Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Clayton Family of Birmingham

A brief history written by Peter Millington


My name is Peter Millington, I was born in Birmingham in 1961. My paternal grandmother was named Florence Margaret Millington, nee. Clayton. This is a brief history of her ancestors and her family dating back to the mid 1800s.

This history was been put together over a period of seven or eight years, drawing together the rich anecdotal evidence which has been passed down through the Clayton and Millington family, combined with hard factual evidence gleaned largely from birth, marriage and death certificates, and census and polling records found mainly in Birmingham’s Central Library.

In more recent years the story has expanded with the help of other researchers with whom I have made contact through the internet. Many of these people are referred to in the document and all are listed at the end.

This document is far from definitive and can be best described as the latest stage of a work in progress. Each fresh piece of information seems to raise as many questions as it answers and, at the end of the day, how can we ever do justice to the lives of so many individuals in just 30 plus pages? A million pages would still be inadequate.

But it is my intention to produce more than just a bland family tree made up of names and dates. I have therefore tried to capture some of the stories about real people’s lives and in doing this I was very fortunate to have gained a lot of information from my dear aunt, Kathleen Robinson, in the years preceding her death in the year 2000. Like many others in our family, Kath was a superb story-teller with a gift for embellishing her family anecdotes with great colour and intrigue. I am so pleased that I took the opportunity to write much of it down, as there were things here that could have been lost forever.

I also want to thank my father, Geoff, and my Aunty Nance (who died in 2005), who have also shared with me much useful anecdote of people and events now long gone. I have limited this initial draft of the Clayton family history mainly to the generations of our ancestors receding my grandmother’s generation. I would like to extend this in the future, to cover my father’s generation in greater detail and come right up to the present day. However, I feel that such a venture would benefit from meeting and talking with more living relatives first.

There is still much factual research which can be done. One of my ambitions is to trace the Finns and Flynns back to their place of origin in Ireland. There is also still much to be discovered about the Claytons and I have barely touched upon certain family stories.

For now, thank you for reading this history. I do welcome feedback and would love to make contact with anyone who thinks they may be related to or may have known our family.

Peter Millington


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