It is nearly forty years since I first took an active interest in genealogy and subsequently in family history. My interest was alerted by a casual enquiry from a researcher in Lancaster writing the history of an event in the 1700's in which a SHRAPNELL was involved. My curiosity was aroused and the ancestry 'bug' took hold. I was soon involved in a massive 'One Name Study' which has stopped and started over the years.


Registration with the GUILD OF ONE NAME STUDIES was mandatory and I became a member in the early days of the Guild.


I have records of every registered birth, marriage and death that I can find with the name SHRAPNEL(L) and variants that has taken place in the U.K. since 1837. This was when compulsory Civil Registration with central records commenced. Most of these entries have been charted and cross referenced. Prior to 1837 when only parish records existed I have had fair success in charting many of these back to around the late 1500s. There are inevitably question marks in both areas where a lot more research and snippets of information to bridge gaps is required. Most of the overseas branches, too, have been charted.


Bearers of the name SHRAPNEL(L) are more fortunate than many in ancestry tracing. To start with it is an uncommon name - the first record found is in 1218 with Richard SHARPANEL, a metathesised form of Charbonnel. After 1218 it does not appear again in my researches until the late 1500's with several isolated entries. Parish registers as such did not commence until then, many of the early ones did not survive as there was no control over their keeping and storage.