The Lines-Davies Family Tree now stretches back to 1600, on the Lines side.

We first concentrated on going back up the male line from George Lines, Michèle's father. George's own research, which he did with Michèle's sister Charmaine, took the tree back to the birth in 1805 at Chipping Warden of his ancestor George Lines.

Luckily, other people have researched the family tree of George's elder brother William Lines, and so the tree suddenly expanded back to the 17th Century with Michèle's earliest known ancestor now being John Lines, circa 1600.

John Lines is Michèle's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather.

The Lines side of the tree is now largely complete.

The Abbots of Sulgrave

The latest additions stem from that the discovery that Elizabeth Abbot (a great(x4)-grandmother) was the daughter of the infamous William Abbott, shoemaker, churchwarden and highwayman.

William was part of the notorious Culworth Gang who terrorised Northamptonshire for 20 years. Churchwarden at Sulgrave church, he stashed his loot in a chest that can still be seen within the church. Sulgrave, Culworth and Chipping Warden are adjacent villages near the western border of the county.

William was eventually caught and sentenced to death in 1787. Many of the gang were hanged, but William's sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

He was due to be transported to Sydney in New South Wales on the Scarborough, which sailed in 1790 as part of Australia's Second Fleet. Although his name appears on the list of transported convicts, there is no trace of him in New South Wales.

The Scarborough picked up some convicts from Newgate prison at Deptford, before embarking the majority of prisoners at Portsmouth, where they been held on two prison ships, the hulks Lion and Fortunee.

It seems likely that he died before the Scarborough left, most probably on one of the hulks. Poor Elizabeth Abbott was only 2 when he was captured.

Chipping Warden

All roads lead to Chipping Warden when it comes to researching the Lines family history. As part of doing this, we have compiled a List of Lines families in Chipping Warden, 1861.

Although Michèle's great(x3)-grandmother Charlotte Lines and her son Austin appear in the 1851 Census for Chipping Warden, they had gone by 1861.

Sadly, Charlotte's husband George Lines had died by 1851 and she is listed as a "pauper widow". So times must have been tough for her and Austin, just as they were for her mother-in-law Elizabeth Abbott.

For ages, we could not find Charlotte's maiden name, but had a breakthrough when we discovered it was Lines! In fact, she was George Lines' cousin's daughter. This caused a bit of a problem for the family tree software, but it has now been amended to cope.