British Ancestry

Question: I am a novice researcher and have a conundrum to sort out. The first ancestor of my line was a elizabeth Fagg b:1690 in Kent. Where in Kent I do not know. I had tried in vain to find anything past America's shores, until I obtained a copy of The Fagg Family of Kent (America Branch) researched by Mr. Ken Fagg. In his wheel it shows an Elizabeth Fagg b:1690 the child of John Fagg b:1663 and Susanna Unkonwn. John's parents were Stephen b:1614 spouse unknown. Stephen's parents were Robert b: 1547(abt) spouse Elizabeth Linkhorn. Robert's parents- Richard Fagg late 1500's spouse Alice Hogben. This information I retrieved from from Mr. Ken Faggs diagram. I have tried to reach Ken, but been unsuccessful. I would like to continue, but from this point I really don't know where to start trying. A kind lady named Deborah O'Brien from Devon gave me the Kent link. I have tried for over Two years to get a reply from messages left on the Fagg message board or General message board for Kent.

If you would be so kind as to send me in the proper direction I would be greatly aprreciative.

Answer: I have known people put messages on the general board and have replies four,five and six years later, so be patient. It is also necessary to warn you about family histories, such as the work of Ken Fagg. This is not to denigrate his efforts, but to suggest to you that the evidence for his conclusion needs careful examination. Much research that goes into such family histories, particularly in America, derives from published books and transcriptions, many of which are misleading and often inaccurate, not based upon original research in original records.

So why not start from where you really know your ancestry goes. Who is your positively known true ancestor? In the words of a famous American genealogist of the last century "do not insult your true progenitors with false claims to others" - it just upsets them and, when you find your mistake, really riles you!

The early Fagg material has probably come from the Heralds' Visitation records but there were many other Fagg families (because this is not an uncommon name in this county) who had not reached gentry status. For every mamber of gentry that went to the New World, there were thousands of ordinary poor labouring people as servants to support them. Before the mid-16th century, back to which you probably can trace your ancestry, if you can discover the true parentage of Elizabeth, you might well use the Protestation Returns and the Health Tax Returns which have recently been transcribed over here. This is an accurate source of information, but by no means complete.

Use the website of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (, for professional research) and you will find othere resources that can be searches in our library.

Members of The Kent Family History Society may be able to help you.

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