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The Gene Poole

A potted history of the Poole family

Joseph PooleThe first thing to say about my line of the Poole family is that it is not a true bloodline. At least one confirmed 'adoption', and a possible second one.

The highlights of the family are, however, that my great, great grandfather - Joseph Poole (pictured, right) was the founder and owner of the famous Poole's bookshops (if you remember 84 Charing Cross Road!). His original bookshop was in Holywell Street - famous for its bookshops - and demolished in 1902. He also had shops in Poole, Brighton and Whitstable. The one in Charing Cross Road was run by his daughter.

His uncle was allegedly the famous Thomas Poole, a friend of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, and a great benefactor to the community in and around Nether Stowey in Somerset. This, however, was one of the red herrings put to bed as a result of my research.

The Poole's also lost members in World War I - one great uncle in northern France, and one in Palestine - within 7 months of each other. World War II was more fortunate for the family as far as I can tell, with no deaths - my own grandfather was in a restricted profession, running the Wandsworth Telephone Exchange, and serving as an Air Raid Warden.

My research of the Poole's has led to the discovery of distant relatives throughout the UK and in Australia.

Other genealogical highlights from my research, and not restricted to the Poole's. My family tree boasts two Prime Ministers; a soldier born in St Lucia in the West Indies; a pioneer of cinematography; a deported convict; a Beefeater at the Tower of London; a tail gunner in Wellington bombers; and numerous doctors.

If you want to find out if you have similar treasures (and skeletons) in your family history, contact me today to start your family tree.