I am very fortunate to have had help in developing our extensive family tree. My interest started from a beautifully illuminated Family ‘Pedigree’ dated 1926 and drawn on linen pages that fold together into a pigskin binder. This traces our male line back to Christian de Wudecrida, meaning Christian from Woodcrythe or more recently Woodcray, which is about a mile south of Wokingham – map HERE.
A small Berkshire landowner in 1228, Christian was my 18th great grandfather. His son John Symond [1st] is where the family name first emerged. The spelling of our family name varied slightly until it finally gelled with Thomas Simonds (1700-1765).
In common with many family trees that can be traced so far back, it includes links to the kings of Mercia, including Ethelred the Unready and Alfred the Great.
The original ‘Pedigree’ was prepared for George Blackall Simonds [Brewering family] and his cousin John Simonds [1846-1929] [Banking & Milling family] by the Herald College of Arms. It was digitised then extended by Francis May Simonds III in North Carolina over a 20 year period up to 2010, when the ‘baton’ was passed on to me. I have extended it greatly and added many 100’s of images.
Two copies of this original ‘Pedigree’ were made at the time. This one for John Simonds [1846-1929] of Newlands, Arborfield. On his death in 1929 it passed to John Barrow Simonds [1896-1971]. In 2019 I was offered it by the ‘Simmonds’ family of Devon who are not it seems related. A little of its history is shown on two manuscript notes on the 1st two pages.
Click on the image of the pigskin case below to see a low res version of our manuscript ‘Pedigree’:-
The old pedigree has been greatly extended from wider family archives & research and is now in digital format. The summary below shows the three main branches of the family with whom we maintain contact. The brewing & banking family branches in the UK and one in the USA.
The direct male line of my ancestors is highlighted in blue. The family suffered heavy losses in both World Wars, as well as in Korea. Those who gave their lives for their country are honoured in red type. Click on the image to enlarge:-
In time, I may be able to load a more extensive version of this tree.
If you recognise your family on here and don’t know me – I would welcome contact.