Welcome to my web site, with a new look for 2017
This site is dedicated to more than 25 years of research into my own ancestry. Although the majority of my early research focuses on my Bagwell ancestors from 18th Century Isle of Wight, and later generations in London and Surrey, it also encompasses information on countless related families across the nation.
My research is arranged and presented on this site around a number of threads, which are explained below:
I have traced my Bagwell ancestry back as far as is currently possible, to William BAGWELL born ca.1740 residing on the Isle of Wight. I have then sought to map all of William's descendants, starting with those bearing the Bagwell surname to the present day. Subsequent research covering the remaining descendants will follow in time.
Because I am fortunate to have known my great grandparents, curiosity has caused me to follow each of their ancestries as far back as possible, using the same methodology, to Walter FLETCHER born ca. 1734 residing in Middlesex; William FORD born ca.1776 in Kent; and Solomon DEAN born ca.1715 in Middlesex.
During the maiden years of my family research I gathered a lot of additional information regarding Bagwell families residing on the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and further afield. I also spent a year working on a one name study of the Bagwell name. Some of that information has been reproduced here on this site. See the Other Research pages for more information.
The Bagwell Family
My BAGWELL origins reach back to the Isle of Wight in the mid 1700's, beginning with several generations of labourers and gardeners, through war in the Crimea, to the Newport Workhouse and the struggles of a young widow with three children to support. We leave the Isle in search of employment and into domestic service across Hampshire and Somerset, rising in financial (and social) standing in East Molesey, Surrey, as the family entered the 20th Century, and the horrors of the Great War, which was to exact its own toll on the family.
The Dean Family
Listening to my grandfather's heavy Sheffield accent I was as much surprised as he was to find out that the DEAN family originates on the Hertfordshire/Middlesex border and meanders through several generations before domestic service takes my ancestors briefly into Kent before propelling them northwards to Baslow, Derbyshire and Sheffield, Yorkshire. Finally the 20th Century takes the family back south and into Surrey.
The Fletcher Family
The FLETCHER journey also starts in the early 18th Century, this time on the outskirts of the City of London. Although little is currently known about early family members, several were employed in tailoring and associated trades. The family enters the 20th Century amid tales of abandonment and enduring love, closing with my great grandparent's 71 year long marriage.
The Ford Family
From the countryside around Wye in Kent, we find the FORD family at the beginning of the 18th Century. Several family members relocate to Shoreditch in the 1830's and establish trades as journeyman butchers and shop keepers, and it was only in the second half of the 20th Century that the family businesses ceased trading.
Please enjoy the wealth of knowledge that I have to share.
Dean Bagwell, January 2017