I am co-leader of the Magna Carta, Medieval and Quaker Projects.
I am descended from the first Cayley baronet, who was one of the Cayleys associated with Brompton, Yorkshire.
I have been researching genealogy for over 30 years. 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 away from London.
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 25 degrees from Jimmy Buffett, 18 degrees from James Cooper, 24 degrees from James Dean, 20 degrees from James Ganong, 23 degrees from James Garner, 21 degrees from Jimmy Hoffa, 20 degrees from Jesse James, 23 degrees from Phyllis White, 28 degrees from James Earl Jones, 15 degrees from James Stuart King James VI of Scotland and I of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, 22 degrees from James Kraft and 23 degrees from Jacquès Julie on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.