‘The Ridouts of Sherborne’ – writing up your family history

Originally posted on Somerset & Dorset Family History Society:

SDFHS member, Karen Francis, describes how she started investigating her Ridout ancestors and encourages other family historians to publish their research so that it can be preserved.

combine Reg and Elsie Ridout. Photograph taken about 1916.

In March 2004, I decided to find out a bit about my maternal grandparents, Reg and Elsie Ridout. I started off with what I knew: Reg had run a fish and chip shop at 38a Kingsmead Street in Bath; Elsie smelt of lavender and baked gorgeous chocolate cake. Not exactly a lot to go on, but what do children ever really know about their grandparents? Well, my mother knew her grandfather’s name, which was John Arthur Ridout, and that he died in 1953, the year my two year old self met him. I dimly remember a tall man, wearing brown tweeds, folded awkwardly into an armchair like a stick insect; he offered me a Cadbury’s chocolate biscuit, which my pudgy…

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The Ridout book is finally published!

Dear Readers….

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past few months… my Ridout book is being printed…


The book is not just a revised edition of posts from this blog; there are additional facts and figures plus a transcription of the 1642 letter written by Walter Rydowte to the Almshouse brethren when they threatened to expel him for being a Roundhead. There is also a brand new chapter which deals with armoury – this describes and illustrates the coats of arms that have been used by two Ridout families and how they lead me to a hypothesis about just where the Sherborne Ridouts originated and to whom they may well be related.

I wrote this book because the internet is rather an ethereal medium on which to place more than a decade’s research; I wanted something substantial to hold in my hand and this is it.  Just in time for Christmas (quite by accident I assure you!), the book is being sold by Lulu.com and is available to folk in the UK, US and probably everywhere else too. I hope you don’t think the book is expensive – I am just covering my costs. It was never about the money :-)

Find the book here: BOOK

Happy Christmas, to those who celebrate it



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