How far back do you go?

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in LibraryRather inspired by the excellent Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) for June Brown, which I have just caught up with.  Fascinating for me as I also have Jewish ancestors from the East End of London around the same period. They were the Abrahams and married in to the Wholeys some hundred or so years later.  June herself followed her line back to North Africa in the 1500s. But it made me think how far do you go back and do you follow all the branches, or just the ones that are more interesting? Everyone has four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on.  Once you get back to the 1500s, even if just following one line (such as the origins of the Wholey name) then the roots are so watered down is there any real connection?

This is one of the reasons why I have moved away from the “Wholey Family History Society”.  It was always just me and reflected my desire at the time to link all Wholeys in one tree, and to follow the convention of a One-Name Study.  This is still an interest of mine, but in recent years the Abrahams and other female line branches have been of more interest to me.  My Wholey ancestors in London were Irish dockers and labourers, the families they married into included the Abrahams (who included theatrical individuals who danced on the West End stage and ended up in American vaudaville), the Thatchers (who were Thames lightermen – river taxidrivers), and that’s before you even go on my mother’s side and her half Italian/half Maltese roots. So I want this website to be about families connected to the Wholeys.  If it is interesting it should be looked into, on the basis that there are so many stories and branches to go into that life is too short to stick just to the Wholeys.

I will still collate and publish Wholey records and mentions but mainly I want to tell a story. Incidently I’m still looking for a good way to publish family tree records on WordPress – any good recommendations?

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