Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Cowling man arranges reunion after researching family tree
9:00am Sunday 19th August 2012 in News
A genealogy enthusiast from Cowling who has spent almost 30 years researching his family tree is preparing to meet up to 100 distant relatives from across the world.
Matthew Godfrey, 46, has arranged a family union to mark 130 years since the marriage of his great-great-grandparents.
Five generations of descendants of John Mackin and Mary Ann Coyles, who married in Whitehaven, Cumbria, in 1882, will meet at Shipley Social Club on Saturday.
The gathering will include distant cousins from Canada as well as the UK.
Mr Godfrey, who has created a 14-metre-long family tree containing 350 names for the event, became interested in genealogy at the age of 18 when he discovered an old family photograph.
After researching his mother’s side of the family, he started looking into his paternal grandmother’s family, who originally came from Whitehaven.
Mr Godfrey said: “When I found people I wrote to them, asking if they would like to get in touch. It just snowballed.
“It’s like a drug. I got more excited by the challenge of finding people. You do find some interesting tales. If there’s a bit of a puzzle and you are trying to find someone, you get a buzz from that.
“I have got a real interest in the past and genealogy was just an extension of that.
“There are some sad things, people who fought and died in the First World War, babies that were born stillborn.
“I am bringing the Mackin family together to meet each other, 130 years after our common ancestors married.”