20 Jan 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 to all Swinfields or those who are part of the wider “Swinfield family”. I hope that it brings all that you would wish for.
As we enter yet another New Year, we all tend to look back on the past and especially what we have done over the last twelve months. We should also look forward to the future and set ourselves goals to be achieved. What have we learned through our work on the Swinfields and what more is there still to do?
I hope that I have both informed and entertained you with the Swinfield Blog. It will have been successful if you look forward to receiving each issue and enjoy reading it. I have tried to produce articles as regularly and often as I can so that there has been something new for you to learn about our family. I will endeavour to keep you informed of new developments and discoveries this year too. As I have already dealt with the history of the main lines of the family in the 19th and 20th centuries, my contributions will mainly centre on the earlier story of the family. I aim to tell you about what is known of the Swinfields of the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, if any of you would be willing to contribute stories about your relatives, just send me the copy and I will “put it up”.
Through Andrew Swinfield's efforts, a mailshot was dispatched to all Australian Swinfields listed in White Pages. Although not inundated with replies, we did receive some very valuable responses and significant new information from previously unknown branches. A worthwhile project.
Indeed, that has resulted in one new male, Maxwell Henry Swinfield, commissioning a DNA test. We await, with great anticipation, the test results when they have been processed. It would great if other Swinfield men would join in. There are some families from which we have no participants. I contacted about 20 men in December 2012 who I had “targetted” as those who I would dearly love to contribute samples (purely for valid genealogical research reasons). Sadly, none responded by paying for a test, despite there being a much reduced rate available through the FTDNA Christmas sale. Perhaps they will in 2013!
I would also love to collect as many photographs as possible of anyone who is, or has ever been, named Swinfield. The written records will probably always be with us but the faces of our ancestors and relatives are far less durable. We need to gather them together before they are lost or thrown away. These could be pictures of those who are living or those who are no longer with us. If you have any images that you are willing to share with us all, please send them to me now, telling me who they are, how they are related to you and, if possible, when and where it was taken. You could start me off by e-mailing me a group photo of yourself, your brothers and sisters (if you had any) and your parents. I will happily become custodian of the new massive Swinfield family album.
Geoff  Swinfield (born 1951), Tom Swinfield (born 1984),
Ben Swinfield (born 1985) & Reg Swinfield (born 11th January 1925) 
As an example, on 11th January, we celebrated my Dad's 88th birthday. Reg Swinfield was born in 1925. Here he is with his me, his son, Geoff Swinfield and two of his three grandsons, Tom and Ben Swinfield, taken in the Half Moon at Sherborne, Dorset. Very rarely do four Swinfields gather together in one place which sells beer! It was something to record and commemorate!
My sincere wish for this New Year would be to have a Swinfield family gathering. I have long been hoping to organise an event where anyone and everyone who has our surname or has used it in the past (or may do so in the future?) can convene. There we could meet up with long-lost cousins and exchange information. Just think of the photo opportunity too! It would clearly attract most people if it took place close to Leicester where the majority of Swinfields still live. To get it off the ground, I do need help from those who live in that area. Where and when could we hold it? Do you know of a venue which would accommodate up to 100 Swinfields? Would you be willing to help me to fulfil my New Year's resolution?