How Many Black Sheep Are In Your Family?

The Story of Thomas Medlicott

Part of the fascination with genealogy and creating a family tree is discovering various family relationships, which you didn’t know you had. Even more interesting is discovering a distant relationship with a famous person or perhaps, if you are lucky, even royalty! In an earlier article entitled,A Dream Come True I chronicled an intriguing discovery relating to my wife Joan Elaine Medlicott and her relationship to none other than her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales and determined that she continues to be a direct relation/cousin to the current Royal Family Members – Prince William and Prince Harry. This discovery for an amateur genealogist like myself is quite astonishing and makes for a great talking point!

My interest in genealogy led me to research and write about my own family history (Anhorn/MacIvor) and my wife’s family (Medlicott), in greater detail. This resulted in the first of several articles on the Medlicott family  entitled, “The Medlicott Family History- A Family of Knights, Lords and Ladieswherein I made the following observation:

After a few generations, we see the prominent use of the surname Medlicott and for the first time in birth and marriage registries and other documents, the names of wives and younger members of the family. These descendants soon spread further afield to several parishes in Shropshire and in Shrewsbury and then beyond to Herefordshire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire and elsewhere in England. For the first time, pedigree or “family trees” emerged documenting the family history. By 1620, some had settled in London and found themselves as citizens recorded in an annual Census, or in Government Birth and Marriage registries or Church records. Many were identified and recorded as members of various worker guilds including Grocers, Fishmongers and Haberdashers. As one might expect, many descendants attended schools of higher learning like Oxford and Cambridge and became professionals, doctors and lawyers or followed other distinguished trades and occupations.”

Many of the Medlicott family members were identified as prominent politicians including several who were members of the British Parliament.

But alas, as one might expect, I discovered in the course of doing some diligent research, that not all of the Medlicott ancestors were scholars and intellectuals and that some had less distinguished careers including some who might be otherwise considered to be “black sheep” of the family. This is one such story. It is the story of Thomas Medlicott. READ ON



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