I started researching my own family history last year when I attended a talk at Swaffham Museum in Norfolk, close to my own home village. I had been curious about the family history for a number of years but didnít know how to start the research. Both my wife and daughter are now helping with this.
We having been reading the parish registers for a number of Norfolk villages in the Norwich archives at Kirby Hall, which is owned by the Norfolk Family History Society, of which we are members.
We have also gone through the births, deaths and marriages held in the Family Records Centre in London. From 1837 to 2000 we've recorded approximately 800 births, 500 marriages and 500 deaths.
Initially we had recorded Shingfield, Shinkfields and Shinfields from 1837 until 1900. Not many people could read or write at the time, so these names were often written down instead of Shingfield, depending on how the vicar heard the name pronounced. We felt that by 1900 more people would know how to spell their own name and only recorded Shingfields. We have now found that even after this date the names were still interchangeable and are going through the books again picking up the Shinkfields and Shinfields. Even this won't be all inclusive as even modern people can have their names spelt wrongly in the indexes. My own grandfather is actually down as a Stringfield when he was married! We can only presume this is from someone misreading the certificate as that is clearly Shingfield.
From all of our sources we have a Shingfield family tree comprising of more than 600 members! Work is being done on the Shinfield and Shinkfield trees separately, but these look like they will be just as large.