This is the web site of the Waterworth family from Orpington in Great Britain. We use the site to publish our research into our Waterworth, Anderson, Hodgson, Dand, Pigden, Gale and other ancestors.


If you're an old friend we've lost touch with, you can meet us all on Facebook: Anne Waterworth, John Waterworth, James Waterworth and Rachel Waterworth.


As well as being about our family, this site is also an experiment in typography for the web. If you have any thoughts about the site, please send an email to hello@waterworth.org.uk with comments, suggestions, questions, problems, recipes … anything really.


If you liked it, and we know some of you did, you can still browse an archive copy of our old site.


We license the content of our site under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. So you're free to copy and share the stuff you find here, but not to sell it.

Unusual names

We have some unusual names in our family tree. For example, we have two girls called Thomasin and two called Tabitha from Yorkshire, Shadrack Field from Somerset, Philadelphia Etherington from Kent, Skelton Hodgson from Cumberland and six men called Preston Pickles from Yorkshire. Names like these make the search more interesting, but can also make the search easier and give you more confidence in the accuracy of your findings.

Cover of the Oxford Names Companion

Rarer names like Tabitha and Thomasin are great as any record you find with that name is likely to be for the person you are looking for. But they also tell you a lot about the family. According to the Oxford Names Companion, Tabitha is an Aramaic name equivalent to the Greek Dorcas and popular with Puritan and Dissenter families. Thomasin is the female form of Thomas, was once popular with Christian families, and has seen a recent revival in its contracted form of Tamsin.

Skelton is a fairly common family name in Cumberland and Yorkshire, but it is very rare as a given name. There are Skelton families in the same villages in Cumberland as my Hodgson descendants and Skelton Hodgson also has two near relations with Skelton as a second name. It is likely that a women with the surname Skelton married into the Hodgson family. Perhaps Skelton Hodgson's mother Mary was born Mary Skelton?

Finding a family full of people with the same name is not so helpful. The six Preston Pickles were all born in the villages of Grassington, Linton and Hebden in Wharfedale between 1783 and 1876. As they also have parents, siblings and children with similar names, it was hard to follow the parish records to sort out exactly who was who. According to the Oxford Names Companion, Pickles is an old English name for "someone who lived by a small field or paddock" and Preston is also old English and derived from the words for priest and enclosure or settlement. Preston is normally a surname so it's likely that we will also find some ancestors in that branch with Preston as their family name.

San Francisco

I've always had a great time in San Francisco and our visit back in 2002 was no exception. We packed so many wonderful experiences into our stay—cable cars, whale watching, the Exploratorium, Golden Gate Park, Fishermans Wharf, skate boarding at pier seven. In my rose-tinted memories, it was sunny every day, everything was painted in bright colours, we were always smiling and there was something unexpected round every corner—just like these hammocks and the great little pool in the hotel courtyard.

This is a picture taken at the Hotel Del Sol in the Marina District of San Francisco. James and Rachel are in a hammock in the courtyard laughing. For me this picture captures the spirit of the trip.

James and Rachel lying in a hammock in the courtyard of the Hotel Del Sol in San Francisco