Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Around 130 people joined together at East Hele, near Buckland Brewer, in the largest Heal family gathering.
FOUR generations of the same family – some travelling from as far away as New Zealand – gathered in Buckland Brewer for a family gathering this month.
Around 130 descendants of John Heal and Mary-Anne Fry, who bought West Hele Farm in 1880, were united on August 3 at East Hele.
John and Mary had nine children, who were the starting point for the family to trace back relatives and gather together the generations.
The eldest member of the gathering was Emily Heal (nee Bealey), 89, the great granddaughter of John and Mary.
The youngest was Edith Beer, who was born in July this year, the great, great, great granddaughter of John and Mary.
Family member Lorna Hicks said five family members had also travelled from New Zealand to be at the meeting.
“It was a joy to be able to meet with so many of our family, many of who are spread around the world,” said Lorna, John and Mary’s great, great granddaughter.
“We last met together in 1987, though not such a large group as this time we went back two further generations.
“When we searched back, it was a surprise to discover the family relationship with friends we have always known.”
Anyone who thinks they may be a Heal descendant who missed out on the gathering, can contact the Gazette to be put in touch with the family.