Delving into family history turned into a journey across continents for author Lesley

Paddy and Lesley Goad

Paddy and Lesley Goad - Credit: Archant

When Lesley Goad decided to map out her husband’s family history she had no idea it would take her on her journey across continents, through wars and into the Houses of Parliament.

Lesley, from Stretham, decided to begin compiling a history of the Goads following a family gathering in 2012, in which it was revealed that nobody really knew very much at all about how the Goads came to be farmers.

So, as a gift to her husband, Paddy, Lesley decided she would do some research.

Two years on, and having uncovered some amazing stories, Lesley has put all of the fruits of her labour into a new book, Fen Farming Family.

She said: “It has been a journey of many words, of patience and excitement, happiness and sadness for ancestors’ lives that I have touched.

“Feeling empathy and understanding of the situations they have found themselves in. Gazing at the photographs and having a feeling of recognition the more you understand their lives.”

Included in the book is 400 years of history of the Goad family, including years spent in farming in Stretham and around Cambridgeshire.

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But Lesley’s research also turned up stories of her late father-in-law, who was awarded the George Cross while on Arctic Convoys in the Second World War, a great-grandfather who was born in India and fought in the Indian Mutiny and another great-grandfather who served in parliament around the same time as Oliver Cromwell

The book is available at Topping and Company, in High Street, Ely.