Issue 32

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Drake in California Henry Stentaford


Roy Hayter returns this month with an article about a particular hero of his - Sir Francis Drake. Modern thinking is that Drake was something of a pirate and a scallywag, but he was certainly the right man in the right place in his day. Although he married twice, this Sir Francis had no children and therefore no direct descendents but his other relatives were spread all over the same area as the Stentifords and from the time of the marriage of Winifred Stettaforde in Buckland Monachorum on 9 Oct 1592 to William Drake, the two families were brought into contact and remained so until the early years of the 18th century.

The Sir Francis Drake of whom Roy writes, made an extensive fortune through his activities. Everything he did and everything he gained was ostensibly for  Queen Elizabeth I, but he made sure that enough stuck to his palms on the way to her coffers to make him a very wealthy man. He used his wealth to buy land and property in the area around Buckland Monachorum where he had his home at Buckland Abbey; a century later, his descendents were still in close contact with our ancestors, who, at that time,  had social standing, wealth and land of their own.

For our second article this month, Doreen and Reg Norton join forces to tell the incredible story of young Henry Stentaford based on another discovery they made at the Public Record Office at Kew. Doreen also has valuable information on recent changes at Kew for any readers considering going there to research:

"Any of you who use Kew will need to know that security is now much tighter; not only do you have to give your bag for inspection at the entrance door, but it is checked again as you go through the turnstile, to the upper floors.  You are not allowed to use bum bags, you must have a ‘see through’ bag for all your paper work, your keys and purse.                                      

No original documents are allowed past the turnstile - they must be left in the lockers on the ground floor. They have made a lot of improvements; the first floor is opened up with an enquiry desk straight in front of you and the bookcases and help desk have been moved to the right hand side.  Those of you who went when the 1901 census first came out on microfiche and had to book your hour should know there is no need to book now and you can use the microfiche readers for as long as you like."    


Keep in touch,

Muriel and Richard


Link to Office of National Statistics for information on how to obtain copies of Birth, Marriage and Death certificates.

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Drake in California Henry Stentaford


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