"To the living we owe our respect, to the dead we owe nothing but the truth."             Voltaire.

Hobbs Family History News and Notes

This section of the site is really an update of the areas that I am concentrating on at the moment. However before I begin the update there was a poem that was posted to the mailing list in January 2002 and it gives an indication of why I am researching my ancestors and their lives. It is entitled "Strangers in the Box" but the author I'm afraid is unknown.

Come, look with me inside this drawer,
In this box I've often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, serene.
I wish I knew the people,
These strangers in the box,
Their names and all their memories
Are lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times?
I'll never know their ways.
If only someone had taken time
To tell who, what, where, or when,
These faces of my heritage
Would come to life again.
Could this become the fate
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories
Someday to be passed away?
Make time to save your stories,
Seize the opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours could be
The strangers in the box.

On a lesser point many of the documents in the nineteenth century and earlier indicate that a large number of my ancestors were unable to write. Viewed from a modern day perspective this would make them illiterate but when seen in the context of time many people would have had no NEED to sign their name, from one year to the next, (unlike today), except on official documents, contracts etc.

The writer then mentions that there are a lot of HOBBS families in the North Devon region of the U.K.

These observations are confirmed by Professor David Hey of The University Sheffield. In his book "Family Names and Family History" he states the Names Project Group at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language at the University of Sheffield has been studying the surnames of South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire under his direction.

" As we have seen patronymic surnames were often formed by the addition of short suffixes and that -s was favoured in the southern half of the country, particularly in the Welsh border counties, whereas northerners generally opted for -son.
Hobbs is given as an example from the Gloucestershire poll tax returns of 1381.


2 Parents
4 Grandparents
8 Great Grandparents
16 Great Great Grandparents (x2)
32 Great Great Great Grandparents (x3)
64 Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x4)
128 Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x5)
256 Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x6)
512 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x7)
1024 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x8)
2048 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x9)

It puts the task facing the family historian/genealogist in perspective

The microfilm of the various Sheffield newspapers of the period which are the 'Sheffield Telegraph' and 'The Star'.
The Burgess Rolls which are on film as they list the addresses of everyone in the City .
The Registry Office, The Local Studies Department and the Archive Department are at

Sheffield Registry Office [births, deaths and marriages].
Certificates cost 7.00
Surrey Place
Sheffield, S.1
Telephone: 0114-273-5321

Local Studies
Central Library.
Surrey Street
Sheffield, S.1
Telephone: 0114-273-4753

Archive Department
Shoreham Street.
Sheffield S.1
Telephone: 0114-273-4756

Further information can be found on the next page

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This page was last updated on 15/12/10 13:37