Saturday, 26 May 2007


I’m going to talk about trees this week (I have put this in the autumn section). But firstly going to make a tentative link to another sort of tree… the family tree. (I’ve been itching to talk about a great bread-making machine that we bought a while ago but I can’t for the life of me think of any similarity between gardening and a bread maker). Anyway, my eldest lad, asked me what our surname meant recently. Having never really thought about this I was stuck for a reply, so I delved into the World Wide Web to see if I could find some answers. The results were very interesting, and somewhat confusing. First of all I found the family crest with three steel gauntlets, a hatchet and a crescent moon on it. It looks very fierce but I have no idea what it all means. I do know that the name Gomersall is a town in Yorkshire (minus one L) and it is confusing as to what came first the town or the name. I contacted a very informed Victor Gomersall from Australia on the Internet who has traced his lineage back to the fifteenth century. The name has been traced back to the eleventh century though, to a William De Gomersall, who owed some tax to Henry ll. Victor goes on to tell me that we are probably of Norman origin or “North Man” as it translates. There are loads of us around the world and to trace the family line I would have to visit a lot of graveyards, though this wouldn’t really help me find the actual meaning of the name Gomersall, so after the history lesson I still find myself at a loss as to what to tell Ronnie about the meaning of our name. So Instead I have resorted to telling him stories from our more recent ancestors such as his great granddad who was called John Garnet Blackburn Gomersall, or “Gas Bracket Joe” for short as he had a tendency to swing on the old gas lamps on the street after having drink taken at the local hostelries. And his other great grandfather who decided to retire after going bald at the age of thirty, and proceeded to recuperate in Switzerland, breeding greyhounds and whippets (he won best of breed at Crufts dog show for his whippets apparently). Then there was his great grandmother who was the child of a French Count and Countess who spent thirty years living in an hotel in southern England, enjoying the sea breezes and being waited on hand and foot.……… Great role models eh?


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