Happy New Year! It's a while since I've written any posts. The living members of my family obviously take precedence over those long since departed when it comes to how I spend my time, and the past couple of months have been filled with family events, visits, traumas and travels. But Christmas is over, the visitors have all gone home, the walking wounded are showing signs of getting better, and at last I have an afternoon free.
A couple of years ago I decided that I would alternate each year between writing about my father's side of the family and my mother's. Last year I focused on the Ward and Beales side, which fitted in well with the work I was doing on a book about Susan Mason. The book isn't finished, but it has reached the stage where it's mainly the format rather than the content that needs attention. Writing up the endnotes and references has been a much bigger undertaking than I anticipated, due partly to problems with the software I was using. But now even the references are at the editing stage and I can turn my mind to other research.
So, with the start of a new year it's time to get back to the Ortons and Bentleys. Perhaps I'll start with Ben Bentley, corn dealer, of Yorkshire, who when he died in 1897 was described in the probate records as "gentleman". We don't have many of those in our family history! More about him as soon as I've refreshed my memory for that side of the family.