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I am in the process of attempting to unearth the genealogical roots of six or more generations (1700-1900) of my father's WAKEFIELD ancestors. They were born, lived and died, in the Cotswolds, a region situated within the English counties of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, northwest of London, that was home to many generations of WAKEFIELD farming families. The area is world famous for the beauty of its landscape of rolling hills and farmlands, and tree-lined valleys and for its picturesque towns and villages, whose architectural structures range from modest cottages to imposing manor houses and impressive churches all built in mellow stone.

This genealogical and family history research task is not proving to be a simple one. I am, however, deeply indebted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the helpful staff of the Family History Center in Sugar Hill, Georgia, USA. Without their generous assistance that allows me to access the Church's huge collection of English and Scottish family history resources stored on microfilm, microfiche and on the Internet, this task would have been costly, time consuming, and in some cases nigh on impossible. My thanks also go to Gordon W. Beavington of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, for his sterling effort in typing into a computer more than 552,000 census records for 881 locations in Gloucestershire & Southern Warwickshire covering the years 1851/61/71/81/91. I gathered a significant amount of data about the Wakefields and their associated families from these census records.

While many of my relatives -- products of the "baby-boomer" generation and the decade preceding it -- still make their homes in England, there are quite a number of us dispersed widely in other distant parts of the world -- in North America, Southern Africa and New Zealand.

My goal for this family history project goes beyond a mere collection of names and dates. I would like to collect photographic material and other information to add faces and personalities to many of these individuals. Since I have, so far, not located much in the way of anecdotal material or other official data about these forebears of mine, I consider this as a work in progress and welcome comments from local genealogists or other interested persons. Please check back periodically to view added material.

The Cotswold Wakefields
Updated September 6, 2000


Diana Margaret Hawkins

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Family Photos

  • John Wakefield (1881-1963) (126 KB)
    From 1914 - 1939, John Wakefield farmed at Signett Hill Farm near Burford, Oxfordshire, England. He & wife (Mildred Arkell) had 4 sons (Thomas, John, William, Michael)and 5 daughters (Phyllis, Mildred, Helen, Beryl, Nancy). He served on the WWII Agricultural Committee that managed area farms during the war. Before the war he was a county councillor, served on the Witney Rural Council and later was governor of Burford grammar school.
  • Farmhouse, Signett Hill Farm, near Burford, Oxon. (129 KB)
    Photo taken July 1999.
  • The Wakefield Family at Signett Hill. (47 KB)
    The celebrated "ladder photo," of John and Mildred (Arkell) Wakefield with their 9 children, was taken in the Summer of 1924. From left to right, the children are Tom, Phyllis, Mildred, John, William, Michael, Helen, Nancy and Beryl.

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