Generations of Genes Copyright © Phyllis Jeans 2000
All rights reserved ISBN 0 473 03868 4
PEMM Publishing Cambridge, New Zealand
When first researching family history, just to find another name, another generation, seems to be reward enough, but in the long term the euphoria disappears and a need to give some shape or form to names becomes an important aspect of research. This is not always easy unless one’s ancestors are of that small group for whom there are written records. With perseverance, however, these bare-bones will be covered to a certain degree.
For some years, searching for related descendants of various ancestral lines took time from my first purpose. Then this thought came. At many an archive office, my time has run out and I must leave, my task of the day uncompleted. Mindful of this, I feel the time has come to record in a permanent and accessible form, the information that has been gathered. There will always be untraced ancestors, unanswered questions, unproven possibilities, unconfirmed hunches. It is also impossible to escape the thought, mistakes other than those inadvertently made by myself, may be perpetuated. No information, written or oral, is infallible. Mistakes, intended or otherwise, inevitably occur. It would be a brave and foolish researcher who would declare there was no possibility of a question mark over any particular statement in a particular work. Our genealogy is a matter of trust; a belief that records of whatever kind tell the actual truth. Verification is often difficult and sometimes things are taken on trust when it would appear reasonable to do so. No family line, as of right, is more important than another, although in some circumstances one line may be more significant in an individual life. It may be easier to relate to the family bearing one’s own birth name, which perhaps explains the narrow importance attached to the male line. Four generations before one’s own birth (back to one’s grandparents’ grandparents) there are generally sixteen different surnames, only one of which will be your birth-name. Perhaps that name will be all you inherit from that person and all the other interesting and fascinating aspects that make up the essential ‘you’ may have come from any of the other fifteen.
I do not wish to put thoughts in their heads or words in their mouths. Neither do I think it necessary to try to explain their actions, question their decisions, analyse their characters, or excuse their failings.
Research has been for me a satisfying and enjoyable exercise. The resulting collection of information will, I hope, prove of interest to others where there is a shared ancestry.
Bronwyn Jeans, Jan McCoskrie and Jill Kenny.
All the families recorded in this book relate to Bronwyn.
The Potts and Roberts lines relate to Jan.
The Jeans, Potts and Roberts lines relate to Jill.
Jan is second cousin to Bronwyn and Jill, who are first cousins.