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Forward ~ The Wallis Family

British Isles Genealogy | The Wallis's, The Complete Story

This story of the Wallis Family has been compiled in order that my family may have a reference in the years to come and will know something of the happenings through which our family has passed over the last two hundred years.

     I started collecting data in 1960, this was to help me sort and prepare my own "Family Tree". I was intrigued when my father told me that his grandfather Sergeant Wallis had owned a large farm in Elgin, Nebraska, U.S.A. Yet when I asked for more details nobody seemed to know much about it! . Exactly where it was or even if it existed at all became a puzzle I hope this book will help to clear.

     My search first took me to Haslingfield in Cambridgeshire where my grandfather Sergeant was born. It was there that I met John Layng a wonderful gentleman who was spending his time cycling around to all the parish churches in the area collecting and making lists of birth deaths and marriages which he had obtained from the old parish registers, he helped me a great deal and gave me copies of pages he was making. Later he sent me hand written copies of lists he had already made from other parishes and those within which our family name had occurred.

     Mr Layng already had given me a great number of names from which I was able to start my own Family Tree. John and I became good friends and we often met during my visits to Cambridge parish churches. John suggested I visit Shire Hall in Cambridge and there I met Mr. Farrar who suggested I join the Cambridge Family History society which had been formed a year or so earlier.

     From all these sources and data I had started to accumulate I soon discovered that my Grandfather Sergeant Wallis had married his first cousin Elizabeth Wallis and that both brides and grooms the children of two Wallis brothers and two Sergeant sisters. With such an unusual inter marrying family I just had to learn more about my ancestors
I must have written hundreds of letters to people I thought might be relatives and who might be able to help me learn more about my relatives. One of my first letters was written to Nebraska asking for help and from that letter contact was made with a Mrs. Erma Robinson who agreed to do some research for me to find out more about my Grandfather and his farm. Erma was a great help and did a great deal of searching for me soon she was sending me bundles of data, the clues came rolling in.

     At this time I was involved giving Service training schools all over the world for Clark International these schools involved me in a lot of world travel which included travel to America from time to time. On the first opportunity that came up I had I traveled out to Nebraska and drove out to Elgin to meet my contact Mrs. Robinson, she took me to see just where Sergeant Wallis had his farm. While in the area I looked through the local telephone directory and found some 25 Wallis's listed there? I telephoned most of the numbers and though some were too nervous to say much out of the 25 I felt certain 6 of them could have some connection with the Wallis family. I wrote to all six giving details of myself and what I knew of Sergeant Wallis and asking if they would write to me and give me details of their own branch of the Wallis family.

I was only able to stay in the area two days for I was required in England to attend to my training schools but I soon received answers to my letters

     Written in America three replies gave me a great deal of information. It came to light that these Wallis's I had contacted were not of the Sergeant Wallis family branch; but a line which passed through his mother Emma Sergeant who's father Page Sergeant had married a Mary Wallis. Relatives of this Mary Wallis had emigrated to Canada and America in the early part of the eighteenth century. Soon I had some addresses of Wallis's in Ontario Canada and Iowa U.S.A. and wrote to each other details we knew about the family.
As the years have gone by I have met and made friends with many of the family and it is through them I have obtained most of the Family stories. Some of these overseas stories are still not complete, others do not line up, but we must remember they are family stories and cover periods over a hundred years ago. Nevertheless I have recorded here most of the tales that I remember.

     Sometimes I have had to assume just what happened so many years ago, in so doing I must have made many mistakes but I had to make these assumptions. If you my reader can correct these mistakes then please do but do understand my main aim is to get what I have learnt over my life time down on paper before I am boxed up and unable to write it.
     The reader will see that the chapters do not only cover the Wallis line but bring in Stories I have obtained from my wife Pamela's branch of the family. My mother Yvonne Jumpertz's Belgium family. Also many other family line

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