4 Oct 2013

We were there at Appleby!

It is amazing that, after all the planning and fretting that no-one would be there, the Swinfield Gathering happened! On Sunday, 22nd September 2013, 37 people actually came to the Sir John Moore Foundation in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, to meet others who are interested in the surname and its history. I do not know if any were inspired to attend through the interview which I did with Radio Leicester on the Saturday morning.
It was so gratifying that all seemed to enjoy such a great afternoon. A beautiful room where our hosts gave us such a warm welcome and couldn't have been more accommodating. My thanks must go to Sandra and Allan who found such a good venue where we could display and study all the family trees, photographs and documents that have been gathered during so many years of research. New cousins were discovered and it was so exciting when attendees found that they were cousins of some degree, albeit in some cases fairly distant. I met people for the first time who have the same great-great-great-grandparents and are therefore my 5th cousins. How amazing it was to put a face and personality to what had previously only been a name on a pedigree!
The early arrivals 
Those present were:
Family 2: John Swinfield & Clare Woodward
Family 3: Paul and Julie Swinfield
Family 4A: Rachel, Tracey, Katie and Kirstie Swinfield
Family 5: Geoff, Derrick, Mark, Darren (& Tina Carter), Kierran, Kristofer, Aaron, Michael and Alan Swinfield; Dawn Moore-Elphick, Pat & Matt Kirby
Family 12: Stephen & Katherine Swinfield, Sue Regan (all the way from Australia who worked so hard on the day)
The Bates Family (part of Family 5A): Sandra Bates, Allan Francis, Arthur Eyre, Jean Millward, Elizabeth Lubek, Michael Lower, Peter Chapman, Ann Birch, John Bates, Brian and Susan Kendrick
David Bligh, a resident of Appleby Magna
Administrator: Di Bouglas (who did so much to make it run smoothly and ensure that people found themselves on the right tree!)

This is, I hope, just the beginning of those new friendships and relationships. It would be great if we can continue to build on what was achieved on that special afternoon. I will be blogging about the exciting
The afternoon gathering
connections and discoveries that were made. You will hear lots from me about each of the families who were there. I hope that you too will have more to contribute as you go back to your close family to ask questions and collect still more memories and photographs to share. I know that some have been inspired to take this further and will visit older relatives who were not able to be there. Please send me what you learn and I will happily add that to the future blogs.
Don't just rely on me to produce the copy, you can contribute to the study too. Let's not let that enthusiasm just fade away. We will put together a Swinfield e-mailing list and if you, or anyone else you know, would like to be added, just let us know at geoff@gsgs.co.uk. That way, you will be kept in touch with all the news and notified when a new blog is published. Don't forget the Swinfield Genealogy and DNA Facebook Group
Come and join us there too to see what we are talking about. Keep in touch! We are so pleased to have met you all.  

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