Andrew Humphrey > family history

My great great grandmother Ann Shinner (b1857), nee Spencer, with one of her grandchildren.  Photo courtesy of Janet Farrow Through my grandparents, I am part of the Humphrey, Barker, Shinner and Glover families.

My cousin Lorraine Beasley (nee Humphrey) was a great supporter of my family history project, and a regular emailer on the subject since we got reacquainted through Facebook and at our grandmother's funeral in 2008. Lorraine passed away in March 2009, and I miss her contributions, thoughts and affectionate good humour about our scattered family.

If you use the Ancestry website, you can visit my personal family tree. They have a free 14-day membership trial too. Other family links:

Shinner   Nick Martin's Shinner family genealogy traces my family from Edward Shinner of Totnes (1689-1783) to my great grandfather Archie Shinner (1890-1961). That's Archie's mother Ann Spencer on the right. Ann had six children with two different Shinner husbands, and I have now been in touch with the descendants of most of the six. Through Ann, I am also related by marriage to the novelist George Eliot, and through the Shinners to John Babbacombe Lee, known as The Man They Could Not Hang.

Barker   My last surviving grandparent Margaret Barker (later Humphrey, then Hone), known as Benny, died on 3 January 2008 at the age of 92. I discovered recently that Benny shares a common 4 x great grandfather with Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose Rodham roots are in County Durham's mining community. Benny and Hillary are sixth cousins, and Mrs Clinton is my sixth cousin, twice removed. On her Dad's side, Benny's paternal grandmother Sarah Williamson (1838-1896) ran a boarding house in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which was often used as theatrical digs. , The 1891 England census shows that two of Sarah's lodgers that April were theatre manager Arthur Jefferson and his wife Margaret, whose stage name was Madge Metcalfe. They were the parents of Arthur Stanley Jefferson, a 10-month old baby who was then living with his grandmother in Ulverston, Cumbria. He would move to Bishop Auckland later that year, when his parents moved out of Sarah's lodging house. He grew up to be Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy.

Humphrey   BBC History did a report on the now disappeared Canney Hill Pottery in Coundon, where my Scottish-born great-great-grandfather William Humphrey (1840-1894) worked when he first moved to County Durham in the 1860s, before becoming a coal miner. As a teenager, he had left his family in Scotland to work as a shepherd in Northumberland. There he met and married fellow Scot Euphemia Wood, and they moved to Durham for work.

Glover   My great-grandfather Thomas Glover was born in 1813 in Warmington, Northants. In middle-age, he and his wife Mary moved his family to Teesside, where they lived in the Brotton area.

Madge Metcalfe with her son, the future Stan Laurel, approx 1901 Benny, autumn 2007