Family Tree!

A few weeks ago, someone who I ran into on Facebook and who is someone who has been researching the Tocher family (my grandmother’s family) was able to give me a clue which helped clear up a quandary I had. I was going in circles because my GGgrandfather Tocher had married twice and had two families… That confused my efforts to find the connection farther back with his wife’s family, the Balfours and Turnbulls.

Two nights ago, I finally sat down to add the information she had given me to my family tree on and then did a couple of Googles. Lo and Behold! I found a website where someone had photos from their family tree and two of the tiny thumbnails just about knocked me out of my chair!

I had been looking at them, or at least the faces of the two people all my life! They are my GGG grandmother and GGG grandfather! I have had the locket, seen below, all my life.

George Balfour and Margaret Turnbull

And here they are! Along with a large number of photos I hadn’t seen before, many of them Turnbull sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews of my GG grandmother.

Margaret Turnbull and George Balfour

To add to my joy was another pair of photos – Captain Brown and Janet Bell Balfour. Captain John Brown and his wife were familiar to my through two family stories, though I didn’t know how, exactly, they fit into my family. Janet, it turns out was my GG grandmother’s sister.

Captain John Brown and Janet Bell Balfour

The first story I have heard is that the Captain, accompanied by his wife sailed the South Seas carrying various lots of cargo about. He was, according to the story, the last or one of the last ships out of the harbour at Java just before the eruption of Krakatoa. They had to jettison their cargo of pianos to lighten the load. Much to Janet’s dismay, her piano had to go, too.

When the Captain retired, he did so bringing his parrot. On day, the parrot escaped and the Captain was forced to go out in the rain to look for it. He found it and to punish it, he held it out from the under the umbrella and it was heard to say, in perfect imitation of his wife, “John! It’s cold out here!”

My cousin and I spoke today, on Skype, and he showed me the album and will be sending me high res. images of any we are able to identify as family.

I did more work on it last night. Lots of interesting things!


  1. Leanne T. said,

    September 20, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Anneke, thank you so much for sharing your lovely stories and the discovery of that website – it is a trove of information for my Turnbull family and I am so excited to gleen more information from it and make contact with it’s owner.

    • mudhooks said,

      September 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      You are quite welcome!! Hope you find some interesting and helpful information!


  2. sandy said,

    February 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Anything of interest on Hutch?

    • mudhooks said,

      February 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

      Yep… And I have gone as far back as one can go with the Houchins clan. I still have more to add for the Comers but I am back to the 16th century on them (Houchins). And further than that on one side of Dad’s family.

      • sandy said,

        February 11, 2011 at 7:26 am

        Unfortunately, I can’t access the website. They actually want me to pay to see what you’ve done… Sob!

        • mudhooks said,

          February 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm

          That’s ridiculous.

          If you install one of the free family history software programs (I can send you a link) I can send you the file for the whole family tree and you can simply download it. I am not a member, either but I used to have my family tree stored on a Houchins family website and they recently divested themselves of the costly space and we had to upload them to Ancestry dot com.

          I am averse to paying the extortionate monthly fee for Ancestry dot com, too.

    • mudhooks said,

      February 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      The Houchins were Huguenot refugees from Houchin, France. Unfortunately, no one has identified the original “Houchins” who arrived in England.

      One side of the family is descended from the early kings and queens of Northern Europe and the other side arrived in America as indentured servants…

      • sandy said,

        February 11, 2011 at 7:27 am

        I guess we just “peaked” early…

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