My Branch Of The Family Tree

PREFIX 21st December 2020: Two further deaths and a move to a care home have necessitated some amendments. Apart from Mum’s, the various ages are those at the time of the original post.

I am indebted to Jane, one of my followers, for pointing out the need for a family tree in order to clarify some of my posts.  What began in May 2012 as a record of my days based on walks has become a much more extensive project, arising out of far more interest than I could possibly have imagined.  The blog title ‘Ramblings’ comes from the idea that as I physically ramble along and take notice of what is around me, I also ramble in my head.  This brings about much reminiscing woven into current experiences.  Memories are not neat and tidy affairs.  They pop in and out of one’s head at will.

‘Ramblings’ have become a record of one man’s life as prompted by this aberrant and disorganised memory.  My daughter Rebekah has initiated me into the joys of digital links and tags.  The computer, you see, is capable of tidying everything up.  I am working my way through more than 600 posts, adding these amazing aide-memoires.

A comment from Alex Schneideman has also prompted me to tidy up a lifetime’s photographs.  My archives are in four forms.  There are photographic prints in hundreds of albums dating from 1942.  There are boxes of colour slides dating from 1963 to 1981 and again from the first decade of the current millennium.  There are albums of negative film covering the hiatus in the colour slides.  And finally there are the computerised digital images from the time of the acquisition of my Canon S100 in July 2012.  The albums and colour slides, and of course the digital pictures, are correctly filed in chronological order.  The twenty years of negatives are the problem.  They were kept in the processors’ envelopes with no dates or identification attached.  One cardboard box containing these was lost in the move from Newark in December 2006.  Whilst at Sutherland Place I began to attempt to sort the remaining collection.  That is how they found their way into negative albums.  The task of identifying everything on each strip is what I have been procrastinating over for the last few years.  Thank you, Alex, for giving me a reason for getting on with this.

For Jane, and anyone else who would find it helpful, here is my branch:

Mum and Dad 1940s

Mum and Dad:  Dad died in 1987, three weeks after I moved to Newark.  Mum  celebrated her 98th birthday on 2nd October 2020 in her Care home in Brockenhurst,

Mum, Derrick, Jacqueline, Chris & Elizabeth

Joseph 1961Me: Born 1942; Brother Chris: born 1st October 1943, died 17th October 2014; Sister Jacqueline: born 1947; Sister Elizabeth: born 1954; Brother Joseph: born 1960:

Vivien & Michael 24.4.64

I married Vivien in June 1963.  She died in September 1965, having given birth to Michael in April 1964.  Our son Michael – ten days old in the picture was married to Heidi.  Their three children, therefore my Jackie 3.68grandchildren, Emily 20, Oliver 18, and Alice 14 at the time of first writing this post. Michael died on 13th February 2019.

I married Jackie in March 1968.  Our children are Matthew (b. December 1968) and Rebekah (b. August 1970). Flo 001 Rebekah’s daughter Florence, now 17, is the first of our shared granddaughters.

This is where it begins to get complicated, as if it weren’t already.  You may like to pause and take stock.

Jackie and I parted in 1972 and each remarried some years later.

I married Jessica in 1980.  Our children are Samson (b. 1980), and Louisa (b. 1983).  Jessica died in 2007.

Sam is married to Holly.  Their children are Malachi (almost five years) and Orlaith (13 months).  Consequently these two offspring are my grandchildren.

Louisa is married to Errol Thompson.  Their two daughters are Jessica (almost 7), and Imogen (5).  Two more grandchildren for me.

Jessica, Malachi, Imogen & Orlaith 8.13

For Christmas the Thompson family gave me a framed photograph on canvas of the grandchildren I would have shared with Jessica.

Jackie and I met again at Matthew’s 40th birthday party in 2008 and have been living together again since soon afterwards. On 17th October 2017 we remarried.

This is merely a factual record.  The events have been full of all kinds of emotions, both extremely pleasurable and terribly painful.  This particular post is not the place for those.

P.S. Family Tree by JudithMy far more intelligent friend Judith Munns has sent me this hand-drawn Family Tree gleaned from this post.

Update  29.8.15.

Matthew and Tess have been married for fifteen years. They now have a daughter called Poppy. This required me to amend Judith’s family tree:Amended Family Tree

70 responses to “My Branch Of The Family Tree”

  1. Thanks for the family tree, it makes it so much easier to follow your blog when you know who’s who, and their offspring.

    You haven’t been to France or London for a while, and how is the passenger door?

    • Thank you, Jane, for the family tree suggestion. Sinusitis put paid to my last French visit. I expect the last batch of work to be finished soon, and will go then. Christmas suspended London visits. The next one will be on Wednesday.

      • could we have your mum and dads name as i’m trying to track down the son of a Douglas Michael knight who had a brother michael knight

        • My Dad was Douglas Michael Knight, but used the Michael (this was a family tradition). Mum is just Jean Knight. My brothers were Christopher (decd) and Joseph. So I don’t think this is the right tree for you, David. Good luck in your search.

      • sorry to bother you did you have a grandad called John F C Knight born about 1879 and his son douglas born 1917 died 1987, its just that i’m doing the family tree and my great granddad was Ernist basil knight John’s brother. Was douglas wife called jean hunter by chance. easy way do you know Geni Oneil. All I could find with a knight and hunter was derrick and michael being the sons. As your mum is jean was wondering if I had the right Derrick.

        • You certainly are right, David. John Francis Cecil was my paternal grandfather. (Douglas) Michael was my Dad – both dates are correct. (Ernest) Basil (following the family tradition) was my great uncle. My mother, Jean’s, maiden name was Hunter. My uncle Derrick was (Marcus) Derrick. In fact there were 10 siblings – one was killed by a car when he was seven.
          Geni Oneil, might be Gay O’Neill, my son Sam’s Australian mother-in-law who is a keen genealogist.

          Where do you live? My late brother Chris did a great deal of research on family history going back centuries. You would be welcome to have access to it.

      • Sorry to bother you again, you just gave me an idea with your mum being Jean. Didi i have the right sons to begin with. So I moved from Ancestry to Findmypast, as i had problems in the past locating my grans family in yorkshire on ancestry for some reason. Then I used mothers maiden name Hunter and dad Knight with findmypast. To my admazement i found your brother and sisters, born in surrey. Not far from from the rest of the my Knight family.

        Hope this clears up my mistakes in family tree.

        Thanks for your help.

      • My email is

        croydon though used to live beckenham. your dadas cosuin my grandad used to live in Orpington. He had two sons and a daughter. Peter Knight, John Knight( living in worthing) and Barbara knight ( Used to be Beckenham died of cancer 1999) . I’ll have to add you to the family tree. if you have facebook I do have a picture of ernest basil and his wife Rebecca yalden and john his brother, given to me by my mums cousin Robert. here is the direct link to to


        I’ve gone back to 1700 with the family tree. On my facebook are my Cousins one is called Adam Knight he is a famous Theatre director who is well known in the industruy now working at crewe Lycum in crewe though he owns several theatre companies in northern ireland.

      • sorry if we have crossed messages having problems at work with the internet I work at the University of London

        I’m from Croydon now was living in Beckenham your dad’s cousin had 3 kids 2 boys peter knight and john Knight (living in Worthing) and 1 girl Barbara knight ( Used to live Beckenham but died in 1999 from cancer). Their parents lived in Orpiington. Few years ago we lost your dads cousin Dorothy Knight aged 97 she probably was the last of your dad’s cousins. She used to live in Morden / Sutton Area.

        I do have a picture on my facebook of Ernest Basil knight and his wife and brother John and some kids big families in those days no TV

        my email is

      • Sorry if you don’t get my messages or do they seem to disappear off your page think its cause I added a link to a picture I have on facebook of Ernest basil Knight and his brother John Knight.
        I’ll leave the links out and see if this works. I live in Croydon but used to live in Beckenham Your dads cousin had 3 kids 2 boys peter knight ( you might know him) and john Knight (lives in Worthing) and Barbara Knight (used to live in Beckenham died 1999 of cancer). A few years ago your dads cousin Dorothy Knight died aged 97 that was probably your dads last cousin around. I work at the University of London. John knight has 2 kids Adam (works as theatre manager at the Crewe Lyceum in Crewe)and Gemma (Art teacher in Oxford). Peter has no kids. Barbara my mum had 2 kids David and Helen (works for the Bank of Melon in london)

  2. What a wandering web you weave
    And a rambling legacy you leave!
    The sadness of your first wife Vivien is unspoken but palpable.
    The reunion with Jackie is laudable.
    There’s such a life story in here Derrick.

  3. Now that this is all cleared up for me I shall not be scratching my head any more – or at least can pop back here for clarification when needed. Or maybe this post could be a separate page for new readers? There has been much tragedy in your life Derrick – while agonising to go through it so often leaves us stronger and better people in the end don’t you think? xo

  4. Really fascinating stuff and your connections with the photos here makes me think back to the comments you made on a post I wrote not long ago about my forgetting. Glad you shared this and I can’t imagine the range of emotions you must have traversed while writing this.

  5. All makes sense now and it’s what i’d guessed- that there was a big age gap between you and your younger brother (joseph). I love the pic of your’s and Jessica’s grandchildren. So many other questions – but I will stop being so nosey!

  6. Thank you, Derrick and your friend and family tree illustrator, Judith Munn. This made my crooked path in life look not too crazy, definitely not as tragic as yours. You have gone through quite a bit of sadness. Glad you have a happy, comfortable life to keep you heading together into the sunset. 🙂
    I have been married 3 x also, Derrick. College sweetheart met at 18, married at 22 and divorced while I was 28. We are still friends and parents of 2 of my 3 children. My second one I met at age 30, had dear Felicia and he wished to wander more than stay at home. We parted ways and I was a very happy child care provider for income and was at home all day, although we all set off to jazz lessons, swim lessons, gymnastics and teams my 3 children had. I was married the final time 1993 -2006. No children but we did share a life with his and my children. I have been on my own 10 years but date men and enjoy friends. Smiles, Robin

  7. Derrick – this might be my favorite post of yours. I have to keep referring back to it – like the graph in the first pages of a complicated novel. I have just now come to understand that the Jackie of before is our same beloved Jackie of now. Bravo! I have a similar story. I am married to my high school sweetheart – after we both went off & married someone else. : ) Cheers to trying until it works!

  8. Loved the detail that has gone into the creation of this page Derrick.. a truly wonderful gift to pass along to family as they look back to see their roots..
    Thank you so much for sharing the Link of this page with me Derrick.. 🙂

  9. I have meant to read this for quite some while and I am so glad I have. No doubt I will want to refer back to it from time to time but for now I am clear enough. They never promise us a simple life, I don’t think but some, it must be said have more bumps and turns than others – I know this to be true!

  10. Wow, your tree does really branch out in every direction 😀 It’s so funny that you and Jackie were hitched, parted and then hooked up again. 😀 Thanks for the link Derrick. I didn’t know that about being a Squire. From what I’ve just read at Google, after serving his Knight for 6 years, the squire often advanced to Knighthood in Medieval times. I’m sorry you lost your brother Derrick. It’s great he got back so far on your family tree. Three hundred years is at least a few generations. I only know back 3 generations to my Great Grandfathers arrival in Canada from what was then Austria. It’s all really interesting to me though. 😀 k

  11. Thanks for the clarification, Derrick. I will no doubt get confused again in the future, but if I remember “Elizabeth, daughter and Jackie, partner and cook” I should make do. So many more people to keep track of thanks to blogs….

  12. How very sad to lose two through death, it must have been devastating for you. I’ve had 2 wives, the first wife and I divorced, and she died 40/45 years later and I must admit that I felt the loss even then, after all those years, and settling down and raising a second family, so I cannot imagine how you must have felt

  13. Thanks for pointing me toward this link, Derrick. I’m sorry for your many losses. I can’t imagine losing the mother to your child at such a young age, and then to outlive that child all these years later. What heartbreak.

    I’m happy you have so many grandchildren to share in life’s joy. It’s nice that you and Jackie found your way back together.

  14. I wonder how you “have got through stuff” too! But you have – and each challenge has made you a stronger, more compassionate person. As you said, ” It makes us who we are.” Thank you for this link, {{{Derrick}}} – It did indeed help answer my questions! Happy May Day to you!! <3 and to Jackie, too <3

  15. I enjoyed revisiting this post and the one before it that was today’s link explaining your most tragic “defining moment” when Vivien died. Your life has been so full, {{{Derrick}}} – and continues to be a blessing. Thank you so much for your transparency and gracious sharing. I can hardly wait to meet you and Jackie in person!!

  16. Derrick I think this is the first time I’ve seen this post and it’s great! You have mentioned to me a couple of times that I have talked about things in my blog that would be hard for you to talk about, but here you are telling a complicated story with pain and joy between the lines. How brave you are. And oh, so much loss, Derrick. It breaks my heart to see how you have lost those you loved. I am sorry you have suffered. I haven’t written about my family as much, but if I ever did, I would need to do one of these posts as well. I was married three times in quick succession and decided I would never ever do that again!! But it has now been twenty years since I made that declaration, and my position has softened. I would love to be a married woman once more, and now I will be ever so much wiser about it.

  17. I’m so glad I requested you do a family tree, I often refer back to it. I started reading your blog in 2014, and although I rarely comment, suffice to say that I look forward to my daily fix

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