Sunday, February 5, 2012

Marvelous family-history encounter

A few days ago, a South African gentleman named Richard Frost from Tarkastad (Eastern Cape) contacted me spontaneously concerning one of my English ancestors: Henry Latton [1737-1798], the Anglican vicar of Woodhorn (Northumberland). This chart indicates how I descend from this clergyman:

The next day, Richard Frost sent me a portrait of my great-great-great-great-grandfather:

Richard Frost told me that his own great-grandfather, Sir John Frost [1828-1918], had represented South Africa at the opening of Australia's first parliament on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne, and was the minister of Agriculture in the government of Cecil Rhodes.

My unexpected contact with Richard Frost was the kind of amazing event that family-historians dream about. Today, we discovered that there's even an additional dimension to our encounter. You see, Richard was aware that this portrait had entered his family household through a female ancestor whose married name was Hannah Friend (the surname of Richard's mother). Besides, he was certain that this woman was a granddaughter of the vicar of Woodhorn. Well, it soon emerged that this woman's maiden name was Hannah Pickering. She was an elder sister of my great-great-grandfather John Pickering. So, Richard and I are in fact relatively-close genetic cousins of a kind.

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