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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Famous ancestors?

While browsing through some old letters the other day, I came across one from my great aunt, Clara Alice Griffiths (left), who we all knew as Auntie Clarrie. She was trained as a secretary and typist, (her letters were always type-written) and I believe my old Underwood typewriter (a photo of which heads this blog) was once hers.

In the letter (to my mum) she was sharing what she knew about her ancestry, explaining that her grandmother's maiden name had been Benbow and that she came from Ironbridge. At the bottom of the page she'd written, "My Auntie Polly - mum's sister - always vowed that they were descended from the famous "Admiral Benbow" who was born in Shrewsbury, and died in 1702."

The paragraph where Clarrie declares her claim to fame!

Really? I wonder if that's mere fantasy or whether she had genuine cause to believe it was true. Having so far only traced the Benbow branch of the family back to Malcolm Sinclair Benbow, born in Broseley in 1807, I've got my work cut out to get back as far as the 17th century. But there's nothing like a challenge! Wish me luck...


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