Reunion for worldwide family

A SUFFOLK family divided across the globe is due to come together on British soil for the first time in more than a century next week.The reunion is the latest chapter in a story that spans thousands of miles.

A SUFFOLK family divided across the globe is due to come together on British soil for the first time in more than a century next week.

The reunion is the latest chapter in a story that spans thousands of miles.

Last September five cousins from Brantham and East Bergholt travelled to Western Australia to celebrate the 100 years since George Goodchild set foot on Antipodean soil.

They joined 42 of their long-lost relatives from all over Australia for the reunion in Albany ending the day at a restaurant.


You may also want to watch:


Last August Hilary Wootton, of Great Bookham, Surrey, was contacted out of the blue by a second cousin in Western Australia who she never knew she had.

Dianne Goodchild-McLeish, living in Albany, had been researching her ancestors and discovered she was related to Mrs Wootton who lived more than 10,000 miles away.

Most Read

Mrs Wootton, who had also been looking at her family history, said: "I had always believed that the Goodchilds had never ventured further than perhaps Ipswich and has stayed in the Suffolk countryside."

"It was a great surprise to find that two of my grandmother's nephews had left England to try their luck in the New World in the early 1900s.

George Goodchild was born in 1880 in Capel St Mary and emigrated to Australia in 1903 where he worked for a timber mill near Albany.

He saved up to move to Katanning, 100km from Albany, where two years later he bought 160 acres of land for £1 and his younger brother, Edmund, joined him to form a farming partnership in 1908.

The brothers went their separate ways in 1919, although they stayed in touch with each other and their growing families.

George met his wife, Emily Asplin, at a dance and they married in 1920. Ted married Joyce Benson from Perth, and the two brothers between them had 11 children.

Mrs Wootton said: "To my knowledge there are 200 descendants of Robert Goodchild living in Australia.

Robert and his wife, Elizabeth, married in Onehouse in October 1738 and had two children - Elizabeth, who married Henry Whistle, and John, who married Sarah Reynolds.

John and Sarah had at least four children: John, Robert, Mary, and Samuel. Two others died very young

"We Goodchilds are all descended from the first son, John, who married Elizabeth Mumford in 1789.

"She came from Milden, and it would seem that they lived much of their life there since all of their children were born there. There are still Goodchilds left in Milden today."

Dianne Goodchild-McLeish and her husband Donald will fly half way across the world for the reunion on August 29 in Suffolk.

Mrs Wootton said: "According to my records, there have been at least 800 known descendants of Robert Goodchild mostly born in Milden, Capel St Mary and East Bergholt, but we shall to see how many will come to this year's reunion."

If you would like to attend the Goodchild reunion at the Institute in Woolpit telephone Hilary Wootton on 01372 456291.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter