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What's New                               
O Que Ha de Novo? Visita Apresentacao.
Note: All pages available on the site can be accessed from here.
16th September 2012:  Four new poems added, numbers 114-117 here. The Blind Well is a fable about a local feature of the landscape, Looking for Gold is bland verse written after reading Seamus Heaney's book 'Human Chain', The Hardest Thing is very personal, and The Egregious Tithe is a ballad about being generous for a Good Cause; or perhaps not.
12th August 2012: My site is now fully functional again (as far as I am aware - although there sometimes seems to be a problem using it with Internet Explorer - Mozilla Firefox seems more successful). I've added eight new poems of my own to the site since April (numbers 106-113 in the Index (here), the most recent to note the passing on of my Uncle Richard Tuson. Bless him for a Good Man.
29th May 2012: I was horrified to discover that when Microsoft 'switched off' the earlier versions of my sites, all my images disappeared! Turns out the image links were back to the old sites. Today I've completed the task/chore/purgatory of re-establishing all the links - about 904 of them. Someone send me a medal please ;-)
3rd May 2012: I believe that my two earlier sites, 'Goldenthread' and 'Dunkerley-Tuson' have now been fully transferred on this new site. The process has been, in my opinion, apallingly handled by Microsoft. Although the former sites are still visible to visitors, I can no longer monitor the number of visits made, so total site-traffic figures are now inaccurate. The new site has no traffic-monitoring facility, but I have installed a Google gadget to do that job for me. Fancy having to use Google on a Microsoft site! Makes you larph!
30th April 2012: New version of Thrush Rondel, and a recitation in the field, with a song thrush singing in the background.My In-Laws. os meus sogros - d. Terezinha and Sr. Jose Francisco Leopoldino.
27th April 2012: I've written a new poem: 'Reading with Kids', about one of my voluntary activities.

17th April 2012: I'm making great progress with restoring my two sites onto the internet. After many setbacks I have now found out how to upload multiple images, so I'll be able to re-establish my Slide Shows, and I've managed to install one Audio file -
Friezland Ale - as an example, so I'll be able to get all my Lancashire Dialect recitals back up soon. I feel I deserve a pat on the back!
10th April 2012: Since Jan '11 there have been many additions to My Poems, and I have published a book of my poems (available more cheaply here!). Microsoft is closing its free site-hosting programme and I have moved everything to this new site. I have now contriubted over 400,000 entries to the FreeBMD project. Please explore the site to see the changes.

20th January 2012: I have added two new poems - one a tribute to the man who first introduced me to geology, the other to express my feelings about the Fens. I have also published a book of sixty-five of my poems, which you can buy for £5.00 plus postage. See here for information, or contact me here to buy.


19th December 2011: New poem 'The Man of Trust' about child abuse in the Roman Catholic church.


9th December 2011: I'm on a roll - two more poems added under the My Poems section, one about the plight of a guillemot chick (after watching the BBC's 'Frozen Planet' series), the other a rondel about the singing of the song thrush. Link here to the index, see poems numbers 95 and 96.


9th November 2011: I've been neglecting you. During the last year I've written and added several new poems to the site (see the Index here), the latest of which, relating to the dead of Iraq, is here.


5th January 2011: See a televised interview with my brother-in-law, Jose Cilho, who has been a football referee in southern Brazil for many years (13 minutes - the interview may delay somewhat loading). Click here and then click on 'aqui' on the target page. Em portugues: clique aqui.
31st December 2010: I have now reached the milestone of having contributed more than a quarter of a million entries to the FreeBMD project. See information here.
19th December 2010: I've added a new poem - 'A Bit O' Good Feighr' by W. F. Hampson - which seems timely considereing the freezing conditions now being experienced in England. I've also added a couple more Audio files to the Lancashire Dialect Poems. The site has now received over 62,000 visits.


8th November 2010: You really couldn't get much different from yesterday's addition. Today there is a poem about the arrival back at Brize Norton of dead soldiers: 'White Magic'.


7th November 2010: I've written some rude limericks, at the prompting of Mr. Fry.


5th November 2010: After reading Stephen Fry's 'The Ode Less Travelled' I've written two new poems (numbers 87 and 88), one of which I've recorded. Click here.

1st October 2010: In September the site received more than 2,500 visits and total visits now number more than 55,000 (since April '07). Thank you visitors!
29th August 2010: A new item of prose in Lancashire dialect - a charming tale of awkward love by Charles Allen Clarke, aka 'Teddy Ashton' - 'Eawr Sarah's Chap'.

21st August 2010: I've made a start to putting Audio files onto the site. The first is my poem 'Mote in My Eye' and I hope to be adding others soon. 23rd August: Listen to 'Lichens', 'Place Has No Memory', 'The More Things Change' and 'One of Us'.

18th August 2010: This is a BIG one folks! I have overcome all obstacles, in spite of my limitations in 'Eye Tee', and managed to put Audio versions of some of the Lancashire Dialect poems onto my site. Over the coming weeks I hope to keep adding more. To explore this new facility, click here. The site that helped me do this can be found here


11th August 2010: I have added a major new article to the Mineralisation section of the site. It describes my personal experience of the Pyrite Belt in both Portugal and Spain, leading up to discovery of the important Aguas Teñidas East massive sulphide deposit, now a major mine producing copper, zinc, lead and associated metals. There are some images to support the story.


24th July 2010: There are two new poems (numbers 85 and 86) - both of a humanist bent.


11th June 2010: I've written three further poems (numbers 82 to 84); I especially enjoyed 'Lichens'.


14th May 2010: I've been adding some more of my Favourite Poems - there are now thirty-one - and have also added a (very) short new poem of my own - Prime Time.

7th May 2010: I have now translated the article about the lives of Jose Francisco Leopoldino and Terezinha Pereira da Silva, my Brazilian wife's parents, into Portuguese, and included with it some additional photos. You can access the account here. I have also added a slide show for the Brazilian Family slides.
5th April 2010: I've added a significant new article to the site: the life stories of Sr. Jose Francisco Leopoldino and d. Terezinha Pereira da Silva. The article is in English but I hope to translate it to Portuguese over the coming weeks. Access is here.


20th March 2010: I thought I'd just leave a note here to say that in December 2009 I completed the writing of my own Life Story - a project that had its origins in 1996. I found that before I was ready to tackle an account of my own life I needed to find out more about the lives of my parents and their families and this led me to investigate a great deal of family history - now recorded on my family history website. I have not published my life story on this site - but I might put some chapters here soon. For the present my wife and children have copies of it.


1st March 2010: Another sonnet, this time written in response to the powerful earthquake that has just assailed part of Chile.


22nd February 2010: I know it's been a while - but I've written a sonnet! If you care to read it, click here.


25th November 2009: I've added a major new section to the 'Mineralisation' part of the site, about the Andacollo gold mine in Chile. I was closely involved with the project at the feasibility-study stage, where I faced some difficult decisions in relation to estimates of the ore reserves. There is a personal account of the project, and a later history of the gold mine that was built, plus a table of events. There is also a slide show.

5th December 2009: I've updated the 'Useful Links' page of the site to provide easy access to most important sources of information about Lancashire genealogy and history.


25th November 2009: I've added a major new section to the 'Mineralisation' part of the site, about the Andacollo gold mine in Chile. I was closely involved with the project at the feasibility-study stage, where I faced some difficult decisions in relation to estimates of the ore reserves. There is a personal account of the project, and a later history of the gold mine that was built, plus a table of events. There is also a slide show.

31st October 2009: The story of Mary Ann Dunkerley and John Gregory has been taken up by the BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' magazine. An eight hundred word article on them, focusing on their epic journey along the Mormon Trail, is featured, together with a copy of the photo of them, by staff writer Daniel Cussins, and appears in the November edition. Daniel read the article about Mary and John on this site and contacted me to arrange a telephone interview and request permission to publish.
1st October 2009: I've added fourteen of my 'Favourite Poems' - with more to follow. Will you enjoy some of them too?  


23rd August 2009: This site merited an honourable mention by 'The Lancashire Evening Post' in June of this year. You can read the article, about Lancashire dialect, here.
24th July 2009: We have a rare advance on the Brazilian side of the family. After considerable effort and badgering people to do what they said they would (but didn't!) we now have photos of all four of my wife's grandparents. They are sepia prints, not of very good quality, but we value them highly. You can see them here.

22nd July 2009: I've now included the text of a technical and scientific article about the Choquelimpie gold and silver deposit, that I co-ordinated and co-authored for the same special edtion of 'Economic Geology' mentioned in the previous entry.

I've also started to add items from my 'Red File' - things that amused me, moved me or just made me stop and think. There will be more of these to come.


17th July 2009: I've added the text of an article about A History of Gold in Chile that was published in a special edition of the journal 'Economic Geology' in 1991, devoted to gold deposits in the Chilean Andes. Instead of the original figures, I've added a map and some photos from my own collection.

17th July 2009: I have now placed on the site an explanation of how Dunkerley Avenue in Failsworth came to be named after my paternal grandfather, William ('Billy') Dunkerley, J.P., and of the struggle, in which he took a full part, within Failsworth Urban District Council to make available council land for the construction of the Lord Lane housing development during the depressed early years of the 1930s. Read the article here.
5th July 2009: Following an enquiry to the New Zealand Society of Genealogists, a David Tuson (who is not yet able to link to my own Tuson family) has very kindly put me in touch with living descendents of Henry Tuson and his wife Elizabeth nee Berry. This has led to a great deal of new information on this branch of the family, written up here at the end of the article. A member of the family, John Nelson, has kindly provided a remarkable photo of the seven children of Henry and Elizabeth who were orphaned on the death of their parents in 1898, and I have incorporated the photo into the updated story of the family.
26th June 2009: Last week my wife and I enjoyed visiting several members of my extended English family, some of whom we had never previously met. They were mostly on the Tuson side, but we were also given a lovely copper print block with an engraving of my grandfather Billy Dunkerley!
I have made a number of additions and modifications to various of the Tuson stories as a result of our wanderings, mainly relating to the nine siblings brought up on Holt Farm, Brindle, by their parents Richard and Betty Tuson. One major new development was in relation to the family of Henry Tuson of Holt Farm. I had failed to find much information on him, but Elaine Craven (a descendent of Isabella Tuson of Holt Farm) made available to me evidence that Henry and his wife died within ten weeks of each other in 1898 and their seven or eight children were dispersed, some to the care of relatives but three into the Harris Orphanage in Preston. One of the internees from the orphanage, Elizabeth Tuson, later emigrated to New Zealand and I am now trying to find family contacts there.
I also obtained, via Kath Hargreaves (a descendent of James Tuson of Holt Farm), a photo that Richard Tuson (a descendent of Richard Tuson of Holt Farm) confirms is of Ann Tuson of Holt Farm! The picture is shown alongside and something of the story of this redoubtable woman and her siblings can be read here. I, of course, am a descendent of William Tuson of Holt Farm.
29th May 2009: In the section on James and Emma Dunkerley I have now included two photos, one believed to be of James that was probably taken in about 1897 the other known to be of Emma, evidently taken on a holiday to the coast in about 1921. Both these photos have come to me courtesy of Sheila Rose. The photo of James is also shown below.
11th May 2009: I have re-written the section on the Dunkerley Name Origin following helpful contact from a member of the Dunckley family.


11th May 2009: I've placed a new item in the Mineralisation section of the site. A Geological Model for the Alluvial Gold Environment was written some years ago and provides quantitative and semi-quantitative parameters of productive gold deposits. A version of it was published in Deposits International Rock & Fossils Magazine, an excellent source of geological infomation and the owner of a business that produces field equipment and geological supplies.


6th May 2009: I've now added photos to all the pages in the My Poems section, to delight the eye (?) while I numb the brain!


26th April 2009: I'm up and running with the new site. The most recent development has been the addition of photos to accompany many of my poems, in the hope that if the poem doesn't appeal then the photo might! See, for example, Recollections.


8th April 2009: I have been able to able to make a major enhancement to the Glossary of Lancashire Dialect by incorporating the glossary provided in the work by John Colliar (alias Tim Bobbin). For some time I had been trying to buy a copy of Tim Bobbin's glossary, but now discover that it was placed on the internet at,a site that specializes in minor Victorian poets and has special sections on several important Lancashire dialect writers including Samuel Bamford and John Collier. The creator of this remarkable site has kindly allowed me to use Tim Bobbin's glossary and you can now access the full revised glossary here. I have also added Sam Bamford's notes on conjugation of verbs in Lancashire dialect!
5th April 2009: A shortened version of the article I wrote about The Regent Mill, Failsworth, has been published in the latest edition of 'The Manchester Genealogist', Vol. 45, No. 1 2009, pp. 28 - 38. 
27th March 2009: I've added another poem - actually a song - 'Frolicsome Kate', taken from the CD by Mark Dowding, 'A Mon Like Harry' (which is definitely well worth buying). It may be the song referred to as 'Robin and Kate' in the tale of Billy Bump
24th March 2009: Today I've added the story of 'Billy Bump', another tale (by Ben Brierley) of the adventures that befall a handloom weaver returning from a 'bearin' whoam' in Manchester, this time to Oldham. Nice story! This is the tenth prose item on the site.

16th March 2009: I'm in the process of re-locating the site from Freewebs (which has been disappointing) to Microsoft Office Live Small Businesses (which has been much more satisfactory). There is more work to be done before I resume development of the site.

13th March 2009: Thomas Brierley's 'Th' Silk Wayver's Fust Bearin' Whoam to Manchester' is now on the site. It is quite a long, and somewhat challenging, account of the scrapes that 'Dick', a silk handloom weaver, gets into when he takes his cloth to Manchester to receive payment, but it gives insights into a 'bearin whoam' and contains some lovely passages of Lancashire dialect prose.
10th February 2009: I've added one or two new gems of Lancashire dialect. Try the smashing prose contributions of Sebastian by Tommy Thompson or Freetnin' by Edwin Waugh, or the poem A Little Bit o' Boath Sides by Sam Laycock.
14th December 2008: It has been hard for me to learn that, only four days after the death of Hilda Harris, my relative and friend Peter Brocklehurst died peacefully at his home in Oldham. He was about 71 years old and had suffered from quite precarious health for some time. Our common ancestor was William Dunkerley, born 1827. Peter's line was via Sarah Hannah Dunkerley who married James Meredith Butterworth, then through Edith Butterworth who married Andrew Lawton Brocklehurst. He is survived by his wife and a son, and also has a brother. You can read some notes on the little I knew of Peter here, but I would like to place more adequate biographical details about Peter on this site soon.
18th November 2008: Sad news. I've just learned that Hilda Harris, nee Dunkerley, died last Sunday, aged 82 - see photo below. She was the last surviving cousin of my father, daughter of Jim Dunkerley and Millicent Foster. Information about her and her parents can be read here.
11th November 2008: Two new developments to the site to report today:
  • First, I have recently finished reading a copy of Samuel Laycock's principle published work, "The Collected Writings of Samuel Laycock", and have added six additional Lancashire Dialect poems that I particularly enjoyed - you can access them as numbers 55 to 60 on the list here. I especially liked 'Sixty-Six' (written as the year 1866 passed to 1867) and 'Th' Bonny Brid's Wedding' - written to mark the marriage of his child, Hannah, who at her birth had inspired Laycock's most famous poem 'Welcome, Bonny Brid'. I have also added an item of Lancashire dialect prose - 'A Wholesale Kessunin’ Dooment at Torrington' - which I think you will find amusing and interesting.
  • Second, I have completely revised my account of the firm 'St. George's Engineers' in Salford, where my father, Leslie Dunkerley, earned 'his daily bread'. The new account follows a detailed examination of all the microfiche records that are held at Companies' House in Cardiff and further internet research. It transpires that the main figure in the establishment of the company, Edgar Moffat Elwell, was a member of the Lancashire Fusiliers, a Lance Corporal in the Boer War and a Captain in the First World War, who saw action at Gallipoli. I have also been able to elucidate the later history of the company up to 2002, when it was finally struck-off the Companies' Register..

6th October 2008: I must be on a roll. I have now added information about the siblings of William (Billy) Dunkerley. These were my great aunts and great uncles and I am lucky enough to have obtained photos of three of them. You can go to this account here.
2nd October 2008: A recent visit to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales has enabled me to add the story of the Edmondson family and Dent Marble, complete with photographs.
1st October 2008: Following conversation with a living relative I have been able to add significantly to the section relating to Bob Sykes within the story of the Sykes family.
30th September 2008: I have been persuaded by Rosemary Brown to carry out a DNA analysis, as run by This produces markers for the male line - therefore in my case the 'Dunkerley' line of my family. The results show that my DNA is almost identical to that of Robert Dunkerley, Rosemary's cousin. The implications are that our nearest common ancestor is about seven generations away (read about it here).  Following receipt of the results I have established a 'Dunkerley Group' on the Ancestry DNA website. Any male 'Dunkerley' (or any male with a related surname, such as Dunkerly or Donkerley) might like to join this group. Any male member of the 'Dunkley' clan might also like to join. You can access the group at, typing 'Dunkerley' into the first box and clicking on 'Submit'. See you there?
12th August 2008: I am delighted to have been able to completely update the article about John Gregory and Mary Ann Dunkerley, who went as Mormons from Oldham to the United States, eventually reaching California. I have added new details to the story in several places and included maps and fourteen other images. One of the photos, of John and Mary, is also shown below.
9th August 2008: I have added an article about the family of John Gregory who emigrated to the United States as Mormons. John was from a family of six brothers and two sisters who settled at Tonge in Middleton. All the brothers worked as miners in the Lancashire coal field, which was of fundamental importance to the development of the Lancashie cotton industry because it provided the fuel for the innumerable steam engines at the mills and other necessary facilities. The article contains a number of supporting illustrations. Much of the information about the family was kindly sent to me by Penny Green, more of an information miner than a coal miner.
31st July 2008: Using Office Live I can now add Slide Shows. So far I've done one with fifty Dunkerley photos and another with fifty Tuson photos, which can be accessed by clicking on the underlined words. Quite nice hey?
28th July 2008: I've completed the addition of My Poems. However, because of limitations imposed by Freewebs I've had to proivde access via a link. You can go to the Index of Poems here. 
27th July 2008: I have re-written the article on Daniel Dunkerley and Alice Taylor to incorporate information on two further children (Mary and Sally) first found by Jerry Harris, a cousin from America, plus other new information.


30th June 2008: Today I've added an extra photo album for Choquelimpie. It shows larger copies of all the photos interspersed with the text in the article about the Choquelimpie gold and silver mine in Chile.

24th June 2008: Something different. You can now link to my new personal website at 'Goldenthread'. This contains, among other things, an account of the Choquelimpie mine - which was the highest gold and silver mine in the world.

24th June 2008: I now have the first article on my site - an account of the Choquelimpie mine in Chile, which was the highest gold and silver mine in the world. There is also a photo album.


3rd June 2008: The first 'Goldenthread' site was set up this date.

2nd June 2008: My wife and I recently returned from a visit to the Plymouth and Bristol area. Joseph Dunkerley was in Plymouth in the militia from December 1804 to early in 1807; he may have been stationed in the old fort known as the 'Royal Citadel' see photo alongside and also at . On 27th July 1809 he married Hannah Spencer in St. Paul's church, Bristol. St. Pauls exists still (see photo) but is not now used for regular worship. We also visited Companies House in Cardiff and obtained microfiche records for St. George's Engineers Ltd., where my father worked for many years, and were thrilled to find his signature and hand-writing on some of the records. I shall be updating the article on St. George's quite soon, to incorporate the new data and some other information that I am in the process of acquiring.
21st April 2008: You've got to like this! I've got a swish new Index Map from Google, and once you're on to it you can convert to satellite view or terrain view, move around anywhere you like within it and zoom in or out for no extra charge. Neat huh?
9th April 2008: I have added a short history of St George's Engineers Ltd. (including an account of the scandalous 'Mary Dugdale affair'). St George's was the firm where my father, Leslie Dunkerley, worked for the whole of his married life until retirement, and which therefore provided every penny of income on which I was brought up from birth until I achieved financial independence in 1969. Thank you St George's! Thank you JLD! I hope to consult the company records at Companies House in Cardiff later this year, after which I should be able to add to the tale.
5th April 2008: Following some additional research into the descendents of Joseph Dunkerley and Hannah Spencer who left England for America in the 19th century, I have transferred the story of Mary Ann Dunkerley and John Gregory to a new section of the Dunkerley Area of the site, entitled 'The Mormon Connection'. Two new stories have been added to this section, one about the life of Harriet Dunkerley, who married four times, gave rise to three Mormon families and visited America, the second contributed by Howard Christenson of Utah about the daughter of Harriet Dunkerley, Harriet Higham and her husband Joseph Ball Higham. I have now added some illustrations.
20th March 2008: I have added a number of photos to the Brazil Area of the site (and also see photo below).
7th March 2008: During a visit to Brazil my wife and I have discovered the whereabouts of my mother-in-law's civil birth and church marriage registrations in Goias Velho. The former has provided us with the names of her paternal grandparents - previously unknown - and we have also been able to collect additional data on the Brazilian family from personal contacts and other sources. I have therefore taken the opportunity to upgrade the Brazil Area of the site, adding a new introductory page ('Apresentacao') - in Portuguese - and to add a fourth family tree (for Jose Pereira)  to the three family trees previously available there.
29th January 2008: I have added fifteen new Lancashire Dialect Poems! See numbers 36 to 50 here.
16th January 2008: I have re-built the section on Lancashire dialect (now called 'Lancashire Dialect Area') and added new external links to the article on the development of Lancashire dialect, to make it easier to use.
I have also continued to receive contacts via the internet from new descendents of the astonishing Eves family. Not only were the Eves a fecund lot but they also appear to have a genetic predisposition to an  interest in family history!
12th January 2008: I  have added a poem about Sholver Slack - 'Home Ground' for my branch of the Dunkerley family
8th January 2008: I have been contacted, through this site, by a descendent of Thomas Eves and Matilda Cook who now live in northeast England. It appears that Thomas Eves was one of five brothers who were all gamekeepers in Norfolk, and they also had a sister. At least two of the families moved via Cheshire to the Rochdale area - an interesting story indeed. You can read part of this story on the relevant part of my site here.  
I have also been contacted by another descendent of the Eves, this time of Oscar Eves who was killed in the First World War.
Finally, a descendent of James (b. abt. 1833) and Elizabeth Knott has been in touch. It is good to know that my website is proving interesting, and fascinating to see how people are able to discover it and access the information. Thanks to those who have got in touch!  
27th December 2007: Following a contact to this site, I have been able to add additional information to the section about Isabella Tuson in the 'Richard Tuson of Brindle' article. I am also able to add a photo of Isabella and her husband, James Margrove, taken on the occasion of their golden wedding on 15th September 1930.
19th December 2007: An article I submitted to the The Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society, entitled 'Joseph Dunkerley in the Militia', has now been published. If you are working with family history in Lancashire you might want to consider joining the society. Their website is at  
27th November 2007: I have been lucky enough to make three breakthroughs  with regard to The Sykes Family. First, I was kindly sent  photos and stories about Frances by her grandaughter, and have updated that section of the site. Second, at the request of an uncle, I made considerable efforts to discover what had happened to Jim and Sydney Sykes since the 1920s when the three enjoyed playing together. This resulted in the extraordinary pleasure of speaking to Sydney and his wife on the 'phone. Unfortunately Jim died some years ago. Third, as a result of information received from Sydney I have also been able to talk to a niece, the daughter of his youngest brother, Bob Sykes, also deceased. I hope to receive further information from these new contacts about this part of the family in due course.
11th November 2007: I made the discovery that an Aunt, Muriel Knott, descends from John William Dunkerley and Harriet Eliza Riches (see next story below), but like Caroline, one of the children of George and Sophia Spalding, she also descends from the Eves family of Norfolk. I have, by now, established that migration from Norfolk to the Lancashire cotton towns was by no means uncommon in the 19th century. To understand the coincidence of the Dunkerley/Eves connections you'll need to read the two stories - here and here.
3rd November 2007: I am very pleased to have been contacted by living relatives of Sophia Dunkerley and George Spalding. Sophia descends from John William Dunkerley and Harriet Eliza Riches. There are two articles on the site that you can read here and here 
25th October 2007: I have added an article on the Riches family who, rather surprisingly, moved from the rural area of north Norfolk to the cotton towns of Lancashire at some time between 1866 and 1871. It turns out that such moves may have been quite common at the time, and perhaps were even organized by mill owners in an attempt to obtain adequate supplies of labour. Harriet Eliza Riches later married John William Dunkerley, the original stimulus of my curiosity.
24th October 2007: Just had a great weekend visiting living relatives of the Martin/Topping family that I discovered through my family history research. We had a lovely lunch together at the Black Ladd Inn near Grange Bar, Oldham. I was delighted to find that I have some attractive second cousins and we have been able to swap photos, anecdotes and other information.
On a different subject, I have also taken out a six-month subscription to '', which is proving useful in giving access to birth, marriage and death indices not yet covered by FreeBMD, and access to searchable census records for 1851, 1871, 1881 and 1891.
4th October 2007: I've added the story of Lewis Dunkerley, my uncle, who was the Group Scout Master of the 7th Manchester (St. John's, Failsworth) scouts. Also I've given you the chance to read one of Tommy Thompson's entertaining stories, 'The Convert', which gives an insight into why the Lancashire dialect is now a rare currency.
27th September 2007: I've been a busy bee! Some time ago my aunt, Brenda Dunkerley, kindly gave me an indenture for a clogger's apprentice dating from 1858. Following some research I found out that it related to my uncle Bob Stott's grandfather, Benjamin Stott, who established a clogging business in Failsworth. I have now added a short article with the racy title 'Stotts the Cloggers - No Fornication Allowed' to cover the indenture and the Stotts' contribution to the paediatric well-being (and morality) of Failsworth folk of yesteryear.
I have also been informed that an article entitled 'Joseph Dunkerley in the Militia' will be published in 'The Manchester Genealogist'. Don't know when, but fame at last! I'll add the article to the site upon publication. Bet you can't wait.
25th September 2007: I've just returned from a short holiday that included two visits relevant to this website. The first was to Languard Fort near Felixstowe in Suffolk, where Joseph Dunkerley was stationed with the militia in 1803. The second was to Buxton in Norfolk, where Hannah Eliza Riches and her family originated. They later moved, en masse, to Oldham where Hannah Eliza married John William Dunkerley.
On my return from the holiday I was pleased to find a couple of very complimentary e-mails from people who have enjoyed the site, or found it useful. This has motivated me to add a 'Feedback' page where I can display such comments. Please excuse my conceit, but it is nice to read that one's efforts have helped someone, and encourages me to keep the site moving.
14th September 2007: It's been a very busy week - only partly of my own making. I've had two family-tree contacts from the United States who had seen this web site and realized their families link in. They represented two of the three separate branches that migrated to the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century, and I am now in touch with half a dozen or so American cousins. I have now learned that each of the three migrations - all descendents of Joseph Dunkerley and Hannah Spencer - went to the US as Mormons. One of my recent contacts is still a Mormon and recently spent a year, with his wife, working in Salt Lake City at the family record facilities there. He has provided me with additional family tree information and a couple of old photos.
Not to be outdone by the Dunkerleys, I was delighted to receive an e-mail from the Tuson relative mentioned on 7th September. He is a descendent of Richard Tuson (1842-1896), a brother of my great grandfather William Tuson, a line of which I had very little knowledge. This has been followed by an exchange of e-mails and then an absorbing one-hour 'phone call (who says blokes don't chat?). We're now into swapping information and hope to meet up before too long.
I've also obtained wills for William Tuson and his son, my grandfather, Dick Tuson, and these two have added several new facts - including proof of the contact maintained between the siblings of William's generation and the central role that the Bay Horse Hotel at Whittle-le-Woods played as a meeting point. I have updated the Richard Tuson Family Tree to reflect recent additions.
Finally, I have just received written information from a living cousin of the Martin family - my paternal grandmother's family. Posting reports on the internet has proven very rewarding and I hope for additional contacts.
7th Septemer 2007: I am very pleased to have had an e-mail contact, from a living Tuson descendent of Richard Tuson, sometime tailor of Tuson Row in Hutton, and later farmer at Brindle. I am awaiting details about precisely how he links in to the family.
I have had a similar contact from another living relative in San Francisco, a descendent of Mary Ann Dunkerley and John Gregory. He read the account of their emigration to the United States as Mormons and subsequent treks by waggon train to Utah and thence California. A web-site has given me access to photos of Harriet Augusta Gregory and her family.
I have also now included an article in the 'Tuson Area' about the Sykes family of Saddleworth. Research for this has revealed that the wives of brothers Robert Buckley Sykes and Edward Thomas Sykes, both from Wem in Shropshire, were actually cousins.
2nd August 2007: Today I have uploaded my account of my great grandfather William Tuson. He was brought up on his father's farm at Brindle, but when his father died William trained as a clogger. His first wife died after a year but William remarried quickly, to Annie Edmondson, with whom he had three boys. William and Annie moved to Failsworth where William set himself up in business, shortly after which Annie died. Nothing daunted the clogger decided to 'clog again' and married Mary Schofield of Failsworth. Together they brought up the three boys and devleoped the business. William's youngest son emigrated to New Zealand in 1912 but returned as an army volunteer and died in France. The other two boys, Dick and Harry, produced seven grandchildren between them, descendents of whom live mostly still in Lancashire.
27th July 2007: I have placed a new Tuson article on the site, covering the lives of Richard Tuson and Betty Wilding, my great-great grandparents. They were of farming stock and produced a numerous family. Richard moved from Hutton to Brindle - in what could be interpreted as the first move of my Tuson forebears away from the Penwortham/Longton area towards Failsworth and Hollinwood. I have also added another family tree to provide more information on some of the descendents of Richard's children.
I now plan to turn to Richard's son, William Tuson, who actually made the move to Failsworth. He became a master clogger and shoe and boot repairer.
14th July 2007: I have been busy absorbing new information collected on a recent trip to Oldham and the Preston area. The highlight from Oldham was the discovery in an ancient photo album belonging to Peter Brocklehurst of a photo of my grandparents, Billy and Selina Dunkerley, taken soon after their wedding on 1st January 1901. Readers may be aware that half of this photo, showing Billy only, was previously on the site, but that it had been mysteriously cut, vertically, in half. While visiting Peter and leafing through his album, that contains many old photos of unidentified people, I gasped as this one appeared. The missing person is in fact Billy's wife, my grandmother 'Nana' (Selina) Dunkerley, nee Martin. I took a digital photo of the one in the album and the quality is good enough to detect that Selina is wearing her wedding ring. However she seems to have the figure of a woman who has not yet had children, so the photo was probably taken within a month or two of her wedding. The photo was a thrilling discovery and my thanks are due to Peter - a relative whose existence I only discovered about three years ago as a result of my resarches into family history.
During the visit to Oldham it has also proven possible to identify the subject of a very old photo that was amongst the belongings of my uncle, Clare Dunkerley, kindly given to me by my Auntie Brenda. The photo is shown alongside and, following consultations with my cousin Jean, seems certain to be Alice Whitehead Martin(or Martyn), nee Faith, born about 1846, died 8th July 1930. The 'Roy' named on the photo was Roy Topping, Alice's grandson, cousin of Clare. According to my cousin Jean, Roy did photographic work in Oldham and probably produced the photo himself and dedicated it to his grandmother. Alice was also the mother of Selina and therefore my great grandmother.
In the Preston area I was able to visit Dinkley, supposed to be the hamlet that gave origin to the name 'Dunkerley'. Nevertheless it is a pretty place on the south bank of the River Ribble, about three miles upstream of Ribchester. Of more certain interest were the tithe maps of Hutton and Longton, and their accompanying schedules, that my wife and I were able to briefly examine in the County Record Office in Preston. Since my return I have enjoyed reading Alan Crosby's account of Hutton 'Hutton: A Millennium History', and have incorporated some of his ideas and the evidence of the tithe maps into my first two Tuson articles (Tuson Originsand James Tuson of Longton). I am also making progress on the next Tuson article, which I hope to put on the site by the end of this month.
On a different note, I am pleased with myself for having reached a total of 50,000 records submitted to the FreeBMD project, which I do as a voluneer. If anyone else would like to take part, it's quite enjoyable and a way of 'putting something back' into what I have found to be an enourmously useful family history resource. Go to the site by clicking on the highlighted link, where you can volunteer, or contact me and I will put you in touch with my syndicate co-ordinator.