I took the following photograph in January 2000, using an old non-digital camera. It shows the village of Clunbury in Shropshire, where my Morgan ancestors came from. I have access to quite a lot of information about Dad’s side of the family, as my Uncle David has researched it in some detail. But here I will be brief.


The last ancestor to be born in Clunbury was Samuel Morgan, son of John, son of George, son of George. He was born in 1766, but moved to London where he became a tallow chandler. A letter written by a relative of his granddaughter claims that Samuel Morgan was later appointed candlemaker to King William IV.


Curiously, William IV’s reign was seven years long (1830-1837) and halfway through it (1834), mass production of candles was invented by a man named Joseph Morgan. But while it’s possible there’s a common ancestor further back than we can trace, Joseph Morgan is not a known relation.

Samuel’s son Robert, born in 1803, became a fishmonger in partnership with a man called Robert Kenneth. The site of their London shop (on the north east corner of Marchmont Street and Tavistock Place) is apparently now occupied by a photograph processing service. Robert’s son, born in 1830 and also called Robert, emigrated to Australia in 1854. This was at the time of the Ballarat goldrush, a very important event in Australian history that attracted many migrants. This Robert was my grandfather’s grandfather.

I know much less about the ancestry of Mum’s side of the family, but among her ancestors are some of the folk who were expelled from the Scottish highlands to make way for the sheep in the 18th Century. The settlement most connected with Mum’s ancestry is Lothbeg, a name that has been passed down to two houses that my grandparents have owned.

Via my grandfather’s grandmother, there is a connection to the Gunn clan, which claims descent from arch-Viking Swein Asleifsson. My grandfather’s relatively dark skin (and my own) is assumed to be inherited from a shipwrecked survivor from the Spanish Armada.

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