This project started back in 1990 when my eldest daughter Karen got it into her head that finding one’s roots was the in thing to do. At the same time, brother Chris and I both came to the realization that we had become unexpectedly single once again, a condition that we discovered seems to afflict many an Upshon. Taking pity on us but probably I suspect, more to avoid the embarrassment of reading of our behavior in the newspapers brother Laurie and sister in law Heide kindly invited us to spend Christmas with their family in England.
On Boxing Day, well lubricated with good rum, fine wine and excellent vintage port the Flying Stupid Brothers went to work. What follows is the result of eighteen years of research during which time we have located family members in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Kenya, South Africa, Bermuda, Canada, Singapore and all points east and west. Believe it or not we even found one or two in India of all places! We particularly remember, more than slightly inebriated, phoning David Upshon in Jo'berg at 2am. one morning to introduce ourselves. David has provided a wealth of info from the extensive hours of research he put in at the India Office in London and everywhere else in preparation for his book. Once again, many thanks Dave. A special thanks to Sandra Barnett (brother Nick's ex who with her knowledge of the U.K. legal system led us to St. Catherine’s House where we found no Upshon reference except for yours truly in 1942 and on to India House where we found records of more Upshons than you can imagine.
Thanks also go to our cousin Ian Galletti, for filling in so many blanks and particularly for arranging the connection to the Bazely family, a new find and whose details will be added shortly. Sheridan Upshon in Brisbane and Christopher John Upshon in Kidderminster were kind enough to provided records of their branches of the family as did Paul West with his relationship back to our mutual Great Grandfather, Hector Marshall Upshon.
Niece, Claire and her husband did a round the world trip in 2004 and during their stay in India found the graves of Great Grandfather Hector Marshall together with Julia Ann and John Clement. Photos are included within. Daughter Karen, who caused all this commotion in the first place has now taken over the role of chief researcher and keeper of the records and I have assumed the role of interfering grumpy old man, much to her chagrin and my delight. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or apparently on Facebook, something I absolutely refuse to have any thing to do with.
Rumour has it that we were expelled from Wales in the 1600's for being philanderers. If this is true, not much has changed. We understand that they burned our records behind us. The earliest records we have discovered are of a John Upshon who was a Church Warden in the Parish of Bidston in 1670 and a will of an Abraham Upshon who was a seaman on HMS "Strombolo" in 1703. This is a customary will made out by every member of the ships crew before embarking on a new voyage. If anyone can shed additional light on these two connections, please let us know as so far, we have been unable to find data to make the connection to the immediate family records which start with another John Upshon in Stobourough, Dorset in 1790.
From uncertain beginnings, the Upshon family went on to be a name to be reckoned with in India particularly in government service and the development of the massive, if somewhat dodgy rail system and have expanded to pitch their tent or whatever on all Continents.
Over the past couple of years new relatives have contacted us and hopefully we have entered their data correctly. If not, shout. We know there are a lot of family out there still to be accounted for and new ones sprouting up everywhere so we need to hear from all of you on a regular basis to keep the Upshon Family Tree going.