Family gathering attracts Fooks from around the world
A GATHERING in a barn on the Whatcombe Estate near Winterborne Whitechurch brought together members of the Fooks family from all over the world.
The hosts of the party on Saturday were Christopher and Ann Fooks of neighbouring Shepherd's Cottage, who were expecting more than 100 people with the surname Fooks or Fookes who had all researched something of their family history.
"We met a relative from Australia about five years ago, and between us over the last five years have worked on getting the gathering together," said Mrs Fooks.
The visitors found the walls covered with the family trees of the various Dorset branches of the family, family history books and memorabilia from the Fooks brewery which operated at nearby Milton Abbas from the 18th century to 1950, when it was sold to John Grove & Son of Weymouth and beer was a shilling a pint.
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The Australian Christopher Fooks from Sydney is the leading genealogist for the family and when asked if he was descended from a convict said he was more likely to be related to the man who sent them there.
On the wall hung one of the warnings posted on many of the bridges of Dorset of transportation for anyone defacing the structure, and signed by one T Fooks.
Mr Fooks of Sydney said: "We have traced back to an ancestor living in Dorset in the 1400s which goes back 14 generations. We don't know his name, but we believe his widow Agnes was the maternal ancestor of all our family line."
He pointed out that the alternative spelling of Foulkes with a 'u' came from a different line originating in Wales.
A Spanish import to the family by marriage said, very carefully, "I have been Fooked", commenting that mispronunciation of the name was something they all had to deal with.
Family members spoke of relatives living on a small-holding in Chile, where a family member was a copper mine engineer who advised on the Chilean miners' rescue and another was a respected Basque poet.
Guests enjoyed cream teas, two screenings of a Fooks family film, a hog roast and dancing to Julian Phillips boogie-woogie piano.