In the 1960's and early 1970's my grandfather, Fred West, spent a considerable amount of time in his retirement researching the family history. He succeeded in tracing the family back to 1470 in the male line which is quite a feat, both for him and the ancestors he traced, considering that we are as a family "ordinary folk". As part of his studies he gained a PhD in Local History about land use in Wrangle. As a result, he was often asked to talk on researching family history.
When he died in 1981 he left his papers to John, his son and my uncle, and on his death these passed to me. The material includes a 30 page history of the family up to around the end of the 19th century, a number of recollections and letters he gained from a number of sources of family members, transcripts of church and public records he used in his research, his own journal from 1918, his MA and PhD theses, and various minor publications.
Much of this material is typed using an old manual typewriter. With the benefit of modern technology, I have been able to scan - initially the basic history and with the aid of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software convert it into a text form. I say this because the OCR process, although generally very accurate, occasionally misreads text. I may therefore have introduced some errors, despite proof reading the results. I have corrected those very few spelling mistakes I have found. I have also not attempted to preserve the layout of the original work. I have broken it up into convenient pieces and added headings and links where I think these are helpful.
I expect this material will be of interest to anyone who can trace their ancestry back to any of the people mentioned here. However, it tells the story of how a family has survived through changing times, and this may be of wider interest.
West family history >