my look back in time

My grandmother - Nellie Reed  c.1912


Glad you dropped by. I’m John Gambrill and my family roots are in south-east England. This look back in time started with a childhood fascination with my grandfather’s stories about the Gambrill family tree. This site is not just a list of my ancestors, there are stories about where and how they lived, how they met their spouses, their adventures, tragedies, and occasional skeletons in the closet. Many visitors will find their own ancestors, and others will find places or events that relate to their family. I hope this sparks your interest. Perhapst you can add a new perspective to this ongoing saga. 

My aim is to pass on information to all extended family, especially younger members, in a way that tweaks their interest in past family connections.


Dedicated To

I dedicate this journey back in time to my grandmother, Nellie Reed. I have discovered, as I searched for photos and letters, that Nellie was a keeper of just about everything. It was as if she was planning to produce this family history herself. It is a wonderful gift she has left:  photos and memorabilia neatly stored in used envelopes, clearly titled and often dated.

My Stories

I am not a prolific writer. However, I love old photos and maps and find it easier to tell a story around the details I see in these images.

The stories I write will be based

on historic facts from my research.

Now and again “historic fiction”

will creep into the story,

where I am imagining the

life and times of my

ancestors, based on

my knowledge of the

villages and towns

where they lived.

I will use words such as

possibly and probably to indicate

such musings.

Hello Extended Family & Visitors.

You can contact me at

About the Site

Which families are included?

In order to get something off the drawing board, I have only included the ancestors of my parents - Ken Gambrill and Dorothy Taylor. With the help of my distant cousins, I hope to expand the stories to include their branches of the family.

Family Stories

Stories about individuals in my family tree are the core of this site, and I add new stories on a regular basis. Family trails are my way of guiding you through connecting stories.

First time visitors should start at the   Family Roots & Trails page.

Family Trees

On the menu bar are

links to family charts:

  Gambrill/Reed Tree

   Taylor/Degan Tree

Most recent Additions

Three stories about my family during World War Two .  Start with:

WW2 - 1939 to mid 1943