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Title From Message
Thurston Family
28th December
john thurston

Just rediscovered your site and found very interesting information on the village and my family. Fantastic idea to create a family tree for Blaxhall and will now visit regularly to see how things are progressing. Very best of luck with a very worthwhile project

John Thurston

23rd December
North West
Julie Fitzgerald

I would like to say thanks for the help I have received so far on my Thurston branch. This is a wonderful site so thanks and Merry Christmas to those that run it and post on it!


Susan Collington
18th November
Susan Collington

I have recently discovered this site and find it fascinating and very well put together. I hope that someone out there will be able to help me.

On the 10 October 2011 my father died. He was 90 years of age. His name was Patrick Philip Jay.

He was born in Blaxhall on April 18 1921. His parents were Philip Jay and Lisa/Elisa (I am not sure). They also had a daughter, Barbara.

From Blaxhall, they moved to Snape and then on to Saxmundham where my grandparents died and are now buried in the local church (mid 1960’s?).

My father joined the 2nd World War in 1939/1940 and was initially based in Nottingham where he met my mother, Grace Rose. He served in the war until 1945/1946. He married on 18 April 1945. They had a daughter, Susan Patricia, born in 1948 and a son, Robert Philip, born in 1952.

My Aunt Barbara married and now lives in Swindon.

I do not have any children but Robert, my brother had a daughter. There are no sons on our side now to carry on the name of Jay.

I now live in Portugal.

Does anyone have any details regarding the Jay family?
Are there any dates for some of the School photos shown on the site?
Is the name of Jay now gone forever or are there other family members still alive?

Hope someone can help?

Susan Collington

Benjamin Richardson 5th AIF killed at Fromelles
26th October

Since Ben Richardson still remains to be identified and so far as I know samples from a potentially matching Mt DNA sample have not been submitted there is still time to achieve an identification one way or the other, given that he remains on the lists with a high probability that they are now in the Pheasant Wood cemetery.

I have identified and located a suitable donor of a cheek scrape sample and am now looking for a relative who went to the Inauguration of the cemetery to approach this person with a view to getting a sample submitted in the next round going to the identification board.

He is the son of one of Ben's first cousins on his mother's sister's side and so would be a match on mitochondrial (mt) or intracellular as opposed to nuclear DNA.

Please contact me if you can assist me in this task.

Many thanks,


Thurston (Sophia)
23rd September
Julie Fitzgerald

I have been trying to research my 3 xg.grandmother Sophia Thurston for several years but only recently aquired the correct information. I knew her married name was Bell and on the census returns (of Cheshire where she lived) she had given Blaxhall, Suffolk as her place of birth. On obtaining her marriage certificate it gave her fathers name as James Thornton.(Labourer)...I believe this to be a mistake/mis-spelling of the surname because her son and grandson were given Thurston as a middle name and I recently obtained the birth certificate of her youngest daughter which states her maiden name was Thurston.
Sophia Thurston married James Bell (gives profession as stable man but he went on to work on the railways as pointsman) in 1850 in Runcorn Cheshire.......I don't know how she met him or why she was here and so far from Sussex. The census returns show her as born c1820 in census returns from 1851 - 1901. As I had previously had the incorrect surname I hadn't found her in the 1841 census. I have now seen an entry in Plomesgate, Suffolk that may be her. I have also seen an entry on IGI Index for a baptism for Sophia Thurston 1815 but only listing a mother (Elizabeth Thurston).
The only thing I am certian of is that throughout the census she was consistent about where she had lived and the name Thurston was used as a middle name and surname on her childs birth certificate.
If anyone is able to join up the dots I would be very grateful.
Sincerely Julie

my familt tree.any connections get in
8th September

My family tree on my nans side the Messengers
Ruby Constance Amelia Messenger. B.16 07 1901 Blaxhall Suffolk.d.1992 Epsom.
George Messenger. b 1877 Blaxhall Suffolk.
James Messenger. b 1851. Cransford Suffolk.
William Messenger.b 1820 Bruisyard Suffolk.
Thomas Messenger.b 1796.Bruisyard Suffolk.d1872. Thomas changed the family name to messenger from Masterson.
John Masterson.b. 1760 Bruisyard Suffolk.
James Masterson.b 1741 Suffolk.
John Masterson.b 1707 Cratfield Suffolk.
Johannes o Masterson.b 1660 Cratfield Suffolk.
The wives of the above in descending order
. Kate Eliza Ling.b 1872 Blaxhall Suffolk.
Amelia Ling.b 27 04 1854 Blaxhall Suffolk.d.1893.
Maitha b 1832 Great Glemham Suffolk.
Elizabeth Hunt b 1791 Suffolk.
Mary Muliner b1760 Bruisyard Suffolk.
Susan Sewell b 1741 Bruisyard Suffolk.
Ann Kemp c1707 Cratfield Suffolk.
Mary Watlin c1660.Cratfield Suffolk.
My Family Tree On My Nans Side The Lings
Ruby Constance Amelia Jeffery nee. Messenger.
Kate Eliza Ling 1872 Blaxhall Suffolk.
Ephraim Ling b.03 05 1841 Blaxhall Suffolk.d.1913.
Charles Ling b. 13 04 1810 Blaxhall Suffolk. d.02 11 1866.
David Ling b. 08 09 1776 Swiland Suffolk.d. 16 01 1848.
David Ling b. 1754 Swiland Suffolk d.24 02 1826.
David Ling b. 02 03 1728. Suffolk d.29 06 1788.
George Ling b. 1700 Suffolk d. 1784.
William Ling b. 1660 Suffolk.
The Wives of the above in descending order
Eliza Fisher. B. 1845 Butley Suffolk.d. 1920.
Jane Gooding b. 03 09 1815 Suffolk.d. 21 11 1899.
Letitia Bickers b 177 Saxmundham Suffolk.d. 1861.
Bathsheba Middleditch b. 28 03 1753. Suffolk. d. 22 03 1795.
Hannah Woolnough b. 1729 Suffolk. d. 1799.
Mary Coleman b. 1696 Suffolk.
Mary Simpson b. 1661 Suffolk.

alan ling
30th August
ellesmere port

we recently visited swilland,campsey ashe and blaxhall and enjoyed every minute ,it feels like going back in time as things appear not too have changed too much as it is still very rural.Every Ling sholud visit this area at least once and celebrate our ancesters in the ship.

catherine Jackson
14th August
catherine Jackson

I recentley discovered this site and I love it. My great grandparents were Kate neeLing and George Messenger. My two older brothers, mum and dad (who was their grandson) used to spend every summer holiday with them. The old bungalow was called Windrush and was on the Drift- a track between it and the allotments. The school, now a hostel was up on the other side of the rd. Dads mum was called Hilda and though she married and eventualy went to London the ties with Blaxhall remained strong. I have very happy memories of her brother Chris my uncle who used to take me to feed the chickens. He was married to a Maud and they always had loads of cats. One of my earliest and happiest of memories was being in a big old pushchair and being pulled over the common with my dad and brothers. It was raining but to this day I can recall the sound as it patted on the hood and my lovely g.g.Messenger with his big white moustache leaning in saying "you be al rit then gal" in his wonderful singsongy voice. We used to visit some people in Rose cottage and I think a vet and his family lived at the bottom of The Drift. I got stuck trying to get down from having bravely climed the apple tree at 5 in the morning and my dad had to come and rescue me in his P.Js! I remember Frank Reeves and his wife who ran the little shop and The dear old lady who I collected eggs from. I think she was Mrs Poacher . My mum cooked on the old range and I used to get the water in from a tap which was fed from a spring in the front garden. I used to get told off for getting to near the huge pig which was at the back of the land behind the bungalow. Oh dear! Im rambling. See, my memories are many of this very important place and times of my childhood. My brother Andy visits Blaxhall and I belive has sung a ditty or two in the Ship. I love reading about all the Lings and the connections. Would love to know more about the Messengers too. Will continue to look at this site now that I have found it and hope even better still to visit Blaxhall. Meanwhile my love to its lands and its people where ever they may be.

2nd August

My ancestor is Elizabeth Pocher (Poacher) born chillesford Suffolk in1806,she married Meadows Doughty in Blaxhall in 1831,I would like to know if Elizabeth therefore lived in Blaxhall at this time and who her parents/family were also as Meadows is such an unusual first name did her Doughty husband have a connection to the Meadows family from Blaxhall although he was born in Badingham.If anyone could give me any information I would appreciate it as I have come to a complete standstill with my research,my very best to all the Blaxhall community & I hope to vist your lovely village soon.

22nd February
John E Farrow


I am interested to know if anyone has anything on Joseph FARROW c.1802 - 1879, husband of Anne BARBER and the gd-father of the Thomas FARROW of Blaxhall who died in WWI, by his son John FARROW c.1838 & Anne COOPER.