Katie Fuller is the descendant of a Huguenot emigrant.
I first looked into my family history in 2000. My interest was piqued by an old photo belonging to my mother, which had names and dates written on the back of the frame. I was intrigued by the family's surname – Coggrave – and decided to try searching for it on a new-fangled website: familysearch.org. My mum got drawn into it too, and the rest is [family] history.
As well as genealogy, I also spend my time exploring nature, practicing drawing, printmaking, photography, embroidery, wandering the local countryside, visiting pubs and clearing up after my parakeet.
I currently scrape a living from selling my art and assisting a friend with her genealogy business. I worked as a professional copywriter and editor for more than 19 years so I enjoy putting those skills to use writing Wikitree profiles. My motto is: biographies for everybody!
I've enjoyed discovering and getting to know my ancestors and their nearest and dearest. Here are a few of the more interesting characters...
George Atkinson, my great-great-great-great-grandfather, who was punched in a pub in Hull in 1844 by my boyfriend's great-great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Lazenby!
Isabella Johnson, a Scottish “herring lassie” who followed the fleet to the East Anglian coast where she gutted and packed fish, met a Lowestoft fisherman and stayed there.
Lucy Howard, who was without her parents in the workhouse by the age of nine, went on to give birth to three illegitimate children in three different workhouses, who eventually married – only to die in the 1918 flu pandemic.
Mary Fuller (sister of my great-great-great grandfather), who married a Parisian chef who served in Queen Victoria’s household. (Mary was already married to someone else, but let's not dwell on that…)
Dinah (or Diana) Gibson, who gave birth to my great-great-great grandfather Thomas, a “natural child”, but left him in Yorkshire when she emigrated to Quebec around 1815. She has lots of descendants who account for many of my Canadian and American DNA matches.
James Smart, who, despite my mother’s doubts, really was captured by the Germans in World War I and survived (though his dad sold James’ piano while he was away).
Theodosius Jarlan, the Protestant minister who fled France with his family after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and became an Anglican priest in Colchester.
George Coggrave, a labourer who became a railway goods foreman and union man, died aged 70 in 1922 – when he was said to be the oldest man in the port town of Goole.
James Smart, who, when his wife Maria died, married her sister Mary (which was illegal at that time). Actually, William Beckitt did the same thing, first marrying Jane Hague Atkinson and after her death, marrying her sister Sarah. All these people lived in Hull. I'm not sure if this was a Hull thing...
I'm descended from a hairdresser, some builders, a higgler, a family of innkeepers and blacksmiths, a fleet of fishermen, a field of agricultural labourers, a whole factory’s worth of shoemakers, and many, many hardworking housewives.
When I did a month's temping at the Dr Martens factory, I unwittingly represented the sixth (and last) generation of Fullers to work in the Northamptonshire shoe industry.
DNA testing has opened up a whole new rabbit warren of research opportunities and I'm optimistic that it will solve some long-standing brickwalls. I'm hoping to identify my mother's paternal grandfather. I think it's like a jigsaw puzzle, except the image is partly fuzzy and some of the pieces were swept under the carpet nearly a hundred years ago...
Paternal relationship is confirmed by an AncestryDNA test match between Katie Fuller and her father. Predicted relationship from AncestryDNA: Parent, Child – immediate family member, based on sharing 3,473 cM across 54 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.
Paternal relationship is confirmed by a 23andMe test match between Katie Fuller and her second cousin once removed. Their most recent common ancestors are Arthur Fuller and Annie Maud Howard. Predicted relationship from 23andMe: Second Cousin, based on sharing 2.23% (166cM) across 6 segments.
Maternal relationship is confirmed by an AncestryDNA test match between Katie Fuller and her mother. Predicted relationship from AncestryDNA: Parent, Child – immediate family member, based on sharing 3,475 cM across 54 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.
Maternal relationship is confirmed by an AncestryDNA test match between Katie Fuller and her first cousin, once removed. Their most recent common ancestors are James Smart and Beatrice Coggrave. Predicted relationship from AncestryDNA: 1st-2nd Cousins, based on sharing 419 cM across 24 segments; Confidence: Extremely High.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Katie or other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Katie: