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A Bit About Me

I was born Michael Allan MATTHEWS in September 1973 in St Brenda's Maternity Hospital, Clifton Park, Bristol, the younger of two sons of Robert Curtis and Ann Dorothy MATTHEWS (nee LAVER). I was raised in Horfield and attended Queen Elizabeth's Hospital school in Clifton. In April 2004 I added 'Hippisley' as a second middle name by deed poll in recognition of my ancestors and also as a mark of respect to my late grandfather, Alfred William Hippesley MATTHEWS.

Mike Matthews in the saloon at Ston Easton Park, 2006

In November 2006 I married Lucy Angeline BIDDLE, daughter of Peter and Sheila BIDDLE, in St Mary the Virgin, Henbury, Bristol. Our marriage was very much a case of East meets West, as Lucy's roots are in the counties of Berkshire, Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Essex and Suffolk. Our first daughter Alice Malina MATTHEWS was born at Southmead Hospital, Bristol in November 2007, weighing 8lb 8oz. The name Alice occurs in both our family trees, notably my great-great-grandmother's sister Alice MATTHEWS, my great-great-great-grandmother Alice WHITMARSH, and Lucy's great-grandmother Alice HOWARD. The name Malina comes from Lucy's great-great-grandmother Malina Sarah AISTON. In January 2010 we gave Alice the second middle name 'Hippisley' by deed poll. Our second daughter Leah Sarah Edith MATTHEWS was born at Southmead Hospital in January 2010, weighing 8lb 7oz. The name Leah has no special family significance, but Sarah occurs in both our family trees, including my great-great-grandmother Sarah PARSONS, my great-great-great grandmothers Sarah CAVELL and Sarah Jane THAYER, and my great-great-great-great grandmothers Sarah NATION and Sarah BAZELEY, and Lucy's great-grandmother Sarah PEARCE, great-great-grandmother Sarah STEWARD and great-great-great-grandmothers Sarah LENTFIELD and Sarah SMITHERS. The name Edith comes from my great-grandmother Edith Nellie TOY and Lucy's grandmother Edith Violet BROWN. Our third daughter Eliza Amy Emily Angeline MATTHEWS was born at Southmead Hospital in April 2014, weighing 7lbs 13oz. The name Eliza has no specific family significance, but Amy comes from my paternal great-grandmother Amy Gwendoline CURTIS while Emily comes from my maternal great-grandmother Ada Emily NECK. Angeline is the middle name of both my wife and mother-in-law.

I have always been interested in history, and had often contemplated doing some research into my family tree. However, it wasn't until late 1999 that I actually started to do some digging for my roots. I was persuaded to do this by a professional genealogist I met via the internet, RENIA SIMMONDS.

In a very short space of time I have amassed a considerable amount of genealogical information, although I cannot take all the credit! My grandaunt MARY PIKE (nee MATTHEWS) has passed on information collected by herself and other MATTHEWS relations regarding the CURTIS, MATTHEWS and HEAD families; my third cousin SHARON LLOYD has provided a considerable amount of information about the SMITH family of Horfield, collected by herself and her various contacts; my half-1st-cousin-once removed VERONICA "RONI" SOLOMONS has provided me with a huge amount of information relating to the BODDY family of Crediton; and my third cousin once removed ANGIE GREENHALGH has been of enormous help with regard to my NECK research (despite living in far off Auckland, New Zealand!)

In addition, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to TONY POOLE, CLIVE ALLEN, SANDRA TURNER, LIZ JACK, CAROLYN BOULTON and JANET HENWOOD who have been busy rummaging around various County Records Offices on my behalf. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at the various local register officers that I have contacted over the last few years, who have been able to track down the information I requested often with very few details to go on.

I am also indebted to my friend GLYN FURLONG who has helped me get to grips with the mechanics of setting up a website and registering a domain name.

I have been fortunate enough to have four articles about my family tree research published: "Meet Your Ancestors" in the Bristol Times section of the Bristol Evening Post, 15th July 2003; "The Story Behind the Hippisley Memorial" in Mendip, the Mendip Society Newsletter, August 2003; "The Other Hippisley Family" in The Greenwood Tree, the Somerset & Dorset Family History Society Journal, August 2003, and "The Curtis Family of Chewton Mendip" in The Greenwood Tree, November 2005.

If you have any comments or inquiries about my webpages or genealogy in general, or if you think you might be related to me through one of my branches, please Send Me An Email

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