Cornwall border, I can live with this.

Turning to the other end of the country, my estimated 12.5% for Northumberland became 5.8% according to Living DNA. I did wonder if some Scottish blood might creep in, as they lived in border parishes but it seems that I must leave Scottish descent to my children and grandchildren. Living DNA also suggested that 7.2% of my origins were from Cumbria, which, when added to the Northumbrian percentage, comes close to my estimate.

My DNA estimates June 2017

My estimates of my ethnic origins

The marriage of cousins in two successive generations (I know, accounts for a lot) means that I have what is known as a collapsed pedigree, with the same 4 x great grandparents appearing on my tree three times. They came, as far as I know, from the south-east and the bulk of my ancestry (37.5%) is from that region, why do I find this boring? Living DNA agreed, with 35.3% from south-eastern England. I calculated that 19% of my ancestry was from the south central region, not much more exciting. Living DNA put this at 3.9% but also identified 5.8% from Southern England and 2.7% from Central England, which redressed the balance a bit.

What appeared to be missing was the 6% that I believe came from East Anglia but this could be accounted for by the 5.6% that Living DNA attributed to Scandinavia. One of the East Anglian family names was Daines! I do however have another possibility for the Scandinavian connection. Interestingly my test results with Family Tree DNA make my origins 100% British Isles, with not a long ship or horned helmet in sight.

I am still mulling over Living DNA’s 11.1% from North Yorkshire. I somehow don’t see myself as a Yorkshire lass. No disrespect to my friends from Yorkshire, it just doesn’t feel like me. I don’t begin to understand cricket for a start. Could this be the missing 3 x great grandparent or the 4 x great grandmother, who appears three times in my ancestry but whose full name and birthplace I don’t know? Or does the North Yorkshire element represent something earlier in the Northumbrian line?

Interestingly, I also have 1.2% of my DNA from Lincolnshire. Although my maiden name, Braund, is firmly rooted in Devon and is found there back to the mid 1400s. Prior to that (11th-14th centuries) there are instances of the name in Lincolnshire but no connection has been found between the Braunds of Lincolnshire and those of Devon; could this minute trace in my DNA be attributable to this? The theory and it is just a theory, is that as both countries were key wool producing areas in Medieval times and are linked by drovers’ roads, this may have been how the name moved to Devon. The Lincolnshire Braunds are believed to have had Viking origins, so we are back to Scandinavia.

 

Living DNA June 2017

Living DNA’s analysis of my ethnic origins

Finally there is a random 2.1% from Chechnya. To save you looking that up, it is in the bottom right hand corner of Europe, not far from the Caspian Sea and given the political situation there, it probably isn’t the sort of place to be making an ancestral visit any time soon. I have heard of a few others whose profile contains this element and I feel this may be an anomaly that will be ironed out when more data becomes available. In the meantime Салам (hope Google translate has got that right). So much for being Spanish!

 

Who I Really Am – More Adventures with #DNA

The further back we delve into our family’s history, the greater the chance that there has been a ‘non-paternity’ event somewhere in our chain of great great grandparents and that one of our ancestors, child of Mrs X, was not the genetic offspring of Mr X, despite what the baptism register would have us believe. In fact, historically, the child of a married woman was always considered to be the progeny of her husband, however compelling the evidence to the contrary. I have heard of baptism entries reading along the lines of ‘…. son of William and Mary X, the husband was transported two years ago.’

I am a great believer in tracing not just blood parents but also those who have taken on parental responsibilities, such as adoptive or step-parents. These people’s values and attitudes will be passed on every bit as much as genes, so they are important. Nonetheless, most family historians do have a particular interest in their genetic line. How ever much we look like other members of our family, there is always that niggling doubt that one of our great great grandmothers may have strayed and we may not be who we think we are.

Next month marks the 40th anniversary of my first forays into real genealogical research, as opposed to just absorbing what my family members already knew. I was interested in all my blood lines but my direct paternal line fascinated me the most, mainly because I knew so little. I visited what was then the Public Record Office (PRO). I looked at the 1871 census returns (the most recent then available) on microfilm at Portugal Street (remember that?). I purchased my first certificates, for I believe £4.50. This confirmed that my family did indeed originate from a small Cornish village on the banks of the River Tamar, as I had been told.

cargreen-shop-old-postcardAt the age of twenty one I took a solo trip and visited Cornwall for the first time. I arrived at the nearest railway station on a Saturday evening. I stayed in a lovely B & B, which sticks in my memory because the proprietor was obsessed with recounting how her late husband had worked for the electricity board. On the Sunday, I obviously wanted to go ‘home’. The village was seven miles away and there was no public transport. Undaunted, I set off to walk. Since then I have firmly held the belief that Cornish miles are longer than those elsewhere. The local shop, which bore the family surname, was shut. I eventually wandered in to the local pub, not the easiest thing for a lone female in the rural Cornwall of 1977. I asked for relatives and met several fourth cousins. For the first time I saw someone of my own generation from my father’s side of the family. Despite being a clone of my mother and maternal grandmother, others perceived a physical resemblance. I was, naturally, very excited.

Although I research all branches of my ancestry, I suppose I have most emotional investment in my Braund line because it has been the subject of one-name research since 1982. We hold extended family reunions every year, I belong. What if I wasn’t really a Braund? I tried to tell myself that it didn’t matter, that I have borne the name and I am a Braund in all that counts. Despite having encouraged others who have taken DNA tests and received the results that do not match, with those words, ‘it does not matter’, I had a horrible feeling that I might be devastated if it turned out that my genetic roots lay elsewhere.

Someone from my branch of the family had already had a non-matching Y DNA test result but that was done because there were doubts about parentage in that line. So far, I didn’t match other Braunds who had done autosomal DNA tests but I had been convincing myself that that was ok because the paper trail showed that any connection would be very remote and date back to the seventeenth century or earlier. Within my first year of research I had traced back to my 6 x great grandfather Samuel Braund, thirty seven years later I added another generation but were these Braund ancestors really mine? Could DNA prove my genetic line? Apart from the lack of matches with other Braunds so far, my 3 x great grandfather was born out of wedlock to a Mary Jeffery. Ok, so he was named James Braund Jeffery, later took the surname Braund and appears to have been brought up by the Braund family but there were a few misgivings regarding how honest Miss Jeffery may have been.

If you have been following along with my weird and wonderful life you will know that I recently took an autosomal DNA test. My closest matches were in the 2nd-4th cousin range and one of these had a surname that I recognised as marrying in to the Braund family in my 4 x great grandfather’s generation. This person had the largest segment of common DNA of any of my matches. I emailed a tentative enquiry. The response confirmed that we were fourth cousins twice removed. My 5 x great grandparents were his 3 x great grandparents, thus confirming the genetic pedigree back to a couple who married in 1766. So I am sorry I cast aspersions on poor Mary Jeffery. I don’t even know what happened to her. I believe that she may have died in childbirth. Maybe one day I will find an autosomal match with a member of the Jeffery family. For now, I am relived that the DNA match has confirmed the pedigree that was crafted from 40 years’ of documentary research.

Counting Cousins and Descendants and Looking for Lockets

Warning – this post contains something resembling maths but does include jewellery if you persevere. As regular readers will know, I have recently been following the documentary evidence and seeking out my third cousins, in the wake of receiving my autosomal DNA results. This was thrown into particular focus last week when I met with my full complement of second cousins (6) for the first time in seventeen years. Although, inevitably, we were meeting for a sad occasion, a funeral, this was exciting for me as these are my only relatives in my own generation. But back to the third cousins (people with whom you share a great great grandparent).

I was surprised to find that 7 of my 8 sets of great great grandparents married within a thirteen year window 1852-1864; the final set married a little earlier in 1841. Ok, I’ll be honest, one set don’t seem to have married at all but I can estimate a ‘marriage’ date as falling between gg granny having a child by someone else and having a child by gg grandad. What I therefore wanted to know was how many, on average, great great grandchildren might a couple who married in the UK in the mid nineteenth century be expected to have.

I had already found that wiser folk than I estimate that the ‘average’ person has 175 third cousins (people with whom you share a great great grandparent) but nowhere amongst my Googling (other search engines are available) can I find data about the likely numbers of great great grandchildren. We are obviously dealing in averages here and clearly there will be wide deviations from the average; different cultures will have very different experiences. Maybe this is why this is a discussion that does not seem to have been aired very often in family history circles but it is interesting nonetheless. Yes, our families will not be ‘average’ but you would think that, if we look at all eight sets of our great great grandparents, prolific families would be counterbalanced by those with few children and things would even themselves out.

If I am expected to have 175 third cousins, on average, each pair of great great grandparents will have produced roughly 22 of them and me of course. If you have complete data for descendants of any of your great great grandparents I would be really interested to know how many people there are in your own generation, alive and dead, (not the total number of descendants) who are the great great grandchildren of one couple, especially if they married in the mid-nineteenth century. How close is it to 22? Do we have a vaguely accurate figure for first world countries here? How much difference does it make if you are a different generation to me, so your great great grandparents married in the 1820s or the 1890s?

I am confident that I have identified all the descendants of three of my eight sets of great great grandparents. My results for the number of people in my own generation (remembering to include myself in each case) are 5, 7 and 10, far short of the figure I have come up with of 22. So, how do you compare?

caroline-jessie-leighton-1874-1965

Caroline Jessie Leighton 1874-1965

Now the pretty jewellery bit, which also involves cousins. My grandmother had five cousins on her father’s side, sisters whose father was a silversmith. Each girl was given a heavy silver locket that their father made, which was inscribed with their initials. Only one of the girls married and she had no children. The family story was that the five lockets passed to the five girls in the next generation (my mother and her four cousins). The tale of who was given which locket has proved to be incorrect but as a result of last week’s funeral, we are currently investigating where the lockets are now. Two down, three to go! This is important to me. The original recipients have all been dead for fifty years or so. They have no one but us to keep their memories alive. So here is Caroline Jessie and here is her locket. Now you can get back to counting cousins.

dscf3604

New Year, New Discoveries, New DNA Results

Well, here we are, 2017. Who knows what the year will bring? This time last year I am sure few could have predicted the seriously scary political machinations and plethora of celebrity deaths that accompanied 2016. So far this year I have learned that it is possible for a memory stick to survive being vacuumed up along with Christmas tree prickles.

I would also like to share an incident from the lacuna that is that gap between Christmas and New Year during which the descendants descend. The phone rings at 7am. A phone call at this time of day normally means bad news – or that your daughter has arranged for T****s to deliver food to your house later in the day. I am a T****s delivery virgin; I know not how these things work. Having the food delivered was deemed easier than having my personal shopper struggling to identify various ‘modern’ ingredients on the list. We do not know our humus from our quinoa sadly – even spell checker doesn’t recognise quinoa, so we are not alone. The main challenge for the T****s delivery driver will be finding the house. If he uses his satnav he is doomed. It turns out, for some reason that he tried to justify, he was expecting to be delivering to a building site. The justification involved my house name – any suggestions anyone? He had a list of what had been ordered. What would a building site do with several dozen nappies of a suitable size for a two year old?

The DNA results arrived sneakily early, before I had finished restoring the house to a semblance of normality and before I had made any discernable impression in the mountainous pile of post-Christmas laundry. This means that I still haven’t completed my documentary trail hunt for third cousins, so more on that when I get the chance. What have I learned from my results? To be honest, not a lot. Sadly, no previously unknown half-siblings have climbed out of the woodwork. I have 788 matches. Big deal, or not, actually. Eleven people are predicted to be related in the range 2nd-4th cousins. Sorry FTDNA, unlikely I think. I know these people are not my second cousins (or second cousins with a few removes). I think it is very unlikely that they are my third cousins, so that leaves fourth cousins. Three of these matchees (it’s ok, I just invented that word) do not provide any surnames apart from the one they now carry. To be honest I don’t blame them. It was a bit of a learning curve working out how to add these. I have included the surnames of all my great great grandparents and will be adding those for the previous generation when I get a minute (like in about 2031).

As expected, most of the testees have families trees that seem to still be rooted in the US and the only surname that is common with any of my ancestors is Smith and I really don’t think this is the same Smith. What is slightly worrying is that there appears to be no commonality with members of the Braund family who have done this test, although, to be fair, our likely relationship is more distant than 5th cousins. This didn’t stop me from hoping for a remote cousin match. Two of the eleven 2nd-4th cousin matches have uploaded a family tree. I guess that this is the next challenge for me to tackle. No areas of commonality here either. There is one match that looks possible, although it wouldn’t be at 4th cousin level. He does at least have Cornish ancestry and a surname that appears on my family tree, although not amongst my direct ancestors. I know I am supposed to do something with my centimorgans. Maybe we don’t share enough of them. I will await instruction. I had a play with the chromosome browser. The most likely match and I share seven segments. I am not sure why therefore they are identified as a closer relative than someone with whom I share 18. I clearly need someone to explain the significance of this in words of half a syllable.

What other fun can I have with these results? I am 99% European, no surprises there then. This is allegedly Britain, Scandinavia and Western Europe, although not Iberia. As regards my ancient origins, I am 10% a Metal Age Invader. What does that even mean? I am 40% Farmer, which seems to mean I may have origins in Aleppo. Excuse me, I’m just off for a bit of hunter gathering, in line with 50% of my ancient origins.

C20th Research, Third Cousins, DNA and another Writer

Well, today has been exhausting. Slightly delayed start (still in my pyjamas at 9.30am) because I got carried away with the hunt for third cousins. The more I do of this the more I am convinced that anyone who takes an autosomal (family finder) DNA test should be doing the same. Without verifying our documented trees down to at least our own generation, what use are all those suggested cousins going to be? I should make it clear I am being pretty thorough (ok, so I am a perfectionist – very thorough) about this and adopting the sorts of techniques used by probate researchers/heir hunters to trace living people. Actually, that is not quite true as I am doing it on a zero budget, so can’t order eleventy million certificates to prove or disprove theories. Apparently Ancestry estimate that the average person has 175 third cousins (Thanks to Debbie Kennett for that information). Obviously there are huge variations either side of that number and it looks like I am going to be at an extreme end of the scale. It was probably fitting that real ‘work’, when I got round to it, was finally finishing off the course that I’ve been preparing about C20th family and local history. I am now going to market it to anyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test!

common-people-book-cover-usa1Now for the advent calendar. This is a book I haven’t actually read yet but it looks so good that I am going to include it – shamelessly relying heavily on the blurb and other people’s reviews. It isn’t actually a novel either but the story of a family. The author has done exceptionally well to find a publisher for her family’s story in the days of the hobby’s boom. I remember when I first started, reading Marjorie Reeves Sheepbell and Plougshare – don’t read that unless you want to be seriously envious about the amount of family documents and memorabilia that she inherited. Others from that era were John Peters’ A Family from Flanders. Must also mention John Titford’s Come Wind, Come Weather but all these date from the 1970s and 1980s. Now the world and his wife are writing up their family stories getting one commercially published is next to impossible, which is why I think Alison Light’s Common People: the history of an English family is going to be something special. As the title suggests, Alison has woven and interesting story around the lives of ordinary people.

It is an opportunity to find out more about Victorian England in the throes of its industrial heyday and it is by setting her own family’s experiences into the broader context of their time that Alison has produced such a successful book. Now all I need is time to read it. I shall be recommending it to students on my Writing and Telling Your Family Story course – advert alert – you can register now for this – it starts at the end of February and it is online, so no excuses for those of you overseas.

On the Hunt for Third Cousins and the Nineteenth Historical Novelist

I’ve been continuing to recheck the paper trail to identify as many of my third cousins as possible (people with whom I share a great great grandparent), prior to receiving my Family Finder DNA results in January. When a couple marry in 1863 and have eight children, you would expect that, more than 150 years later, there would be descendants scattered far and wide, well I would. This is my family we are talking about – not so. Today’s third cousin hunt centres on the descendants of my direct male line, great great grandparents William Braund aka Jeffery and Isabella Jane née Nicholls. They had six sons and two daughters. I concentrated on trying to establish how many of these siblings produced descendants in my generation i.e. my third cousins. I have rigorously researched this line in the past and today’s re-check confirmed that I have found all those who are there to be found (barring any illegitimate offspring who were a very well kept secret).

The boys were particularly easy to follow up: one died as a child, three never married, one had two sons but no grandchildren and the other was my own ancestor who produced me and only me, in my generation. That left the two daughters, one of whom died as a teenager. From the other there are just six third cousins, I have been in contact with the father of four of them for many years (my second cousin once removed) and I have found two of them on Facebook but not taken the plunge and made contact yet. It seems strange that so many branches of my family have shrunk and I have fewer third cousins than most people have first cousins. I guess it makes tracing them a more practical proposition.I’d be really interested in anyone else’s third cousin count.

51grexi7ktl-_sx324_bo1204203200_We are in sixteenth century Cornwall with today’s historical novelist, Cheryl Hayden. Her story is based on the Prayer Book Rebellion, which is not one of the well known events of history but had a huge impact on the far south-west. It features the Winslade family, who were large landowners in Cornwall and in parts of Devon including the north-west, where I now live. There is romance and adventure bound up in the plot, which falls into the category of ‘faction’. Cheryl has a background in journalism, so her meticulously researched and well written account is not a surprise. The Cornish setting is particularly well drawn, with believable phrases and dialect. This is especially praiseworthy as the author is an Australian. She is also an academic historian and the Winslade family form part of her doctoral research. Academics are normally very reluctant to praise popular writing in their field, let alone fiction and the fact that this novel has attracted very positive comments from professors of Cornish Studies is a testament to Cheryl’s work. Reading this book immediately made me want to find out more about the events that form the backdrop to the story. I understand that there may be a second novel featuring the Winslades in the future; another for my wanted list.