My research into the ancestry of my late father, Cecil Redvers Gordon Barfoot (1900-1985), has already uncovered some fascinating facts, none of which were previously known to living family members. I am eager to find out more details of any members of the family, however distant.
Dad's parents Harry John Barfoot (1860-1937) and Marie Annie Lucy Poole (1861-1955), for example, had six children - the first, a girl, was born in 1886 and the last (my father) in 1900 - but they did not marry until after the births of all of them! The marriage is registered on January 29th, 1901. I believe that the couple also had an 'adopted' (their term, but legal adoption was not in force at the time) son, George Poole, who served with the British army during the first world war, but later emigrated (supposedly to Australia, but I have so far been unable to confirm this).
Harry John and his brother William Joseph joined the army when Harry was only just 12 years old. Their father, William (c1831-?) had lost his first wife, Eliza Sarah Saunders (1830-1864) some 11 years after their marriage, and had been left a widower with 6 children under 6 to care for! Understandably, he subsequently re-married, to a Julia Louisa Saxby (nee Young).
William's older brother, John, a slater, killed himself in 1873 by shooting himself twice in the mouth with a pistol outside a police station in Brighton. He had - for some as yet unknown reason - travelled to the town from his Notting Hill, London home, a week previously.
William and John were among the 11 children of Harry Barfoot (1805-?) and his Buckinghamshire-born wife Mary Ann Avis (1804-1887). Harry was one of the 'first wave' of Metropolitan Police Officers, enlisted in 1829. He rose to the rank of Inspector and served for about 13 years. On his resignation, he had a variety of other jobs including clerk, house agent and painter! (Possibly also tobacconist and/or baker!!)