Contributed by: Alan Bunting
This edition of Gone A-Hunting marks more than one milestone in the history of the Bunting Society, some 23 years after its founding.
We sadly mourn the loss, at the age of 86, of one of the society's founder members who became its chairman and subsequently its president. George H Bunting (and we have to include his middle initial to distinguish him from other notable George Buntings who have played key roles in the society's growth and success) was greatly liked by everyone who came into contact with him, especially at Bunting Society annual gatherings. Fuller tributes to George, contributed by his daughter Pam Mitchell and by fellow founder member Christine Paine, can be found on pages 2 and 3.
A further event of note in this issue is to be found in our main feature article, written by Dr Thorn Bunting (see pages 4 to 9). Thorn is one of a number of Buntings from the USA who have joined the society over the years and who can trace their antecedents back to the UK. But Thorn has had more reason - and opportunity - than most to research his family origins on this side of the Atlantic, by virtue of his work; he is based in England, holding a senior position at the University of Bath.
Thorn knew his ancestors hailed from Old Warden, near Biggleswade in Bedfordshire and it can be seen from his article that his
researches have discovered a huge amount of detail. Unusually, however, our chairman and chief family tree 'constructor' Mary Rix has been unable to link Thorn Bunting's Old Warden tree (see pages 10 and 11) with any of the numerous existing trees now held on computer — and accessible via the Bunting Society website. In other words the Old Warden Buntings were, until Thorn came along to the 2010 gathering in Chester, unknown to the society's genealogical 'sleuths'.
Much has been written about the catastrophic flood which enveloped the City of Sheffield in 1864, following the collapse of a newly-constructed dam on the River Loxley to the north-west of the city. It was known that Sheffield's population, then as now, included a considerable number of Buntings. Precisely how many of them became victims of the flood cannot be determined. But a glimpse of the material damage they suffered can be gained from records of the hundreds, if not thousands, of insurance claims lodged by named tradespeople and their employees in and around the city which are now recorded in a city archive. A fascinating summary of the Bunting-associated claims can be found on page 14 of this issue.
The Bunting Society