Many thanks to my cousins John (Kenny) Marshall, Alan Stevenson & Gerald Stevenson for all the previous work they did uncovering so much of our hidden family history. Their efforts have spurred me on to continue their quest and try to find answers to some of their remaining questions.

If you wish to contribute anything to this site then you can always reach me via

How this site came to be.

In the summer or 2018 the whole of Europe was beginning to wake up to the reality that a “NO Deal Brexit” was definitely a possibility .

At that time I did not feel insecure, after all European law is based on what’s fair and reasonable and I had lived in Holland for almost 40 years, “they” could never just kick me out, surely? However towards the end of the summer I started to realize that being an Englishman with domicile in Europe might become tricky after 29th of March 2019. This was the trigger to start my own investigation into the history of our forebears.

The initial problem I was trying to solve was very simple “how could I avoid any possible inconvenience that would be caused by a “No Deal Brexit”. After weighing all my options I soon realized that applying for Dutch nationality, although a formality, would unfortunately under Dutch law require me to renounce my English nationality (this turned out to be incorrect). Because this would only change the problem not resolve it, I decided that seeking Dutch nationality was not a viable option. Luckily though I quickly discovered that the member states of the EU do not have a common policy on double nationality. Ireland and the UK for instance do allow double nationality. Yippee!!! I thought all I need to do is qualify for an Irish passport and Bob’s your uncle, problem solved: no problems in the EU and no problems within the UK (for me anyway). To qualify I would need to be able to prove that at least one of my grandparents was born in Ireland.

Investigating my mum’s side of the family seemed pointless since my uncle Harold Stapleton had mapped this out many years earlier. Although all scousers have Irish roots somewhere it turned out that on my mum’s side the Irish seed in me was deposited too many generations ago.

On my dad’s side, one of my cousins Jackie Andrews (nee Smith) had years earlier (1998) compiled her mum’s family notes, using the format and text made by her mother Mary and had sent a copy to my mum. I guess my mum knew I would need these someday and decided to give the booklet to me. Although I was initially very interested the booklet disappeared into a draw, gone but not forgotten. My wife (Loes) and I had moved house twice since 1998 so finding the booklet became a quest in itself.  I tried searching for Jackie Smith on Facebook hoping maybe she had registered an account under her maiden name (I knew she was married and had a son as I had visited them in 1989 but couldn’t for the life of me remember her married name), but with a maiden name as Smith I had little chance. I would have to look better for the book. Then, the first of many Eureka moments to come occurred, I found the booklet. This would surely provide me with an answer.

In order to achieve my goal either my grandmother Mary Ellen Hampson or my Grandfather John Stevenson would need to have been born in Ireland!  Unfortunately Aunty Mary’s notes made no mention of where either were born, I would have to start my own investigation. I started my search by entering all of Aunty Mary’s notes into an site; this was the easy bit. I quickly discovered that my grandmother Mary Ellen Hampson was unfortunately (for me) born in Liverpool. Trying to discover where my grandfather’s was born proved very challenging. According to Aunty Mary her father’s real name was Hugh Fowler and he later changed his name to John Stevenson. The challenge and excitement of investigating this seemingly simple bit of history stimulated my interest and now more than a year later all my findings are posted on this web-site.

I hope you enjoy looking around on the web-site and who knows maybe you will be stimulated to do your own research. Looking for puzzles to solve here are a few open ends that I’d like to see closed.

Dave Stevenson 4-8-2019