This blog aims to trace the lives of some ancestors from various branches of our family starting with Harts, Clarkes and Ellises.

There is such a wealth of material, from newspaper reports to ships’ logs, from forgotten photos to audio tapes, that I thought family members may be interested in discovering more about these ancestors. They range from industrialists to philanthropists: merchants and mariners, adventurers, journalists and newspaper magnates, as well as physicians, politicians and villains (we can even count a pirate and one of the convicted Great Train Robbers among our extended family!) The lives of these men and women give a revealing insight into the energy and enterprise that characterised the 19th century industrialisation of Britain, imperial colonial expansion and the social reforms that this activity both necessitated and funded.

I am hopeful that other family members may be interested in contributing to this discovery of the lives of these ancestors. Stephen (Clarke) has already researched and written about much of Campbell’s later life, which I plan on reproducing in future posts. I should like to develop the project in a way which will encourage participation and contributions from any who are interested. I have listed some of my sources, background reading and useful websites below each of the posts. Hopefully this may inspire some other collaborators to share photos, documents or historical insights. Please feel free to comment or contribute in the comments section at the end of each post or contact me through the contacts page or directly at oliver@oysterhaven.com.

I hope you will enjoy the journey as we follow the family threads through the complex tapestry of the past two hundred years.

Oliver Hart   Oysterhaven   March 2019