Genealogical research can never be an exact science. One invariably encounters conflicting evidence which is difficult to resolve, and such inconsistencies are more likely to occur in any efforts to delve back more than two or three centuries. As Judith Ray, author of the article on page 2 of this issue of Gone A-Hunting found when she began her investigations into her distant 17th Century Bunting ancestors in Derbyshire, it is all too easy to be led astray by translations from Latin which introduce 'lineage ambiguities'.
A surprising number of Buntings, especially during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, responded to 'the call to arms', as conflicts arose in different parts of the world, especially perhaps those which threatened the sovereignty of the British Empire. For some it was a noble calling. Many young men, most notably those from well-to-do backgrounds, saw it as their duty, in some instances even a privilege, to help defend their mother country. For them it was a matter of honour to uphold an ancestral tradition or reputation.
Buntings started emigrating from the UK a long time ago. They were among the true pioneers. There are firm records of Bunting families endeavouring to establish themselves in the USA as far back as the 1680s. Claims are sometimes made of Buntings having been 'found' several centuries earlier than that, on the other side of the Atlantic. But such optimistic, albeit well-intentioned, assertions are invariably difficult to substantiate.
Membership of the Bunting Society continues to grow strongly. In the last six months or so we have welcomed 23 new members (see page 20). They come from all corners of the globe, from Colorado, Vermont, New Jersey and Massachusetts in the USA and from New South Wales in Australia. New UK members come from places as far apart as Aberdeen and Wimborne, Dorset.
The 20th Annual gathering of the Bunting Society will be at Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England, on October 10 2009. We are hoping to have the village Historical Society co-operating with us to give us a talk on old Long Buckby and to give us access to their museum.
Further planning to make this a memorable day is progressing. At least three of our family trees have links with the Long Buckby area: KEN New Romney, NTH Long Buckby and NTH Kislingbury and with more work doubtless more Bunting connections back to Long Buckby will be found.
The Bunting Society has won the 2008 award from the Federation Of Family History Societies in the competition for the best 'One Name Study' website. The Society's chairman, Mary Rix, received the certificate for the best entry of the year at the Essex and Suffolk Family History Conference held at the end of August at the UK's Essex University in the city' of Colchester.