About the Brockbank blog

When I was a teenager in the 1980s, my Dad and I traced the Brockbank family tree back to around 1760. In those days before digitzation, we would go to the County Archives at Preston and were allowed to handle the original records, on fragile brown parchments!

(I should add that in those days, what is now Cumbria was three counties: Westmorland, Cumberland and Lancashire. The Lancashire records are held at Preston.)

We copied each Brockbank baptism, marriage and burial into a notebook, and then when we got home onto a blank card. The cards were laid out on the floor of our lounge until patterns emerged – baptisms of children in the same family, etc. Then we’d make family cards and gradually link these across the generations, sometimes needing to buy a certificate to verify a link.

I wrote it up as part of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and even attempting a bit of calligraphy for extra atmosphere (I was 16!).


Now that I have a Genealogist and British Newspaper Archive subscription, it’s time to look again at our tree, check the facts, and share the stories in this blog.


The first post is about Margaret Elizabeth Clark, who would have been Margaret Elizabeth Brockbank had her parents (my great-grandparents) married sooner. She emigrated to Canada and married a Mr Carvell. In March 2018 I hired a researcher in Saskatchewan to see if I could find out more. Here are some of the findings: Margaret Elizabeth Clark and her emigration to Canada

Margaret emigrated 3 or 4 years after two of her male cousins, all of them settling in Saskatchewan, though some distance apart. Details of Stephen and Fred’s emigration are given in this post: Great, great grandparents: John & Margaret Brockbank.

Dad and I had our DNA analysed with testing company 23&me recently. We got a 0.22% DNA match with a lady in Florida who had listed Brockbank as one of her ancestor surnames. This post explains how we worked out the details of our relationship with our most recent common ancestor Robert Brockbank, born in Hawkshead in 1746: Brockbank 5th cousin found through DNA testing!

Another post is about my Dad’s mother’s family, the Judds from Scarborough, who moved to Bowness-on-Windermere in the 1890s. I found a connected line of Judds on the collaborative genealogy site Wikitree that took the line all the way back to my 7 x great grandfather Anthony Judd, born around 1660.