Why develop a family tree? In my case, it became evident to me that as our family grew and spread out we were losing contact with them. This was especially true of our children, who had not even met many of their first cousins. I decided to embark on a project to document our family members to provide a history for the younger generation that they could use after we are gone. It may not be of much interest to them now, but they may become interested in the future, so it must be collected now or it will be lost forever.

What does it take to develop a family tree? Collecting the information is an interesting exercise because we are asking people to divulge very personal and private information. It is important that this information is collected and accessible to family members. It is equally important that we honour the requests from many of the donors that the information not be misused.

I started the Saskatchewan family tree using information provided by my mother, Lucy Britton, who travelled to Devon, England, in the early 1970’s to meet my father’s family, after he had passed away in 1963. This was added to by Janice Gullickson, daughter of Arthur and Genevieve Britton, who went to England on a high school project in 1978. She drew up a family tree going back to William Britton (1813) and Tabitha Shaddick. Using this information as a base, I gathered all the information I could on the rest of the Britton family.


I contacted another branch of the Canadian Britton family in the Grandview, Manitoba area, and I was able to get a copy of the work done by George Carman Britton (see Carman’s story this website). After receiving a copy of a notice she had put in the Hartland Times regarding a gathering of the Britton Family at Westward Ho in Devon, England, 2010, I contacted Elaine Cole, who sent me a wealth of information on the Brittons developed by our distant cousin, Jane Brenchley (UK).

Then, in April, 2014, I received a phone call from Colin Britton (UK), who put me in touch with his son, Daniel Britton. As a result of the research done by Daniel, the link between the UK, Grandview and Saskatchewan Brittons was discovered going back to John Britton (1690) and Joan Walter!

What does it take to develop a family tree? A lot of detective work, a lot of networking, considerable perseverance and the good fortune of having distant relations who are willing to share the fruits of their labour.  I would like to give my utmost thanks to all of those who did the research and shared the information with me for the project I call the Devon Britton Family Tree.