From banished royals to Boadicea: the man with an impressive family tree
WE ARE all related to Adam and Eve, or so The Good Book says, but we’re not all related to battling Boadicea or naughty noble Banished Hereward.
Well, Nigel Ratcliffe reckons he is.
The Lutton Bank resident also thinks he is related to King Frithugar Deira of Saxony and plenty more Norman Saxon royalty.
Mr Ratcliffe, 59, was alerted to his rich ancestry after his brother, Graham, decided to see how the family tree had spread its branches.
After a few clicks on an ancestry website the brothers were onto something. Graham pursued history through the ages taking whichever family line took his fancy, momentarily stopping to verify with the rest of the internet what he had found.
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And as sure as eggs are eggs, they hit upon earls and dukes and even Hereward the Wake (also known as Banished Hereward), who was banished from Lincolnshire by Edward the Confessor for being a little scoundrel.
Then, midway through the first millennium, the Ratcliffe’s family tree leaves south east England and loiters around northern Europe before returning to accommodate the great warrior queen Boadicea, who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire around about 60AD, destroying Nigel’s place of birth, Colchester, in the process.
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“It’s exciting,” said Nigel, a construction worker by trade.
“My brother didn’t expect to find anything like this - it’s doesn’t really mean anything but it’s interesting.
“Our parents divorced when we were young and now the family’s spread around the place so we thought it would be nice to trace the family tree.”
Genealogy has become quite popular since electronic records made tracing family history much easier.
The brothers’ find came from following one line of many - occasionally swapping bloodlines - back to circa 50AD.
“Where would Ceasar come into it all?” mused Nigel.