"...I became curious to learn about my roots and began to research my maternal grandparents."

Intrigued by the stories her mother used to tell, Angela Fortnum sets out to research her family history. What she finds is a rich well of information about her ancestors and her hometown and about the spirit and resilience of both that inevitably shape and influence her life.

A short read, the author has succinctly documented and outlined her family’s tree through her maternal grandfathers stretching back eight generations. It is interesting to see the change in information available from 1663 to 2018, from birth and death records to property deeds and occupations. Of course, the author’s later entries of her family include more information and personally-known facts than entries of earlier family members. Tidbits such as the author’s grandmother owning chickens or her great-great-grandfather being left-handed add warmth and character to the text. Additionally, by tracing the genealogy of her ancestors, she also ends up providing insight into the town histories of Milcombe and South Newington, England. For example, family details such as the change in religious sect between generations highlight the growth and diversity of the towns as well as the various churches that were part of each town. The author even includes details about the grade of the building and directions to said buildings if readers feel inspired to visit.

Although a bit dry in its narrative at some points, the book is still an interesting portrayal of the author’s family and hometown. Complete with copies of original documents, transcripts, and family photographs, it’s an inspiring and great reference for anyone who is also looking to trace their family history and find the story in their ancestral roots.

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