From Monday 16 November 2020 my presence on WikiTree may be a bit intermittent for some months, and I am likely to have less time and energy when I am able to turn to WikiTree. I may not always pick up messages and emails or respond to requests and queries. Please be understanding.
I am active in the following One Name Studies:
I am co-leader of the Magna Carta, Medieval and Quaker Projects, and on the Managed Profiles team of the England Project.
I was educated at Brighton College, Sussex, England and St John's College, Oxford. I am a retired United Kingdom civil servant almost all of whose career centred on advising successive goverments on policy matters (frequently giving unwelcome advice!), helping draw up legislation, seeing new laws were properly introduced, and monitoring the effect of policies.
I am descended from the first Cayley baronet, who was one of the Cayleys associated with Brompton, Yorkshire. I have an extensive set of data on people with the surname Cayley. I maintain a Cayley family history website at Cayley Family History.
I have been researching genealogy for over 30 years, and my research goes back to medieval times. The person who started my interest was an eccentric and diminutive aunt who had inherited albums of old family photos and a set of family portraits going back to the 18th century, and who had gathered a collection of documents and letters from the 1790s to the first half of the 20th century, the most interesting of which the family donated to the British Library after her death. Despite her small size, my aunt was formidable; and from childhood I was not allowed to forget that facts, documentation and stories about forebears were to be treasured. Cousins, near and distant, were often to be seen at her home and she hoovered up family information from them with avidity. Nowadays email makes that much easier, and one of the pleasures of recent years has been establishing email contact with cousins in other countries and exchanging data with them.
My work was based in central London, which meant I had access to some of the best repositories in the UK. Spending time off in them was welcome relief from the demands of high pressure jobs. By the time I retired, digitisation of genealogical sources had started, which was just as well, as I moved to a small island off the South coast of England.
I am as interested in the social history ancestors’ lives reveal, and the incidents and stories that bring them to life, as in ‘who begat whom’.
For me a lot of the joy of genealogy is the research, especially when I track down a recondite source which solves a conundrum or which establishes links that standard genealogical reference works have missed. As those who enjoy travelling know, the journey can - with all its periodic difficulties - be as interesting as the destination. Along the way there is always something new to learn, and sometimes it is good to spend time on byways, or to postpone going to the originally intended destination and divert to somewhere different.
To aid WikiTree in the administration of my account should I be incapacitated, or in the event of my death, I hereby give permission for all private and public profiles I'm presently managing, including my own profile, to be transferred to community members on my trusted list or to the Leadership Team to be farmed out to any interested party or parties.
Michael is 21 degrees from Michael Collins, 26 degrees from Judith Resnik, 29 degrees from Ellison Onizuka, 37 degrees from Michael Phillip Anderson, 24 degrees from Sally Ride, 34 degrees from Wubbo Johannes Ockels, 26 degrees from Neil Armstrong, 23 degrees from Virgil Grissom, 25 degrees from Christa McAuliffe, 23 degrees from Dick Scobee, 24 degrees from Edward White and 19 degrees from Frances Piercy-Reins on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.