"Only a genealogist considers a step backwards as progress" - Unknown

Well, Fancy That!

Early West Records
My Direct Ancestors
Surname Index
Alphabetical Listing
Illustrious Relatives
The De La Warr Link
Photo Gallery (A - T)
Photo Gallery (U - Z)
Well Fancy That!
Thanks to

      A selection of trivia from the West family history


Before Viagra

Sir James Pitcairn, already having fathered 11 children, was 71 years of age when he married his 2nd wife, Emma Pocock, but then managed to father 2 more children.

Frederik West didn't marry until he was 49 but then he fathered 8 children – the last one when he was 64.

Sampson Perry's last child was born 4 months after he died at the age of 75.


Mr Kipling

Henry Shelley Dalbiac was the subject of Rudyard Kipling's poem 'The Jacket'. The poem tells of his exploits during the Egyptian campaigns of the 1880's.


A Coincidence

Sampson Perry, a supporter of the French Revolution, was imprisoned in Newgate prison between 1795 and 1801. Rev William Winterbotham was also imprisoned in Newgate between 1793 and 1797 - for preaching two sermons supporting the French Revolution. It is not known if the two characters ever met but nearly 80 years later, in India, Hampden Brend Winterbotham married Edith Jane West. Hampden was the grandson of William and Edith was the great great grand-daughter of Sampson.


Name Swapping

In 1912 in British Columbia, Ethel Moon married Herbert Gardner to become Ethel Gardner. The following year and in the same town Herbert's sister, Ethel Gardner, married Ethel Moon‘s brother, Charles, to become Ethel Moon. At the same ceremony Charles' brother, Augustus, was also married …..but thankfully not to an Ethel.


A Poem

The marriage of Arthur Robert West and Arabella Hutchinson produced 9 children – 8 girls and 1 boy. They lived at Ootacamund in India. Arthur wrote this poem about his children and sent it to his mother (Jane Preston) in England, probably around 1880.

Eight little West girls living up near Heaven

One became a Steedman and then there were 7.

7 little West girls always up to tricks

One became a Burnett and then there was 6.

6 little West girls often out a drive

One became a Welsh girl and then there were 5.

5 little West girls living on one floor

One became a Winterbotham and there there were 4.

4 liitle West girls always full of glee

One became a Broadhead (Breithaupt) and then there were 3.

3 little West girls livng up at Oo

One went to England and then there were 2.

Of these 2 little West girls all I can say

Is both of them are ugly and so they will stay.

So now these poor West parents have but little joy

With 2 ugly girls and a dirty little boy.

N.B. All the children eventually married and presented Arthur and Arabella with over 30 grandchildren.


The Name of Pelham

Elizabeth Frances Pitcairn was born in 1777 and following the death of her father in 1792 went to live with the Honourable Frances Pelham at Esher. Frances Pelham was the daughter of the then Prime Minister, Henry Pelham, and sister to Lord Pelham (afterwards Duke of Newcastle). She was kind to Elizabeth but had nothing to leave her as she was an inveterate gambler and had lost all her money playing faro. She even pawned her diamonds to make money and the jeweller who had them in pawn used to lend them to her whenever she had to go to court - on condition that they were returned the next day.

Frances was small and very dainty and every night her attendant had to run down the top sheet over the blanket with a silk thread so that the wool did not tickle her chin.

It was the fashion in those days for the King and the royal family to walk on the slopes of Windsor Park in the morning to listen to the band and meet the gathered gentry. Thomas Babington belonged to the First Corps of Barristers and used to be on duty-guard there and in this way he met Elizabeth Frances Pitcairn. They were married in 1799 and went to Ireland immediately afterwards where Thomas established a successful legal practice.

They named their son Pelham Pitcairn and their daughter Frances in recognition of the part that Frances Pelham had played in Elizabeth's life. Pelham Pitcairn Babington later married his cousin, Harriet Pitcairn. Although Harriet did not have any children, her father and two of her sisters, Elizabeth Denne and Louisa, all used the name of Pelham for their children. Elizabeth Denne married Henry Augustus West and named their first child Henry Charles Pelham West and their fourth child Pelham West.

The above story was related in a letter written by Lizzie Fleming (grand-daughter of Elizabeth Frances Pitcairn) and sent to Harriet West (daughter of Elizabeth Denne Pitcairn).


Did She Really Mean To Say This?

In 1909 Annie West proposed that a tablet be erected in the Guards' Chapel, Wellington Barracks as a memorial to Lt Col. Charles August West and Lt. Col Charles Edward West. She wrote to all members of the family asking if they cared to make a donation towards the cost. One female member of the family replied as follows:

I received your note a few days ago and much regret that we shall not be able to subscribe to the memorial plate you speak of. You see we are only at home for a few months on very limited means and find it quite as much we can do to manage at all on it; otherwise I would have been glad to send you a small donation. We have only just moved into this house and I have been so busy hunting round for servants - or I would have answered your note before - so I hope you will excuse the delay.

With kind regards