TWO distant Hartlepool relatives have met for the first time thanks to Family Roots.
It’s only a matter of weeks since we told the story of Walter Green and his genealogy studies.
It struck a chord with fellow town resident Ann Eglintine.
She soon realised some of the ancestors mentioned in Walter’s clan were in her own family tree.
Now Ann and Walter have met and become keen colleagues in ancestry research.
A delighted Walter issued a thanks to Family Roots after we highlighted the 71-year-old’s research.
He said: “Ann is a second cousin. I have struck genealogical gold in that Ann is a serious family history researcher, and has traced an extended family line back to 1660 when Charles the Second was the monarch.
“Naturally,we had a lot to talk about, and got on very well. We will keep in regular contact via email, and I hope to meet other members of her family.”
Walter, from the Wooler Road area of Hartlepool, started his research in the days when computers were in their infancy, online records didn’t exist, and genealogy meant having to travel to Stockton to search through microfiche files.
Walter’s parents were Ethel Summerbell and Harry James Green who married in 1940. Ethel was from West Hartlepool but Harry and his ancestors hailed from Hove in the Brighton area.
Walter believes romance blossomed when Ethel became a chambermaid in a Brighton hotel at the height of the British seaside resort popularity between the wars.
Ethel died in 1959 in her 30s while Harry passed away aged 64 in 1976.
Walter has traced his maternal ancestry back to the 1700s and also knows that his grandfather William Edward Summerbell served in the Durham Light Infantry and later the Royal Artillery on tanks before being invalided out of service.
Ann, 72, from the West View area of Hartlepool, contacted us to say: “It is wonderful. I had not realised there were any descendants of the Summerbell side of the family. We share common ancestors.
“My great grandfather Alexander Summerbell is Walter’s great great grandfather.
“The Summerbells were all from the Richmond area and we have got back to 1751.”
Ann met Walter at the Central Library in Hartlepool – the place where dozens of people have successfully discovered relatives through the Tracing Your. She said: “We first met at 10.30am and I was amazed when we left. It was a quarter to two.
“We went and had a coffee at the cafe next door and we were still talking for ages.”
Ann’s own research will feature in a future edition of Family Roots.
In the meantime, Ann and Walter are planning more family tree research. She said: “We got on as soon as we met and I enjoyed it very much.”