A FAMILY from Hounslow held a big get-together after tracing their ancestors back to the days of Henry VIII, identifying more than 1,000 forebears.
The Woodbridge family, which used to run a garden market in Wellington Road South, Hounslow, held a big reunion last weekend after years spent painstakingly researching their history.
Lee Woodbridge, who led the research, said his family's Hounslow roots date back to 1892, when his grandfather came to the area from High Wycombe to help build the Great West Road.
There he met his future wife Alice Louise Edwards, with whom he tied the knot at St Stephen's Church, before settling down in nearby Prince Regent Road.
The couple had 13 children, three of whom died tragically young, with the rest having another 19 sprogs between them.
Lee Woodbridge was one of 11 surviving cousins who attended a reunion at Addlestone's Abbey Moor Golf Club last Saturday (October 8), along with 56 other family members - many of whom had never set eyes on one another before.
"My sister Marilyn began researching the family tree in 1985, back when it wasn't very fashionable, after realising only one of the original 13 siblings was still alive," said the 61-year-old sales manager.
"When she died two-and-a-half years ago after a long battle with cancer, I thought it would be a shame to let all that work go to waste.
"It's really taken over my life and I have traced 1,071 family members and counting, going all the way back to the days of Henry VIII.
"It was great to see so many relatives at the weekend, including one couple (Graham and Stephen Woodbridge) who travelled all the way from Belgium."
Lee Woodbridge grew up in Hanworth Road, next to the old Rifleman pub, and went to nearby Spring Grove Grammar School (now Lampton School). He moved to Devon in 1989.
His family used to run Brompton Nurseries, in Wellington Road South, on the site now occupied by the Beresford Gardens housing development.
The Woodbridge family is mentioned in the Domesday Book and even has its own shield and motto, Defendamus, which Mr Woodbridge says means 'defend the king, defend the country, defend the family'.