Guide lines - What is the Forest ? (Announce)

by slowhands @, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Sunday, February 15, 2009, 20:03 (5544 days ago) @ slowhands

Another controversial topic !

The definition of Forest will mean different things to different folk :-)

Do we take a very limited view and take part of the "Free Miner" approach and only accept those who lived in the Hundred of St Briavels - Should we ignore those living in the Hundreds of Bledisloe or Greytree ?

or, do we say "Only those BMD's registered in Westbury on Severn" - Should we ignore those BMD's from Chepstow, Ross , Monmouth, and Newent ?

or, Gloucestershire West of the River Severn

or, administered by todays Forest of Dean council

or, the Parliament constituency

or, the modern Post code, or dialling code

When Dave Watkins and I first discussed this we agreed that broadly " 'Twixt Wye and Severn" was to be the focus of this Internet resource.
We did not define a northern boundary, althought initially drew an imaginary line between gloucester and Ross on Wye.

As the resource developed it became clear that the adjoining parishes - i.e. across the Severn at Arlingham, north towards Newent and Kemply, were home to ancestors who came to the traditional Forest areas.

Here is the Wiki definition :-

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. The forest is a roughly triangular plateau bounded by the River Wye to the west and north, the River Severn to the south, and the City of Gloucester to the east.

I could give more examples, but I think these illustrate the challenge, each has its weaknesses - <rhetoric question> How do you capture the culture in a geographic definition.

So a simple approach / test is "twixt Wye and Severn" or broadly west of the Severn and Gloucestershire.

There is therefore no hard and fast "boundary" for this board, just apply some common sense. i.e. if the family you are interested came from Mid Wales , Kent or Lancashire , and you have no linkage to this area then you are probably best contacting a Forum that specialises in that area , or a general family History forum. Admin may lock the thread at this point .

Please take the boundary as soft and fuzzy - Tintern, Goodrich and Courtfield are over the Wye, but often debated on this board.

We generally try to help but our expertise / knowledge is in this core area and the further away the less the detailed knowledge we have.

If you look at Threads most will conform to the above, occasionally you will find a thread where the topic relates to a family that lived in the Forest for a short period of time - perhaps linked to the Railway, Tunnel construction or Mine sinking. Others perhaps have several geneartions of "Forest" before heading off to Wales or Yorkshire, some have Somerset or Cotswold roots before coming to the Forest.

We welcome healthy balanced challenges to our research / suggestions.
we are not super human we make mistakes :-)

Enjoy your research, good luck.


I am proud to be related to the ancient foresters of Dean.

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

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